Sunday, 28 July 2013

Camping at Easter - Favourite Family Holiday

When Butlins asked for memories of my favourite childhood holiday my mind raced, there are so many to choose from. Naturally as Butlins had asked, my mind turned to memories of Butlins in Bognor Regis, we used to go every year with the extended family. I have so many good memories from dancing around the chalets to walking in to town to get a McDonald's (a major treat when I was little and one that only happened when we were on holiday!) But my absolute favourite holiday has to be when my parents decided to take us camping at Easter.

We went to a little place in Cornwall, I have a distant memory of it being called something like The Oven, although a Google search has come up with no results. The camp site was really lovely with clean toilets (always a must when camping!) A stream you could play in and behind the farm house a couple of ponies the owners would let you help feed. The camp site really was lovely and perfectly set up for families and children.

We didn't leave till late, as my dad was involved in a scout parade. We arrived after dark and had to put up 2 tents in the pouring rain, when we had finished everyone was dripping wet and bickering. The next day we had to re put up the tents as one had leaked in the night and was now filled with puddles. We suspected a leak so drove to the  local camping shop to see if we could get a patch. It was really sunny and warm (a rare moment for that holiday!) so we had all the windows open. After a while it started to rain and when we tried to shut the windows we discovered all the electrics had stopped working. Rain was beating in at us and there wasn't a lot we could do to stop it. My mum handed us some plastic bags to put up at the window, but it only made the situation worse with rain collecting in puddles then falling in on us when it got too heavy.

My dad headed off to Halfords to get the fuse changed. We were all yet again soaking wet by the time we got back to the camp site only for the (by now) very light rain to turn in to golf ball sized hailstones. I remember sitting in the tent being unable to even talk to each other as the hailstones were so loud. We stuck it out for another day or 2 before my mum had had enough. The rain wasn't letting up and by now all our clothes, bedding and, well everything, was wet! We packed up and headed home. We were grateful to get home to a warm dry home.

It has got to be the worst family holiday we had ever been on, but its also the holiday we laughed the most on. We were cold tired and wet and laughed from the moment we woke up to the moment we fell asleep.

As a mum I take my girls on holidays and when things start to go wrong I remember back to that holiday and know that holidays don't have to have the perfect weather or the perfect activities. Holidays are about laughing with the family, that's where the best memories are made.

Competition sponsored by Butlins Holiday Parks, helping your family make memories.

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