Keeping it real since 1982! - a real life glimpse into a family run campsite in Cumbria, North Lakes
I have been meaning to write and keep you all up to date for a while now but to be honest we haven't had a moment. However yesterday I was reading about search engine optimization and apparently having an active blog can help so i thought I better pull my finger out 🤣🤣.
So we are open!!!! I still look out of my window and can't quite believe it's happened. We applied for a farm diversification grant in order to be able to afford to open and I started applying for that about 24 months ago. In order to complete the application I had to complete a business plan which I had no idea about so it's all been a bit of challenge and to be honest I wasn't always sure that I could do it.
I'd like to be able to tell you that opening was a well organised and seamless affair but I would be lying 😂😂. The reality was that the Hubby had left everything to the last minute again and as the first campers arrived he was still moving scrap metal whilst I shouted abuse at him. But that's pretty much the story of our life so at least we stayed authentic???
We had arranged an Easter Sunday Family Fun Day in order to raise funds for the Sunderland NeoNatal unit who looked after our little boy and I don't mind telling you that I was probably the most nervous I had ever been. In fact I was like that when we first started taking bookings. I kept ringing my best friend and having the same conversation:
"Dan, people keep booking", "yes you spanner that's the idea", she would reply. This went on until we were full on our opening weekend and to top it off we raised £500 for the Sunderland NeoNatal unit.
Our reviews have been mostly positive and the words of support and encouragement from campers has been overwhelming. When your venturing into the unknown and your doubting yourself and your vision, those little words of encouragement really do mean so much. So thank you to each and every one of you.
It hasn't all been plain sailing, leaving the Hubby in charge of bookings proved not to be my smartest idea and we have had issues with the toilet block as we are not on mains sewage and an excessive use of toilet paper caused us some problems 🙈🙈but 99% of feedback has been amazing and very encouraging.
I'm not going to lie when we thought about this idea the constant little niggle I had was "what if we hate having other people here". I kept thinking what if we invest all this money and we hate it!!!! But I am happy to report we have genuinely loved having you all here.
My father in law is hilarious, after years of not leaving the farm it's like we have brought civilization to him, he quite often takes himself down for a wander and a craic with the campers. A downside to this is every morning he now appears in my kitchen, normally when I am trying to feed the tribe and compose my thoughts for the day. He asks who is arriving and I tell him two tents and four caravans for example. However that is not the information he wants, he wants to know where they are travelling from, their inside leg measurement and their opinions on Brexit, so if the questions on the booking in form become a little more intrusive please excuse me 🤣🤣 but I can't cope with the disapproving glares when I don't have your full life story before you arrive.
Bertie is loving having other kids here and when he saw a kick about happening down the campsite he literally thought it was Christmas. It's funny having kids, you spend your whole life striving to achieve what you consider the ideal for them and when you get there, they have other ideas. I grew up on a council estate just outside of London and I would have given anything for the childhood mine have. However Bertie is furious we don't live on an estate as he would always have someone to play football with 🤷♀️🤷♀️.
We had at the start said the kids weren't allowed down to the campsite but watching all the kids play I couldn't deprive them. However before I let them down I recreated a scene from one of my favorite programs.
I am pleased to report it worked and I had no complaints 😂, It's probably me that has found it hardest to adjust and the realization I can no longer walk around in my pajamas with no bra on is still something I am coming to terms with, but having people to drink gin with has been great 🤣🤣.
So whats next?? The pods are being installed next week so this will give our campers more option. I am now back at work as there is still so much we want to do and the more income coming in the quicker this will happen. We want to install a purpose built toilet block, open the access into the village and plant some hedgerows and trees.
Life is just crazy busy at the moment and it is a struggle to stay on top of everything but I can honestly say we are all enjoying it and it's been great meeting all off you.
So for now I better go as we have campers arriving (it still feels a bit weird saying that).
Massive thanks to you all and much love,