Is showing some holiday photos on a blog the modern day equivalent of the dreaded slide evenings in the 1970s?
Quite possibly, but, stuff it, I’m going to show you a few pics anyway. At least if you’re not interested you can just look away now, and I won’t force you to drink any of my homemade elderflower wine. (My grandfather used to make this. Believe me, it sounds nicer than it tastes…)
Where once holidays with the hubby meant diving in exotic locations around Asia, these days we’re firmly staycationers (the one foreign holiday — our honeymoon — that we attempted to take the sproglet on being something of a disaster of constant night wakings and the like…)
So this summer, we packed up the car and set off for sunny Dorset, for a few days staying on one of the Featherdown Farms campsites. This is glamping to the extreme: a safari tent, with an actual flushing loo inside, two bedrooms and a wood burning stove. It’s basically a house but with fabric walls.
We’d carefully selected the farm that had the most animals, so that the sproglet would have the best time animal admiring for a few days.
Of course, as is always the way when planning stuff with kids, for the time we were there he completely lost his normal love of farm animals and showed no interest in them whatsoever.
However, there was a conveniently-placed rowing boat in the field outside which provided hours of entertainment. As well as hours of cajoling parents into joining him for a row…
There were also some glorious views for us to enjoy from the comfort of our deckchairs.
It was all so picturesque that I didn’t even mind that we had to walk to the shower block when we needed to wash, or that it took 30 minutes to boil a kettle for a cup of tea. (Okay, the last one bothered me a teensy bit. I am something of a tea addict…)
As well as mooching around on the farm we took a few day trips — I won’t bore you with details of the one to the Sea Life in Weymouth where we met one of the Octonauts — but by far my favourite was Honeybrook Farm, close by in Wimborne Minster.
The most glorious red brick farm buildings are set in a courtyard, with stables on one side, a dovecote on another and a lawn with ducks, geese and a terrifying-looking turkey in the middle. The estate is set in stunning river meadows, with a chalk stream running down through the grounds.
We spent a long time fishing in the stream, followed by a lovely walk along the banks, the sprog persuaded along with the promise of another bridge to cross.
All this, plus a cafe, restaurant, tea shop, heavenly kitchen garden, soft play area, tractor rides, two playgrounds, a water area and the chance to meet and pet some of the animals.
I was so busy having a wonderful time that I only took a few photos on our riverside walk…
But if you’re ever in the area with young children, I highly recommend a visit.
Me, I could barely drag myself away at the end of the day and have spent every second since dreaming of a more permanent life for us on a similar farm. I just won’t expect the sproglet to help out with the animals…
- Featherdown camping is across a huge range of farms in the UK. We stayed at one near Blandford Forum. Though full of glorious pictures, I found their website a little bit lacking in info, but if you’re interested in something similar it’s here: Featherdown Farms. (Needless to say, they’re not paying me to say any of this…)
- At the other end of the scale, the Honeybrook Farm website is lacking in photos of their beautiful surroundings but has lots of info on the various events and activities available: Honeybrook Farm.
- And, naturally, I’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to nice-looking places to stay in the UK, with links to these and other places I found when I was researching our hol. It might provide inspiration if you’re looking for child-friendly accommodation: Holiday cottages UK.