Dragging him kicking & screaming…
For those who aren’t already aware, I live with a farmer. Trying to convince a farmer to leave the farm for a holiday isn’t exactly what you’d call easy, trying to convince him to leave the farm to go camping is almost impossible!
To be fair he does work outdoors a lot of the year, I can kind of see why he wouldn’t want to spend a long weekend bracing the autumn weather, with nothing but me him and a slip of a waterproof fabric. Never the less, after some serious sulking he reluctantly agreed. So with the backseat filled to the brim, (most people fill the boot, but I have a rather spoilt dog who likes to recline on a large bed and watch the vanishing scenery through the back window.), Nick driving and me googling the nearest Go-Outdoors to stock up on missing essentials (Torch and camping stove), we made our way up the A1 to the Northumberland coast.
There has never been more pressure for a trip to go well. Everyone knows that nothing goes how you want it to, I’d begged and pleaded threatened and cried in an attempt to get him to agree to do this so the chances of it going well were fairly slim. I’d assured him hundreds of times that he’d enjoy himself, I wouldn’t be high maintenance, I wouldn’t moan or throw a paddy because the weather didn’t suit my adventurous plans – It was just destined to be a flop.
How it went down…
It turned out to exceed any of our expectations! We chose Budle Bay and landed on a lovely quiet little pitch with a trickling stream and loads of space all to ourselves. In a bid to make the most of it I deleted my social media apps (I know, what a 2018 cliché!) but it really did do me some good. I never realised how Insta-attached I’d become until it wasn’t there.
Towering dramatically above the most beautiful beach, Banburgh Castle was the best start to an amazing couple of days, we wandered the castle, ate jacket spuds, drank tea and played hide and seek with Otis in the sand dunes.
Our afternoon took us to a place the whimsical little child in me will never forget. I’ll know it forever as the enchanted forest, (Real name Cragside House and Gardens) I swear if fairies, pixies and magical creatures existed this would be their home.
I guess you could say we flew by the seat of our pants, this day was pretty wild for our standards. We set off with absolutely no itinerary! With no idea where we were going, we took a few random turns left and then right, (WILD I KNOW!), we followed a brown sign with just a picture of a castle and a cow. We didn’t know which castle, how far it was, what the cow could possibly mean or most importantly what the Tripadviser rating was…
It turned out to be a hidden gem – the last of the wild cattle alive in Britain and the most haunted castle. There was a human skeleton, a room that once housed Edward I, and dark corner after dark corner filled with creepy old things! – It was brilliant fun, right up my street! Not so much Nicks, he found it a little creepy but you can’t please everyone.
The trip wasn’t all rosy. It definitely had it’s moments; I completely forgot to pack any pillows, he left the shower gel in the male showers and it was never to be found again, it rained, we got muddy, my socks got wet and the dog farted in the enclosed tent. Camp stove meals were hard work; the travel kettle held less water than I’d have liked and the tent wouldn’t go back in the silly bag. (Here’s a question to all you tent manufacturers – why not make tent bags with a little more wiggle room?!!) but I wouldn’t change a thing! It was so much fun, everything that went wrong was funny, everything that went right was amazing!
Looking back from the reality of life – and a huge washing pile…
I’m sad to be home! Short but sweet it was one of the best trips we’ve ever had. I found the beauty of camping is in everything that’s missing. There’s little to distract yourself with, there’s nothing to do but go out and explore, relax, read, eat and enjoy the company, it’s a little uncomfortable, a little cold, if it rains it can literally dampen your mood but all things considered it’s awesome. I’m now a fully-fledged camping convert, and so is he!
Here’s some tips I’ve learnt from one beginner to another…
- You DO NOT need to take a ball of wool, crochet is the last thing you’ll want to do.
- Remember to pack pillows.
- Take a sweeping brush the tent gets full of grass.
- Take a lantern and a torch.
- Don’t plan anything, just go out on an adventure
- Don’t use trip adviser unless it’s for a restaurant
- It is freezing cold on a night – take extra clothes to sleep in.
- Take slip on shoes for darting to the loo at 3am
- Take a good book
- Take decent chairs
- Take a tent that sleeps 4 more people than you need.
- Take a rain coat
- Northumberland is a National Trust treasure trove. I recommend a membership.
Written with love