Monday, 18 July 2016

a few days of camping

Whilst the older kids are exploring Iceland with Scouts, Richard and I took James and Alistair camping. This was our first holiday with James and Alistair only and I was looking forward to it very much. It has been a while since we went camping without a group of friends and lots of children and I was not sure how it would feel to be just us, minus two children. As you might have thought, it was wonderful. My batteries are recharged and I don't mind going back to work.

We went to one of our all time favourite campsites, Solway View Caravan and Camping Site near Kirkcudbright in Dumfries & Galloway. If you ever come to this part of the world, I highly recommend you stay there. The pitches are enormous, they really are. There is so much space that it is difficult to decide where on it to place the tent and which way round. Each pitch has a wooden table and a fire pit, which is really useful. There is a large grassy area to play rounders or fly kites, a playground complete with rope swing and clean and warm shower/toilet blocks. There is also the cookhouse with a sofa and large table for rainy days. Did I mention the dog walking area? It is large and enclosed and has plenty to explore for the dogs. There is no campsite shop, which is a blessing as these generally stock piles of plastic rubbish the the children must have. It is a peaceful site in the middle of nowhere. I had no network reception which I normally love when camping but I did want to keep up with the Iceland adventure so had to walk down to the beach for updates. What a chore!

We spent a lot of time just sitting outside our tent, reading and knitting, or watching James and Alistair play with their new friends. They made friends easily and spent most of their waking hours on the playground or on their bikes, the also played football and flew their kite.

We explored the local beach (White Bay), a pleasant 15 minute walk from through farmland and woodlands.

White Bay and views from White Bay

We also visited the haunted cemetery and counted how many people were buried in each grave (plenty). I love the abundance of wildflowers and wildlife around the campsite, so much to see for those with a keen eye. Others see only nettles.

We visited Brighouse Bay beach, a large sandy beach. The water is far far away if the tide is out. It is also rather cold. James and Alistair built a sand boat and went on an adventure before sinking it wilfully.

Brighouse Bay

Some beaches remained nameless but beautiful all the same

James and Alistair went pony trekking. We picked the wettest day and the wettest hour on this wettest day. Even though, the boys liked it. I find these things a bit underwhelming, 15 minutes on a the back of a pony led by a teenager is not my idea of a great adventure. I fondly remembered 'proper' rides past, when I was still horse riding and wondered why I ever stopped horse riding. Money and time I guess, children possibly.

In the afternoon of that same wet day we visited the Cocoabean Factory. I had been to a 'chocolate factory' with Annie and Sam before, which involved rolling pre-made chocolates in different sprinkles (!) and was a bit wary of the workshop but it was so much better. James and Alistair really loved it and spent a good while playing around with melted chocolate. Then they exhausted themselves in the soft play that was part of the facilities (at no extra cost). We came away with chocolate dinosaurs, a wildly decorated chocolate bar each and marshmallow constructions. I bought myself a box of chocolates to enjoy later, when a sweet memory will be just the thing.

Our last visit was to Carrick Bay. The boys walked from the beach to the nearby island and low tide and I bet they felt like the Famous Five. I stayed behind and counted barnacles and enjoyed the sea breeze.

The Carrick Bay

The time flew by and we all had a wonderful time. No doubt we'll be back, hopefully rather sooner than later.

I hope you enjoyed your visit today. Thanks for visiting. xx


  1. Sounds idyllic, a beautiful place for contemplation and recuperation. I love the sound of it but not the tent I am afraid my camping days are well and truly over. Is their an option for caravan rental?

  2. Thanks for taking us along through your just right narrative and mosaics, Christina! I'm glad you felt refreshed and ready to go back to work. If I lived closer I would love to camp in such a place. As it is, I plan to camp with my youngest daughter and her husband in their camping trailer [they asked me to come :) ] at Cape Lookout on the northern Oregon coast for a week starting next Sunday. It is just a short hike from the campsite and over a sand dune to the ocean! I'm so glad you had a great time with James and Alistair and I hope to hear that the Icelandic adventurers are safe and happy, too. xx

  3. I've never been a fan of camping but I think I could be tempted. It sounds idyllic!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful break. And how wonderful that the older two have gone to Iceland, what an adventure. I'm guessing it is actual Iceland, rather than what our beavers did, which was go to a local hill and pretend they were in the Austrian alps. Still lots of fun though. Lovely picture of the boys, their dad and Jack walking back. Hope you have a good week. CJ xx

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful time away from civilisation. Love the boys stripy jumpers.something tells me you were glad of your time on the beach with the barnacles while the boys had an Enid Blyton adventure :) B x

  6. Looks and sounds wonderful. Nothing beats a spot of camping! Thank you for the heads up on the campsite that is not far for me so I have bookmarked it for a future day......

  7. This looks idyllic Christina, what beautiful images you have posted. Hope Sam and Annie are having a safe and happy trip to Iceland. X

  8. sounds like a truly wonderful adventure xxx happy memories x

  9. Hey Christina,
    I'm preparing myself for solo adventures with Olly in the not too distant future. This may be the last year we can convince Alfie to come camping with us (Sam stopped when he was 16). Your trip with James and Alistair looks and sounds just the ticket. My Sam went on a school trip to Iceland; he ad an amazing time. I was rather envious, as it's on my wish list of places to visit.
    Leanne xx

  10. It sounds like a fabulous holiday, great campsite, wonderful beaches, everyone enjoying themselves. Then there's all the lovely activities you arranged. I'm sure your batteries will be recharged and it will be a holiday that the boys remember.

  11. Ah what a lovely picture. I found that same purple flower (to the right of your thistle) last week up at the farm and looked it up - it is called selfheal because it was used as a medicinal plant in the past. You sound well healed and ready for life again. Love Jo xxx

  12. Looks like a wonderful holiday, we really want to bring Bonnie up to Scotland so will have to bookmark the campsite! Sounds like you all had a lovely time - I love the pics from the chocolate place! Hope the other two have had an amazing time in Iceland :)xx

  13. Glad you had a great time and some very special boy time memories too for you and the two boys!

  14. This all looks like so much fun! I have never camped near the beach but I really want to do it someday. I love the photos from the chocolate factory, so cute. It looks like you had a really nice weekend. I'm glad the little boys had some time with you and Richard, it must have been very special for them. I hope you're having a good week, Christina.

  15. It sounds perfect, active and relaxing all at the same time. Those boy are so fortunate to have had you and your husband all to themselves.


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