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Camping Caravan and Motorhome Show


This years NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show is rapidly approaching – it starts on 13th October and runs through to the 18th. The UKs largest show, on in both October and February, this is an ideal spot for considering a first time purchase, upgrading your caravan, or simply window shopping some of the amazing examples of new vans, statics and fabulous RV’s.

This year sees an attempt to build the worlds largest caravan made entirely from Lego, as well as new products launches, demonstrations and much more.

As well as manufacturers, there are aways oodles of accessory dealers, packed to bursting with gadgets both simple and elaborate to make outdoor life that bit easier. A host of experts will be on hand to offer advice and ideas, and some of the retailers will be offering some serious show based discounts, so if you have a model in mind, now is the time to get down and have a chat. Tickets are available online at £7.50


Sleep Under the Stars, Church Farm, Ardeley


It has seemed like a rather dismal school holiday this summer, with rain, damp and cold making outfoor living feature rather less heavily than usual on our agenda.

We were truly lucky the weekend before Bank Holiday on a mini camping break in pretty Hertfordshire, with a wonderful family environment, music, vodka, and the best star gazing we’ve seen in a while. The weather held right until pack up on sunday, and we even saw a shooting star (in amongst the myriad aircraft waiting to land at Luton) on the Friday.

The farm is a great location for campers – not too far from the city, but idyllic with working animals, pretty tea rooms, a well stocked famr shop and otsof kids activities. The Sleep Under the Stars weekend also boasts a bar, homemade flavoured vodka (try the tarragon if you get a chance – odd, but delicious), bonfire, and live music. Yes, portaloos, but very clean and tidy, and portable hot showers made this a really pleasant venue, and the kids loved yomping through hay bales and saying good morning to the piglets.

There is also alovely country pub opposite the entrance to the farm, The Jolly Waggoner, with excellent pub grub and traditional ales.

Coleman Double Airbed

The trip proved to be the perfect opportunity to try out our latest airbed, the Coleman Durarest Raised Double. The bed is a tough, high level double with soft velour effect top with a coil support system, and has its own wrap and carry bag attached for easy pack away.

Despite not having a built in or included pump, which actually I think is a shame for the price, this is a lovely, quality airbed. It held its shape beautifully, was very comfortable and warm, and supported an adult and child with no roll together even after several days. Ours is a fetching sea blue, and the attached carry bag makes it a cinch to pack away fast.


Tentsile


Tentsile

Have you ever seen a Tentsile? We love a spot of camping, obviously, but if you fancy something with a difference, why not try a tensile Tent for woodland camping? Rather than the traditional method, the Tensile is strung between trees, much like a hammock, providing shelter which is also off the ground. The idea is somewhere between a traditional tent and a treehouse, keeping you away from hard and uncomfortable or lumpy ground, and providing a bit of extra distance between you and any creepy crawlies!

 


Keeping Kozi


Kozi Kidz Stockholm

 

We had a look at the rainbow coloured Koster Raincoat last Autumn and have remained very pleased with it – it has lasted and lasted and still looks as bright and cheerful as it did when new, so I was very pleased to get a chance to look at their new winter coat, the Stockholm.

If you missed my first review, Kozi Kidz are a Swedish brand of outdoor wear for kids available from a variety of stockists / online in the UK. The range comprises all in ones, rain coats, snow suits and more from babies throughout childhood, and their Scandinavian design and expertise produces a range of really well thought out, durable outer wear that is waterproof and windproof, in lovely bright colours.

The Stockholm is very much proper winter gear, perfect for every day wear but more than warm enough for any outdoor activities in bad weather.