GO Outdoors GOcation
Last week we spent a night in Kent with GO Outdoors GOcation at their first campsite.The free family outdoor experience was set on beautiful Risden Farm, Hawkhurst, in a freshly cut field and flanked by mature woodland.The camp was set into two sections, as we entered, seating around a unlit fire, showers, toilets, rubbish dumpsters, event shelters and two trucks- one for cheese grills and the bar to the left. To the right was a camping and play area, showcasing several different tents from the GO Outdoors Spring/Summer 2017 range.Around the camping area were hay bales set as seating with lots of outdoor games.
GO Outdoors GOcation- Our Tent
We headed off to our Prospector tent, an open plan tent with 4 camp beds upon which were led 4 sleeping bags and 4 fleece towels.Underfoot was soft fleece carpet, and a storage unit at the far end.We unpacked our stuff and the kids ran immediately outside to try out the Badminton set and various other activities at our disposal.
GO Outdoors GOcation- Outdoor Activities
We were then given a talk about the GO Outdoors GOcation launch and introduced to the team behind Go Outdoors and the people leading various outdoor pursuits that afternoon.We were given the choice of going on a walk, a bike ride or learning how to start a fire using the bow method.Kieran unfortunately had a severe reaction to the sun cream he had applied, so he took an antihistamine and relaxed on his camp bed for an hour or so.Me and the girls went with the fire lighting activity with another family.As a Forest School parent helper at my youngest’s school, me and Mia were interested in seeing a different fire lighting method to the flint and steel we have already learnt.
GO Outdoors GOcation- Food And Entertainment
We were pretty hungry by the time The Cheese Truck fired up its grill and started serving at 7:30.I stupidly forgot to ask ahead of time what kind of food there would be available and to say that I’m a vegan.There was a hummus and pepper choice thankfully.As it was a very late snack, we were all very hungry and so we ended up going back to eat the food I had packed for the journey home the next day.The Bar Truck compensated after a long day of travelling with a couple of Pimm’s.Whilst everyone ate, drank and toasted marshmallows, we were entertained by the fabulous Super Tenants.Breakfast was Danish pastries, croissant, granola, yoghurt, fresh and dried fruit, orange and bottled water.There was plenty of bottled water to hand throughout our stay.
— Aly Hodge 🐞🐤🐝 (@BugBirdBee) June 1, 2017
GO Outdoors GOcation- Showers And Toilet Facilities
There was male and female toilet blocks, not the festival type porta-loos.Really clean and well stocked with loo paper, hand wash and paper towels.We all showered in the morning in the separate shower block.I hadn’t packed any toiletries except, toothpaste, tooth brushes and deodorant.But the showers were refreshing after the warm weather we were luckily enough to have.
GO Outdoors GOcation- Getting There And Back
We traveled from Chippenham, Wiltshire via train at 10:30 am Thursday, arriving in London at 12:30 pm.We had lunch in a busy park before we walked around for 15 minutes before meeting the coach not far from Charing Cross station.The two hour trip to Kent was in a spacious, air conditioned coach, which meant we were able to have a nap.Our return journey was at 9:30 am Friday.We reached London just before 11:30.A 15 minute journey from Charing Cross back to Paddington station meant we were on the train back to Chippenham at midday.We were home by 3 pm.
GO Outdoors GOcation- Would We Go Again
Yes, in a heart beat.Despite it being a long journey for all of us, stopping off in London briefly did break it up.I think not knowing how long the journey was going to be once we left London was the hard part, as we hadn’t been to Kent before.I didn’t prepare as much as I had thought, in particular food.This was our first camping trip since Mia now 9, was 14 months old, so to have everything on hand for us was a really appreciated.It was a very chilled atmosphere with plenty of games for us to play with. I’m just really sorry to have not plucked up the courage to talk to more people.The bike instructor, Ben did come and talk to us in the morning before we went.In a six degrees of separation moment as it turns out that he too was from Chippenham, went to the same secondary school as us all and his parents live 10 minutes from us.
Did it inspire us to go camping by ourselves? We do camp out under the stars in the back garden with just pillows and duvets during the summer.So yes, camping away from our home is very much a possiblity, but as I don’t drive it would require a huge amount of planning of where to go and what to take.I know we could carry everything between the four of us, so equipment would have to be light weight.I think comparing the travel time, expense and hassle of traveling abroad with 3 kids, camping would still be an enjoyable option as there’s so much of the U.K we haven’t seen.
This was a free event available for all families from Thursday 1st June 2017 – Tuesday 6th June.We paid for travel to and from London.GO Outdoors provided travel from London to Kent and back.We were gifted each a sleeping pod and fleece towel.
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