A WEEKEND CAMPING IN KINGSDOWN

A couple of weeks ago, Gary and I booked the Friday off work.

We bundled ourselves into a friend’s pickup, with tents, sleeping bags and essential road trip snacks, and drove down to Kingsdown in Kent for a camping weekend filled with sun(burn), sea and cider…

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Kingsdown Camping is a massive field placed right on top of the White Cliffs. There’s an AMAZING view of the sea from the top of the campsite, and it’s only a 20 minute drive to Dover.

There are proper toilets and proper showers, and the £25 we each paid for our two night stay also includes the rental of a fire pit, a table and benches to sit on. (Not that we needed or used them because I think we took about a million deckchairs with us and they were much comfier!)

Our group arrived first, so we managed to grab a good spot for our group of thirteen.

The crucial thing is to find a balance between being close enough to the toilets that you don’t have to walk 5 miles in the dark to find them, but far enough away from families and children that you don’t bother them when you’re playing drinking games at 11 o’clock at night…

And I’m happy to say we nailed it.

We were right by the beach path, with plenty of space for our multiple tents, cars and deckchairs (GOD. SO MANY DECKCHAIRS), and far enough away from everyone else to not be a bother.

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After we’d set up our tents (and deckchairs), we had a wander down to the beach, and Gary and I found a little footpath that led right up the cliffs.

The views were absolutely stunning, but kinda ruined by the fact that at this point I realised that the strong wind had successfully hidden the fact that actually the sun was HOT and I was burning. Had burnt. Was burnt.

Well done me.

I was pink. So very very pink. Which meant that I got to spend the rest of the weekend sat in the shade, wrapped up in jeans and a hoodie, whilst everyone else laid around the grass and soaked up the sun.

Sigh. Remember your sunscreen kids!

The boys played football, we all played rounders, we stocked up on cider and BBQ food at the local Tesco’s, and then we settled in for a nice quiet evening around the campfire… (Hahahaha. As if. We got drunk and played “I Have Never”. Obviously.)

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We failed at cooking on the camp fire by the way. If anyone was wondering.

Half-cooked burgers are SO not the one…

We did manage to cook bacon sandwiches and make tea on a portable stove the next morning. Three cheers for the one and only couple that remembered to bring that with them.

But after that we pretty much gave up the idea of cooking anything ourselves and just headed straight to the nearest beachside pub (5 minutes down the road!) for lunch.

We walked past the cutest cottages on the way, and I ran halfway down the beach to take photos of the beach huts too. Because I’m a blogger and taking photos of beach huts is what we do best.

The rest of the afternoon was spent soaking up the sun (or the shade, in my case…) and playing more rounders and drinking more cider.

And then for dinner we ordered Dominos.

Yeah. I know.

I wish I could say I’m sorry and ashamed but guys. GUYS. It came to about £4 each, they delivered it straight to the campsite reception and none of us got food-poisoning from under-cooked burgers.

I feel like that’s a pretty solid defence for our life (and dinner) choices, right?

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The next morning dawned bright and early. Very early.

I’d had a little stalk on Instagram of our location (does anyone else do this? It’s SUCH a great way to find pretty places to photograph!) and spotted this gorrrrgeous sunrise shot.

We figured out which way was east (YES. I FINALLY GOT TO USE MY iPHONE’S COMPASS APP!), and confirmed that yep, we’d definitely have a fantastic view of the sunrise from our little spot on the beach.

So I made Gary wake up early on Sunday and push through his brutal hangover to come watch the sunrise with me. Because yes, apparently I CAN be both romantic and mean at the same time.

And guys? It was so worth the early wake up call.

The clouds were low in the sky, so we missed the ACTUAL sunrise, but oh it was so lovely anyway! Pink skies, birds singing… absolute peace and tranquility.

And then we went back to bed and slept until 9am because it was Sunday after all…

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On our last morning, we brought down the tents, cleared the campsite, burnt all the rubbish, and left everything looking clean and tidy (because we’re good little campers). Then we drove down to the village of Deal.

We’d driven past this GLORIOUSLY flowery street on our first day, and decided it would be the perfect place to hunt down a roast dinner and an ice cream before we drove back to London.

Guys, I think I took about eleventy billion photos.

The street, the pub, the houses… IT WAS ALL JUST SO PRETTY. I could have sat and stared for days.

After a (distinctly average) roast dinner, we wandered down the pier for an ice cream and a look at what the fisherman had caught that morning.

Tip: The coconut ice cream from the pier shop is EVERYTHING THAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE ENGLISH SEASIDE. I’m pretty sure it’s ruined me for all future ice creams.

Finally, after a few more photos of the flowery houses (#sorrynotsorry) we piled into cars and drove back to London…

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Things I learned on my first proper camping trip that wasn’t supervised by adults (because guys I’M the adult now. WTF.)

  • I really like camping.
  • I’d like to go camping again.
  • We need to buy a gas camping stove thing to make tea and bacon sandwiches with when we go camping again.
  • Dominos is a life saver.
  • REMEMBER THE SUN CREAM.
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  • Looks like an amazing weekend. Alex and I really want to give camping more of a go. We do it at music festivals and its basic and it now hurts because I’m getting old!! Next time, inflatable mattress thing, blankets, the works. You’re persuading me to give it a go.

    K.

    http://www.wonderingthrough.co.uk

  • ninegrandstudent

    Despite me not being the hugest fan of camping (a case of hypothermia the one and only time I tried it puts me off!) this looks and sounds like an absolutely perfect weekend. Sunburn and raw burgers aside.

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

  • This looks like the best trip ever! So excited to be off camping myself next weekend.
    Also I love that you ended up ordering Dominos – that is 110% something I would do!
    X

    http://thecornishlife.co.uk

  • reneejessome

    Aw this sounds SO fun!! We haven’t had a chance to go camping this summer!

    Renee | Life After Lux

  • This is my idea of a perfect weekend, not that I’ve ever been camping but if I were to go I’d like it to be identical to your trip – it all looks so dreamy!

  • Amazing pictures as always! So pretty, that street with all the flowers looks incredible. I’ve not been camping for years, but this post makes me want to head down to Kent and camp up for a few nights. I’ll remember the sun cream!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

  • Bethan

    This sounds like such a great weekend and your photos are lovely! I really love camping, should make the effort to do it more often. It is such a cheap way to see new places! xx

    http://www.bethanlikes.com

  • This looks like the most perfect way to spend the weekend, such a gorgeous setting! I’ve been meaning to spend a weekend in a similar way but had been eyeing up “glamping” alternatives (mostly due to Scotland’s unrepentant rain) but this just looks ideal x

    Charlotte / Colours & Carousels

  • meg

    I’m glad you took eleventy billion photos of that street because holy moly, it’s gorgeous? Sounds like you had an amazing (and painful due to sunburn) weekend. I’ve never actually been camping in my life? I need to change this. And this looks like a great place to go!

    Also, I initially read Kingsdown as King’s Landing, and started humming the GoT theme to myself as I read this…

    Meg | Elmpetra

  • Looks like you had an amazing time! Love all the flowers, and the food looks so good!

    http://www.whynotblog.co.uk

  • Not only am I jealous you went camping and had a cheeky domino’s but I’m really in love with your pics and I want to go where you went!!

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

  • Well this is all kinds of gorgeous but Katy, did you take deckchairs…? Jokes.
    Looks amazing and makes me want to camp by the sea again soon but i suspect 6 year old tents that you put away wet and banished from your memory are SO not the one. Nope. Nuh-uh.
    M x

  • Definitely don’t blame you for ordering a Dominos! I live reasonably near to Dover and while I’m not a fan of the town itself, I do love the views from the cliffs at this time of year. Your photos are stunning :) xx

    Toasty

  • Sophie

    Ah this looks like the perfect way to spend a weekend. Camping with friends is the best!
    Sophie
    x
    A Story of a Girl

  • Looks and sounds like such a fab little trip! So cheap as well, £25 for 2 nights?! Bargain! The streets look BLOOMIN gorgeous!

    hannatalks