Friday, 9 May 2014

Camping in Somerset

This bank holiday weekend was our first trip away in our caravan this year. There was the small issue of a burnt out electric cable, left over from the disastrous France Trip last year, to be dealt with, and we only got around to that a couple of weeks ago.

So last weekend, we headed off down to Somerset, with three families of old friends and their children, to Mill Farm Caravan Park. I hadn't paid that much attention to where we were going, when this trip was booked earlier in the year. One of the other mums arranged everything and all I did was call the number she gave me, with our credit card. It was only when we looked up the address for planning the journey, that I realized it would take us at least 3 hours to get to Bridgwater. That wasn't factoring for Bank Holiday traffic, or reduced speed due to towing. After four and a half hours of 'are we nearly there yet?' and 'have we got any snacks?' we did wonder whether we'd done the right thing. It wasn't long once we were there though, that we realised that Mill Farm was an excellent site for families, and our kids were going to have a great time.

We finally arrived at about 7.30 pm. I was massively grateful that a) we didn't have to pitch a tent like the others and b) I had bought along a huge chilli in our slow cooker, to be reheated and shared once everyone was 'set up'. The kids had a whale of a time from the moment they got out of the car. Each family has two kids and Lola was the only non-walker, so 7 of them immediately got on scooters and rode round and round the loop of our camping field. It felt like a really safe environment to let them loose and they could scoot around this loop whilst staying in our eyesight. For Evie, this was freedom like she hadn't experienced before, and she loved every minute.

Four families in a row. We were the only caravanners

If the France debacle had left us wondering whether we had made the right decision to join the caravanning world, this weekend restored our faith. The girls love being in the caravan and even better if we hook up with other families and have a joint holiday like this one. There was more rest time than usual for the adults too, because the kids entertained each other, while the adults took turns to supervise.

I have a feeling that the kids would have been quite happy if we'd stayed around the camping field all weekend, but there was much more to do. There was boating on a little lake, trampolining, swimming (both indoor and outdoor, with slides) pony rides, canoes to hire, ducks to feed (complete with an abundance of absolutely gorgeous ducklings) evening entertainment (our girls loved the disco) and general 'out in the countryside' high jinks. That was all without leaving the campsite, which we did not do until it was time to head home on Monday.

Plenty of gorgeous ducklings to coo over
'Ben' the 27 year old pony that both girls took a ride on.

The day before our trip, we had torrential rain. That didn't bode well for our weekend and although we were concerned about the prospect of bad weather, the campers in the group were even more so. We needn't have worried though. We had really lovely weather all weekend, and everyone left with varying levels of pinkness!

My only criticism of the site is that the shower and toilet blocks left a lot to be desired. They weren't kept clean enough and the shower temperature varied massively. I had a scalding hot shower one day and a freezing cold one the next. The saving grace though, was the genius of playing music in the washrooms! Who doesn't love a bit of Dolly Parton in the shower?

Despite the washrooms, I would thoroughly reccommend Mill Farm for families with young children. The kids in our group had an absolute blast, and we will definitely be back again. The bank holiday traffic wasn't even that bad!

Now I've got to get everything washed up and re packed, because this weekend, we're off to Southwold, to do some crabbing. Come back next week, to hear all about it.