Camping in the Cotswolds
I grew up camping. All our holidays involved packing up the tent and the sleeping bags and driving somewhere new. I have so many fond memories from our trips: I learned to ride a bicycle without stabilisers (big step towards being a proper grown-up) as well as the unforgettable time we camped in close proximity to the Cadbury's Factory so naturally we had to visit and left with a wonderfully in amount of chocolate. I may have been ill later that day but my thirteen year old self will tell you it was totally worth it. Apparently they don't give out quite as much chocolate as they used to, sad times. So with a childhood of fond memories stored up there's always a constant nag at the back of the mind to keep it simple and go camping.
So we did. A couple of weeks ago, we packed up the car and headed to the cotswolds.
Whilst we were setting up, the site manager told us that tonight was Pizza night and that a local lady comes along with her pizza oven selling pizza. This was a dream come true, especially as it has started to drizzle and meant we didn't have to venture out for food etc. We already had a bottle of wine to hand and so settled in for the evening. Honestly it was the best thing ever, a pizza oven on the back of a pick-up car. Genius. It was such good pizza, homemade dough and sauce - it was a cracking first night, sitting under the gazebo listening to the rain with a glass of wine and homemade pizza. Yes this really is camping.
Next day we ventured out to visit some of the must-see villages of the Cotswolds. Gorgeous spots like Lower and Upper Slaughter, which are just picture perfect. There isn't much to do in each place as they really are just villages but there is a nice pub in Lower Slaughter where we stopped for a glass of cider and a sit in the sun. We walked from Bourton-on-the-Water which took around half an hour, nice way to do it if you don't have any time constraints.
After that we headed to Chastleton House, for a cup of tea and a mooch. Remember to bring some cash if you are after a cup of tea as it turns out they only take cash and between us we had exactly enough for one cup of tea and they wouldn't give us a cheeky top-up. So after our half cup of tea each we had a wander around this amazing house. It's a Jacobean Country home that has remained unchanged for over 400 years. It remained in the family all that time and when you walk around it feels as if they've just walked out the front door and not returned. The Long Gallery at the top of the house was stunning and the lady said during a storm it feels as if you are on a boat. It seemed to be the Long Gallery straight out of one of my favourite books - The Lost Art Of Keeping Secrets and if they ever make a film version of it then this would be the place to film those scenes. Honestly there is something magical about it and the views you have out are beautiful.
After that we headed back to camp for supper, a glass of wine and a game of cards. Lovely stuff. Next day we left early for Hidcote, the most beautiful gardens I have ever been to. Sadly my camera and phone were both low on battery so I only got a couple of snaps but I can tell you now, it is well worth a visit. More established than Chastleton, there's a lovely cafe and shop where we stopped for another cup of tea, a whole one each this time before having a nosy around these incredible gardens.
Afterwards we headed into Chipping Campden for an ice cream and another mooch. It is such a pretty market town, full of lovely little shops and places to eat. Everything you could want from the Cotswolds. It was then back to the campsite for another slap up meal by yours truly and the rest of the evening given over to reading my book. Quite possibly the best way to spend a Sunday. We had such a lovely time, we came home and booked another trip to Dorset this time, coming up soon. There really is just something about living outdoors under canvas that's good for the soul. Here's to many more adventures.