The Sunday Telegraph sent their reporters far and wide across the United Kingdom to see how first timers fared under canvas. Lucy and Adam Barnett's conclusion? "It was the sleepover they had always begged us for"
Since Lottie and Gracie were born we’ve holidayed at resorts geared around young families in Italy or Greece. Camping has never been on our radar; it didn’t seem like an easy or relaxing option. So neither of the girls knew what to expect from our first experience. Where would they be sleeping? Would we all be in one room? And could any animals get inside the tent? (I’m pleased to tell you that no animals made it inside.)
At Middle Lypiatt, which looks out on to acres of stunning countryside, the tent was far bigger than I anticipated. The girls couldn’t wait to get inside and explore. They ran around the interior, buzzing with excitement and discovered a little den under their bed full of toys and board games. It was the perfect sleepover they’d always begged us for.
On our first night the girls stayed up late and we huddled around the firepit, toasting marshmallows. It was idyllic to be outdoors in the countryside, with no cars to be heard and no one to be seen. After a year of lockdown, finally being out of our own home and seeing further into the distance than the length of our own back garden was a tonic.
Compared with previous holidays, where we’d be heading down to breakfast the moment the kids opened their eyes, it was lovely to not be rushing anywhere. Instead, Adam and I sat with a coffee outside the tent, listening to the birds, while the kids had their cereal and played inside. We visited ponies, went for walks and visited the local farmers’ market. Then we came back to the tent, opened the rosé and sat outside playing Uno and barbecuing our dinner.
Having quality family time with no TVs or iPads in sight, just stunning British countryside and masses of fresh air, was a really wonderful break. Having never camped before, we’d 100 per cent go back.