with 6 comments

Its that time of year again, when I dust off my waterproofs, roll up my sleeping bag and resign myself to a week of cold showers and being attacked by creepy crawlies. 

Yes it’s holiday time.  And holiday time means camping.

I don’t know why I love camping so much.  It’s almost depressingly British – it always rains, the showers are always cold, and my pitch invariably ends up next to that of;

  1. A family of screaming kids that wake up at 6am
  2. A family of screaming kids that wake up at 6am with a dog
  3. A family of chavs with screaming kids that wake up at 6am with a dog and have a fight

Or, even worse than the above – the people who pitch next door and who want to be your friends.  (shudder)

Camping is such a miserable experience I can’t help but like it.  Perhaps it’s just me that is depressingly British…

Anyway, this week I have been planning my intinerary – to start in the West Country (Devon or Cornwall), and work my way back along the Jurassic Coast (not to be confused with the Jurassic Park) back to London, stopping at various sights (and sites) along the way.

This route along the south of the British Isles is stunning.  Rustic coast lines, breath-taking views, and stunning countryside.  But a girl cannot live by scenery alone, so what activities can I amuse myself with en route? 

Well, I’ve done a bit of delving, and have book marked some of the options below – I just hope I get time to do them all!;

The Gnome Reserve

Fun for gnome lovers of all ages

Fun for gnome lovers of all ages

Situated in North Devon, The Gnome Reserve promises fun “for the young at heart, from 1 to 101”.  As demonstrated by the stunning publicity picture (right)

“Gnome hats are loaned free of charge together with fishing rods, so you don’t embarrass the gnomes! Take your cameras and embarrass the family with some truly memorable photos for the family album!”

And all for £2.95 per person.  Bargain

Monkey World

I like gnomes – sure – who doesn’t?  But I love monkeys. 

Located in Dorset (one step nearer to London than Devon), Monkey World is a centre full of monkeys.  Rescued ones.  (Did I mention I love monkeys?)  So this tourist attraction is definitely worth a look – if only to pick up some monkey gifts such as monkey thimbles, a simian spoon-rest or the ever popular ape lapel badge.

Sheep Racing

sheepBack to Devon again to mount a sheep (ahem) with a cuddly toy, and race it around a track.  No really.   The Big Sheep appears to be a theme park … the theme being…er…sheep.  As the website says –  “The best day of your holiday… baa none!”   I’m there!

Cheese Rolling

Actually, I have missed the annual cheese rolling event this year (it took place on 1 June).  I think I’ll start my camping trip earlier to join in the fun next year.  Or maybe not (see the video below)


6 Responses

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  1. I am that man with the dog and three screaming kids! I think you’re terribly brave considering camping in the UK – I refuse to camp anywhere north of the Loire river on the basis that at my age has to be so careful with hypothermia.

    But if I did camp in the UK, I’d go and see the gnomes. No question.

    Jon in France

    August 27, 2009 at 9:29 am

  2. Hope that your holiday is everything you want it to be. Kill a few gnomes for me, will you? For a different take on camping, try France. Beautiful clean campsites, normally good weather, and very, very rarely screaming hordes of kids, footballs banging into your tent, or loud music. The French really appreciate the peace and beauty of the open air, and treat it, and fellow-campers, with courtesy and respect.

    Look forward to seeing you in your gnome hat, and I know you will love Monkey World.

    Bonnes vacances!


    August 27, 2009 at 10:19 am

  3. Thanks both!

    Yes, I think I must have a sadistic nature to enjoy camping in Britain. While I have visited France on numerous occassions I have never actually camped there…perhaps something to consider for next year (if you have any recommendations for good campsites close to public transport links I’d be very grateful to hear them!)

    @merewoman – Kill a few gnomes? KILL? What did a gnome ever do to you? 😛


    August 27, 2009 at 11:04 am

  4. The cheese rolling is just…wow. What the heck? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my lfe! (Besides maybe the running of the bulls, which is equally as crazy-dangerous). And I’m confused about how the cheese plays a role (no pun intended) in all of this. Are they really chasing the cheese? Or is that just an excuse to tumble down a hill?
    Well, it sounds like fun nonetheless. Enjoy the gnomes. 😀


    August 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm

  5. Yeah its mad isn’t it! Cheese rolling is a 200 year old tradition in this particular area of England…Basically, someone chucks a cheese (double gloucester) down a hill and then a bunch of people have to race down to grab it first.

    The only prize is the cheese as far as I know. And the kudos that you survived! 🙂


    August 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm

  6. I think the kudos that you survived is worth way more than the cheese. Unless you really really like cheese and are willing to risk your life to get a chunk of it. In that case, you’re just special.


    August 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm

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