The real tents are back!!

The real tents are back…

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our tent set up at Barefoot Campsite

I know you’re keen to know about the new campsite we tried out last weekend.

It certainly scores well in terms of an attractive setting…

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sunrise

Situated in a bend of the river Thames in Oxfordshire, Barefoot Campsite certainly is pretty.  We were fortunate to have riverside pitch. Somehow the white noise of the weir was oddly calming, distracting us from the normal campsite sounds of what was a pretty busy campsite.

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View from our pitch

And not only can you enjoy the view of the river, you can swim or kayak too.  We hired kayaks from the campsite and paddled upstream to the pub for a drink.

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Kayaking on the River Thames –

This is a well organised campsite, but unfortunately that means it comes with quite a lot of rules!  They were enforced in a friendly manner, but I was asked to alter where I’d pitched my gazebo and move my car 6 inches to the left (someone over-estimated my ability to park with any degree of accuracy!!).  The booking process was hard work and for a campsite that is clearly fully booked every weekend of the summer, they could do with more toilets…but they get away with it, as it really is a beautiful location!

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sunset (over other people’s tents)

 

See how we scored it!

L

 

 

A rubbish purchase?!

We thought you might like to know about our latest camping purchase.  Every camp set up needs one – a rubbish bin!!

You need a designated place to put rubbish and you don’t want the rubbish bag to blow away or for the rubbish to blow back out of the bag and escape… so what every campsite needs is a ‘Snap Together Eco-Bin Excel’!!

camping bin

We think it’s great because it packs flat, can be pegged down so it doesn’t blow away and has a lid so that the rubbish can’t escape.  It’s also useful to be able to separate recycling from normal rubbish and this model allows you to fasten two bags in the one holder!

camping bin

Every campsite should have one!

We weren’t initially convinced, but after trying it out we decided it wasn’t a rubbish purchase after all!!

R & L

Gazebos #1

Following our recent experiences, we have lots of opinions on gazebos & we thought we’d write you some posts to share them!

Things to think about when purchasing a gazebo

  • Wind is the enemy of gazebos!  Look for a design that will stand up well to the wind, both in terms of a good pegging arrangement so it doesn’t blow away and a frame with some flexibility in it, so it isn’t damaged if it bends a bit.
  • It’s a pain to have to keep ducking to get in and out.  And particularly if you are a tall goat you want to be able to stand up straight inside.
  • They are always smaller than you think!  Before we purchased, we marked out the size in our back garden and placed chairs around in a circle to see how many people we could fit in.  Would be sad if you were the goat left out in the rain!!
  • There are different levels of waterproofing available.  If you are after something that’s tough and hardwearing, look into this.
  • Doors/sides. In the UK the rain doesn’t just come down – sometimes it’s horizonal!  The option to be able to add a door or a side can mean that you are able to use the full area of your gazebo in the rain.  It is also useful to shelter from the wind.
  • Gazebos can be quite a challenge to put up – a 3-dimensional jigsaw requiring several people with Mr Tickle length arms to complete!  If you are going camping on your own, or if your fellow campers are child-sized or arriving later, an inflatable one could be a good option.
  • Some gazebos have floor straps which are trip hazards, watch out for this.
  • Ok we admit it, we have become camping snobs.  But if you’ve got to look it all day you don’t want it to be a jarring colour – tan, grey, pale green are all acceptable.  Blue, red, multicolour are not.  Feel free to disagree, but just don’t pitch up next to us & spoil the view!!
  • Light attachments. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it is lovely to be able to attach the fairy lights to the gazebo!!
  • They are expensive, so think about your purchase carefully!

R & L

What was the surprise gift?!

If you read the last post, you’ll know I went on an early morning adventure to collect something exciting, but couldn’t say what for fear of ruining a surprise!  Well here it is:

 

Shepherd’s hooks for hanging lanterns…. made especially for us by James at Black Barn Forge!

We’re very please with his attention to detail – an elegant hook, good depth to the hook to accomodate a lantern, pointed ends to make it easier to put them in the ground, and nice and tall to be a good height for a lantern!

The other bit of the surprise was something to hang on the other hook:

These hand-crocheted candle holders are available for sale at the Fayre and Square shop in Wimbledon.

Will tell you more about our camping trip in our next post.

L

Embrace your inner goat