Abby Lacey

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A very happy camper – part 2

bodiamThe following morning, with heavy heads from a little too much rose, we headed to the medieval Bodiam Castle. Being a wonderfully warm and sunny day (I think the best day of the year), the sight of the castle was incredible – an archetypal 14th century moated castle.

After a rummage through the gift shop, and quick pitstop at the cafe, we walked through the grounds of the castle seeing authentic silversmiths and armourers working in a medieval village and then came across archery tuition – 40 arrows for £15; how could we say no?

Having done a little archery before; firstly in the back garden (where I could quite easily have killed a passer by with my flying arrow) and secondly in France with Vincent, a hyper-active activity leader at Parc de Ferbois, but not really had a proper lesson.

The tutor was amazing – he taught Sam, D and me, one by one, pulling our arms, tweaking our hips and generally moulding us to get us in the right position. Whether it was luck or just good teaching, I managed to hit the bullseye (the golden circle), a boar’s bum and a deer in leg!

Bodiam Castle (15)

Afterwards we headed to the towers where, having climbed steep and narrow spiral staircases, we reached the views over the beautiful Weald of Kent.

Finally, tired and hungry, we popped over the road to The Castle Inn for a spot of lunch before driving back to the campsite for… more rose!

yogi - white back

#40b440 – Check out my daily updates on Twitter and Instagram, plus see the full list in pictures on Pinterest.

You can also sponsor me for the London to Windsor bike ride, here.

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A very happy camper – part 1

camp lacey

Camp Lacey!

On a sunny Friday afternoon, we bravely (or stupidly) drove round the M25 to the little village of Goudhurst in Kent. We were heading for Bedgebury Camping just outside the village; a Cool Camping-recommended site billed as: “Spacious, chilled-out camping with plenty of outdoor attractions nearby” and it didn’t disappoint.

Having stocked up on supplies on the way, we set up camp and before we knew it were tucking into barbecued sausages and chicken, and a chilled glass of rose. Dylan had (for the first time ever) bravely approached a boy of similar age and said, “Hey dude, what’s your name?” only to then disappear for the rest of the evening with Dude AKA Daniel.

By 10pm we were enjoying the brilliant night sky with (more rose and) my first ever campfire.


Having previously run pubs with fireplaces, you’d think I could start a fire dead easily, but alas, I always managed to find someone to do this for me (never one to get my hands dirty unless absolutely necessary!). Sam guided me through the process of it and actually it really is very easy (I even made one uninstructed the following night which roared like a lion!!).

Come back to find out about my experience with a deer, a boar and an golden circle!

yogi - white back

#40b440 – Check out my daily updates on Twitter and Instagram, plus see the full list in pictures on Pinterest.

You can also sponsor me for the London to Windsor bike ride, here.

Carry on Camping!

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So, I got to Crowborough from London, later than hoped, went on a Magical Mystery Tour on a bus and finally got to the campsite…

As I walked through the gate of the campsite, I thought how lovely it looked and prayed that Sam had managed to get the tent up without too much swearing, throwing objects around and being told, “You’re doing it wrong, Daddy”.

Alas my fears were confirmed when I saw Dylan in the car gesticulating and Sam throwing the tent around because it wouldn’t ‘bloody stand up’. I hasten to add that having had a very busy few weeks, our plan to practice putting the tent up prior to actually going camping was kiboshed so that the tent was still brand new, out of the box and stuck together! Finally the tent went up and we proceeded to unpack the rest of our car-full of gear.

The tent felt like home – it was ours and no one elses, mess yes, but ours!

The weekend went swimmingly with fry-ups both mornings, a little shopping in Tunbridge Wells (I found the most amazing shop: Jeremy’s Home Store where I bought the sign above!), a new blow-up bed for Sam and I (ours had a puncture and we ended up sleeping pretty much on the ground on Friday night), and food and booze galore!

Perhaps not a ‘real’ camping trip drinking Prosecco on a Saturday night whilst playing Ludo, but all the same thoroughly enjoyable! Suffice it to say, our next trip (after our glamping trip planned to France) is already booked and I’m thinking this could be the new thing for us – back to nature and all that… although I’m pretty sure I’m a fair weather camper and will always want a clean loo and a shower at the end of the day!


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The Great Outdoors… with a bit of shopping!

Last weekend we ventured forth and went camping for the first time.

Being a person who generally likes home comforts, my own loo and a shower at least once a day, I was naturally dubious (yet ever hopeful) that the trip would go well.


tentWe decided to get into this camping malarkey a couple of months ago when our local garden centre had a camping convention on! We visited it three times, each time looking at different tents of vastly different costs, before settling for a mid-range one (which was still very expensive). It didn’t stop there, I then went into over-drive buying all the kit from camping stove to collapsible salad bowl, cutlery, tupperware salt & pepper sets – you name it, we got! Talk about ‘all the gear and no idea‘!

The Trip

So I booked a trip away for the weekend to Crowborough in East Sussex via my new Camping & Caravanning Club membership (another ‘must have’!). I didn’t really know anything about the place apart from that it would be far enough away from home that I couldn’t escape, but close enough that it wouldn’t take hours to get home! What I hadn’t factored in was that I was on a course in London until 5pm on the Friday and that Sam would have to pack the car, pick Dylan up from school and then drive down, pitch the tent and wait for yours truly to rock up.

Suffice it to say, after missing the train I should have caught, I finally arrived at Crowborough station. As Sam was busy erecting the tent, I was hoping to catch a cab to the campsite – no cabs – but there was a bus. I asked the driver if he went to the campsite; he looked at me blankly but a friendly old chap shouted from the back telling him where to drop me. The bus trundled round the town from one end to the other until finally the driver told me this was the last stop – I swear I was only 500 yards from where I’d got on the the bus – I asked him where I should go now but he was unsure and pointed vaguely in the direction of the crossroads. At this point it had started to rain – not hard, but that horrid ‘wet rain’ as I call it; a fine mist that seems to manage to get you soaked! Luckily I still had 7% battery left on my phone, so went into maps and followed the route out of town, down the hill, where eventually I found the campsite up a long drive…

More to follow