Our Holiday in Beddgelert
On Wednesday morning, with a car bursting at the seams, we set off for Beddgelert in Snowdonia for our camping holiday.
My experience of camping is minimal. I camped near Alton Towers once, for one night, to make sure I was one of the first through the gates the next morning. The weather was beautiful, and it was warm in the tent. I didn’t take anything other than a tent as it was only one night. Easy peasy. As a kid I camped outside a friend’s house until a police officer came and asked us to sleep in the house because we were being too noisy. There was also the time I camped in Josie Gibson’s (the girl who won Big Brother that time) garden and took up smoking (not Josie’s fault) as a teenager. But that’s it.
I kinda guessed camping with a tiny baby, a very nervous dog, and Trev’s other two daughters (6 and nearly-9) would be a whole different ball game. I was not wrong.
Luckily Trev went camping a lot as a kid, and even camped in the same Beddgelert campsite several times. In fact the whole holiday became a bit of a trip down memory lane for him.
Thankfully, after a good night’s sleep and a huge feed, Iris slept almost the whole way there. Impressive, as it took us about 4 hours. We planned to stop halfway at a wind farm, but somehow we approached it from the wrong direction and both the bigger girls needed a wee. So in the end we stopped in a car park with a loo and ate sandwiches and Pringles. Trev nipped into a shop, and before we knew it we were all back in the car eating king size chocolate bars, with Iris completely unaware that we had even stopped. We kept our eyes peeled for good places to stop the whole rest of the journey, expecting Iris to wake for a feed any second, but she didn’t.
On arrival at the campsite though, she woke and she made it very clear that she was incredibly hungry! Feeding her got me out of helping to pitch the tent, which was nice. Our tent is a Vango Icarus 500 which we bought from Go Outdoors. On the bag it says it can be put up in 12 minutes, but even with a practise go in Grandma’s garden the previous weekend, it took at least half an hour. Even with the kids ‘helping’! That’s not bad though, really. Luckily it was dry and fairly sunny when we arrived, perfect weather both for tent pitching and breastfeeding outdoors.
After pitching and unpacking the car, we decided to explore. Seb was rather happy about this as he was already sick of being tethered to a tree! The campsite was in a lovely location, miles from very much. It’s surrounded by footpaths in the hills, which you get to by crossing the line of the Welsh Highland Railway. The girls loved the forest walks, particularly intrigued by fallen trees and their exposed roots. Seb preferred the streams and puddles! It began to rain during our first walk, but we didn’t really mind.
One of the best things about camping with kids is the way you can really get them involved with stuff. I can’t comment on all kids, but the girls, particularly the one that’s 6, love to feel like they are helping out. We planned to get them involved in lots of outdoor cooking during our stay, but thanks to the rain that first night we ended up eating chips from the chippy in Beddgelert! Trev went to fetch them while I fed Iris and the girls made loom band bracelets and listened to the rain. We’d bought a fold down table and chairs to eat on, but it broke that first night! Lots of eating while sitting on the floor followed. We also decided (because of how full the car was) that we wouldn’t take our fold up chairs, and I hadn’t considered how I would breastfeed in the tent. Sitting on the floor didn’t really work so I found myself feeding her lying down on the bed. This gave me a nice rest, but meant I was away from the action and missed out on some of the fun!
The two ‘bedrooms’ of our tent are divided only with a thin piece of fabric, which you can peek around into the next room. This made bedtime lots of fun! The girls generally went to bed a little bit before us, and we’d stay up whispering to each other while I nursed Iris to sleep. This meant a lot of ‘Daaaaaad!! Keep the noise down!!’ It didn’t take the girls long to nod off after such a busy day though. During the night I heard a loud slap followed by ‘STOP SNORING’. The eldest had leaned through the gap and bashed her dad on the head! I can’t say I blame her.
Somehow, despite the loud rain and heavy wind we all managed to get a decent night of sleep, even Iris who only woke for a couple of feeds.