Camping as a child
As a child growing up, every holiday I took either with my family or on a couple of school trips was a camping holiday. I seem to remember I (mostly!) enjoyed these holidays - even when it rained - and the sound of raindrops on canvas still evokes strong memories of camping in Northumberland, Cornwall or North Wales. Foreign holidays were something that I was only dimly aware of to start with and as I grew older these exotic trips and excursions were something other families did, but not mine. My parents were firmly in the camp (pardon the pun!) of spending as little money as possible and doing everything for themselves. So each summer our car would be packed up with a heavy canvas A-frame tent, camping chairs, table, airbeds (these always seemed to deflate overnight), gas camping stove, Tilley lamp and us and our food for the week. I honestly don’t know how it all went in the car, as these were definitely smaller than modern cars.
The freedom it brings
Our week’s holiday of camping would mainly include walking, visiting heritage sites especially National Trust properties and Gardens and if the weather was kind some time on a beach and swimming in the sea. Evenings would be spent playing cards and reading. It was a simpler time.
Despite the basic nature of our various camping holidays, they did provide time away from humdrum life at home, we visited different parts of England and especially spent time at the coast - I grew up in Derbyshire which is about as far from the coast as you can get in the UK! And I loved the sea!
Camping made easier!
Camping nowadays is a world away from the camping of my childhood. The equipment is lighter, more compact, better designed and campsites are positively palatial! Basic, simple camping is still out there, but probably not for everyone!
You don’t even have to take your own tent as many sites and holiday companies offer holidays which include a pitched tent complete with electric lights, fridge, cooker, table, chairs, sunloungers and proper sprung beds. The campsites themselves offer amazing facilities including indoor and outdoor pools all sorts of outdoor activities from tennis courts to mountain bike trails for all levels and ages. All this is a very different experience to the one of my childhood. The essence of what camping is about is still there though. Nothing beats the thrill of spending time in the outdoors - eating in it, sleeping in it and being in it.
It's about kicking back and enjoying nature
There is something calming and relaxing about being a bit closer to nature and away from the busyness, noise and incessant trappings of modern life. We all need time to kick back and feel we can live a life a bit simpler and camping can offer this downtime in spades. Whether you are the type to pack a lightweight tent for one and head off into the wilderness or take your family to a purpose-built campsite, the head clearing time you achieve under canvas is the same.
To find out more about Rockley's family camping holidays to France, please click below