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Jaded British father launches holiday business for single-parent families

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Dorset-based Nick Simms is the man behind the new Campmates venture. The concept came last year when he was searching hundreds of travel websites for an appropriate getaway for him and his five-year-old son, but all he found was a lack of choices.

His new business is located in the New Forest, and claims to provide a low cost and sociable camping experience for guests, offering luxury tents and equipment during stays which can span three, four or seven nights.

Simms, said: “Last year I was itching to take my son on holiday for a long weekend, but seeing as my boy goes to bed at a reasonable time (even on holiday), it struck me that I would have to read a book or watch TV every evening and that really didn’t appeal to me.

“I thought there must be something out there where I could socialise with other single parents in the evening but being a responsible parent, every option turned out to be a dead end. I’m certainly not going to leave my son alone for more than a second and I don’t really trust babysitting services run by strangers using an intercom. So having failed miserably in my search, we didn’t get our holiday and I was determined to address this issue.”

The camping community comprises 20 tents positioned around a marquee called “The Den,” with all tent doors facing the central point to let parents mingle with each other at the hub while their children are safely asleep nearby. 

Aside from allowing parents to bond, The Den will also serve as a game station and play area for youngsters and adults during the daytime.

Four can sleep to a tent, and at least one child must be under 15. Simms explained: “We’re not a singles club and we’re certainly not looking for adolescent tearaways drinking alcohol.”

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Campmates said: “All parents have one thing in common, their children and their desire to lead a social life alongside single parenthood. So if one parent needs to pop off to the loo, they know the other parents will be their eyes and ears for two minutes and visa versa.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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