Camping in Style? Co-ordinated camping gear? #giveaway

Family Camping has never been so glamorous!

I absolutely adore camping and spent a lot of my childhood camping in Canada.  On occasion I’ve joked about being buried in my sleeping bag when I die.  Please don’t hold me to this.  However, we’ve done very little camping in the UK, I don’t know if this is down to weather, lack of camping gear or a misconception of UK campsites.  But, we have dipped our toe into Glamping and are rather partial to it.

Pubs with Campsites near Hastings

Pub with Campsites near HastingsWe have been on a couple of occasions as I managed to borrow the missing bits of gear (e.g tent and camp beds).  A few months back we went overnight camping in Boreham Street, East Sussex, near Hastings at the Bull’s Head.  The campsite was nothing more than an open field with a loo block (tent pitch £15 a night).

Nonetheless, the location was brilliant  close to many local beaches and backing onto  to a fabulous pub (stumbling distance) with an amazing menu, wine list and garden.  I had a perfectly cooked rib eye steak with a very nice glass of red wine or two.  The landlord was also very helpful when I needed to ring him at 6 am to get him to let my daughter out of the loos after locking herself in by accident.  Now that’s what I call child friendly.  I must also add that it is dog-friendly as well.

Stylish Melamine Camping DishesWe do hope to start doing more camping next year and I’m slowly starting to amass some gear.  We’re still in need of a tent but for the time being will continue to borrow, but I do now have a lovely set of Berrow Hill Melamine Dishes from Olpro that I can’t wait to try out camping.  They’re not only stylish and great for camping but perfect for picnics and BBQs.

Win a Sleeping Bag

Light Weight Sleeping Bag for Camping


The lovely folk at Olpro have offered my readers a chance to win one of their lightweight Witley Sleeping Bag with red on the inside.  It comes in its own stuff sack with draw string and if you have two you can zip them together to make a double.  I quite fancy getting the Berrow Hill one to match my new dishes.  Camping really is getting rather civilized.

Enter by simply using the rafflecopter form below.  The full terms and conditions are at the bottom of the form.  But, in short, it’s open to UK residents aged 18 +.  Competition closes on the 17th Sept 2013.

Good luck and happy camping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This competition is listed on Loquax, Prize Finder and Competition Hunter

Disclosure:  I received the melamine set free of charge for review purposes.




Glamping Holidays in Devon near the beach

You know when you go on holiday and you just want to get home to your own bed?  This wasn’t one of those holidays.  I would have loved to stay longer.

We didn’t go away last half term so we were hoping to have a short trip this break.  We started to troll the net looking for somewhere to jet off to.  We were started to lean towards a place in the Canary Islands but in the end decided against it as it was starting to get a bit pricey.  So, in the end we decided to stay closer to home and went Glamping  at Cuckoo Down Farm in Devon.

Call me a wimp but…..

I grew up camping in Canada and do love it, but Glamping definitely is the way forward for me.  One of the best things I liked about this break is we didn’t have to bring half of the house with us, especially since we had 3 adults, one dog and a child in the car.

Glamping in Devon

Luxury Accommodation

The Safari tents are very well equipped and sleep 6 (max 4 adults).  There are two bedrooms; one with a double and two singles and the sofa bed pulls out to sleep two more.  You can also hire bedding (£7), as Duvets are so bulky we decided to splurge.  There is an outdoor cooking area with everything you need.  They even had a corkscrew!  Plus, there is a composting toilet out back and there is a shower block near the farm house with an endless supply of very hot water.

Accommodation at Cuckoo Down Farm in Devon

On the Farm there are 3 Yurts and two Safari tents which are nicely spread out so you’re not on top of each other.  As we only have one child, it was a blessing that there were other children around for our daughter to play with.  She met a lovely set of twin boys, similar in age and we’ve exchanged addresses with the hope of them becoming pen-pals.


Probably the biggest highlight for our daughter was the woods at the bottom of the field.  They spent ages in their building dens and dams.  I was a bit nervous at first as we couldn’t see them and there was a small stream running through it but she absolutely loved the independence.  It was also lambing season and she got to see a lamb that was about an hour old, unfortunately, the chickens weren’t laying eggs at the moment but she did get to go on pony ride on Saturday morning (£6).

Glamping Farm Stays in Devon

There is also an honesty shop on the premises so if you forget anything important you can pop down and grab it, plus, there is a very well stocked shop in the local village.

Things to do nearby

There really isn’t any need to leave the farm, but as we were so close to the coast we did visit two beaches.

Beer is about 12 miles away but worth it.  It’s a picturesque town with a pebbly beach.  My husband and daughter thought they were going on an hour long boat trip but it turned into a fishing trip and they came back with a couple of Mackerel that hubby gutted and fried up back at camp.

Fishing Trips in Devon

On the last day, we decided not to head back too early, as we’d just sit in traffic on the M3 and popped to the beach near Branscombe for a couple of hours.  The road down is a bit hair raising.  It was a bit reminiscent for us as the last time we went our daughter was 10 days old and we stayed at the Masons Arms where she had her first bath.

We don’t often go back to places more than once as we like to try new things but we would definitely love to go back to Cuckoo Down Farm one day.

Not as expensive as you may think!

I think it was fairly reasonable.  Normally you can hire the tents for 3 nights from Fri to Mon but we had to get back for school on Monday, you have no idea how tempted I was to call in sick.  Anyhow, as we were only staying for the two nights Becky gave us a discount so for 2 nights.  It was £345 but if you divide that between 4 adults it works out to about £85 per adult for the weekend.  Well behaved dogs are welcome but there is a £30 charge for them.

Thanks to the Sheaves for a wonderful  weekend.

Some may call it Glamping….

I’ve slept rough in a public park in Budapest, got eaten alive in a hammock in Honduras, have camped wild in Canada and I once woke up behind a chair in my sitting room; so I think I’ve done my fair share of roughing it.

So, when we were offered the chance, once I had a quick look at the website, to spend a weekend at Feather Down Farms we jumped at the chance.

For those ‘Camping Purists’ out there you may object to me calling this camping in any form as there was not a wet sock to be found and we didn’t have to sleep on the ground.  Some would prefer if I called it glamping.

We received a very warm welcome at Lipley Farm in Shropshire, by Stephen the farmer.  Who took time out of his busy schedule; they have 140 dairy cows he has to milk twice a day, to show us around.  He can recognize each cow without even looking at their numbers.

We were absolutely stunned at the tents which sleep up to six comfortably and they were fully kitted out.  The only thing we were missing was electricity and an oven glove.

Shortly after we settled in, the Farmer asked if we’d like to see a newborn calf.  I was thinking a couple of days old, but in fact, it had been born about 5 minutes before.  We got to watch it try and find its feet for the first time.

Every morning our daughter got to feed the baby lambs in the enclosure near the tents and we collected our own eggs, some of which were blue, from the chicken coup.

One of our highlights was the tour of the Dairy parlour; I was clever enough not to go down as I could see the danger of standing at the back end of 14 well fed cows.  However, hubby was not and ended getting a bit closer to nature than he would have liked.

As I mentioned, there was no electricity (but I did find a sneaky plug socket in the Larder to charge the iphone and ipad) the only source of heat was the wood burning stove, and I would be lying to you if I said it wasn’t cold.  In fact, it was freezing, we could see our breath when going to bed at night, but it was April. They do supply bedding but we had brought our own Duvet, which is heavy enough to smother a small child and were pleased we brought it.

All our cooking was done on the wood burning stove.  The thought of this at first was daunting, but we quickly adapted and cooked everything from a full English breakfast to Sausage and Smash to a Sunday Roast.  My only suggestion would be too take something with you, that only needs heating on the first night, as you can’t check in till 4pm and you may not be able to get the stove up to temperature quick enough.  We brought a Chilli from home.

The weather wasn’t brilliant, but it didn’t put a damper on it.  We were happy to sit back, relax and enjoy the farm.  We really didn’t feel the need to go beyond the farm. But there was a lovely wood down the road that we went for an umbrella covered stroll in and we also found a pub near a canal for a sneaky half which would be amazing in the sunshine.

Overall, we would thoroughly recommend a weekend at Feather Down Farms and a huge thank you to Stephen, Tracey and the boys for a wonderful weekend.  We will be back.

Disclosure:  The weekend was compliments of Feather Down Farms.