Camping in the forest is good for the soul

Before having children, Mike and I would be happy to pack up the tent and head up to any muddy campsite for a quiet weekend away. Particularly after we had both moved back to parents after uni, as it was all a bit close but we was saving for a deposit for out first house so it had to be cheap and cheerful. We would sit out in the cold on our camping chairs, drinking beer and eating anything that would cook on a barbecue.

At night time it wouldn’t really matter if it got too cold as we would just pull the sleeping bags up and snuggle up tight. Plus the warm belly full of alcohol and barbecue food made it a little easier!

What happened next was: we gathered enough of a deposit for a small 2 up 2 down, we moved out and we spent a good year doing it up. We then in very quick succession, got married, honeymooned, bought a puppy and had our first child. In all of this we forgot how much we loved camping. But before we knew it we was moving house again, and then again! Then baby number 2 came along but this time we decided that camping was a great idea so we bought all the gear and headed for a summer of camping fun!

Except the summer has been one of the coldest and dampers summers I can think of, so when I stumbled across camping in the forest and their pods we thought we would give them a go!

Podding.

I’m sure that’s a term. If not it should be!

We stayed at the Bracelands campsite in the forest of the Dean and wow it is just stunning there. We booked 3 nights and that felt like a lovely little trip, but I could have easily stayed for a week. If you are looking for a lovely campsite in the middle of a beautiful forest but want to keep nice and snug at night then a pod is definitely the way forward.

The pod is a little wooden house, I told Flo it was a fairy house and it comes with two sockets, a heater and a blind to cover the large patio doors. Inside it is carpeted with durable material and has a small window for ventilation (along with the small ventilation holes on the floor.

You have to take everything else that you would usually need for camping but it means that you don’t have to pitch your tent or take it down at the end if your stay. When you have two small children it’s so much easier to just pile in and sort out the pod as opposed to leaving the kids in the car while you pitch a tent!

The surroundings are beautiful. There are lots of fun things to do nearby and local shop.

The nearby little town of Monmouth is lovely too, with everything from clothes shops to restaurants. So if you forget your walking boots you can always stop off there!

There is a Gruffalo trail nearby, plenty of historical activities and lots of outdoor activities including go ape nearby.

I’m not saying I’m done with camping, because there is something pretty special about that too. But staying in the pod has opened the camping season up for us. It was just perfect to come back to a nice warm pod after a long walk and be able to take off those wet socks without getting cold feet!

The facilities were nice and clean, with several toilets, sinks and showers available all free of charge. There is a family shower room and a laundry and several pot wash stations. The reception also has basic food and the staff are super friendly!

We heard that November and December are the best times to stay in the pods so we will be back in the very cold winter to see if we agree!

Camping in the forest, you have reset my stress levels and we had the most wonderful time. Please find some more forests up north and set some pods up, we need them up here too!

Much love,

MF xx

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