The sand squidged between our toes as we chased our soggy dog across the beach, our bodies splattered with sea water from her lastest body shake. It was difficult to tell who was enjoying it more – the dog or J. From the beach to the cooking out and sleeping under the stars, they were definitely the natural campers in the group.
Woodhill Park Camping, Cromer
My childhood holidays were defined by camping trips but I was out of practice when we went camping in Cromer at Woodhill Park for a week. Yet I soon rediscovered the fun and freedom of life in canvas.
The site has good facilities and was only a lovely 20 minute cliff top walk from a sprawling beach that allowed dogs. It was particularly perfect in the late afternoon when the crowds had begun to disperse and the sun was soft in the sky.
No allergic reactions
We made it through the week with no hospital visits or allergic reactions which was a massive relief as on our last break, J had his first anaphylactic reaction. I was still on constant edge though, as we were away with my 2 year old nephew who loves to cuddle and kiss J with sticky fingers. So my wipes were always by my side!
As well as the beautiful beaches just a walk away, Holkham Hall was a highlight. We enjoyed cycling around their extensive grounds in the summer sunshine. We stopped for lunch in the courtyard, which I was surprised to find was very reasonably priced. We took J his own picnic but he was much more interested in playing with all the outdoor toys on offer!
They also have a great woodland play area which was aimed at older children but J loved playing on the swing. Unfortunately, someone had left their half empty ice cream pots right next to it which reminds you how alert you need to be at all times.
Hillside animal sanctuary
Another good day out was to the Hillside animal sanctuary. J was not impressed by the horses at all – he cried if we went near them- but he was very enamoured by a turkey! It was lovely to see all the vegan treats on offer as they don’t serve any food made with animal products. Sadly, most of them contained nuts and we all made in the same facility so J had to just enjoy his chocolate soya milk, which was a find in itself.
We also managed to eat out twice. J had his first fish and chips at Mary Jane’s in Cromer in the August rain!
We also went for Sunday lunch at a local pub, the Village Inn, West Runton. Their menu offered gluten free options and specifically said to mention any allergies. In the end J stuck to fishfingers but they were very helpful and able to tell me clearly which parts of the roast had butter in.
The weather was on our side, apart from the odd downpour, and it was amazing to see J discovering new adventures. It highlighted that living with food allergies doesn’t mean you can’t go on holiday, play on the beach, or enjoy days out. Yes, you are on high alert and have to plan ahead more, but family fun is crucial.