What better adventure for a 4 year old than to go camping and toast marshmallows on an open fire. That was the plan for our wee trip to Glencoe a couple of weeks ago.
There aren’t many campsites around that allow open fires, but the Red Squirrel Campsite in Glencoe does, and you can’t ask for a better location given the spectacular mountains surrounding the glen.
The A82 whisked us through the heart of Glencoe and on to a single track road, where the campsite lies tucked away between the Clachaig Inn and Glencoe village. The Red Squirrel is a lovely, back to basics, site with a huge variety of places to pitch a tent.
We arrived in the rain and picked a spot with a fireplace which backed on to a wee burn. By the time the tent was pitched we were soaked, squelching in mud and the midges were out in force. But none of this mattered to our daughter who was off climbing a tree. A veggie curry was prepared for dinner, with midges for added protein. And after lathering up in Smidge and Avon’s Skin So Soft (to the angst of the midges), we tucked ourselves in for our first night under canvas this year.
The secret to a good night’s sleep in a tent is to get yourself off the ground. Self inflating Thermarest’s are a great start but we also line the tent floor with a set of thick children’s outdoor play mats. These add an extra layer of cushioning, and more importantly, insulate us from the cold ground.
The following day the sun came out, and once the clouds lifted the views of the mountains towering over us were spectacular. We spent the day exploring the banks of the River Coe and took the trail through the woods to Signal Rock, which my daughter loved – though there’s not much to see once there. But for kids it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, on which they act out their favourite stories, playing characters from fairy tales, or on the search for some long lost treasure. On this occasion my daughter found each of us a stick-shaped fairy wand and insisted we cast spells on the birds and insects, though my husband’s wand kept vanishing, much to my daughters annoyance.
Returning via the tiny waterfall, we finished up at the Clachaig Inn for dinner. Only a 10 minute walk from the campsite, it’s ideal if your camp stove runs out of gas — or like us, you can’t be bothered with another day of outdoor cooking. Once back, we built a camp fire and used our fairy wands to overdose on melted marshmallows – delicious.