Gone Camping.

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gone camping

Last weekend we went camping. It is hard to believe that it was only one year ago I accidentally, unintentionally agreed to Hubby buying at tent, and now here I am eagerly looking forward to each trip. And the next.

Originally, we had booked to go camping with friends. Sadly, some major car troubles caused them to pull out at the last moment – to much disappointment all round. Since we had already booked, we decided to go ahead anyway


With the car already packed and at bursting point, we headed off after Hubby got home from work. I’m definitely an ‘over packer’ – what can I say? I like my creature comforts! And you can never tell with the British weather, so you have to pack for all eventualities. I always pack too much food as well, but that’s not such a bad thing.

We booked to stay at The Shrubbery in Lyme Regis, about a 1.5 hour drive from our home. You’d think leaving at 5pm on a Friday night for a popular touristy location in school holidays would be a traffic nightmare, but we had no issues and drove straight on through. Lyme Regis is very small though, so I can see that congestion could easily become a problem.

Our tent is fairly huge, but between Hubs and I, it only takes around 30 minutes to put up and get everything set up. I enjoy this part, making it all cosy and homely inside.

putting tent up


Rarely do we get a lie-in when camping.

If it’s not the dawn chorus from local birds waking you up at silly o’clock it will be the crazy urge to go pee :) And there’s no ignoring it and pretending you don’t need to, that just makes it worse. And you know the moment you try to quietly get up and sneak out, then you will wake the puppy and the kiddos and then they will all want to go as well. Sure enough, one by one you begin to hear the zippers and footsteps from other campers hurriedly and not-so-quietly all making tracks to the nearest shower blocks.

Morning :)

camping mist

Saturday we woke to the most beautiful mist. It was like a dreamy haze across the field. Very peaceful and serene.

One of the things I love most about camping is the outdoor cooking.

There’s nothing like the smell of bacon wafting across the field from other campers to get you leaping out of your sleeping bag and wrestling to light your own gas stove.

The kids prefer to have their cereal, but we have bacon and eggs. It’s like the law of camping. And it’s totally in keeping with my Slimming World plan, too!

camping breakfast

Despite the early morning mist, the day turned out gorgeous. The sun burst through and we headed into Lyme Regis for a spot of sight-seeing.

Car parking in Lyme Regis is difficult – it’s such a small town. So after an impatient attempt to find a space, we drove back to a little park-and-ride and hopped on the bus into town. £5 for the 4 of us (plus Chester) all day was great value. I would totally recommend it if you ever visit.

Lyme Regis beach

Lyme Regis beach is so pretty. Lined with lovely little cafe’s, shops and this pretty old house. It’s looking a little tired now, but I love the hexagonal cladding, the window shutters and the doorway.

Lyme Regis beach house

Part of the beach is sand and part shingle and it seems everyone preferred the sand.

Well, you know where to go for a quiet spot…

Lyme Regis beach

We discovered a beach vendor selling hair braids and glitter tattoos. Of course, Lauren was eager to jump in the seat!

This may just be the quietest and most still she has ever been.

beach braids

Back at the camp site it was lovely to sit down and relax together as a family.

Something I’m conscious we do not do enough of.

Unplugged. Undistracted.

Will and Lauren

Who am I kidding? We don’t stay unplugged for too long. The kiddos each got to pack some toys of their choosing. Thomas brought the iPad and Lauren her stuffed toys. My children couldn’t be more different.

tent bedroom

The Shrubbery was brilliant for kids. With a fun crazy golf area and a playground too, there was always something to keep them entertained.

But you know, it wasn’t all noisy. Even with the kids playing and having fun, the park maintained a lovely quiet relaxed atmosphere. It wasnice.

The Shrubbery

The on-site shop was fabulous, too. Filled with all the camp shop essentials, there was no need to worry if you left anything behind. Plus they had loads of wonderful local produce. Perfect to enjoy or take home as gifts.

Dorset produce

The Shrubbery

The kids caught me checking emails on my phone and threw themselves on top of me insisting on a family-selfie.

I realised that I have hardly any of these.

I’ve always been too self-conscious of my weight, and more recently my braces. So here’s a rare photo of us all. I need to capture more of these.

my loves


bad weather campingAs usual when camping, I checked the weather app when I woke to see what the day had in-store for us.

100% chance of lightning.


We have to take the tent down and be off-site by 11am. I do not want to be waving metal poles around in a thunder storm.

Note the *100 percent*. Not 90%. Not leaving a little 10% margin of possibility – this is 100%.

So, after the quickest get up / get dressed ever, we set about taking the tent down before the bad weather set in.

It didn’t.

Look at those blue skies. *Sigh*

The Shrubbery

If you ever go to visit Lyme Regis be sure to explore the sea front. There were lots of wonderful looking cafes and restaurants – many serving lovely fresh local fish on their menus. Further up in the town, there was an incredible looking artisan bakery called The Town Mill Bakery. I was dying to go in and eat, but honestly, I was not at all hungry after breakfast, the kids weren’t that fussed and it probably wasn’t the healthiest choice. I was sad to not visit, but it’s just silly to eat when you’re not even hungry.

We really enjoyed our stay at The Shrubbery and would be happy to go back again. Although, it is always nice to explore new places.

We’ve already booked our next camping trip and it’s not too far from here. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful part of the Devon / Dorset coast {let’s hope the weather is a little more predictable next time].

xoxo Natalie

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  1. says

    Your tent looks amazing, and neat! It looks like you had a fab time, I’m very jealous :) And yes, make sure you capture lots of photos with your kiddies, my teenage daughter now hates her photo taken (probably because of how I reacted to cameras) and now I am lucky if I get one or two photos of us together each year! Christmas and birthdays!

    • Natalie says

      Thank you, Lynette! We did have a great time.
      Hopefully your teenager will let you sneak a few more photos… bribery, perhaps? :)

  2. Kelly brady says

    Hi can I ask which beds do you use! I’m new to camping also with our first tent borrowed a friends double air beds but not the most comfy

    • Natalie says

      Hey Kelly,

      We just have inflatable air beds from Go Outdoors. The kids each have a single and Hubs and I share a double. Agreed, they’re not the most comfortable in the world, but they are not awful. I think the secret is to make sure they are fully inflated. If the valve is leaky, they deflate quick and when they are too squishy, it’s not comfy at all.

  3. says

    We went camping every year when I was a child and I loved it. This post brought it all back. It looks like you had a lovely break away x

  4. says

    It looks like such a lovely weekend! I love your pictures too; you and the family look so cute. Too bad you went to all that trouble and no rain; but then, when does anyone get the weather predictions right? The 100% should have been a hint that they didn’t know LOL!

    • Natalie says

      Ha, I sometimes question these ‘experts’ that forecast the weather! Honestly, my hair frizz gives a better forecast of bad weather coming 😀

  5. says

    Ah wow it looks amazing! We just got back from camping in Cornwall last night and I can’t wait to go again! Will definitely check out the Shrubbery for a weekend visit as its not too far from us :) Kerry x

    • Natalie says

      Ooh, I hope you had a great weekend and the weather was kind to you! Definitely check out The Shrubbery – we loved it!

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