Day 047 – Thistledown camping day 1…

Our annual pilgrimage to our favourite camp site – Thistledown, at Nympsfield, which is near Stroud, which is 25 minutes drive from Gloucester. Anyway, a very nice and seni-eco site, with camp fires, composting toilets etc, positioned overlooking hills and forests, adjacent to the National Trust Woodchester estate.

Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 004 Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 053 Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 057 Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 058 Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 044 Thistledown camping 28-30.06.13 - 046

out

Advertisements

Funky tents…

Some very cool tents from the cool people at The Cool Hunter…

http://www.thecoolhunter.co.uk/article/detail/2032/fieldcandy-tents-designed-to-stand-out

out

Thistledown camping…

Our first camping trip of the year! We had a great few days camping with our friends the MK’s and their kids. We’ve been to the site once before and that was also really good so there was no hesitation in going back. We’ll probably go back there this year as we’ve found another area of the site and we’ve also explored the valley further.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There’s a National Trust area at the bottom of the valley, around Woodchester Mansion and lots of amazing walks and trails to explore. We all went on what we thought was a kid-friendly walk down the valley through the woods, which turned into a massive hike! It was great though, but dd involve a fair bit of boy-carrying! We found lots of cool features and future walks, including a great boat and boat house and some amazing woodland. One thing that struck me about the conifer plantation we walked through was how little biodiversity there was and the lack of sunlight. It was almost barren, apart from the trees and some ferns on the ground.

The weather was really good and we had some good camp fires in the evenings. The nights were cold and the second night sleeping I had a t-shirt, two long-sleeve shirts, a cotton button up shirt, fleece and cardigan! Also a hat. Slept really well though! It was great just sitting around the camp fire and there were some potentially big decisions made!

out

Amazing new stuff…

We went over to a friends house (who is also a work colleague) on the weekend and managed to pick a load of unwanted second hand toys and clothes for the boys!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I can’t get over how generous they are. There was a whole load of clothes and coats etc and a selection of pop-up tents, with connecting tunnels. They all fold down to a single ikea-sized bag and are very light. They’ve had loads of fun with it already and the cat has been eploring as well.

There was also a cool water aqueduct toy made by Brio which both boys were quite impressed with. Jamie got a bit possessive over the crane bit of it and even took it to bed with him!

out

Thistledown camping…

We got back from our latest camping adventure on Monday. We travelled over on Saturday and came back on the Bank Holiday Monday. Two nights there was a good amount of time, particularly when you’re running around after toddlers and just being on your feet most of the day!

It was a really good site, set into the hills, with a number of large flat areas, with hedges and trees forming the boundaries. It’s generally an eco site, with a massive wind turbine close by and composting toilets etc. We were there first out of the two families so we chose a spot by the side of the largest area, which was near two water taps, a small fire pit and a toilet shed. It had great views across the site and was meant to be more sheltered, but it was still windy!

Oh man, 109 photos from the trip, taken on my DSLR and mobile camera – the hardest (and most enjoyable) part of blogging is choosing the pictures which sum up what i’m trying to say. I’ve used nearly 20% of my total 30GB WordPress allowance so far, so loads of space left!

It was so cool to be able to have a fire each night which really helped, given it was on the cool side and slightly windy! The owners would drive around in their little flat bed truck delivering wood and servicing the site etc. You could buy a wheelbarrow of wood for £10, but we bought a half barrow full the first night then went on a mission of mercy back home to get wood for the second night! The car going to site was totally full (mostly with bedding and tent etc) so I couldn’t bring much of my own wood. Our camping friends picked up some for us which i’d left out!

Anyway, we got back and chucked loads of wood in an Ikea bag and had a good fire for the last night. J constructed a defence wall around the windy side to protect the fire which helped to get it going. The kids liked helping and chucking on wood etc and also dodging the smoke!

Amazing being outdoors the whole day and the changes in weather, from cold and fresh in the morning to hot direct sun and cold overcast with wind! The last night was quite cold but our sleeping bags were super-warm! One down-side was the bug bites! 2 days after the trip, i’ve counted 21 bites, which are now really itchy!

Everyone had a good time and we’ll defo go back there next year. We spotted loads of other areas we could pitch next time and particularly more sheltered spots! Lots of trails in the woods and other places to see in the immediate area which we didn’t get a chance to see this time. Also very reasonable price (£12 for our family per night). The kids even got a ride in the little truck at the end, when all our stuff was collected and taken back up the hill to the cars!

out