Time is our most precious commodity – being with people you love is what this life is all about. Modern life challenges our ability to obtain that longed for work–life balance. In what seems like the longest ever ascent from winter to spring, quality family time has been in short supply: Rob started the year with pneumonia 😦 and has been travelling to and from the US with work (thank goodness he has a break from all that for now).
It has made it even more important that we maximise our time at weekends. One thing we love is to get out to the coast: fresh air and space do us all the world of good. When we were chosen by Bumble Campers to have a complimentary campervan for a weekend, there was only one thing we were going to do: find a free weekend and drive to the seaside. 😉
Living in Ely, we’re close enough to the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts for day trips, and as we had the campervan for two full days, we spent one day at each: Southwold in Suffolk and Old Hunstanton in Norfolk.
It was a short hop over the Fenland countryside to collect the Bumble camper from their base in Peterborough (they also have one in Manchester). The boys loved exploring the van’s features and drawing all over the paintwork. Don’t worry … it’s totally within the rules! Special paint allows you to have creative fun with chalk – shame it didn’t withstand the overnight rain…
#bumbleabout number 1
Saturday’s road trip took us across to Southwold. It was a great chance to play some CDs, which we never really do now that we have Spotify (other streaming services are available 😉 ). We dug out a few old favourites, and while we were unable to play song requests from the boys, it did mean we could introduce them to a few new bands!
They had fun playing “Bumble Bingo” – or “Bumblebee Bingo” if you’re Ben 😉 – and we spotted many of the items on the game card.
Predicting a cool day, Rob cooked a chilli on Friday night so we could have a warming lunch. It was super simple to heat up on the camping stove that sits on a ‘kitchen’ shelf. They really have thought of everything: a self-charging leisure battery powers a cool box and electric tap and all the cooking & eating essentials are provided, as well as a folding table and camping chairs.
Yeah, that was a very chilly day! Why do children never seem to feel the cold? 🙂 After some sand digging, bubble bursting and frisbee throwing, we walked into the town to buy a fish & chip supper. By then the breeze was too cold to eat down by the beach, more’s the pity, but it was a good chance to make more use of the camper.
Before heading home, we drove to nearby Walberswick where we parked up and warmed some milk for hot chocolate & marshmallows. As the sun began to set, it was time to head home with two sleepy boys.
#bumbleabout number 2
We added a football to the frisbee and bucket & spade, replenished the cool box and went on our way to Old Hunstanton. The A10 was surprisingly clear – it was possibly because the weather forecast wasn’t favourable (which, fortunately, was wrong!) and we got there in about an hour.
Chef Rob made bacon butties for brunch while the boys played in the sunshine – yes, sunshine, and they didn’t need their coats!! 🙂 With tummies satisfied, we headed down to the sea. Old Hunstanton has miles of sandy beaches with a backdrop of dunes & beach huts.
The beach became busier throughout the day with families flocking to get a bit of seaside sun. We were treated to a really pleasant few hours of proper spring weather. At last!
We had an early dinner at a local pub, but not before a quick change of clothes for the boys – both had managed to smuggle a quarter of the beach in their welly boots & socks, as only children can! Blackout blinds are provided with the camper, so we didn’t have to worry about privacy. Having a roof box meant we could contain the sand-covered items in one place and vacuum up the mess back at home.
As it was back to school for the boys the next day, we headed home late afternoon, sad in the knowledge that we’d be returning the Bumble camper the next day, but happy after making so many new family memories.
I would like to end by mentioning a few more features of the Bumble camper, as we were really impressed. Inside, there is seating for four around a small portable table (which we also used outside). Our campervan could sleep two by opening out a futon-style mattress. There is also an option to sleep four with a roof tent large enough for two adults!
There is a storage cupboard, small safe for valuables and a charger for your mobile devices. We can understand why it’s such a big hit with festival goers and anyone wishing to go away on a budget: where else can you find your travel and accommodation from as little as £19? 🙂
Being no wider than a standard road car, we had no issue with parking, either by the roadside or in car parks. It’s also very easy and great fun to drive. 🙂
We loved our family road trips: search for #bumbleabout to see other travellers’ adventures!
Bye for now!
Disclosure: The weekend’s use of the campervan was complimentary, and, as ever, all views expressed are my own.