Last year we welcomed a new addition into our family. Nope not another baby – believe me, three boys is quite enough for me! We now have our very own campervan after having an amazing time when we hired one for an Oct half term getaway to the Lake District last year.
Her name is Elsie, she’s a Volkswagen T5 and is quite possibly the product of a small (and very expensive) mid life crisis, but never the less we are all very much in love with her!
We have already had some lovely local days out, being able to pop back to the van for a brew and a bacon butty after a chilly winter walk has been amazing. It really has kept us going throughout lockdown. One of my favourite activities has been to order a takeaway afternoon tea and enjoy it parked up somewhere with a nice view – something I think may have to continue long after lockdown has lifted.
After hearing great reviews from friends we are now members of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, we purchased our membership as a Christmas present to ourselves, and I’m so glad we did. Chomping at the bit to be able to get away in Elsie we were able to book sites for this year easily. We actually booked most of our 2021 breaks last year as club sites can be booked with no deposit and the flexibility to amend/cancel your trip up to 72 hrs in advance. We are keeping absolutely everything crossed that the planned covid roadmap goes well, and if so our adventures will start in May.
I thought I’d share our 2021 plans with you and what we are looking forward to most.
We might dream of romantic remote and relaxing stop offs, but realistically we will be taking three young boys with us for a few years yet! And so, our main goal for this year is just to reconnect with nature and the outdoors as a family. We’ve always been an outdoorsy bunch but we lost our way a little during the last year, thanks in no small part to shielding and home schooling. We’re hoping that the van will help us to find our happy place once again and create some wonderful memories to look back on.
Our first trip this year is to a site that is situated within a forest, not too far away from home. Our plan is to get lots of fresh air and exercise regardless of the weather, so we will be packing wellies and waterproofs as May can still be a little unpredictable. Elsie has her own trailer with bike rack, so we will be able to explore some of the local trails with the boys. There is also a Go Ape! site nearby that will make a great day out and better yet as club members we can get discount on this and other UK attractions. Every little helps with a family of 5 to budget for!
I’m just really looking forward to being surrounded by all those trees and waking up to the dawn chorus. From what I’ve read deer wander onto the site regularly too, I wonder if we’ll be lucky enough to see them on our stay? We’ll be less than an hour away from home but I’m betting it will feel like we are a million miles away.
Hopefully the weather will be on our side in July, we are heading off to St David’s in Pembrokeshire. Of all our escapes this year, this is the one I’m looking forward to most; purely for sentimental reasons. We last went on holiday in this area when Stanley was just a toddler and since then we have always wanted to head back.
It’s an absolutely beautiful part of the country with dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches and an abundance of wildlife. It also holds a lot of childhood memories for me, heading to Whitesands beach in my Dad’s trusty old VW campervan (1970’s hippy bus) Bertha – you see, it’s in my blood!
As we know the area quite well we already have a few activities ear marked such as crabbing off Porthclais harbour and visiting the stunning blue lagoon at Aberiddy. Then plenty of beach days at Whitesands, and venturing further along the coast to picturesque Solva stopping at Newgale beach on the way back for an evening barbecue.
Our site has a playground and is one of 55 family friendly Tourer Explorer sites (think bug hunts, nature trails and activity sheets) which means that we might just get to sit down and relax with a glass of something chilled of an evening. It also takes the pressure off us having to leave site everyday. Although we really do love exploring, sometimes it’s nice to slow down and just enjoy being in the van and to make the most of facilities on site.
August sees us heading North to Dumfries & Galloway to one of the smaller Caravan and Motorhome Club sites which I booked purely for the views from the pitches. Although small pitches mean that there isn’t room for our awning, we are more than willing to sacrifice that to be pitched right on the sea wall overlooking the bay.
I’m so tempted to ditch the kids for this break because I can just imagine me & the hubby sitting out looking out across the bay and enjoying the peace. But, in the event we can’t find a volunteer
daft enough to have the boys for us I’m looking forward to venturing out one day to Finlay’s Farm to let them sample the famous Cream ‘o Galloway ice cream.
The site is also less that half an hour away from Galloway Forest Park, somewhere we’re really keen to explore. There are red deer and wild goats to spot throughout the park, bike trails, walking routes and also a drive through route.
Since 2009, Galloway Forest Park has been designated by the International Dark-Sky Association as only the fourth Dark Sky Park in the world, and the first in the UK.
Over 7,000 stars and planets are visible with the naked eye, and the bright band of the Milky Way is usually easy to see arching across the sky.
How amazing does that sound? I think an evening drive through the park, stopping to star gaze with hot chocolates will be on the cards.
So there you have it, our provisional plans for this year if everything continues to go smoothly. I always do a little research into the general areas we are heading to and have days out pencilled in, but we generally go with the flow once we’re there unless pre-booking is still advised. If so I’ll revisit a few websites before we go. Add in a couple of festivals we already have rolled over from last year, some adhoc weekend adventures, and we have a lot to look forward to this year!
Disclosure: This is a post in collaboration with the Caravan and Motorhome Club for which I have been compensated.
All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.