My grandfather would have been proud to hear his granddaughter is following a bit in his footsteps. As a self-taught writer, he wrote many articles and books on destinations all around the world, focusing on lightweight and outdoor travel and camping with the entire family.
And with my own love for camping and being in nature, this blog is my place to share tips and experiences to motivate you to do the same.
But it’s not the 1960’s anymore. The time of having to carry tents made out of heavy, thick cotton in your external-framed backpack and eating cold beans out of a tin can has passed.
Camping no longer is just about roughing it, bathing in a stream and, well… pooping in the forest for all that matters.
The Evolution of Camping Gear
Sure, there will always be people who get shivers down their spine simply hearing the words ‘caravan’ and ‘ablution block’, but with the rise of hundreds of outdoor gear companies, the products available to make camping more comfortable are incredible and the general sense of ‘suffering’ associated with camping has changed quite a bit.
Browse Instagram with the hashtag #campinggear and you’ll find custom made engraved stainless steel food containers, trekking backpacks for your dog and Fair Trade hikers coffee. And that is just the start of it.
These days, we have bike racks for your car, fold-up outdoor furniture in every possible prints, satellite TVs & Wi-Fi boosters, caravan air conditioning units, portable fridges and much, much more…
From ‘Cramping’ to ‘Glamping’
Apart from the gear, I believe that in the last years the somewhat ‘dull’ image of camping has worn off a bit as well.
It has become cool again being #outdoorsy, enjoying #camplife while #sleepingunderthestars. We camp at festivals, while being on our gap-year abroad or on short weekend breaks with the family in our own countries.
Me glamping in a bell tent at the Whitlingham Broad Campsite in Norfolk, England
Especially since the introduction of the concept of #glamping in the last years, a whole new market started to evolve. With this new style of boutique camping, you’ll get the best of camping (being in nature, sitting around the campfire, offline time with family and friends) without the worst of camping (carrying your equipment, sleeping on the ground, crawling into a small, not-so-waterproof tent).
And it’s no longer just about tents, caravans and motor homes anymore either…
You can stay in a tree house, Mongolian yurt, bell tent, gypsy wagon, bubble tent, log cabin or even a glass igloo if you like!
Another new rage at the moment, especially under ‘digital nomads’ (anyone with businesses that can be run from anywhere in the world) is spending time in a (converted) American Airstream Caravan, a.k.a. the ‘Silver Bullet’.
One of my favourite bloggers, Kristen and Siya from Hopscotch the Globe, have recently bought and completely renovated one! You can follow their Airstream Adventures on YouTube and learn a thing or two about minimalism and following your dreams, too.
Airstream Launches in the UK
At the yearly Motorhome and Caravan Show, you can find out which new models of camping accommodation and travel accessories are being launched. It’s the biggest launch event of its kind in the United Kingdom and you’ll have the chance to see the products in use and buy them with show-only discounts. If you’re planning an outdoor holiday, or just like to drool over all the amazing gear out there, this is the place to be!
One of the cool elements of the show are their daily new and exclusive leisure vehicle product launches in the LIVE Theatre from some of the biggest companies in the industry.
Among the brands showcasing new products this year is American touring manufacturer Airstream Inc, who recently appointed Swift Group as the sole distributor for Airstream caravans in the UK.
For the first time, this characteristic silver caravan will, with a bit of an adjustment to suit the small towns and bendy country roads in the UK, available in three different models within their ‘International’ range.
You’ve got the 4-berth ‘Colorado’ (the biggest of the three models), then there is the slightly smaller ‘Yukon’, which sleeps 2-3 people and then there is the ‘Missouri’, the smallest of the range.
And you know what?
We got to stay overnight in the Yukon at the White Lodge Caravan Park on the Isle of Anglesey in Northern Wales last weekend. But to make things even better, on arrival we were told that we were the first ever people to stay in this particular caravan. How cool is that?!
Airstream Glamping Experience VIDEO
To give you a bit of a taste, we compiled this short video to give you an impression of our experience. We hope you like it!
Let us show you what we found inside this iconic caravan:
Welcome to the Airstream Lifestyle
Did you know that US President Kennedy used an Airstreamer as a mobile office? Well, he wasn’t the only one who spend time in one. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins lived in one for three weeks in 1969 after they were kept in quarantine after walking on the moon as well.
And now it is our turn! Let do a bit of Wales Glamping, shall we?
We didn’t really have a table and chairs to make it look a bit more like the true camping experience, but hey, at least you get the best view on the Airstream caravan!
Our generous seating area, wich you can turn into a bed as well! Oh, and scatter cushions. This things has SCATTER CUSHIONS. Talk about fancy.
We got to taste some local products as well
The bed was super comfortable and I slept like a rose, even though Nick got up in the middle of the night to retract the awning (it was very windy and it made a lot of noise).
Of course, I noticed nothing of it all, as usual.
From Tin Cans to Award-winning Dishes
Another fun segment of the Caravan and Motorhome show are the live cookery demonstrations with guest chefs that are being held every day. Each session is designed to inspire you to get outside and enjoy cooking in the great outdoors.
On Tuesday the 17th of October, brothers Ellis & Liam Barrie of The Marram Grass restaurant at the caravan park where we stayed, will show of their talent to turn camp cooking into a culinary experience.
And if you’re able to visit, you’ll be in for a treat! Of course after meeting Ellis (and his parents) ourselves, and seeing the enthusiasm with which they talked about their business, we couldn’t resist paying a visit to their restaurant and boy, were we spoiled!
Arriving at the campsite, you will see a massive vegetable plot… this promises a lot!
The Marram Grass cafe might just be a shed, don’t let this fool you! There is some serious first-class food being prepared inside…
Don’t forget to make a reservation when you visit, these guys are POPULAR since they’ve appeared on TV recently
our amuse-bouche (palet cleanser) before the meal
Nick went for the Welsh Black Sirloin Steak (with radish, artichokes, bulgur wheat and quinoa)
I went for the Roast Anglesey Sea Bass (with gnocchi, cherry tomato, homegrown spinach, runner beans, mussels and crayfish cream sauce)
Walking around the Campsite
Because we didn’t have our own car, we couldn’t venture to far outside of the campsite, but on a reasonable short walk we found the beautiful forest and beach:
If you’ve got some time, there are plenty of walking and running trails to choose from!
We had a great time during our short stay in North Wales and love the experience of staying in a real Airstream for the first time ever. Definitely something got ticked of our Bucket List here and we would love to try out some more UK Glamping in the future. Where do you think we should go next?
The Motorhome and Caravan Show 2017
When? 17 to 22 October
Where? Birmingham’s NEC
More Information: mcshow.co.uk
Buy Tickets: mcshow.co.uk/prices
The White Lodge Caravan Park
More Information: www.whitelodgecaravanpark.com
The Marram Grass Restaurant
More Information: www.themarramgrass.com
Airstream Caravan UK / Europe
More Information: www.airstream-europe.com
Caravan and Motorhome Club
Discover the best camping sites in the UK!
More Information: www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/club-sites
Disclaimer: Our stay in the Airstream and dinner at The Marram Grass was made possible by the Motorhome and Caravan Show and the owners of the White Lodge Caravan Park. All photos and opinions in this article are 100% our own.
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