Camping with the family. Something I have not had the guts to do…until this weekend. On Friday 14th July (according to scientists the happiest day of the year – better now or never!) we packed the children and all the nappies and gin we could fit into our car and set off half an hour down the winding Devon roads towards Axminster.
Andrewshayes Holiday Park is located in the rolling countryside of Dalwood, just 15 minutes from the world-renowned Jurassic Coast and beautiful Lyme Regis.
With both girls squeaking with excitement having been picked up from nursery & pre-school to go “on ho-hi-day”, we soon arrived at our destination and made our way to our very own beautiful little wooden pod.
The pod was equipped with a double bed and two singles with the option of a travel cot. There were power sockets, lights, a sideboard with a kettle (essential for us caffeine guzzlers) and cushioned seating area inside. A sweet wooden deck complete with picnic bench looked out onto a pretty field and the barbecue was located next to the pod, which we lit pretty soon after we had put down our bags and sorted ourselves with a beer / blackcurrant squash / milk.
After a tasty barbecue we attempted to settle two excited small people down for the night…obviously not happening! It did happen by 10pm though…that’s pretty good for on holiday, right?
“Oh they are so tired” we said, “at least they will sleep through solidly now!” Yeah… By 3am we all found ourselves in the same sleeping bag!
The next day, after necking two coffees we took our bed-invaders to the play park to burn off some more energy they had somehow accumulated. The park at Andrewshayes is great – all the musts: see-saw, swings, slide, climbing frame. Whilst they laughed their heads off on the slide I quickly researched where we should go to “find dinosaurs”, at the eldest’s urgent request.
We were in luck. Charmouth is located only 12 minutes away so we headed there for a few hours fossil hunting on the beach, exploring the Heritage Centre and enjoying a bite to eat on the seafront. Parking there is plentiful and everything was in toddling distance so it was ideal.
Back at Andrewshayes, Daddy Rules was showing signs of exhaustion so I kindly took the kids to the Toddler Room and kindly let him sleep. So kind of me! (I may have ‘cashed in the favour’ on Sunday). The Toddler Room is excellent – one half of the room had a sofa for me to lounge on whilst other half was a padded and brightly coloured haven for the kids…soft play, of course, they loved it.
We returned to find Daddy Rules looking much more human and up for a family swim in the onsite covered, heated pool. Equipped with armbands and rubber rings, the girls whooped with joy in the water. This was my favourite moment of the holiday; I’m a water baby myself and I loved seeing them both so happy.
We finished our day with a takeaway from the onsite bar – is there anything more delicious than al fresco fish & chips after a swim? – and the littlest one was soon off to the land of dreams: cue victory dance from yours truly and a cracking open of the gin.
The next morning, whilst packing up, we reflected on our favourite parts of the holiday. The toddlers favourite part (we think) was eating her breakfast on the balcony each morning, whilst observing the cows in the field opposite. She looked so content sat on her portable chair in her fleece and slippers – you could have been forgiven for thinking she was a caravan owner. The eldest announced that her favourite part was being in her purple sleeping bag.
In summary, we loved our stay at Andrewshayes. It’s such a brilliant location, the pods are the comfiest way to camp with small children (it would be a great romantic getaway for two adults without kids as well!) and the campsite is clean, pleasant and un-commercialised. The facilities were spot on for our time there – good bar food and plenty to keep the kiddiwinks happy. This holiday suited our little family perfectly. Thank you – we will be back!
Legal Disclaimer: This blog post was written after receiving a 2 night stay in a glamping pod at Andrewshayes. The above are my own words and honest opinion.