While 2020 has seen closures or postponements of events that I would normally love to experience with Spring’s Cultural Expansion grant, it has also highlighted the opportunity to explore what is closer to home.

A family break, as well as a break from the news and screen time was waiting for us just over the Norfolk border.

We turned off a main road onto a well travelled farm track. Riddled with pot holes, lumps and bumps, we were at times escorted by a flock of grouse running ahead in formation before breaking off into a short flight to finally allow us by.

When we arrived at the site, we pulled up next to our tent and took in the view of open skies, a small forest and large fields. The kids ran off to see the sheep and check the chicken’s box for eggs.

After a welcome and induction from the owner of the site, we had the know-how on using the auger stove and all about the mini general store shed for topping up supplies. My daughter, 4, instantly fell in love with the cupboard bed. Double doors on either side, it was a magical mini room for her! The canvas walls were connected to a sturdy metal structure and boy was it cozy! When the wind picked up there was a real sense of adventure as the whole place flapped about!

For me, the fire was everything. A cooked breakfast on it was always the best and I couldn’t get enough of stoking the fire while the kids were more than eager to ferry logs from the wood pile. With no electricity and only candles for light, we found winding down at bedtime was such a natural event and a very welcomed change from my usual last check of twitter or a binge on iPlayer. Switching off from phones and tuning into the surroundings was such a brilliant part of the holiday that I hadn’t anticipated. The highlight was the night sky. It was like a scene from a movie with every inch speckled with constellations.

I wondered if I would return home and transform into a cave man discovering the mysterious power of light switches and start chopping down the one tree in the garden for logs, but no, the holding power of switching off was not that strong. It was too easy to run a hot bath and share photos of the holiday with family on the group chat.  A digital detox and a break from the blue light of a mobile phone was incredibly refreshing and something I’m sure the family will look forward to doing again next year.