Sewchet

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Bank Holiday Camping Trip

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We do it every year, on the August Bank Holiday weekend – go camping in Sparkhayes Campsite, Porlock.

This year, because of the damp Summer, we decided to buy a larger tent at the last minute so that any enforced time inside would be more comfortable. I’m talking two hours before we went camping!

Putting up a tent in the dark is never a great idea, but when it’s a new one and it’s the first time you’ve erected it…..well, thank goodness for friendly campers who put their car headlights on for us to see by.

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This campsite is the same one that I’ve been coming to for over forty years and, I’m happy to say, little has changed in that time. It’s a very basic site which now has showers (!) and a covered outdoor area for checking your map in the rain before embarking on one of the numerous walks in this stunning part of Somerset.

This is the view from our tent which shows remarkably few tents considering it was August Bank Holiday.

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I think the changeable weather forecast had a lot to do with that, but we weren’t complaining. It meant more room for The Boys to play cricket. Tess looks decidedly put out at not being allowed to join in.

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To put the campsite location in perspective, this is a view from a nearby walk to Hurlstone Point.

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The coastguard lookout shelter at Hurlstone Point marks the boundary between Porlock Bay and Blue Anchor Bay. The Boys were keen to climb even higher whilst I rested and got my breath back.

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The whole area is in the Exmoor National Park which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is the reason it is my favourite destination in the entire world.

Yes, really, although Venice and Bali are close runners up:)

Every single time we do the walk from the campsite to Hurlstone Point, (a round trip of 4 miles) we have a cream tea in the gorgeous gardens at Kitnor’s tearoom in Bossington, leased out by The National Trust.

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We walk A LOT when we go camping, whatever the weather.

A good breakfast is essential, so we started every day with a Full English in the Whortleberry Tearoom in Porlock.

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It was sunny the day we walked Tucker’s Path to Webber’s Post….

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….until we climbed into the clouds.

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A glass of wine or two (who’s counting – no one’s driving) are well earned after a walk into the clouds and back!

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There’s nothing quite like the relief felt after removing boots after a long walk and they make pretty good makeshift wine glass holders too.

Well, you can’t drink wine out of an enamel camping mug, can you?

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The Boys sleep well at the best of times, but when we’re camping they’re out like a light as soon as the sun goes down!

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Another day, another walk, this time from Robber’s Bridge to The Culbone Inn.

The Boys played Poohsticks at Robber’s Bridge, just like we did as children.

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Poor Tess thought all her Christmases had come at once with all the game birds that were around and hated being on the lead whilst Fifi walked sensibly off the lead, ignoring them completely.

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Our destination is finally in sight, just half a mile to go.

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A welcome break from the rain in the pub before starting on the return journey.

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It might be wet, but Exmoor is still stunningly beautiful – just look at those heathers.

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Back to Robber’s Bridge again for another game of Poohsticks before going back to the tent to dry out.

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Two exhausted boys, fast asleep in the back of the car on the drive back to the campsite.

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We certainly appreciated the bigger living space in the new tent when rain stopped play and we played games inside.

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Anyone remember Beetle Drive?

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A quick drive took us to Malmsmead in the Doone Valley, where you can drive over the ancient packhorse bridge, but why would you when you can go through the ford?

Here we are in the middle of it.

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After another cream tea, we popped into the Lorna Doone farm shop next door which had a black lab on sentry duty.

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Mr. H-L came out with his wallet over a hundred pounds lighter after buying these two cushions for me:)

Hand painted designs in watercolour are then printed onto velvet and linen – simply stunning and I couldn’t resist them!

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They are handmade in Britain using only the best natural fibres and I looked up their website as soon as I got home (sorry, Mr. H-L!).

As a craft person myself, I appreciate skill like this and am happy to pay for it.

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On the drive back we spotted a group of stags on top of Exmoor. This was the best photo I could get and made me wonder why we didn’t bring a camera on holiday with us, as those taken on a mobile are sometimes totally crap!

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Our final day saw us nipping down the road to West Lynch Farm in Allerford, home to the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre. Built in 1456, it is typical of the architecture of the region and also offers B&B and horse riding.

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Unfortunately, only one horse was available so The Boys had to take turns.

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This also meant that I couldn’t join them, which was probably a good thing considering my still-not-completely-healed broken ribs from horse riding in Spain!

No.2 Son rode out first, over the bridge at Bossington and up through the woods.

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No.3 Son took to the saddle on the return trip.

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Back at the farm, a couple of pretty bantams guarded the door to the stable.

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Another trip to Kitnor’s tearoom for yet another cream tea, only this time inside because it was raining again. Even though the wood burner wasn’t lit, it still felt warm and cosy and was the perfect end to our holiday.

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So that was our Bank Holiday weekend – what did you do?

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

38 thoughts on “Bank Holiday Camping Trip

  1. Lovely post.

    There’s something to be said for an emotional reboot, clearly you’ve hit upon what works for you. I love walking in woods in the rain, what can I say, I’m odd, seriously though humans seem to have a primitive need to connect to the Earth and its elements.

    I too was in Somerset on BH Monday but in Glastonbury.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wine, walking, cream teas and fabulous views – sounds perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re a trio – I’d love to walk in the rain in a forest, ‘specially one as beautiful as you enjoyed. Our BH is upcoming, and I have a quiet, hopefully crafty holiday weekend planned. More anon. πŸ˜‰ xxxx (Lovey, hope those ribs finish healing immediately!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I hope you enjoy your BH as much as we did – dare I hope for rain so you can walk in the forest too?! The ribs have mended but are still painful if I move awkwardly. These things take time to heal, especially as you get older:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know how to have really great family holidays together – the boys look so happy and active and confident. Gorgeous scenery and architecture and cream teas! You even managed to make camping and walking in the rain sound like an enjoyable thing to do πŸ™‚

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    • Camping and walking in the rain ARE enjoyable things to do – as long as you’ve got a (new) big, dry tent to go back to! Exmoor is just so incredibly beautiful that the weather couldn’t dampen our spirits and love for the place.

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  5. What a lovely holiday. You have brought back so many memories of childhood holidays. Every year we used to go up Porlock hill, with at three other families. Friends in their rather old V W camper got stuck one year! We too played pooh sticks at robbers bridge, paddled in the stream and a bit further down we found a deeper part where we swam. I remember a visit to Doone Valley and still have the Lorna Doone book but can’t remember a thing about the story! You look to be having so much fun in spite of the weather!! I popped your prize in the post this morning, enjoy! x

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  6. Aw lovely post. Gorgeous cushions!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an awesome break! You all look so happy and relaxed, the fresh air and activities certainly seemed to tire the boys out plenty, though I bet they have lots of happy memories from their holiday too:-)

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  8. This was a lovely post to read and has made me miss camping out in Derbyshire, which was one of our favourite things to do in the Summer. It looks like you had a busy week and I love how happy your dogs look! πŸ™‚

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    • I’ve had the camping bug ever since childhood, having wonderful memories of the experience and want my children to have the same. The dogs absolutely love it, although Fifi has been very unwell since we got home so we’re taking her to the vet today.

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  9. Such wonderful scenery, looks like you had a fab time. Lovely to squeeze a last break of the Summer in before Autumn fully arrives.

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    • Some say we’re mad going away on the busiest Bank Holiday of the year, but traffic is never a problem on our route and the campsite wasn’t busy. If September is nice we may try to camp once more later in the month:)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow what a fantastic time you all had. I can’t pinpoint my favourite part! I do love the photo of your boys asleep in the car – bless. We also have a yearly camping “trip” at August bank holiday – us and other family members camp at my grandma’s farm! This year it was such a washout – you seem to have enjoyed it a lot more than we did – we hid in my grandma’s house most of the time!! My girls love feeding the chickens in the morning πŸ˜€ I admire you having time to take all those photos. I took none!!

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    • I’m an outdoor girl at heart and, although it was wet, it was still warm so we carried on walking regardless. I make photo books of our holidays, otherwise digital photos get ‘lost’ on the computer and never looked at again. Books are easy and great to pull out and look at all the time, hence all the photos – there were lots more!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your attitude to the rain, we live in beautiful country and the countryside is only lush and green because of said rain. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing

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  12. Wow, what a fantastic time you all had. Its beautiful there, and you could do so very much. Awesome. Thanks so much for all the pictures and all the sharing, even your doggies seems to be having a really great time. Its nice to get to places where you can take them as well, they are after all part of the family.
    As for those cushions, I am so envious! They are stunning. Will make any home look just perfect.
    Great to see your part of the world, thank you once again. πŸ™‚

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    • The dogs get so excited when we start packing the car as they know exactly what that means and love camping so much. Nowhere is off limits with dogs in Exmoor – we took them into every restaurant and tearoom with us where they get given water and dog biscuits by the owners.The cushions are for the new sun room which is under construction. I will share photos when it’s finished:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that is so amazing. Not all places here are dog friendly. Specially the grocery stores and larger restaurants, etc. We have our favourite spots where we know we can take the dogs, and obviously those gets preference when we plan our days out. πŸ™‚
        Looking forward to the new sunroom, I know it will be just as special as the rest of your place.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a lovely diary of your weekend. As you say; it’s all about creating those memories for your children.

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  14. Looks beautiful. Thanks for all the lovely memories you shared with us!

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  15. Lovely weekend. I’ll put my hand up to still having a game of Beetle Drive that I get out out when small children appear. Love that game! πŸ™‚

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  16. Looks amazing, but I’m a convert to camping with an electric hookup – I need my kettle & George at breakfast. We also take the microwave and toaster, but not the TV. Oh, and a fridge!
    Does the site have hook ups? We’re always on the look out for new places to visit. β˜€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does have electric hook ups in the first field but we’ve never used them. We only took a single gas burner this time for coffee and tea and ate out the rest of the time – what a treat!

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