Carry on camping? You bet!
PUBLISHED: 11:29 14 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 20 February 2013
I'll carry on camping – because someone's got to, says Jayne Lindill
Ill carry on camping because someones got to, says Jayne Lindill
I love camping. There, Ive said it. I know many of you will consider me strange and backward, but I also know there are many of you out there who will understand my passion for life under canvas or waterproofed polyester as it more often is nowadays.
The freedom, the fresh air, the abandonment of any sort of routine, the fact that its so different to the way I live my life the rest of the time. With no TV, no fighting for a car park, no airports and no queues, its the ultimate escape.
I especially love camping in Suffolk, partly because its possible to leave work, get to the campsite, have your tent erected, your airbed pumped up and still be ordering a pint of Adnams (or IPA depending on the location of your chosen campsite) in the local pub by 8pm with a whole weekend ahead of you.
Suffolks also a beautiful county with the right kind of weather for camping.
Our benign climate means the season is long and unless youre really unlucky and happen to be caught by a passing monsoon, youre unlikely to be completely washed out for your entire break. The only time thats ever happened to me was in la belle France honest.
Watching the sun come up off the Suffolk coast is one of those things everyone should do in their life
Its also flat and soft, which is important. I once camped in Scotland, where there were lots of hills and rocks. After a couple of days I had no straight tent pegs left. On the journey home I stopped off in the Lake District and grabbed the only pitch left on the only campsite available (or so it seemed). It was at the bottom of a hill and that night it rained... and rained... and rained. I woke up in the middle of a lake that wasnt there when I went to bed the night before.
Ive camped in several other parts of the world and they all have their drawbacks Australia (flies, snakes, spiders, scorpions, thieving possums), New Zealand (rain days of it, in fact), France (dodgy toilets), Italy (campsites so large they could pass for small towns, complete with rival football teams).
But Suffolk has it all beautiful countryside, great walks, superb pubs, friendly folk and room to move.
Two favourite spots are Staverton, near
Woodbridge, and Sizewell (yes, really).
The site at Staverton is set in its own woodlands, which team with wildlife. Its also close to Tunstall Forest theres nothing like a peaceful forest walk to really help you unwind and within reach of the Butley Oyster pub and the Froize Inn at Chillesford.
Sizewell is a brilliant place to camp if only for the reaction you get from other people when you tell them thats where youre planning to spend your weekend.
True, the Cliff House Camping and Caravan Park is perched above the sand dunes and shingle right next door to the power station, but youd never know, mainly because you spend most of your time gazing out to sea.
I love the cliff top walk to Thorpeness and Aldeburgh in one direction and the beach and forest walk to Walberswick in the other.
Watching the sun come up off the Suffolk coast is one of those things everyone should do in their life and if it gets a bit windy it just reminds you how really wild and wonderful our unique coastal habits is.
Its this closeness to nature that makes camping so irresistible waking to the sound of birdsong, breakfast in the great outdoors, watching a sunset and talking into the wee small hours beneath the night sky.