Boy oh boy did it take me a long time to post this! I have a couple of others from this weekend too and I think we were there back in.. May? I was definitely in a blogging slump at the time and so I’ll blame that but I have a bunch of stuff from earlier this year that I still want to share so prepare for some throwback magic in the next week or so that I’m getting out of the way before we get in to all things FESTIVE!!
So way back some time in Spring, Lee and I were invited with Milo (and Ella but she had a better offer – pre-teens!) down to Devon to stay at Berridon Farm. The drive from Yorkshire was nothing short of hellish but once we arrived it almost (Lee would stress this) felt worth it. Berridon is a family run farm in which you can hire a tent/cabin hybrid in a field and feel completely disconnected from the outside world. Sounds terrible? Read on. There’s NO WIFI (how did I survive) but it gets better.. NO ELECTRICITY!! I was dubious but having never intentionally lived without either as an adult I decided it would be an adventure.. and promptly set up mobile units charging all over the house to take with us.
The farm itself is incredibly picturesque, wildflowers, animals, tyre swings, tree houses, the stuff of my childhood dreams. Kids these days (settle down, I promise I’m not about to go FULL ON ‘when I was a lad’) don’t do outdoors and because we’re all living in fear of the big bad world I think we’re all kind of okay with it. I don’t encourage outdoor activities and my eldest (12) is only just being allowed out with friends but that weekend made me realise how much they had missed out on, living only indoors, staring at iPads. Milo was in his absolute element running around and getting muddy (much to Lee’s horror) and he was so in love with the goats by the time we left that he was genuinely bereft when I had to explain why we couldn’t keep one as a pet at home.
Now, I wish I could tell you that in these many months since we visited Devon (which Milo is still referring to as Heaven) we have made an effort to do this kind of thing with him on the regular but alas, once we were home and in the vicinity of wifi the YouTube obsession was back and we were lazy. Posting this now though has given me the kick up the arse I needed, last weekend we went to a pumpkin patch and I have grand plans for at least one family day out this half term. I need to do more stuff with them while they’re still little, I know I do but when you have to tear them away from their screens it often feels like nobody is benefitting.. until we’re actually out there and then against all odds we all seem to enjoy ourselves. Even us indoor millennials.
Circling back to the actual cabins.. life without electricity was bizarrely enjoyable. There was a wood burning stove which I managed to cook a full english breakfast on (the proudest achievement of my life to date) and kept us warm throughout our stay. There was running water, oil lamps and candles, a CUPBOARD with a bed in it which Milo chose to sleep in rather than the bunk beds in an actual room. There was a working toilet (NOBODY is getting me to agree to stay ANYWHERE without a working toilet) and a big box of board games to keep us entertained. There was a cooler in place of a fridge (for beer and such.. food I suppose) and a farm shop where you could collect ice (again, beer) and general supplies and most lovely of all there was a welcome delivery of hot sausage and bacon sandwiches on our first morning there. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t load up the iPad with Game Of Thrones for us to watch when Milo went to sleep but all that fresh country air had us out every night before we could watch a single episode.
If Berridon Farm were closer we’d have already made a return trip and if you are anywhere nearby I would highly recommend you take a look. We were there when the weather was cold and rainy and it didn’t matter a stitch. There are shower cubicles and a log-fired hot tub on site if the mood strikes (for the hot tub, not the showers) and in the time we were there we didn’t bump in to anyone but the family dog. It didn’t feel like a campsite, although we knew there were other campers on site, it was almost as if we had the place to ourselves. All in all a cosy weekend away for this tech-obsessed family that I’d love to repeat.