We have recently come home from our very first ever camping trip! Our friends convinced us to take the plunge and join them for a couple of nights away camping in the Cotswolds so we bought a tent and off we went. We were lucky to be going with seasoned campers that had all the equipment and knew what they were doing. The kids were really excited at the prospect of sleeping in their sleeping bags in our new tent. We booked two nights at the Cotswold View Caravan & Camping Park which is set in the beautiful Cotswolds about 30 minutes from Oxford. The park is located on a wooded farmland with forest trails and farm animals on site.
Camping in the Cotswolds
We arrived at lunch time armed with some sandwiches so the kids didn’t get hungry while we set up camp. We checked in and found our pitch and set up our brand new tent which when we opened the bag and were greeted with very simply instructions I did fear the worst! It was actually not that hard to put together and we were soon set up with our home for the next two nights.
The kids were happy running around in the space outside and after a quick tennis match we explored the rest of the site. It is really well maintained and has a couple of kids parks, a small zip wire, a football goal and a games room with a table tennis table, football table, air hockey and a pool table. There are trails to follow through the woodland and a number of farm animals to visit.
The fresh air and exercise had made everyone hungry so we lit the BBQ and cooked sausages for the kids and the adults had a chilli that I had made at home and bought with us. Marshmallows were toasted on the BBQ which the kids loved!
Rise and Shine
We were up early the next morning as the kids were woken up by the light. Bacon and egg rolls set us up for the day ahead.
We decided to visit Bibury Trout Farm which was a 35 minute drive away from where we were staying. The drive is nice and picturesque and you pass lots of pretty quint villages. Just before the trout farm you pass Arlington Row a very pretty row of cottages and is one of the most photographed scenes in the Cotswolds. You cant miss it as coach loads of people are there armed with their cameras. Of course we had to stop and get a picture for ourselves.
Catching our supper
Bibury Trout Farm is a lovely day out for children. We bought some fish food on our way in and the children loved watching the masses of trout go mad when they threw it in. There is a small children’s play area and a gift shop and café.
We wandered around the farm feeding the trout and then hired the fishing equipment which is free to use to try our luck at catching a trout. You just have to pay for any fish that you catch. There are BBQ’s on site and they sell coals if you wish to cook your fish there and then. We decided to take ours home in a cool bag to BBQ that evening.
The kids absolutely loved this activity and its great for them to experience catching the trout, watching it being killed and then gutted, which the staff can do for you. There are lots of picnic benches so it would be nice to take a picnic to eat alongside your catch and make a real day of it.
We decided to stop at the pretty village of Burford on our way back to camp. This lovely village has a nice High Street with lots of places to eat and some boutique shops. We visited The Cotswold Cheese Company and bought a selection of cheeses and cooked meats for later that evening and went to The Burford House Hotel for a pit stop. This lovely hotel and restaurant has a courtyard garden which was the perfect place to sit for a scone and glass of prosecco.
A walk to the village
Our campsite was a 30 minute walk into the village of Charlbury. The walk starts off through the woodland and then takes a path along the edge of a field. It was a lovely walk with great scenery and the children didn’t moan once!
The village has three pubs, a few shops and a post office. We went to The Bell Inn for a drink in their huge garden which was great as it gave the kids lots of freedom to run around. Next stop was The Bull Inn for an early dinner. The food and service here was great and their cocktail menu was impressive too! All with full tummy’s we headed on the walk back to camp.
The kids enjoyed their freedom running around the space outside the tent. They also spent time enjoying table tennis and air hockey in the games room. It was then time to light the BBQ and cook our catch of the day! The Trout was absolutely delicious and went down a treat. More marshmallows were toasted as to not waste the BBQ.
We had been so lucky with the weather during our stay with beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures but that all changed on the morning we were leaving and had to pack up in the rain! Wasn’t much fun but we got everything packed away and in the car and headed home.
We had a really lovely time camping in the Cotswolds. The campsite was great and the location was stunning. We have definitely been converted and would love to take the children camping again. Its a great way to spend time out in the fresh air and explore the amazing countryside which the UK has to offer.
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