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Carry On Camping!

>Carry on camping…
According to a host of sources, camping at home in the UK is becoming an ever more popular holiday choice, not just amongst families looking for a cheap break, but with those who have more reasons that just budget in mind when they go camping.  So many people (including myself) remember childhood holidays of soaked nylon, soggy groundsheets and unspeakable facilities.  I can remember on one occasion coming out of a tent perched on what seemed liked a cliff top, just to watch it blow across the campsite while my family and stood around giggling helplessly.  Not, you would think, a way of enjoying your precious time off from the daily grind.  It seems however that increasingly, camping is becoming a more ‘hip’ holiday option for many Brits.  No longer solely the territory of jumpered middle aged nature lovers, camping is now becoming a retreat for people who ten years ago thought the only time to camp was at Glastonbury.
Nowadays, I am informed, it isn’t just soggy nylon and bad food.  Obviously the aficionados never needed convincing, but modern camping is not what it once was.  Of course, the equipment you buy or borrow makes an enormous difference.  After all you go for comfort at home, so why not invest a lovely new tent, cotton sleeping bags and real pillows.  Choose a site with hot and cold running water and clean facilities – if they are a good site they won’t mind you looking first.  Some have more than just a good shower block too – the modern sites can offer child friendly play areas, family bathrooms and leisure facilities, making the call of the wild just a tiny bit more civilized.  A word of warning though, these are the sites more likely to be booked in advance, and with the huge increases in bookings over the last couple of years turning up unplanned can be a risky business.
From a more positive perspective, holidays under canvas at home offer so much more.  Kids get something different from adults, in an environment that really allows them to be kids, to explore, get muddy and learn a bit more about nature than they ever would on a city break.  Many parents are becoming more wary of cheap holidays abroad in terms of safety and simple enjoyment.  The British countryside can offer an environment that offers not just the opportunity for making mud pies and fry ups at dawn, but a more familiar, and in a secure, self contained site, safer environment.  There is plenty of space to run and shout and climb, and for a change even eating will seem like a game – after all, every meal is a picnic when you are camping.  Visit the website for Enjoy England and you will see just how many tourist attractions there are, and so many of them are worth a visit.  Even more fun is the rather leveling experience of camping.  After 3 days in a tent in a muddy field, the family with the designer dog, Range Rover and house in Belgravia will be as covered in mud as anyone else.
The current cost of the Euro seems to be having its effect too, as cheap breaks away seem to be costing more and more.  And even if you don’t worry about the budget, eco friendly holidays are increasingly popular.  You can use a variety of websites to try an offset the ecological cost of flying abroad, but with constant media coverage about the average family’s carbon footprint, it is becoming increasingly obvious that cheap holidays may well be contributing a huge cost in terms of environmental damage.  The one thing I might feel strongly about I suppose is the obvious – our glorious UK summers.  Hmmm.  But, actually, despite the grumbles about this summer, the temperatures haven’t been bad, the rain is almost part of the experience, and lets face it, how much precisely does the weather matter when you and the family are away from it all and have free time to spend together and do as you please? Exactly.
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