Parts & Accessories

An Easter weekend away (in the garden)

15th April 2020 | Andy Torbet
The current crisis we are suffering at home and around the world has meant disruption for everyone. The first effect it had on me was the postponement of Bailey’s Sahara Challenge.

Since then our Easter trip taking the kids paddle-boarding and snorkelling from Spain to France, a three-generation camping and caravanning trip around France, a cave diving exploration project in the Pyrenees using my Bailey motorhome as our base and all the camping trips to the Drop Zones of  Europe to train for this year’s Skydiving World Cup have all had to be cancelled. But I can be thankful we’re still safe at home and with the ability to go camping, albeit much closer to home. At home in fact.

We packed up the Alliance SE 76-4T motorhome with enough food and domestic supplies for the Easter long weekend, started the engine and set off. I did drive the motorhome…but only to move it to one side of my driveway so I could get the awning fully out. We’d be camping at home, on our driveway.


With a domestic 240V adaptor I plugged the motorhome into the house before we ‘set off’ and we had plenty of water to last us the three nights we’d be away.  After preparing the van on Good Friday we locked the back door and began our trip-away-at-home.

Our activities for ‘Day Trip’ with the kids included:


-We visited a ‘Water Park’ – setting up a slippy-slide and a paddling pool in the garden.

-We had a trip to a, very, local botanical garden who were running a volunteer programme where staff provided tools and instruction so participants could have go at gardening – we made the kids help us do some gardening.

-We had picnics at different parks (corners of the garden)

-We went to a nature reserve and learned about being a ranger – I took the kids around the garden insect and bird spotting then we build bug hotels, bee houses and butterfly feeders.

-We went to a Survival School – I taught the kids how to build bushcraft shelters

-We went to the cinema – I hung a white sheet in the motorhome and used a borrowed projector.

-We went on an Easter Egg Hunt – traditional for this time of year. But I hid 10 tokens around the garden. This kept the hunt going longer but meant they could be traded in for one big Easter egg saving the children from eating too much chocolate.

And the weekend was proving a success. It was a break from the house we’d started to become much too familiar with over the last few weeks but, it gave us a chance to spend time with the kids without the normal pressures of home-schooling or work timetables and the break from the house made us less resentful of our home when we finally returned.


However, we did cut our trip short by one night and returned on the Sunday evening. Bex had been feeling increasingly unwell and, although not showing all the classic COVID 19 symptoms, the responsible thing was to presume it was. We are all doing well, and some healthy individuals have only minor symptoms, but this crisis is not about us as individuals but us as a community.


So, we ‘returned’ home on Sunday evening. Bex is isolating for the next seven days and myself and the boys will do likewise for the next 14. And that is one of the real benefits of camping, especially in one’s own country.


Admittedly our return journey was all of 12 feet, but the principle remains the same. The ability, should circumstances require it, to pack up your tent, van, motorhome or caravan and drive home, without the need for co-operation, interference or assistance from anyone else or the reliance on trains, ferries, airport and planes makes dealing with the unforeseen much easier. Camping is all about dealing with life and life’s problems with independent self-sufficiency. A skill which has become very important in recent weeks.


Stay safe and dream, plan and look forward to better times.