As a family we love glamping and being outdoors. We have enjoyed many a holiday in my parents camper van. We were asked by friends who are avid campers to join them for a weekend camping and as the camper van was not available we had no choice but to pitch up a tent. Camping with a one year old and four-year old… it could have been a disaster! We have taken Charlie camping on several occasions but camping in a tent with two little ones was going to be a new experience for us.
We selected Croft Farm Waterpark in Tewkesbury because it is a fairly short drive from home. Our theory was that if it all went terribly wrong i.e the boys refused to sleep, we could pack up the car and head home. Of course in practise, after a couple of glasses of wine, we were stuck there until at least the morning if the boys played up!
Images – Charlie helping to set up camp. Harry enjoying playing with his toys safely in the travel cot
Advantages of staying at Croft Farm Water Park
Close proximity to Tewkesbury. Croft Farm Waterpark is a beautiful setting located a short five-minute drive from Tewkesbury, a historic riverside town in Gloucestershire. Famous for its Abbey, medieval streets and unfortunately the images portrayed in the media of the town as an island during the terrible floods in 2007.
Tewkesbury is home to some lovely independent shops, cafes, tea rooms, pubs and bistros. The town offers many attractions including Roses Theatre, boat trips along the Avon and riverside walks.
Family friendly facilities. The water park boasts of many facilities including a children’s play area, games room, lake side coffee shop, club house and gym. In addition for water sports lovers the park offers sailing, pedal boats, windsurfing and canoeing. We enjoyed an hour on a pedalo, the kids had a great time!
Ferry service and riverside walk. Whenever we go glamping/camping we like to have the option not to use our car to explore the local area. The water park offers a ‘ferry service’ to transport guests across the river to a riverside path which leads into Tewkesbury. The ferry service needs to be booked in advance via the water sports centre and costs £3 per person (including children).
Although the ferry ride was not as we were expecting (see images below!) the short boat journey did make our weekend and the kids absolutely loved the adventure. It was certainIy an experience trying to load two preschoolers, two toddlers and two pushchairs onto the ‘ferry’. I would say it is not for the light-hearted! We managed it in two crossings in the end and then when we reached the other side managed to negotiate our way through several fields of poo (I have never seen so much sheep and cattle poo in my life! It was everywhere) for the 20 minute walk to Tewkesbury.
If you are planning on staying at Croft Farm and plan on taking the ferry please note that there are six stiles to negotiate, which are not easy with push chairs and little ones!
Clean shower facilities and helpful staff. We found the shower blocks to be clean and well maintained. The staff did the rounds at night to keep noise to a minimum after 11.30pm.
Nearby attractions. In addition to the attractions in Tewkesbury, the campsite is well placed to tour the local area. There are many family friendly attractions fairly close by including Cotswold Farm Park and All Things Wild near Evesham.
Downsides to staying at Croft Farm Water Park
No on site shop. Tewkesbury is close by and it has a range of grocery stores including a Tesco, however it is always good to have somewhere to nip into for milk etc.
Gravel beach. This campsite would be perfect for us as a family if it had a flat sandy (man-made) beach instead of a gravel beach which is also on a slope and therefore quite dangerous for toddlers. Harry fell over and banged his head within a few minutes of playing on the beach.
Would we stay again at Croft Farm Water Park?
Absolutely! We loved the setting around the lake. The kids loved feeding the swans, walking along the riverside and exploring the play area. We had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, the weather was very kind to us and we made the most of the on site facilities.
Would we camp with our boys again?!
Again, yes absolutely! Although I have to admit that I would prefer to glamp and stay in a campervan or even pod/lodge. The hardest thing we always find with camping is that tents do not keep out any noise or light. We therefore did not even attempt to put the boys down to sleep at their normal 7pm but instead it was approaching 8.30pm each night when they were going to sleep. Of course, regardless of the late nights, they were still up at the crack of dawn! That being said, the boys behaved themselves and slept fairly well (after a very long walk around and around the lake with baby Harry every night!) We had such a lovely time in fact that we extended our weekend stay and were joined for a couple of nights by my parents in their camper van.
We were both pleased that we had packed Harry’s travel cot for our camping trip. He was happy to play with his toys safely in there whilst we cooked/set up the campsite etc. If you need any help packing for a camping trip with little ones please read our essential packing guide
Have you camped with little ones? Would you do it willingly again?!