We don’t do presents for birthdays in our house. The children have all that they need and members of the wider family can always be relied upon to take care of the “wants”. Instead, we do days out or experiences which normally we can ill afford (aren’t says out with kids astronomical?!) and create memories.
So when my eldest asked to go camping for his 5th birthday it seemed like a good opportunity to make some more.
We did have all the camping gear but lost a lot of it when our previous house in Surrey flooded, and I didn’t want to go and buy everything (including a kitchen sink, or bowl at least!) if it was going to be an unmitigated disaster.
Previously the hubby and I had spent a lovely weekend in a Shepherd’s Hut so I set about trying to find something similar but more child friendly. Which was when my running partner mentioned Wowos.
In Sussex, it wasn’t too far to travel for May bank holiday weekend which is just before my son’s birthday, and they offered lots of glamping options whilst being on a very child friendly campsite.
We booked Clarabella Wagon, an old station wagon with heaps of charm. It used to be horse drawn and was responsible for furniture removals. The wagon included double bunk beds, a gas burner, sink (without running water) and a wood burning stove – it was the end of April after all! It also had the added benefit of including all crockery etc which meant we didn’t have to squeeze pans and mugs etc into our Vauxhall Astra. We just had to take bedding and clothes.
It offered the camping experience of no electricity, showers or loos – all of which were a 30 second walk away in regularly cleaned wooden huts – but with enough home comforts for two under 5s and their long suffering parents!
We were pretty blown away on arrival – we had our own covered eating area and a camp fire pit as well as plenty of fire wood for the woodburner, candles and matches.
On the first night we cooked sausages for hot dogs on the camp fire and obviously toasted marshmallows but we also couldn’t resist sampling a pizza from the visiting wood-fired pizza van, and a few glasses of local red wine from the on site organic shop (the kids had water!).
The campsite itself is set in acres of woodland including a fairy trail, streams, brooks and rope swings:easily enough to keep the children entertained all day. They also offer woodland craft and circus workshops for a small additional fee.
When we visited there were English bluebells and fragrant wild garlic carpeting the woodland floor.
Soup and songs around the campfire happen in the big tipi on a Saturday evening and a breakfast van serving crepes, coffee and bacon rolls visits on a Sunday morning.
We gave ourselves the night off cooking on the Saturday and went for a birthday meal at Bill’s in nearby Lewes.
The children had an incredible time at the campsite, spending all day every day outside (we were blessed with the weather) and we will definitely visit again!
Wowos has normal pitches each with their own firepits, yurts, shepherd’s huts and a gypsy caravan!
I thoroughly recommend it as a first time camping experience and also for experienced campers looking for a site with lots of additional activities.