Ever wanted to camp overnight in a National Historic Site? Tourism Langley sent out our staff member, Sarah, to spend a night in the Birth Place of B.C. Along with three of her closest friends, she tells us her experience.
On a beautiful sunny Friday evening, I and three of my high school friends made our way to Fort Langley National Historic Site. Armed with our sleeping bags, pillows and bags of clothes, we stepped into the historic past. Greeted by the lovely staff at the Historic Site, we were showed to our oTENTiks for the evening. Every oTENTiks is themed to the diverse workers that were a part of the history of Fort Langley. Our oTENTiks theme was First Nations, which was represented by our table cloth, carvings done by the First Nations and a great photo celebrating them. Every oTENTik sleeps 6 adults and has a variety of amenities such as heating, a kettle, power outlets and a table and chairs. Once everyone had claimed their bed, and believe me there was a fight over who would get the top bunk, we made our way to explore the site. For your stay, you also have the oTENTik camp hosts, who stay just outside the tent and are your go-to for any questions or concerns you have during your stay. They are amazing and very accommodating and warm and friendly.
Wanting to show my friends the birth place of B.C., we made our way into the Big House, where the proclamation of B.C. was signed. Exploring every room and the authenticity of the building and the rooms, transported us back to the beginning of our province.
As we exited the Big House, we made our way to the campfire to roast our dinner. There are cooking facilities and communal BBQ’s for you to use during your trip. There is also a designated Vegetarian BBQ to accommodate everyone. You can also bring in snacks and other foods for your needs. As we went on the first night of the season, we had a BBQ provided by the National Historic Site. Nothing beats roasting your own hotdog and getting to chat with your friends over a campfire. After eating our dinner, we were treated to firing the airsoft muskets! For me it was the first time I had ever shot a beebee gun, and in fact at a target! It was a great experience. Our airsoft musket guide was fantastic and had great eyesight to be able to spot where the target was marked. After our target practice was complete, we made our way back to the fire to roast some marshmallows. My friend Amanda had the brilliant idea, as we didn’t bring ingredients for smores, to combine two chocolate chip cookies with a roasted marshmallow! I would highly recommend trying this out for your next campfire or if you are like us and forget the ingredients.
With the campfire keeping us warm, we watched as the sun when down behind the fort walls and captured some great pictures of the dusk sky over the Big House. As it was growing colder, we decided to call it a night and head back to our oTENTik for some girlie chatter and warmer clothes. As we got ready for the evening, we tucked into a bottle of wine and a great game of Heads Up to keep the evening going. You are permitted alcohol between 5pm till 10pm within the confines of your tent. We snuggled up into our sleeping bags for the evening. However, a couple minutes later we were greeted by the train going by. I would recommend if you are a light sleeper to bring earplugs, or use the ones they provide in your oTENTik. As the girls and I are heavy sleepers, we didn’t notice the train at all during the night. As it was the first weekend of May, it was a little chilly to say the least, in the early morning we decided we were cold and turned the heater on to help warm the place up.
The next morning, we were greeted with birds chirping and the sun shining. It was already a beautiful morning in the Historic Site. As we were lucky to be the only ones who had stayed over the previous night. We were happy to be waking up in the beautiful confines of Fort Langley. We decided to pack up and check out around 10am so we could grab breakfast in the town of Fort Langley. As the Historic Site doesn’t open to the public until 10am it gives you a private tour of the grounds once the staff have opened all the buildings. Once we had packed our things and were heading out towards our cars, we couldn’t help but be greeted by every staff member who asked how our stay was. As we made our way back to Guest Services, we all noticed how we were entering back into present day, but recognized how much we had thoroughly enjoyed our evening in the Historic Site.
For breakfast we stopped at Lelem Café which is located right on the Fraser River. I would recommend that you leave your car at the Historic Site and walk into the town, as parking on a weekend is at a premium! I enjoyed a traditional breakfast with a Vanilla latte and enjoyed the sunshine out on their patio. All in all it was a lovely way to become immersed in the history of our beautiful province.
Next week May 19th- May 25th has been declared Canadian Camping Week! For more information click here.