CAMPING | Fun With The Outdoor Bloggers In The North York Moors National Park

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The annual Outdoor Bloggers weekend is always something I look forward to as It’s a chance to meet up with old friends I rarely get to talk to in the real world, and it’s also a great chance to meet new members of the Outdoor Bloggers group. The 2018 Outdoor Bloggers weekend involved camping at Low Farm and walking in the beautiful North York Moors.

Camping at Low Farm campsiteMy tent for the 2018 Outdoor Bloggers event

The group was put together 4 years ago by Jenni (thethriftymagpiesnest.co.uk) and Zoe (splodzbogz.co.uk) who wanted to bring people who blog about the outdoors together. Blogging networks even now still tend to focus on travel and lifestyle bloggers, and they figured it was time that we had a community we could call our own.

After weeks of anticipation I spend Thursday night after work packing and am somewhat dismayed to see the weather forecast for the weekend. As a seasoned camper, I’m well used to camping in all conditions, but sunshine really does make camping a better experience! Undeterred, I pack a few extra blankets, and finally pop in my thermal poncho, just in case.

Inside my tentThe interior of my tent, finally all set up – this is as simple as my camping set up ever gets!

Having booked the day off work, I wake up on Friday morning to grey sky and torrential rain and after running some errands in town, I set off for North Yorkshire. 3 and a half hours later, I’m pulling up at the entrance of Low Farm and am greeted by the friendly campsite owner who informs me the site is exclusively ours for the whole weekend.

 

I wake up on Saturday morning to sunshine after a very cold night

Jenni and Zoe are already on site, hard at work setting up a marquee for us and after a quick greeting I’m unpacking my tent and cursing the rain. Seriously, if there’s anything more soul destroying than wet set up and take down when camping with a large canvas tent, I’m yet to discover it! Within about 20 minutes of my arrival though, something amazing happens. The rain, which is forecast for the entire weekend suddenly stops!

As more people arrive, it turns out (as usual) that my tent is the most ott, with everyone else in sensible little popups or diminutive backpacking tents that take mere minutes to pitch. In stark comparison, an hour later, I’m still adding the finishing touches to my own tent, which naturally includes hanging up absolute essentials like fairy lights and a Dreamcatcher.

outdoor bloggers event 2018My dinner on the first night and sitting around the campfire in my ‘stylish’ thermal poncho

With most of us now arrived, we meet in the marquee and are given fantastic goodie bags packed full of outdoors treats and we spend a wonderful first evening eating and drinking around the campfire under an almost-full moon. Our evening includes a suitably themed quiz and amazingly, my dreadful 11 out of 30 is not the worst score which I consider a minor victory, plus after riding one for years, I finally learn what BMX stands for – Bicycle Motorcross – who knew?!

blogger goodie bagSome of the brilliant products in our fab blogger goodie bags, including a clever Hi-Tec packable bag, Sigg Flask, Delicious Firepot meal, a fancy brew from Joe’s Tea Co and thick Musto socks which helped to keep me warm in bed!

Levisham Moor WalkSignage at the start of our walk

The next day after breakfast, we meet at 9am ready for a walk on the North York Moors, something I’ve been very much looking forward to. Whilst I visit the area a few times each year, I normally end up either side of the Moors in Harrogate or further towards the coast in Whitby, and having spent much of the year so far walking alone, I’m relishing the opportunity to have company and a good old natter as we walk.

North York Moors WalkSignpost where we took a detour to see Skelton Tower

The stunning views from Skelton TowerThe stunning view from Skelton Tower

 

Skelton TowerSome of the Outdoor Bloggers enjoying the view from the tower

The walk turns out to be a stunner and we opt to lengthen the walk further to take in the forlorn ruins of Skelton Tower which provide us with great views down through the picture-perfect valley. Built as a shooting lodge back in 1830, the ruins now provide walkers with an ideal picnic spot as well as being an excellent vantage point from which to view Newtondale and Goathland Moor.

Echo exploring the varied habitat that we come across on our walk

Just after the half way point of the walk we arrive at the Horseshoe Inn in Levisham, a charming country pub which serves excellent food providing us with the ideal place to stop for a breather and eat lunch outdoors in the spring sunshine.

The ideal place to stop for a drink and hearty meal

After such an enormous lunch, I feel a nap is in order, but on we press and I’m rewarded with more amazing views on the return section of our circular walk. Happily, the weather remains on our side with plenty of sunshine, in fact so much sunshine I manage to tan quite impressively!

North York Moors WalkThe stunning scenery on our way back

Despite my slow final ascent, we all finish the walk with smiles on our faces and for once, at over 24,000 steps, my FitBit is happy with me! Back at the campsite we make dinner, go for wanders and then chat around the campfire again before taking part in a fiendishly clever challenge set by Zoe designed to get us all thinking about how we write.

North York Moors Walk

After more laughter and chatting around the campfire, it’s another cold night and I’m thankful I thought to pack my absurd thermal poncho. Back inside my tent with a hot water bottle I finally warm up and start writing notes on both the weekend and on some of the new gear I have with me that I’m testing out.

North York Moors

Profile and route of our full 14.9km walk

The next day most of the others go on a nature walk, but I stay behind at the campsite to do some photography and filming before I slowly pack down and make my way home from what has been another brilliant Outdoor Bloggers meet up.

Lovely Low Farm campsite

Huge thanks to all of the Outdoor Bloggers who came along and of course to Zoe and Jenni for all their hard work in making it happen, as well as the generous brands who provided goodies for our fabulous goodie bags.

If you’re an outdoors blogger and you fancy joining us the next time we get together, find out more at outdoorbloggers.co.uk

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