Words and imagery by Molly Matcham.
It was our third visit to La Rosa campsite in Elk Valley and I went with my two daughters Ava, (14) and Bobby, (7) and my friend Carol with her two daughters Izzy-Rose, (11) and Martha, (2). We have both been before and loved it but had never been together. We usually try and fit in some kind of camping trip every year. The campsite itself is beautiful and a special place to hang out, plus you are close to Whitby which is a really pretty seaside town. The timing felt good as it was the last weekend before school started at the end of the summer holidays, one last adventure! We were really lucky as well as the sun shone brightly all weekend. We stayed for 2 nights.
I think the highlights were first of all arriving and choosing our caravans. We had the pick of the small ones and each has a different theme. The girls loved checking them out and deciding which one to make a home in. We got 'Psychco Candy' and they got the 'Shanty Shack'. Another was watching the girls make a fire in the tipi by themselves so we could all sit round and roast marshmallows in the evening. The campsite has a great barn that you shower in, it's only one room with two showers but it is so atmospheric and as close to showering outside without being outside as you can get. It's a lovely experience; you light candles and watch for the swallows flying to and from their nest above, standing under the water in the barn with no cubicles to spoil the mood.
At night the campsite is lit by tea lights in lanterns, adding to the magic. The thing that is maybe the hardest to get used to is the compost loo - it's in a very nice gypsy style caravan, this didn't win over my youngest though!!
There is plenty to do just hanging out at the site as it's in a scenic setting and there is a communal big top to cook in and hang out in, with dressing up stuff and sofas etc... On previous trips we have had a lovely walk down to the local pub which is very bonny and fun for the kids (they ended up walking down through the river). There's also the steam trains stopping at nearby Goathland and you can see them passing from the campsite. Whitby itself is lovely to potter around and have a play on the beach - and obviously there's the fish and chips.....
Things we always take on camping and caravanning trips are sunscreen and wellies, jumpers and swimming costumes as you never know the weather in the UK! Also plenty of snacks because things don't always go to plan when cooking away from home, and some entertainment - playing cards, paper and pencils/pens and books.
We haven't planned our trip together this year - last year it was the Isle of Aaron in Scotland which was amazing as well, we got lovely sunny weather then too so hopefully we'll be lucky again this year :-)