After a hiatus from blogging we’re kicking off with a smasher! We have just had a brilliant weekend camping on Brownsea Island in Dorset. Brownsea Island is a National Trust property just off the south coast of England in Poole Harbour. The island itself is 1 1⁄2 miles long and 3⁄4mile wide and consists of 500 acres of woodland, heathland and marsh. The perfect place to explore and enjoy a wild weekend.
We caught the ferry across to the island at 9:30am on Saturday. Very exciting for the children, especially the younger two as they’ve never been on a ferry before. Upon arrival we loaded our luggage onto a trailer and made the 30 minute walk to the campsite. In just the first 10 minutes we had already seen red squirrels, a deer, many peacocks and chicken roaming about.
At the campsite we checked in, booked our meal times and picked up our tent and luggage. Whilst setting up the tent E realised he couldn’t find his iPad, cue many tears as he worried it had been left on the ferry. Thankfully Daddy found it packed safely in one of our bags.
With the tent up and our tummies rumbling we decided to pick up our adventure pack and explore the island. Our first stop was the cafe, located at the quay where we started. It seemed a long walk and E was struggling a little. At the cafe we all chose something yummy for lunch. We enjoyed looking out over the water, watching the boats come and go, and spotting fish.
After lunch we went off in search of the natural play area, another 30 minute walk. E was now finding it very difficult and we had to keep stopping. Little S enjoyed finding lots of interesting object on our walk, collecting them in her bucket. We found the play area and the girls went straight for the parkour/assault course. E took a while to feel able to explore.
There was lots to do from den building to playing on the rope swing. We found a tiny fairy door in an old tree trunk that really opened. Little S made a nature soup for me out of mud, leaves and sticks – yummy! After a while playing we walked back to our camp for a game of frisbee.
At the campsite there was plenty to do. The children all enjoyed the archery range, E especially spent a great deal of time there perfecting his aim. Even Daddy and I joined in, with Daddy and R competing against each other.
At 5:30 we went to get our dinner, Mexican chicken/Mexican bean chili. The children all tried the meal but none were particularly keen (not quite the same as mummy makes it) thankfully I’d packed some mug pasta meals so quickly whipped those up for them. Afterwards there was desert of different flavour cakes.
After dinner the kiddies put on their onesies and we joined the rest of the camp around the fire for a sing-along. The were some great camp fire songs, many I knew from my time as a girl guide. E isn’t a singing person so he went for a little wander with Daddy. They did join us for the last couple of songs and we all enjoyed roasting marshmallows on the fire. R managed to get herself all sticky so needed a quick shower before bed.
In the morning we woke early, Daddy watched the sunrise whilst I had lovely cuddles in bed with the younger kiddies. R was the last one awake as is usually the case. Breakfast was bacon sandwiches for the meat eaters and veggie sausage sandwiches for the veggies. There was also a selection of fruit and cereal.
After breakfast the girls and I joined some of the other campers for a seashore ramble. I’ve never seen so many crabs in one morning before. Some were as tiny as my little finger nail, whilst others filled the palm of my hand. We also found the empty shells of crabs who had outgrown them and shed their shells. We found sea anenomes, little shrimp, sandhoppers, cockles and one large fish that had been caught out by the low tide. Surprisingly it was hiding under a rock, alive, waiting for the tide to come back in.
After our ramble we packed up our tent and belongings, loaded them back onto the trailer and walked that long walk back to the quay. Arriving before our luggage we popped into the cafe for a slice of cake and a drink. Our ferry arrived and took us on a tour through Poole Harbour, before dropping us of at the quay. Our little holiday complete, we headed home.
Brownsea island you have been amazing, see you again soon.