Camping in the new forest

Last weekend we was invited along to a bloggers camping weekend, we have NEVER been camping before….. EVER. We was invited to go camping in the new forest for two nights, I kindly accepted the offer/challenge as I thought this would be a fun challenge for all of us seeing as we have never done anything like this before.

My ideal holiday….

My ideal holiday is not having to cook when away, being as lazy as possible, choice of entertainment for the boy’s, a nice spa, big comfy bed, a hot tub, TV, a pool, just basically live it up a little. The question is would I enjoy camping in the new forest and can I be converted into enjoying camping from now on?….Let’s find out.

Best kept secret…

The boys never knew anything about us going away camping last this weekend, when I received the email inviting us along to Holmsley campsite myself and Ian said we will not tell the boys about it until we are packing the car up to go. The first thing the boys said was “mum in a tent” and then laughed…Cheeky buggers!

This weekend was the best kept secret, I normally can’t keep a secret I’m terrible, I normally get too excited and end up saying something but this time I somehow managed.

Upon our arrival…

We didn’t set out until about 6.30pm due to work commitments, we had just over 2 hr drive to get to Holmsley campsite, we arrived shortly after 9pm hungry as we was rushing to get there we hadn’t had time to stop and eat anything. Our first stop was check-in to say we have arrived, we was welcomed by friendly staff who pointed us in the direction of our tent…This was when I gulped and thought tent…yikes what am I doing. Before heading to our tent we quickly grabbed something to eat from the shop to see us through until we had unpacked and got the stove on the go with some hot dogs.

First thoughts on the tent…

My first thoughts of the tent was, it’s a tent, admittedly I was not won over straight away and was thankful it was already up and ready for when we arrived. I’m someone who likes to have a wardrobe, watch TV in bed and have a fridge, nothing special but these are home comforts and they was not there so how was I to cope. The boy’s on the other hand dived straight into the tent to claim what bed they wanted and then went off making friends. The boys settle almost instantly which was great to see.

camping in the new forest


Admittedly we didn’t know what to take as we’ve never been camping before so we just grabbed tin food as we thought it was only two nights and we only had one gas ring to cook on that we took with us.

camping in the new forest

camping in the new forest

We made use of our gas ring rather well, making toast, heating tin meals, heating water for cup of soups, heating milk for hot chocolate, heating water for tea/coffee, I was very impressed. Anyone who knows Lee will know he is never far from the kettle at home and is alway making cups of tea and hot chocolate, he was pleased he still had this home comfort.

We could also still sit and have our family meals…

camping in the new forest

Of course you can’t go camping without having marshmallows. Thank you to Poolemamma for the use of her bbq…

camping in the new forest

I pre-judged….

To be honest I thought I’d end up giving in half way through the first night as I love my home comforts too much. Anyone who truly knows me would tell you I’ve always laughed off any chance of me going away on holiday in a tent and have always said “how can you class a tent as a fun holiday”, but little did I know…..Yes I pre-judged….I must stop doing that.

Our thoughts on the camp and staff…

We thought the camp was absolutely beautiful, it was welcoming and clean. The staff was always smiling, happy and very friendly, easy to approach with any problems or questions we had.

I worried about the boy’s…

I was worried about how Lee and Bradley would take to it, with them being teenage boys they normally have a console controller in one hand and a mobile in the other, I soon learned that I was worrying about that for no reason.

They loved it…

Camping in the new forest

They played ball sports…

camping in the new forest

Explored the beautiful surroundings…

camping in the new forest

Even enjoyed each others company…Now this was nice to see as they normally argue when at home so brotherly bonding even took place.

First time experience…

None of us have ever slept outdoors before it was a first time experience for all four of us, where better to experience camping for the first time than camping in the new forest. Whats not to enjoy while camping at Holmsley campsite, it has everything you need on site, there is a well stocked out shop for anything you’ve forgotten/run out of just like we did, we needed more milk and more gas for our camping stove, the kid’s even enjoyed a nice ice cream from the shop seeing as the weather was hot. Our first experience was great fun, we had great company which helped a lot.

Worried about facilities….

I was put off camping by the thought of no hot shower or toilets….Yes pre-judging again, I will learn soon not to do this. yet again worrying for no reason as there was a shower block and toilets for us to use freely when we wish….Phew! these was just a short distance away and was being checked and cleaned regularly.

Coping through the night….

Coping through the night was a big worry of mine as I absolutely HATE being cold, I thought I’d be sleeping on the floor and end up freezing cold but yet again I was wrong. There was camp beds supplied and the sleeping bags kept us more than warm enough, in fact we slept right through the night comfortably, I was shocked. We did take plenty of blankets with us just incase any of us got cold. Lee and Bradley had no problems settling down at bed time, in fact Bradley had to be woken up on the first morning as he was still fast asleep when we had all been awake for quite a while, his cousins Emily and Harry found it rather amusing when we said to go bundle him and wake him up.

The boy’s loved staying in the tent, they found it great fun..

camping in the new forest

Brad decided we all should play guess what the hand reflection is…

camping in the forest

Smiles all round in our tent…

Our final thoughts of camping…

One thing I never ever thought I would enjoy and that would be camping, but guess what………I did it, we went camping in the new forest and we ALL loved it, enjoyed it, had an amazing time and we ALL want to go again, yes ALL of us….Including me! I hate bugs and ALL creepy crawlies but I survived. I hate being cold but I coped. I hated the thought of sleeping in a tent but guess what, yes you got it I survived, it really wasn’t as bad as I pre-judged.

Will we go camping again…

Hell yes, it was an awesome experience, Lee and Bradley had a great time making new friends and exploring the new forest, they never once said that they was bored, they never even worried about chatting to friends back home. Consoles and gadgets, what consoles and gadgets? they was long forgot about, they was swapped for fresh-air fun and adventures.

camping in the forest

The face say’s it all…

Our best moments of camping….

This would be the whole experience of camping, finding out how wrong my thoughts of camping was, the non-stop fun, the laughter, watching the boy’s explore and enjoy being outdoors, all of us meeting new people and making new friends and simply enjoying the ways of camping life with no distractions getting in the way.

Fun had by all..

There was fun had by all this weekend, we never had thought it would be so much fun, we went on a bug hunt, played rounders, cricket, the boys learned how to play bowls, we was able to borrow bikes, the boy’s played football and hide-an-seek with the other kids on camp, the boy’s climbed trees and we went off and explored on bikes together.

camping in the new forest

Learning about bugs with the park ranger…

camping in the new forest

On a bug hunt…

camping in the new forest

Exploring the beautiful surrounds…

camping in the new forest

Enjoying fun times with their cousins Emily and Harry from Emmy’s Mummy

Before we even made it back home we had decided we would love to take up camping and go on more fun and adventures, but before we do so we will need to kit ourselves out properly with camping equipment.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Camping in the forest for having us for the weekend, we had a fantastic time, made some very happy memories and lovely new friends, we are now converted to the camping life. Once kitted out properly we are looking forward to more fun and adventures camping.


  1. I’ve only ever camped at festivals which isn’t quite the same as you don’t spend a lot of time enjoying the environment but i’d love to go camping properly. Looks like you had lots of fun, and i’m glad the weather seemed to stay reasonably nice for you! x

  2. We don’t have family camping here in the Philippines, but we have Girl Scout Camping and I remember(just a flashback from my teenage years)…I really enjoy it and I’ve learned so many things.

    Nice camping you have here, and you should try it again.

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