Sam's Summer Camping Adventure
Sam Smith, Founder of Design Collective Berkshire, shares her summer camping holiday experience with us.
With the Winter chill now in the air, your thoughts may well be turned to the summer holidays and where you might spend your next getaway. It’s great to get organised and have something booked up. Aside from being less stressful, leaving things to the last minute might occasionally pay off, but having something to look forward to is half the fun after all.
Now bear with me, I’m well aware camping is a bit marmite, you love it or you hate it. I’m actually a bit of both if I’m honest. Too much slathered over your crumpets is definitely NOT good. But spread thinly, get the weather and the right spot and there is nothing better than a little bit of camping. We all know that fresh air and open spaces are great for our wellbeing. Kids and dogs can do their worst (within reason) run feral, meeting different children from all over.
This year we camped in West Wales. Of course there are plenty of other accommodation options with tons of lodges, yurts, cottages, B&Bs, hotels and holiday parks to suit every taste and budget. But given we’d invested in a large canvas bell tent a few years ago that was gathering dust in the shed we decided to give camping a go. Holidays abroad for a family of 5 in the summer holidays, getting to the airport, being at the airport and the same the other side are not only ridiculously expensive but we’ve discovered, frankly, a nightmare.
A good recommendation from friends led us to book the Manorafon campsite (part of the Fforest group).
What a stunning location, on a quiet site that could clearly have taken a lot more tents (there were just 5 pitches but space for 15), cars were kept out so it was super safe, there was a giant covered fire pit for communal gatherings and a stunning old barn for those less than lovely days. At any one time there were only 4 tents pitched up (ours even had electric hook up - super handy!). Also on the site were a number of cabins and an old stone house you can rent. There were super clean toilets and showers and an incredible barrel sauna.
The whole area was breathtakingly beautiful, we explored the other beaches, towns and villages and found incredible unspoilt beaches everywhere we went (Aberporth, Llangrannog, Mwny, New Quay Poppit sands and Tresaith to name a few). If you’re not familiar with the area, think Cornwall without the crowds and the price tag.
We booked with Fforest (www.coldatnight.co.uk) who own some amazing sites and places to stay and eat across Pembrokeshire. We loved their ethos and attention to detail. Their selection of cabins, lofts, domes, shacks, camping pitches, even a farmhouse that sleeps 14 are all a fab combination of simple comfort and a touch of luxury. We ate the best pizza in their riverside Pizza Tipi in Cardigan and had the most amazing beach side BBQ at the Boyashore in Aberpoth
Fforest also runs Gather, Wale’s smallest family friendly festival holiday (just 300 tickets are available) that boasts unique permanent accomodation (or camping if you wish) with adventures in nature, music, culture, making, growing and simple pleasures (from the 27th July - 9th August 2020). One to check out for a holiday with a difference. www.fforestgather.co.uk
NB: this is not an Ad, just opinion and an experience in the summer of 2019