Although this is a little belated, going camping the first time with my family was one of the highlights of my summer. I have fond memories of camping as a child at Folsom Lake and hoped to introduce the same joy to my son. I didn’t want anything fancy, nothing with ‘holiday park’ in the name or a place that heavily featured caravans. All I wanted was something in the woods with a water source nearby (lake, river, pond, sea) and a flushing toilet.

I hopped on the Cool Camping website and happened across Haddon Grove in Derbyshire. It ticked all of the boxes, was VERY reasonable… none of this deposit melarky or two night minimum. (I don’t really get the two night minimum thing, why is it so hard to get that we only want to camp for one night. There is only one night in the weekend, really. People work on Friday and they have to work on Monday, all we want to do is set up camp on a Saturday morning and break it down on Sunday… anyway, rant over.)

So, having chosen our destination, we borrowed the necessary gear from my in laws and tried our hands at camping. Thankfully, the weather worked in our favour!

home sweet home

Haddon Grove is two fields away from Lathkill Dale. If you’re into panoramic and dramatic views, this place is incredible.

At the top of the mountain

We decided to descend into the gorge, searching for rocks and minerals, and also to see the river that ran through.

Heading Down Into Lathkill Dale

G Hikes Lathkill Dale

After a long hike, there’s nothing better than relaxing by a river. This one happened to be closer in town. As I had never been to Derbyshire before, we took the opportunity to explore the local area. Bakewell is definitely one of my new favourite towns.

By The River Derwent

S’mores are synonymous with camping. I recently introduced G to the wonders of S’mores on Bonfire night, but it is a must for camping. Unfortunately, the top of Lathkill Dale can be a bit windy so our little disposable BBQ wasn’t going to do the job. Instead, we made do with the gas cooker to toast the marshmallows.

roasting marshmallows

G tucks into a smore

The next best thing about camping is breakfast. I love sitting out in the fresh air sipping coffee as the world wakes up and nothing beats bacon sandwiches cooked in the outdoors.

Camping bacon

Bacon and egg sarnie for breakfast

As we packed up to leave on Sunday, I snapped the view through the trees from the place we called home for the weekend.

View from our campsite

From our camping experiment, we discovered that yes, The Whiteman 3 are definitely campers. In fact the next weekend we went out and bought our own tent! Haddon Grove is the perfect place for us and we’ll definitely be back. If only the weather would co-operate!