So first solo trip in the campervan just me and the kids over Easter. I was pretty nervous being on my own but delighted to say it went really well. Compared to camping for me the van made everything so easy, no battling to put the tent whilst trying to amuse a 3 & 5 year old. We visited Dumfries which was beautiful and we will be back. Our journey started from East Lothian and we stopped at Drumlanrig Castle, a great day out in itself and worth a visit, kiddos loved it and we happened to stumble upon a free fairy wand making workshop (yeha!). Afterwards we headed south to the beautiful campsite of Balloch O’ Dee. One of my favorite campsites now, stunning scenery and very quiet. Set amongst rolling hills and on a working farm it exceeded all expectations. There were chickens running free and the kids were allowed to feed them (they love this) and friendly horses which the owners let them have a wee shot on. The facilities were lovely too with amazing showers and a kind of yogic vibe about the decor. It was a reasonable stay too, £15/night (non electric, the van battery lasts for ages). Balloch O’ Dee is also close to the A75 so quickly you can be on your road to see the many attractions Dumfries has to offer. We visited The Cocoa Bean factory which was brilliant!! Spent the whole day there (had to get thrown out), the kids made chocolate bars, frogs and marshmallow constructions, so much chocolate they were in 7th heaven. It has a Fab soft play and great out door play area, I highly recommend a visit. We also checked out the Kirroughtree mountain biking area, we didn’t have bikes but spent ages in the two play parks, enjoying the nice weather. Apparently Dumfries can get quite warm due to gulf streams and the area is maybe a wee hidden tropical gem!
I cooked 2 nights in the van, macaroni cheese and fish, rice and veg. Dinner times went well and I could wash the dishes from the campsite kitchen whilst the kids ran free (but safely) in the campsite in front of me playing with the animals. One night we had a campfire (so cute for the kids) and 2 fighter jets flew by. This in itself was worth the trip alone as my son is aeroplane nuts!! It made his day, apparently this is quite a common sight in Dumfries.
After 2 fab nights at Balloch O Dee we headed to Slivercraigs campsite in Kirkcubright. This site was very different from Balloch O Dee, structured pitches looking onto the houses of the town. Set up on the hill there were gorgeous views and easy access to the town centre. We had very good fish and chips from Polar Express, it was queued out the door and the food didn’t disappoint.
I prefer the more chilled vibe of the Balloch O’ Dee campsite. Silvercraigs site was good though and it’s nice that it’s now run by the community and they do a good job. After this stay we made the very windy road journey home (with a car sick prone daughter on retrospect I should have gone the motorway home) but we broke the journey up at Moffat and they had a break in the park there.
We were only 3 nights away to Dumfries and Galloway partly because I was nervous as to how I would get on without the main man in the van (my husband). However, I wished we could have stayed a bit longer, there was so much for us to do in the area. The campervan made everything easy for the trip. The van was quick to set up as our wee house for the night, beds are comfy and the inbuilt heating makes the van very cosy at night. I came prepared with meals and snacks as I didn’t want to spend time faffing about with preparing meals and this helped.