Monday, 27 August 2018

Our First Glamping Trip - Ready Camp Canterbury

Where has the summer gone? A week or so until the kids go back to school and the weather has suddenly turned. It may be drizzly outside this bank holiday but we have had some sunny days. We also managed to squeeze a weekend break to the seaside in which was long overdue. We had heard about Ready Camp after reading reviews from The Mummy Adventure and Just Eilidh so decided to take a small step into the world of camping with two small children. 

We don't own any camping equipment and had considered borrowing from family but the thought of erecting a tent with a toddler in tow filled us with dread. Ready Camp was the perfect option. Pre-erected canvas tents, proper beds and a kitchen sounded so much easier for us and at under £300 for three nights was affordable for the summer holidays.

We hunted on the website for the best location and after considering Cambridge we settled on Canterbury due to how many seaside towns were nearby. The drive from Northampton took a lot longer than we had predicted and after stopping for some lunch we arrived in Whitstable (our first stop before checking in) to a LOT of rain. Deciding that a rainy day at the seaside wasn't ideal we popped to Tesco and picked up some supplies then headed to our camp site. 

Ready Camp is part of The Camping and Caravanning Club with the glamping tents being in a corner of the site. We initially were asked which tent we would like and thinking about our own children and keeping them occupied we opted for the tent nearest to the play park (we soon regretted that decision!). The tent was gorgeous though and a lot more comfortable than I expected. We had taken our own bedding as it isn't supplied but this meant we had our own duvet and pillows which automatically made it feel more like home. We had however forgotten Callie's travel cot (school boy error) meaning she would have to attempt to sleep in a proper bed.

The site was clean and well managed. Site staff were really helpful and friendly and when we arrived the site was silent. Unfortunately our first night soon began to go downhill. The silence was broken when our 'neighbours' arrived. One family arrived at 8pm and and sat talking loudly into the night and another family decided 11pm was a suitable time to use the play park. They were sat in the park 3 meters from our tent with torches so that their kids could play...

Callie was in our bed all of the first night as she was so unsettled. I must have walked to the toilet 6 times before we eventually fell asleep at just gone midnight and were woken at 5am shivering as our duvet wasn't as warm as we thought. There is a heater in the tent but we had turned it off for safety...lesson learnt it gets cold in the night! 

Anyway. That was just the first night. Determined not to be defeated we had a cooked breakfast, washed up and got ourselves ready for a day at the seaside. We were off to Margate! A Jolly Boy's outing at last. I had watched Only Fools and Horses growing up yet had never visited this iconic seaside town so now was my chance. We had also been given tickets for Dreamland to review for them (post to follow) and the kids were really excited! 

We had a great morning, it was Margate Pride so the place was buzzing. Lunch was Peters Fish Factory (easily the best fish and chips I have had in years) and when we had explored enough we bundled into the car and headed along the coast to Ramsgate to visit my lovely friend Becky (The Mummy Adventure) and her children. FYI the donuts on Ramsgate seafront were 100% better than the Margate ones! 

Our kids got on so well with Becky's and after stuffing our faces with Papa John's (yep more junk food) packing our car with a borrowed travel cot and extra blankets we headed back to our tent for a much better night. We were warm and cosy, the neighbours kept the noise down and the kids slept straight through. Finally some sleep! 

The next day we headed back to Whitstable which is such a beautiful place. A proper coastal town without all of the arcades and funfairs. Much slower paced. We had a mooch around had some lunch at Wee Willie Winkles then as more rain began to fall we hopped back in the car and off to Canterbury. We really wanted to visit as many places as possible in our short time in Kent and Canterbury is fab! 

The weather really wasn't on our side though so after a couple of hours we headed back to the camp site for another pizza tea and the kids enjoyed a bit of time playing before bed. Our final night matched our first night with the kids from over the way (some teenagers too) staying on the park next to us until way after dark. They hit our car with a football too at one point with no apology when we went out to check on it. Eventually at 11ish they were told to go back to their own tent's leaving us to get some sleep. 

Waking up on our final morning we had managed to get a relatively ok sleep. We packed up and headed out early to drop our borrowed items to Bex and then spent the day at Lakeside shopping centre with my Auntie and cousins before heading home. 

We honestly can't fault Ready Camp. Their site was clean, facilities excellent, staff friendly and prices reasonable. Had we ended up with more considerate families around us and better weather our weekend could have been amazing. That said we still had a great time. The kids enjoyed being outside lots and we can now tick Kent off our places to visit list. 

We aren't completely put off camping but perhaps will wait a few years before attempting it again. Once the kids are older it will be easier and we certainly won't make the mistake of choosing a pitch next to the park again! 
*Just to note we paid for our accommodation it was only Dreamland that was covered for review. All opinions on this post are my own.

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