So this time last week we loaded the car with all our camping paraphernalia and headed to the Dorset coast for a week of camping.
By Tuesday evening we had had enough of the wind, wet weather and leaky tent and drove back home!
This wasn’t in the plan at all. Having spent an amazing three weeks last year touring Europe by train and camping in the Italian heat, we knew we weren’t going to be able to afford the same holiday again. However at the beginning of this year we purchased a new tent and planned a modest and affordable week’s camping in our favourite UK destination: Swanage and the Isle of Purbeck.
This is our ‘happy place’ and the location for many short breaks and days out (we can drive to the Dorset coast in two hours from home). We had a big list of things to do, whether wet or dry, which included:
hiring a National Trust beach hut at Studland Beach for our youngest’s eighth birthdayThe day was so windy, and we were still trying to mop up our tent. Instead we met friends in Poole and went for a meal and game of ten pin bowling which cost £70 in all
- journey on the Swanage Steam Railway. This we did achieve and even went first class so that our middle daughter (who is into Harry Potter) was convinced we were onboard the Hogwarts Express!
trip to National Trust’s Corfe CastleDriving back from our trip to Poole the weather was so wet and misty you couldn’t even see the top of the castle! Alas we went home before we visited these amazing ruins.
- playing mini golf and a trip to the amusement arcade. Because of the wet weather we actually visited three amusement arcades! It’s a great way to use up all the 2p coins we had collected over the past few months.
- ice creams, fish and chips and milkshakes. Managed the latter two, although found a trip to the Wimpy (yes Swanage still has one!) was far cheaper than the American themed diner on the front
- watched Swanage Carnival Procession
and FireworksThe first two days of our holidays were actually really hot so we enjoyed watching the carnival procession on the Sunday.However by the time of the carnival fireworks on the Wednesday we had gone home.
- walking. We took a walk to Dancing Ledge on the coast, which features a man-made swimming pool. And we managed this before the rain set in!
Purbeck Stone Carving Festival. Alas, we didn’t manage this at all, although we have been previously and enjoyed the ‘Fair on the Square’ run by the local pub in Worth Matravers
- Browse the charity shops. This is a ‘must’ when I go on holiday. I had a good browse of Swanage’s charity shops and its excellent Secondhand Bookshop and Oxfam Bookshop. In the former I managed to pick up a couple of gems which I will blog about later
Looking back, I’m surprised at how much we did achieve in just four days. A very windy and wet night on the Sunday had led to little sleep and a leaky tent. Despite mopping up the leaks, the tent still didn’t dry out and by Monday evening, with the forecast not looking much better, we decided to cut out losses and come home.
So the last few days have been spent unpacking, finishing off our camping food (and contacting the tent supplier). We are also determined to spend the next few weeks enjoying a ‘staycation’ at home and I will report back on what we have done (in our warm and dry house!).
Hope your summer holidays aren’t as wet and windswept as ours!