Our first (hopefully not our last) camping trip of 2018. Two tents (just in case), a pink bucket BBQ, pack of sausages, beer and prosecco – let’s rock’n’roll…
After a lengthy internet search (well, the length of the England v Sweden World Cup quarter final – zzzzzzzzzzz!) for campsites that fit my specific requirements – i.e. small with cute animals nearby – the Hideaway Campsite near Narberth in Pembrokeshire sounded promising.
So how well is Hideaway hidden?
Hideaway Campsite is located at Whitley Farm, about quarter-of-a-mile down a track, just off the A478 in to Narberth. Well sign-posted off the road, further signs along the track reassure you that your destination is nearing.
No sign of life at the farmhouse when we arrived – besides the dog who was trying to hitch a lift – we did spot a sign that informed us we could pitch up if we’d pre-booked (we had, through pitchup.com). Otherwise, it’s ring the bell and make your presence known!
The big appeal was the strictly tents only policy and just 10 pitches – there were 3 left when we arrived, although it took us a few hours to spot two of the signs, so we didn’t really have a choice.
It’s a decent size field but you can still hear other campers – we strategically placed the car to create a private area for ourselves. In fact, the only life we could then see were these friendly creatures:
…and to be fair, they made most of the noise!
We were on a slight slope (the downside of arriving later in the day and lose the prime spots), but not enough to risk human pile up at one end of the tent. Generally, the field was flat and well maintained.
How strong is the tent – and our marriage?
Eager to get set-up and relax in the natural surroundings (and, for Mr. B.B., to crack open one of the ambers he’d bought en-route), we quickly put our marriage to the test – i.e. it was time to erect the tent!
And it was the big boy – the four-manner which we last used about 3 years ago!
We weren’t confident we could do it (we brought the 3-man as an emergency back-up just in case), let alone if we’d be on speaking terms for the rest of the evening (we brought the 3-man as an emergency back-up just in case)… But… we had it up in record time (well, quicker than the first and only time three years ago). Go Team H!
It was playtime!
It was too late to walk into Narberth (and we didn’t fancy the long walk down the narrow farm track and main road – shame there’s no shortcut through the fields), so Mr. B.B. popped open his first cold beverage of the evening and I eagerly (you may want to say childishly) ran down to say hello to the farm animals.
Three alpacas with an attitude problem (although looking very cute after their summer shave), a pair of friendly Shetland ponies, two ostriches, one very large pot-belly pig, two bunnies and a coup of chickens were in in residence.
Mr B.B.’s highlights:
Once I had satisfied my curiosity grown up, I returned to find Mr H. playing with his pink Barbie.
Clearly not feeling the need to prove his cave-manliness, Mr B.B. had also gone for instant light charcoal so our meatylicious sausages (we checked the content of every Morrisons sold pack of sausages and Heck seem to be in a league of the own – 97% pork!) were already coming along nicely
The sun was out, a cool breeze was blowing, the sheep were baaing (and trying to steal Mr B.B.’s beers – more on that later), and Mr. B.B. was on BBQ and DJ duties (well, his phone was connected to two mobile speakers and Spotify was on shuffle).
To complete this contented scene, I proceeded to indulge in a nicely chilled bottle of prosecco:
The sausages were charred but wonderfully moist – and went surprisingly well with the garlic butter (the only option at Morrisons if we didn’t want to consume or bin the best part of 200g). We also couldn’t resist the soft cheesy rolls – or a good helping of ketchup.
Ah, the simple life…
Beer + flip flops + woodland = why am I here?
After our sausage feast I wanted to join our friend in the next field for a nap.
But, Mr. B.B. had renewed energy and wanted a little adventure by exploring the farm’s small woodland.
In flip flops!
I’ve no idea why I followed Mr B.B. along the overgrown path of soft leaf-strewn ground (probably teeming with spiders) and brambles in inappropriate footwear.
Fortunately, the wood is so small (or perhaps it just turned into complete wilderness, it was hard to tell) that the danger didn’t last too long, before we came out to say hello to this fine-looking chap:
We returned to our abode (surprisingly, without any broken bones – although a thorn had pierced through Mr. B.B.’s right flip flop stopping just before his foot – lucky boy!) to be entertained by the neighbouring sheep who were enjoying a good scratch on the fence.
One cheeky youngster even attempted a grab at the empties lined up along the fence ready for binning (I was happy to find a glass recycling bin on site!) – clearly ready to wean off its mother’s milk and try something stronger.
Early birds ensure early birds
After nightfall, the campsite was exactly what I had hoped for – i.e. peaceful… well, until 4am.
Those cute cockerels I’d clocked earlier in the evening got a bit mouthy in the early hours. They were cock-a-doodle-doing it with gusto – only stopping once the sheep stirred at around 5am to take over the racket.
For me, it’s all part of the camping experience – but I could imagine some fellow campers lying there cursing.
As early risers we were the first to use the facilities: a single toilet and single shower.
The toilet and free shower were both housed in their own little cabin room. The toilet was very clean, loo roll was adequately stocked, and hand wash was also readily available.
I didn’t use the shower myself, but Mr. B.B. reliably informs me that it was surprisingly powerful and clean, although he did have to share it with a few creepy crawlies (including a spider on the shower curtain!).
Post 7.30am, a queue did start forming for the facilities, so we were glad we’d already moved on to our Shredded Wheat.
Also available were use of a communal freezer and phone charge point, pot wash, dog wash, and small kids play area. I believe BBQs and fire pits were available to hire and coal and/or logs for sale on site.
It was only a short stay, but Hideaway made a good impression overall. It was easy to book, well-priced (just £16.50 per pitch – max 4 adults and kids tents for free), and the location made us feel like… well, that we were in our own little hideaway.