The end of my marriage?


That word will either conjure up nostalgic memories of being at one with nature, free in the open countryside, with the fresh smell of morning dew in your nostrils as you wake at dawn. Or it will conjure up pure, unadulterated panic.

It’s a fact of life – just as there are dog people and cat people – there are campers and non-campers.

I am very much a camper. Unfortunately, however, I married a non-camper. I know, how on earth will this marriage work?

For me, camping is exciting. It’s childhood holidays playing in the outdoors, freed from the shackles of city life and negotiating pavements on a bike. It’s barbecues and swimming and sleeping bags and night trips to the loo with a torch.

But my husband is a camping virgin. He doesn’t “do” camping. The idea of a week in a tent is one that makes him visibily shake. He winces at the thought of sleeping under canvas, where wolves could get to him at any moment and bears are less than a whisker away. (I’ve explained that camping in the UK is different to camping in Canada, but he remains unconvinced.)

So it was perhaps a risky move to accept an offer of a holiday to Cornwall this summer, where we will be… camping.

It’s not just any holiday, you see. It’s a review holiday, meaning we get to test the facilities at the swanky and really rather beautiful Trevella Holiday Park in Crantock, Newquay.

At first my husband was excited at the thought of a “free” holiday (as in, he won’t actually have to do any work for it, and won’t have to fork out any cash either). But when the “C” word was mentioned, his face fell.

So I explained that, in fact, it’s not really camping at all. Not in the sense that he knows anyway. It’s Glamping. We arrive at the site, to find the tent already erected. There’s not even a tent peg in view. And when I say tent, I actually mean canvas house.

This is a Safari Tent. With proper beds, duvets, bedrooms and a kitchen. There’s even a wooden deck with table and chairs outside so we can enjoy the sunset while Frog sleeps soundly in her bed “indoors”. (Who am I kidding, this child is going to be far too excited to sleep.)

We will spend the days rambling around the beach and the stamping ground of my postgraduate year at Falmouth (or “Falbiza” as we liked to call it). We’ll swim in the gorgeous heated swimming pool on site. Frog’s grandad can fish in one of the plentifully stocked lakes. We may even do a spot of crazy golf. And I don’t doubt Frog will spend much time at one of the hugely exciting play areas.

So why am I so worried? Is this the end of my marriage? Any tips from campers who have managed to convert non-campers would be much appreciated…



Filed under Family, Reviews, Travel

33 responses to “The end of my marriage?

  1. I must admit that I’m a non camper and so is my other half but that said if anywhere in the UK can change his mind then it’s Falmouth and Newquay! We spend time down there as my other half is from there so I think if somethings going to turn him pro-camper it’s there!x

  2. I got so excited when I read the title of this post — I thought “Yay! Not only is she not a cat person, she’s not a camping person either!”

    But I was wrong! You’re a camper! How can you be a camper?! I am very, very definitely in the non-camper camp. But that said, this holiday sounds awesome. Not having to construct your own tent is a huge bonus. We really want to go to Cornwall, so I’m going to be really interested to read your review of this, and see if you can convert another couple of non-campers.

    • I’m hoping I will be able to convert all non-campers! I mean, glamping isn’t really camping is it?! (That’s what I’ve told the husband anyway.) I think, from a parent’s point of view, camping is more relaxing than staying in a hotel as the kids are more free to just run around outside while you keep a lazy eye on them from a deckchair by the front of the tent, wine in hand!

  3. You could try glamping!

  4. Like you I grew up camping, my childhood holidays spent in a caravan mostly in Cornwall. My husband on the other hand grew up with in Gîites in France. My suggetion to dabble in a bit of camping “it’ll be character building for the boys” backfired when after a long weekend in Devon my husband went out and purchased the whole canvas kit to whoops of joy from our boys! Seven years on and many camping holidays under our belt, this year I’m finally getting a summer holiday where I hope to dust off my bikini instead of zipping into my winter wet suit! With many memories of camping hilarity – too many to mention, I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun you may even pay to go back next year for seconds but just don’t bother packing the bikini!

  5. very much a non-camper here, not even glamping would entice me. Tried it once, never again, can’t see the attraction of it. This place does sound very swanky as you say so maybe for someone like me it wouldn’t be so painful 🙂 Enjoy, look forward to reading the review.

  6. I have the same kind of husband. Even picnics are too bohemian for him. We compromise on canal boat holidays which have the same nomadic flavour but which provide a reliable environment for his slippers and his collection of extra virgin olive oils.

    • I’d LOVE to go canal boating with the NLM. Alas, he’s 6ft 5″ and already bangs his head on the ceilings in our Tudor Cottage. I think a canal boat may be a step too far…

  7. Would love to hear if you convert him. Even the word camping strikes fear in me. Where would I plug in my hairdryer?

  8. I’m in the non-camper …camp too. It’s the ‘no toilet’ bit that does it for me. But this summer we went to St Tropez and stayed in a canvas house type thing with beds (no toilet though) but it was ok…I coped and yes I kind of enjoyed it….because my girls bloody loved it. That’s the way to win him round….and if that doesn’t work get him to check into the hotel down the road!

  9. yey my neck of the woods, last year we holidayed in Newquay but it was so bizarre because we only live half hour from there! anyway i dont do camping either, my reasons: i love a proper bed, toilet with loo roll and i neeeed hair straigtners otherwise i cannot face the world. shallow, yes maybe but my hair is just yuk. we camped on the scilly isles one year (pre kids) we had to put a tent up in the wind and their was a hairdryer but no straigteners so i wore a hat for 3 days which made the situation worse :-s
    however, safari tent sounds so much more exciting! and onsite proper facilities and i will don a sleeping bag.
    hope you have lots of fun!

  10. Well! I would say a little kiss here and there, a small promise of something um…tittervating? Ahem…this may get his blood flowing for camping, and perhaps a small prize for after the glamping is all done with, anything of his choice! I leave it to your imagination, because I always think there are many routes a woman can go down or use to her advantage! Goodluck with it 🙂

  11. HELEN

    I think you’re going to be ok because THAT is not camping…proper beds? duvets? a fridge? wow that’s better than some 3* hotels in the Med…all you need is some sunshine & he will definitely be a convert.
    Oh & send my love to Falmouth

  12. oh dear, why did you end up with a non camper!?! camping is just the best… but I do agree with Helen, how you describe it you are not realy camping at all… maybe you’ll get him to love the glamping so much (with the tent ready built with real beds and a fridge it can’t be that difficult!) that by next summer he’ll be eager to try real camping too!

  13. First of all, when I read the post title I freaked out a little bit. So, thanks for that!
    As an absolute NON camper, I gotta say, this doesn’t sound like a bad way to try it out… at least the NLM won’t be required to put the tent up himself… Although, you may be in for a lot of complaining on your holiday (or you would be if you were married to me!) but on the plus side Frog will have such good time it’ll make up for even the grumpiest of non campers.

  14. 1.5 years ago my husband was determined to convert me. Here’s how he set about it: step one, guilt me into it, step two, take me to a festival in which we have a great musical experience but a seriously awful camping experience, step three, take me glamping the next week. Step three so made up for the other steps that the day we got home we conceived Talitha. Additional lesson: glamping is dangerous.

  15. For a moment there I thought you were serious!

    But that sounds like the perfect first time for a virgin; hardly camping really, just – you know – the canvas equivalent of heavy petting.

  16. I am in the non-camping camp as it were. Last time I was hoodwinked into staying in a tent it was under the premise that we were ‘Glamping’. Glamping, Camping, it is all the same to me. Unless my tent has an en suite bathroom, flooring and at the very least a queen-sized double bed (pref. four poster) I ain’t ever doing it again. Good luck with the conversion… I have to admit the place you are going does look a lot more enticing than most camp sites.

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