We recently took Brian on his first camping trip with us. Ruth wanted to go to Brighton and do seaside type things (because living on the Isle of Wight we have no access to beaches piers, ice-creams and kiss-me-quick hats of course) and we wanted a short jaunt to acquaint ourselves with our new home-from-home. Brian performed admirably, though definitely lived up to his name. Welcome to a slower pace of live, in every way.
First stop was Ikea for breakfast. I still get a (cheap) thrill out of breakfast and drinks all round for well under a tenner. A quick visit to Go-Outdoors to lighten the wallet then on to one of my favourite places in the whole world, the Cider Barn at Middle Farm in Firle. The place is a cider-lover’s delight, with barrel after barrel of tasty ciders and perries from all over the country. You can taste them all (if your not driving and have a constitution that allows standing after this endeavour) and then fill up empty milk-bottles with your choice. We stocked up with enough for the trip and a little taste for when we got home.
Next stop was our first campsite in Seaford. Brighton is not awash with campsites so we picked one on a railway line nearby called Buckle Holiday Park. You can read our review of Buckle here. Much struggling with awning+high wind taught us fairly swiftly that this was not an equation which would ever equal success, so we did what all the stoutest campers don’t. Gave up. Only on the awning though, which meant all 5 of us in the van. This was a useful experiment which demonstrated it is possible, but also showed the girl’s that the awning was a nicer prospect than they may have imagined.
After our first night we headed off on the train into Brighton, where we had a pleasant day meandering. Certain parties appeared to have a magnet-like draw to food outlets….
The wonderful many-roomed Guitar Amp & Keyboard Centre provided a fun diversion for the guitarists in the family, one of whom left empty handed before credit-card temptation kicked in too strongly, whilst the other made a sensible purchase and left. A handful of picks was all Rebekah’s finances ran to. More wandering and taking of tacky seaside pics and it was time to head back to the site, where we successfully pitched the awning, making for a more spacious night.
The following day we trotted off to the Wildfowl and Wetland Centre at Arundel where we enjoyed a boat ride among the ducks and a gander at the geese. Then on to what appears to be the only campsite in Arundel – see our review of Maynards Campsite. Next day saw us wander round Arundel. A nice town to wander round, but it must be awful to live in, as all you can buy is antiques, expensive kitchen-wares, and the world’s most expensive pies. Still, we enjoyed a stroll around, and along the beautiful avenue that runs alongside the river. Back at the campsite some time chilling, drinking cider and playing cards. Ahhhhh.
All in all a successful first trip, hopefully the first of many great breaks with Brian.