Top 3 funny moments of 2012 at Campingninja HQ
14 December 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
I forgot my sausages!
It's hard to believe that 2012 is rapidly drawing to a close, it only seems like yesterday that we were wrestling with our tents over the Jubilee weekend, and with that in mind we thought we would bring you a little festive cheer by sharing our top 3 funny moments (in reverse order) of 2012...
3 "I've left my meat in the freezer" - picking up a phone call from an alarmed camper shouting "I've left my meat in the freezer!" baffled the team until we realised he was referring to some sausages he left behind in one of the campsite freezer's! Never a quiet day at Campingninja HQ, we hope he found them...
2 The camping experts...Supposedly - when the team camped at Blackheath Rugby Club and our Marketing Manager, a so called camping expert, forgot her entire kit bag and arrived on site with nothing but the clothes on her back and a pretty banner we laughed a lot! We hope meeting the press the next day with borrowed clothes and unruly hair taught her a valuable lesson...
3 Top 2012 moment...Drum roll please... Best ever quote - one of our campers seemed to have a bit of a tough time with some of the other campsite visitors when he posted this review; "At night there were so many midgets around we were bitten and had to spend from 16:30 in our tent!" We think he may have been referring to MIDGES not MIDGETS, or at least we hope so! Never the less we take our reviews seriously and all are seen by the campsite owners, so perhaps they will review the location of some of their pitches. Thanks for making our year!
We hope you enjoyed them,
The Campingninja Team!
Christmas Camping...Yes Camping at Christmas!!!!
07 December 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
Little Green Yurt
As we see our first traces of snow this week it may not seem like quite the ideal time of year to go camping...or is it?! Why miss out on waking up to the spectacular scene of rolling hills with a light dusting of the fluffy stuff when we have the perfect solution....The Little Green Yurt!
The Little Green Yurt sits peacefully on a hill overlooking a quiet corner of the Lake District National Park, just outside Broughton-in-Furness, cumbria. The Yurt itself is a genuine Mongolian yurt, i.e. designed to keep you toasty during a Gobi winter. Beautifully warm and snug with the wood-burner going, complete with quirky finishing touches and a bespoke bed, you will instantly feel festive - without the turkey and tinsel!
Enjoy the magic of life in a genuine Mongolian yurt. A gorgeous panorama stretches before you as you step out of our beautiful yurt - no buildings or roads are in sight, there are no neighbours, and this spectacular spot is yours to enjoy in peace and tranquillity! Pitched on a traditional working farm, this site has been carefully chosen to give you the best of the Lake District. The delights of the exquisite and little-known Duddon Valley are within walking distance, and famous Lakeland honey-pots are easily reached including Coniston. Broughton itself is a quiet and lovely, traditional and historic market town, with excellent shops, pubs, cafes, bakery and butchers, and accessible by footpath from your front door!
So have we convinced you to elope this Christmas, or perhaps you haven't’ made plans for the New Year yet? In which case you are in luck ,The Little Yurt is available and at an extra special festive rate, more than 50% off and it comfortably sleeps four so it’s perfect for couples, friends or even families, what are you waiting for take a look now!
40% of you camped MORE this year!
21 November 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
Earlier this month we sent out a survey to our campers to find out what you got up to this summer. A BIG thank you to all those who have taken part, it's so useful to hear your feedback and as always there have been some interesting results, which we thought you might like to hear...
- Despite enduring the wettest summer in 100 years, 40% of you actually camped more this summer! The key reasons being, lots of you camped during the Olympics and some of you were lucky enough to have more time on your hands or find more great campsites.
- South West and South East England are still your favourite camping regions, the reasons being these areas offer beautiful landscapes and great access to the outdoors and coast.
- The top factor you consider when booking a campsite...by a landslide(76% of you voted for this)...wait for it... GOOD SHOWERS AND TOILETS! Even before the actual location!
- When asked what you would like to see more of from Campingninja you said more great campsites and more recommendations on where to camp...we think that's doable!
So what does this mean for you?
At Campingninja we are so lucky to have great campers who regularly interact with us, so we take your comments seriously. In 2013 we will be continuing our mission to recruit more REAL campsites - so sites in picturesque locations with great access to the outdoors, that all in all are fairly basic, BUT have good shower and toilet facilities! That's a must! Our search for campsites will be nationwide but with a continued emphasis on the South East and South West so that we can keep supplying more campsites in your favourite places.
In our newsletters and regular blog posts we will also be recommending more great sites for you to explore. The more campsites we get on board the harder it is to choose one, so hopefully we can provide a bit more of a helping hand!
That being said don't forget to keep us posted on your latest camping news and campsites you think should be list with us by posting on our Facebook Page, we always love to hear from you.
The Campingninja Team
My day in Alfriston
07 November 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
Last week I was lucky enough to spend a day away from the laptop in the beautiful countryside around East Sussex to visit Campingninja's most popular site, Alfriston Camping Park. We were keen to find out what made this campsite so special and why so many of our ninja's love to camp here, and WOW we certainly found out why! Despite the chill in the air and the slightly damp ground underfoot even in the Winter Season this campsite is spectacular!
Surrounded by rolling hills and a small woodland area, greenery spans as far as the eye can see and there is a real calmness about this place. There are three main camping fields at Alfriston, the largest is where most will stay but there is also a small field adjacent for D of E groups and a third field to the rear of the campsite that is perfect for private parties/groups. Despite the site being so popular the campsite does not offer marked pitches or electric hook up, things are deliberately basic, pitches are spacious and there is plenty of room for campfires. This year the campsite will also be investing in some additional toilets and shower facilities at the top end of the main camping field, again they are basic but hot and powerful...after all there is nothing more irritating than a barely there shower!
However for me what really sets this campsite apart from the rest is the location. The site is only a 10 minute walk from the Centre of the quintessentially English Village of Alfriston. It was almost like stepping back in time, quirky shops and local pubs littered the high street, each offering a warm welcome and something unique and at the Centre of the Village was Alfriston Church, a beautiful structure set just in front of the South Downs Way, which you can pick up and head directly to Eastbourne along a picturesque four mile walk. You can literally walk out of the front gate of the site, head onto the South Downs and finish your day with a hearty meal and a pint of real ale in front of the open fire at one of the local pubs. There are also various local attractions within easy driving distance and next summer the local livery, also onsite, will be offering horse riding packages, brilliant for kids and for the more experienced riders you can now enjoy the South Downs on horseback!
I definitely intend to go back to Alfriston next year, and I would highly recommend it for couples, families, friends and anyone really looking for a fuss free long weekend break or even longer!With direct access to the South Downs it is also perfect for D of E groups and for those who may be planning a celebration or a big group get together that's a little different the private camping field could be just what you are looking for. I can certainly see why this site has been such a hit, and I am pleased to say that aside from some minor improvements there are no plans to change it, so heres to many more seasons to come!
26 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
The temperature has dropped like a stone and the clocks go back this weekend, so it can only mean one thing...Winter is on it's way! Sadly for some of us that means no more camping untill the spring, but for those evergreen campers amongst us we still have almost 50 fantastic campsites open throughout the Winter. Some of your favourites still open include;
Alfriston - perfect for exploring the South Downs and you can always warm yourself up around the campfire on this site
Two Acres Caravan and Camping Park - great for a peaceful break and winter walks along the river Cam in Ely, Cambridgeshire
Tatteshall Lakes Country Park - set amongst 325 acres of beautiful parkland in Lincolnshire, this site also offers the warmth of a campsite bar, restaurant, evening entertainment and an indoor swimming pool
North Lodge Eco Holidays - try camping with a twist in this remote area of pembrokeshire and if it's too cold to camp try one of the eco pods
Llairhillock Adult Only Camping Park - set in an area of outstanding beauty this site is perfectly located for ramblers, there are also a vast array of cultural attractions and cities to explore nearby such as Warwick Castle and startford Upon Avon.
Don't forget to keep us updated on your winter camping, post us your pics!
The Campingninja Team
Half term camping fun!
19 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
With half term around the corner we have almost 80 fantastic campsites still open and the best thing is there is lots of grass space available to pitch up, so here are a few autumn gems we have picked out...
Dernwood Farm Camping, West Sussex - set in 70 acres of woodland this is a family run farm where campfires are allowed and the opportunities to see wildlife are endless.
Fourways Campsite, York - the perfect rural getaway with a village pub only a 5 minute walk from the site, lots of wildlife, cycle rides, fishing and golf all on your doorstep.
Mid Wales Bunkhouse, Powys - from this site you can step out of the gate onto some superb cycling and walking tracks. Both the Glyndwrs Way and the Wye Valley pass close by this remote hideaway.
Introducing Campingninja Villages...
19 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
We are delighted to announce the latest string to our camping bow, Camp at my Event. Inspired by the success of Camping at the Games; where we operated 12 temporary urban campsites for the biggest show on earth; and by the incredible feedback from campers, we are now rolling out campsites and pre-erected camping villages at sports, music and outdoor events across the country. We aim to deliver real camping without the fuss, perfect for parties of any size.
We are passionate about camping and want to ensure that it is accessible for all at large scale multi day events where camping is either not yet an option or campers are restricted by the camping currently on offer. We want to share our love of camping and expertise by providing a secure, convenient and affordable alternative to other accommodation where it is not yet available - meaning more people will be able to attend events, whether it be in a pitch your own or a high quality pre-erected tent.
For some events camping is just not an option and there is a lot to consider when setting up a campsite such as space, safe access, security, even managing bookings and many more considerations. BUT for many events it is just not an option YET, and with the right team on board, setting up a campsite can be a reality.
If you want to hear more about this latest venture click here, alternatively if you have are an event and are interested in hearing more contact Katie@campingninja.com or call 01252 279123.
Action packed camping with the South West Lakes Trust!
12 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
If you are looking for an action packed half term or even a bit of peace and tranquillity the South West Lakes Trust operates 50 inland water sites set in beautiful surroundings across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset. At each site there are a whole host of activities to choose from including water sports, walking, cycling, fishing and educational projects.
The Trust is the region's largest environmental and recreational charity and it aims to protect and conserve the natural environment for green campers like us to enjoy! That being said at five of these fabulous lakes you can also camp, these include: Wimbleball Lake and Roadford Lake in Devon and Stithians Lake, Siblyback Lake and Tamar Lakes in Cornwall. This is what our campers say about them:
"Siblyback is a great place to go for watersports, cycling, walking and many more activities but also just for doing nothing and watching the world go by. The toilet block has been upgraded and the showers are great, there are designated washing up facilities as well as a chemical waste point. We have been to Siblyback in our campervan a few times now and we think it is excellent site and will most certainly go back to it many more times. The people are friendly, the views great and you come away feeling truly rejuvenated. A great place to go." Rose, Truro, Cornwall
"Absolutely brilliant weekend, despite the not so good weather. The staff were helpful and friendly and the site was relaxed. The regulars were really welcoming. Really clean site, great facilities and the activities were brilliant. The children had a great time. The only thing the place lacked was an adventure play area for the kids - for older children not really young kids as this is not really a place for young children. I believe there is planning permission for this and will be coming in the future. We will definitely be going back and are considering membership too." Tracey, Exeter, Devon.
So what are you waiting for, book now because these sites are only open until the end of the month!
The Campingninja Team
Campingninja helped to raise over £3000 for Byte Night...and survived the rain!
08 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
I am delighted to say that after spending a very cold wet night (without a tent) in Forbury Park, Reading, on Friday I have lived to tell the tale! The weather report was spot on when it predicted heavy downpours for the entire night, from about 5pm it began and had only just stopped when I surfaced from my sleeping bag at 6am the following morning!
I have to say I won't be giving up my tent again in a hurry but I did feel priviledged to have been involved in such an incredible event where hundreds of thousands of pounds was raised for Action for Children. The exact total raised across the 5 sleep outs is not yet known but we are hoping to have broken the £5m mark since the event began 15 years ago!
Prior to the event we heard from some of the young adults that Action for Children has helped and it really brought home to us why we were there. For various different reasons the young girls we heard from were homeless with nobody to turn to when they found Action for Children, but now the charity has transformed their lives. The girls were not just given a quick fix solution but have received on going support to get rehoused and back into education and work and the money raised from Byte Night goes a long way in funding this valuable support network.
The spirits amongst sleepers were also running high, there was a real sense of pride following the money we had raised and the camaraderie helped to keep out the rain! I definitely intend to take part in the event again and would advise that if you are an IT professional or a local business in the Thames Valley, London, Cambridge, Edinburgh or Belfast area that you take a look here and consider getting involved in the Action for Children's biggest fundraising event next year...And one last thing a HUGE thank you to everyone who sponsored the Reading RFC sleep out team, we couldn't have done it without your support!
Campingninja sleeps rough for charity!
05 October 2012 : Written by Katie Astbury
Tonight I will be bedding down in Forbury Park in Reading Town Centre - this time without a tent - only a sleeping bag and a woolly hat to shelter me from the treacherous weather conditions that surely have been sent to test us?! Why am I doing this you ask? All to raise money for an incredible cause, Action for Children, and I will be joined by over 200 other (slightly mad) fundraisers from across the Thames Valley who have a passion for helping the homeless. I will be sleeping out on behalf of Campingninja as part of the Reading RFC team, my local rugby club, and I am delighted to report that so far we have raised almost £3000 and the donations are still rolling in - perhaps the weather has made people take pity on us...
“The south eastern corner looks set for very wet conditions on Friday before the rain eases away in the morning. Later in the day further outbreaks of heavy rain look likely to push up from the south west, and in total well over 50mm of rain could be recorded in some parts. The downpours are being caused by warm and moist air from ex-hurricane Nadine clashing with cooler air over the UK.” The Weather Outlook
For those of you who may not know a lot about what Action for Children do, it is a charity very much devoted to finding a long term solution by offering early intervention to children and young adults who find themselves homeless or in danger, often because they have had to flee some form of mental or physical abuse. Across the UK last year approximately 100,000 young people were registered homeless, what sort of start in life is this for so many? Action for Children aims break the deprivation cycle by getting these people off the streets and giving them the tools they need to start rebuilding their lives. With this in mind Byte Night was set up 15 years ago to raise awareness of the charity by encouraging people like me to swap their cosy beds for just one night to sample on a very small scale what a homeless person experiences on a daily basis. The event has now become the charities biggest fundraiser and so far has raised a staggering £4.3million and this year will be hoping to surpass the £5m mark!
As well as the Thames Valley sleep out’s will be taking place in London, Cambridge, Belfast and Edinburgh this evening as over 1000 sleepers endure potentially one of the wettest Byte Night’s to date! It’s certainly going to be a long night, but one which the Campingninja team believe will be incredibly worthwhile, will my special Bear Grylls style ninja training keep me warm and safe tonight??....Find out on Monday!
For more information on Action for Children or Byte Night please click here, and a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored Reading RFC.