We came back from Dorset yesterday. We were camping in a tent. It rained. There was a fair amount of chip-eating and body-slamming with air beds. Camping in Dorset is an Experience, yes, and probably the children loved it deep down (somewhat deeper than the place that made them say “Can we go back to London?”)  but it was not a villa in Greece, with a pool and warm air and goats tinkling in the distance. If you know what I am saying.


Ode to Dorset

Dorset, you are green and lush,

And you have some cute villages in the style of the Cotswolds,

And your pubs promise things like cream teas and apple cakes.

There is much to like.

BUT! Dorset! You are WET! You rain,

And you blow a wind that makes me shiver in my summer frocks.

To be fair, it is mid-summer,

But hardened campers know that jeans and raincoats are appropriate attire.

And you have an alarmingly high number of

Pregnant teenagers.

And too many chips on the pub menus.

Not even Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall can save you. 

Dorset – you need to sharpen up.


Yeah. Camping is kind of cold, windy, and rainy. We were camping on a farm, in a paddock. There was very little to do, once one exited the tent, other than to visit the toilet blocks or wash the dishes. Never before have I witnessed such competition as to whose turn it was to wash them. We were overlooking Chesil Beach, which gave me some literary excitement, but not much. The children were excited to be sleeping on airbeds, but soon discovered they could double-up as a)weapons; b)castle walls; and c)mini trampolines, which upset Mark who was taking the camping trip Rather Seriously. And sincerely too, I think. He wistfully remarked, during the first downpour, that “the sound of the rain on the tent roof is so relaxing, isn’t it?”. I do not think the rain + tent equation is ever really good, especially when I am pregnant and have to traverse three paddocks to get to the loos at 3am EVERY MORNING.


Glamorous? Stylish? MY ARSE.

We did have a trip to Weymouth, which of course involved chips. And some insane large seagulls who kept diving in to steal the very food off our plates. They made the thieving London pigeons look like lightweights. Here is Weymouth:



We also did the obligatory hour-long trip to the River Cottage Canteen where I ate Hugh’s mutton merguez with lentils and spiced yoghurt. That was good. As was the little farm in Abbotsbury where the children paraded goats on leads, rode ponies and worried the guinea pigs. And then the rain came.


Our camping buddies asked us “Will you camp again?” to which I replied that I would. With warm clothes, rugs, cocoa, more novels and dvds, a nanny, red wine, thermals and the promise of a remedial week in Greece. Maybe.

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3 Responses to Dorset

  1. Little Brown Bird says:

    Chesil Beach reminds me of my A Level Geography field trip (age 17) What an experience. Glad you had a good time x

  2. Lisa says:

    Me thinks a villa you would be ore suited too. I would have packed up the first day of rain. You are a trooper for sticking it out.

  3. Anya says:

    You even make camping in a paddock in the rain sound interesting to read about.

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