Thursday, 5 June 2014

Camping Near the White Horse

Wow, wedding preparations and forgetting to take my laptop have left me really behind on things!

I had wanted to write more about our camping trip, when I went down to Newbury to meet with my best friend for our friendship tattoos. That was over a week ago now - getting on for two weeks!

We met up in Newbury for our tattoo appointment, and then afterwards she drove straight to the campsite with her boys, while I first shopped for a few extra supplies (mainly marshmallows for toasting!)  We were camping at Britchcombe Farm, a basic campsite at Uffington, near the famous White Horse, but ended up only staying under canvas for one night. We had wanted to camp for longer, but it rained really hard on that first day, and it turned out that the tent leaked really badly!! So we decamped to a hotel for the first night, returning to camping for the following day which had better weather. Returning to camp included having to bail out the tent, and towel down the ground sheet!! A good job we didn’t try sleeping there with the kids!

Littlest lad was very upset to stay in a hotel, he wanted so badly to camp! The only thing that cheered him up on that first night was taking him out for Italian food – he is a little fussy with food flavours, so he chose a margarita pizza. He’s only 9 so he doesn’t eat lots, but he really tucked in to the pizza with gusto! Then, when dessert was offered, we all led each other astray and each chose a naughty dessert… Littlest lad chose the profiteroles, and made very short work of them!

The next day, littlest lad was very excited when we finally headed back towards the campsite, and all of the possibilities for lighting fires and playing football. My husband, Adam, had joined us by this point, so we had another tent to put up while the boys played ball. 

Then we all headed off to the lovely tea rooms associated with the camp site. They served teas and coffees and delicious homemade cakes and scones.

I love the giant tea cup planters!

Inside, they also had a lovely display of handmade studio pottery for sale. I love the little dotty mug with the heart! 

While looking around outside, we spotted this pretty moth on a wall, a white ermine moth. Littlest lad wanted to see it closer and in his enthusiasm he knocked it off the wall onto the floor. It wasn’t hurt, but I decided to pick it up and out it somewhere safe – and I took the opportunity for a closer look and some more photos. It was so fluffy and cute! (My husband thinks it’s very odd that I find moths cute!)

We enjoyed our tea break in the lovely garden area. We didn’t sit at this table as it was already occupied when we got there, and there weren’t enough seats for us anyway, but I did think it looked so attractive with that lovely bunting behind!

Refreshed, we then dragged the kids on a bit of a walk, under much protesting that they wanted to go back to the campsite to play football…  We saw these amazing succulents growing on the roof of this barn – I thought they looked brilliant! I really like succulents…

Then we came to field with lambs, and littlest lad spent a fun few minutes baa-ing at the sheep, and being highly amused when they replied!

We walked up a hill to a bit of a ridge, up through lovely meadows full of buttercups. We got great views of the campsite as we walked up. Our tents are those blue specks next to the 2 red cars.

We carried on towards the White Horse. The walk became more fun for the boys as we turned it into races to different points. I’m sure this would have been easier for me without my bag and camera!

Finally we got to the White Horse. We had hoped to be getting to a view point, but we actually got to the White Horse itself. 

We took in the views from the hill

Watched with amusement as the sheep ran in to gather behind this vehicle – feeding time!

Then we decided to walk down the hill to find a view of the White Horse. Some of us did a bit of rolling down the hill too :)

Unfortunately, this was the best view we could get from where we were. I was up for walking further to find a better view (I had seen a good view while driving to the campsite, so I knew it was possible!) but I was the only one interested, so instead we headed back to the camp site for football.

Back at the campsite, we decided to have a proper camp dinner as the weather had become so nice, so while the boys played ball, husband and I headed off on a search for a shop that was open on a Sunday evening, and selling supplies for a BBQ… Between a couple of different shops we managed to get pretty much everything we needed. The marshmallows, biscuits and chocolate had come with my friend and the kids – eldest lad had a plan for smores (I’m not 100% sure I’ve remembered that name right…) These are created by toasting a marsh mallow, then sandwiching it with chocolate in between 2 biscuits. My friend thought putting a toasted marsh mallow between 2 chocolate biscuits would have been much simpler!

I prepared the disposable BBQs by propping them up on metal tent pegs to keep them off the grass. I did check them to make sure they were sturdy before we lit them! Then my husband manned the BBQs to cook our burgers and sausages, he is the main cook out of the two of us anyway, but he does love a barbie!

While the food was cooking, littlest lad was itching to get a proper fire going. While we had been off getting food, they had bought a bag of logs for a camp fire – in the evening a guy in a landrover came around selling the logs – so when most of the food was finished I put littlest lad to work creating a spot for the fire. He did a good job, and once it was ready I showed him how to build up the fire and get it ready to light. We cheated a little – the heavy rain meant that there was no kindling, so I had bought something to help get it going, and soon we had a lovely little fire.

We used some of the logs to build a wind break to help the fire get going, and once it was nice and hot we began toasting the marshmallows.

Eldest lad showed me how to make the smores (or whatever they’re called!)

But I think that I preferred just a plain toasted marsh mallow

We had a lovely evening, all sitting around the campfire. Littlest lad was having a whale of a time just being outside, camping and having a fire and marshmallows! We lost track of time and he was very happy with that as he got to stay up later and enjoy more camping! He even came up with some great ideas for games we could all play together around the camp fire – my favourite was playing a game where you each take it in turns to say 1 word to make up a story, although we had to adapt this a little (1 sentence each instead for a bit, followed by 2 words each, which worked best for us) as he was getting too excitable to follow the story properly, and it didn’t seem to be working too well to begin with! We really had some giggles, it was such a lovely way to all spend precious time together :)


  1. What a lovely post such fun...I think they are called s'mores, they are American, you can use those flavours to make cupcakes and cookies too :) I haven't been camping for years and I definitely preferred a camper van to a tent !! xx

    1. Ah, s'mores - sounds right! Thank you! Choccy marshmallow cookies sound rather appealing, do you have recipes? You should post one and I could try it out ;)

      I'd love a camper! We tried to buy one a while ago, but it turned out to be a scam. Luckily we spotted this before any money changed hands or anything, but we never did get a camper. I still hope to get one one day though! - and think of the blanket-making opportunities!! Little patchwork curtains would be cool too... The possibilities are endless! :D