We pitched up at Forest Edge campsite in Ringwood on perhaps the hottest day of the year so far. Fortunately, we were situated a stones throw from a lovely, inviting swimming pool……which we soon discovered wasn’t open until the day after we would finish camping. Never mind, we could still take advantage of the facilities on the nearby campsite, but once again, this too didn’t open fully until 2nd June. There was a heated indoor pool though, so it wasn’t all bad.
After a fairly long walk through Hurn Forest we arrived at the sister campsite and spent almost two hours in the pool, Charlotte spending most of her time jumping in the big pool with armbands and swimming under water in the toddler pool without armbands. William made equal progress by finally giving in to wearing armbands which took rather a lot of persuading, but he seemed to discover the benefits fairly quickly.
From experience we knew that the children probably wouldn’t go to sleep until dark, so we played and entertained them well into the evening. It was then we noticed that we were located next to possibly the noisiest and busiest dual carriageway in the South. The A31 is very popular with fast cars with loud exhaust pipes, Harley Davisons and the sirens of the emergency services. This went on all night long and once the children eventually went to bed we managed only half an hour sleep ourselves.
The next day was rather exhausting, but we decided to visit Poole harbour which was lovely, all the old buildings and quaint streets were very characteristic. I really liked the place and the children enjoyed spotting various boats and places to enjoy ice cream.
In the afternoon we ventured to Bournemouth, we went to the Winter Gardens and feed the pigeons and squirrels with monkey nuts, the children would squeal in delight if a brave visitor would take food from their hands. After a while we decided to go on the beach and spoil ourselves with Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips which were very disappointing, such a rip off.
We didn’t stay long in the beach as feared for our safety, there were people swearing, smoking weed, getting drunk, verbally abusing the elderly, literally fighting over deck chairs, letting their toddlers wander out of sight, it was society at it’s worst, most worrying.
That evening we had great fun with the children, we played ball-tag, hide and seek, eye spy, explored the campsite by torch light and generally had lots of fun as a family. Sleep was better, we were running on empty by this point but managed a few hours between us. Despite the children going to bed at about 11pm, they still manage to wake at 6am or 7am! How is that possible?
We had a fantastic day in Christchurch where we found a great play park and water park for the children.
We walked along the quay which was very pretty and counted about 20 swans. William pointed out every single boat which was slightly boring after a while but he thought it was great fun. We stopped for fish and chips in a little chippy in the town centre which was a vast improvement on Harry Ramsden’s. Eating in a restaurant with my two is something I dread, neither of them are easily distracted, bribed or tempted by food and neither of them will sit still for more that a minute. However, it must have been the sea air as they were so well behaved and even ate some of their meal without throwing food, throwing cutlery or throwing up. Such a bonus.
The evening was spent reading Snow White to Charlotte a number of times, followed by William wanting to twang the guide ropes much to our annoyance. A slightly earlier night was enjoyed by us all, even giving us adults a little time to ourselves which was lovely.
The last day arrived quickly, the morning was spent packing up and dismantling the tent, just in time too as the weather turned and the rains came down. All in all, a fairly good start to our camping holidays for 2012. Can’t wait to go again.