We spent a week at Farm Camps Den Brandenhorst in Gelderland during the meivakantie and to say that my boys were upset to be back home is an understatement. They flopped themselves down on the sofa in our front room and the eldest announced,
“Wij willen hier niet zijn. Wij willen terug naar Farm Camps gaan.” (“We don’t want to be here. We want to go back to Farm Camps.”)
And to be honest my husband and I felt the same way! Despite the initial reluctance from my other half…..
“Camping! We should take the boys camping. They’ll love it!” I said to my husband back on a cold, January night.
“They will. I won’t,” he replied.
I’d seen a Facebook advert for Farm Camps and loved the idea. I’m past the age where I want to flail around in the dark looking for my spider filled shoes when my bladder dictates (which to be frank is more often than twenty years ago) to trek over to the other side of a field armed only with a torch. I’d rather not have to trek anywhere for nighttime toilet visits. So I saw glamping as the answer: a toilet, shower and heating but in a tent.
The entire week exceeded our expectations in every possible way.
This is what we have done and experienced during a week at Farm Camps Brandenhorst:
- Milked a cow by hand and watched the cows being machine milked from about as close as you can get without actually sitting on the cow
- Taken a huifkart ride through beautiful countryside including a stop off to taste a Hengeler bittertje (or apple juice depending on age)
- Made waffles with the boerin
- Had a boerenfriet avond
- BBQ’d in the sun
- Sat round a campfire roasting marshmallows
- Had a wonderful breakfast delivered to the tent
- Fed the calves
- Looked for freshly laid chicken eggs
- Helped the farmer bring the cows in from the wei (field)
- Brushed and rode a pony
- Looked after a rabbit which stayed at our tent (and escaped twice)
- Played in the heksenbos and made heksensoep
- Played on the sand hill
- Raced around like lunatics on the go karts
- Experienced amazing Achterhoek hospitality first hand
- Played in the Hooi Hooi Speelschuur
- Been for a ride on the tractor with boer Eddy
- Tasted milk fresh from the cow
- Played in the treehouse
- Made a flower chain
Each child gets a Farm Camps passport with activities to do – the boerin stamped the boys’ books once they had done different things. At the end of the week they were awarded a boerenknecht diploma, much to their delight.
The real mark of success of a holiday for me is how much reading I got done. Well, during our Farm Camps week I finished reading Astrid Holleeder’s Judas, which I was about a third of the way through when we arrived. In other words, a huge success!
This is not a sponsored post. Farm Camps has not asked me to write about our break there – but it was such a great week I had to share!
You can get away for a short weekend or a longer break – and there are camp sites across the Netherlands.
Over to You: Have you ever been to a Farm Camps? Did you have as much fun as us? Does farm camping exist where you live?