Memories of Camping Holidays



Written by Debbie Talbot

I have very fond memories of camping when I was a child. My first experience was going to the South of France with my family and staying on a campsite in a pre-erected tent. My mum tells me that despite taking me to the local swimming pool many times beforehand, I screamed the open air pool down because it had no black lines and no roof. We did this for a few years, staying at various campsites in France, until my parents bought our first 4 berth family tent as well as all the equipment needed. We then arranged our own campsites and started venturing further afield within Europe. Countries we visited included Germany, France and Holland as well as staying on some UK campsites on the Isle of Wight and Isle of Sheppey. My mum tells me that we would arrive on site, erect the frame, put the canvas over the frame and then each take a leg to erect the tent into position, after which my sister and I would go off, explore and make new friends.

As the camping bug took hold, my parents bought a 4 berth caravan. We were able to camp at weekends with the Herts and North London branch of the Camping and Caravan Club as well as going away on both UK and Europe based holidays and short stays. My sister and I really enjoyed being part of the youth section of the Camping and Caravan Club as we got to camp out in a separate area of the camp site to our parents and take part in some fantastic activities, whilst supervised by our lovely leaders. My not so favourite, but amusing memories are my dad driving through parts of Paris and London towing a caravan or the windy mountain roads in Switzerland or Austria. There was another hairy moment when my dad lit our gas BBQ and singed his eyebrows. My mum tells me that we had to go right to the top of a steep hill in Innsbruck, Austria, to get to our campsite which was close to a ski jump.

When I was at university in Leeds, my parents would stay at local campsites in our caravan as an inexpensive way of visiting me. We had so many lovely opportunities whilst camping and caravanning to visit local places of interest. We have stayed in our family tent in the back gardens of relatives whilst visiting them. I also fondly remember several fun camp outs with friends in my parents’ back garden. I was gutted when my parents eventually sold their caravan to a friend and our caravanning days were over.

Years later after I had become a parent myself, I bought my parents’ old caravan back off of the friend they sold it to and enjoyed many lovely UK short breaks in it, before sadly having to sell it on. I can remember my daughter crawling happily around the awning at around 18 months old.

Being such a keen camper myself, I was delighted to see that Halfords have brought out The Ultimate UK ’16 Camping Guide. It has so much useful information in it and very enjoyable to read. The parts I found most useful were the tourist hotspots, campsites and cycle routes and events split out into regions.  There are some lovely ideas for entertaining children, tips for newbies to camping, recipes, festival survival guide, information about glamping, camping abroad, keeping children safe on the journey and touring essentials. The guide looks great visually and so much thought has clearly gone into producing it.


To read Halfords camping guide, please visit

Have a look at Halfords new tent ranges here


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