05 October 2009

Under Canvas In Blackberry Wood Sussex

Little update.....
I just want to add that I loved this place very much.
It is a wonderful tranquil place to be for a while.
Maybe if my family was with us I may have enjoyed it more?!? yep I know I would.
There is running hot water and a flushing loo and our bed was snug and very comfortable.
Once dark, it is very dark, too dark for me to pick my way through the trees to use the loo.
But then the stars are just amazing because of the absence of light pollution.
It is something I know I will do again. Ugh!
Do not let me put anyone off the idea, it is important that we try new things as it really does make us appreciate our home comforts.
I love camping and have been spoilt having Nigella the Camper Van to sleep in.
I found Blackberry Wood in The Happy Campers.
I love this book, anyone who wants to get back to nature, go camping
and needs a few tips on how to camp with comfort will enjoy this book.
Blackberry Wood is a special place.
Only 20 pitches for tents.
No radios, nothing but the sound of the birds singing and the odd distant giggle!

You pick a plot and set up.
The plots all have a fire pit and iron stand on which you can cook.
They are well placed so each little camp is fairly private.

The sun was shining when we arrived. I was in quite a good mood. We parked the car and decided to explore and choose a pitch that we thought would be just right. Wheel barrows are supplied to transport kit from car to pitch.

Mr N put the bell tent up while I lit the camp fire. With kettle now on, I prepared a big stew which I thought would be easy to keep a constant supply of something hot to eat without any fuss. A stew is great as you can keep topping it up with fresh vegetables and once the fresh meat is all eaten a tin of M&S Beef would be better than taking any chances as we had no fridge to keep meat chilled.

The stew was delicious, lovely dumplings, fresh vegetables and tender beef steak.

The peace and quiet here was a great tonic.

We had picked a pitch on the edge of the woods with a wonderful view of the surrounding fields and the South Downs.
A wonderful place for big kids and little ones to explore and play.

But I must say that by 8.30 pm we were both tired.
We sat in the darkness surrounded by our lanterns and candles.
With no music allowed and not enough light to read, we just sat by the camp fire in a daze and talked about nothing much, just took in the atmosphere, stillness of the night and the damp air while we listened to the owls and whatever it was that was scurrying around in the bushes.
We were in bed by 9pm!
We woke several times during the night, I was a bit scared, Guy slept in between us under one of the two huge crochet blankets we had on top of our duvet.
It was very snug though.
Next morning I lit the fire again ready to boil the kettle for tea and cook breakfast.

I do love a camp fire and to cook on one was brilliant.
I was a bit quiet really, I am not sure if this camping lark is for me.

I am up for the camp fire cooking.
The making the tent cosy.
But I did not enjoy the experience as much as I hoped I would.
So we cleared away our camp and set off for Lewes.
A lovely town where we had lunch and I bought some green Hunter wellies in the fishing tackle shop at a bargain price.

I was thinking of putting the canvas bell tent up for sale.
But maybe I should give it another go.
We shall see!
Bye for now.


charl said...

i have to admit were you stayed looks gorgeous and your tent looks all cosy but im not into camping myself..id much rather have a b+b so i know were your coming from!!!
maybe keep the tent and just camp out in the backgarden with the kids as an adventure!!

charl said...

i have to admit were you stayed looks gorgeous and your tent looks all cosy but im not into camping myself..id much rather have a b+b so i know were your coming from!!!
maybe keep the tent and just camp out in the backgarden with the kids as an adventure!!

Simone said...

A beautiful looking place. I think I am little bit into home comforts too much to enjoy camping. Maybe you will enjoy it more at a different time of year. I always find the autumn time enjoyable but a little melancholic. x

Eileen said...

I am not much for camping Carol, though I love the idea of it. I think I need better weather than we generally have in England as I feel the cold so, but that site looked blissful. I do love the quiet! x

Brigitta said...

Camping is so NOT my thing, and you were camping really basic!!! B&B for me I'm afraid ;-)

MelMel said...

Hi hunni....you did better than I would....I'd be stuck without my hairdryer....LOL!!
As camping goes....its more glaming surely...looks adorableX

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oooohh it all looks amazing! I just love bell tents. I do love camping though but my husband isn't keen at all!
Sounds like lovely surroundings though, so peaceful.

louise said...

The place where you stayed does look lovely and a perfect spot for camping and adventure. J goes fishing, but I haven't ever been that keen to join him. I must say I like the romance of it all though, and the thought of beef stew and dumplings on tap! J takes a wok and makes a stirfry when he goes! Guy would have guarded you at night, although I wonder what really was lurking in the undergrowth? I am sure you will go camping again, now you have been to Lewes and bought those green wellies! x

Simone said...

Hello again Carol! I forgot to say that the stew looks delicious. I am really hungry now! x

Pomona said...

I have always wanted to camp in Blackberry Wood, but whenever I looked it was booked up! If you decide to sell your bell tent, email me first - the Head Chef has been hankering after one for a while, and we would definitely be interested in buying it!

Pomona x

Lisa said...

What a beautiful place for a camping trip. Maybe next summer when they weather is warmer you may feel differently about it, it's not for everyone though, ind you never done it myself do what do I know!
Lisa x

zmoon said...

I have to say, I thought you were a bit daft when you talked about this very basic camping trip. You have such a wonderful camper, with all the comforts. So this was definitely a big step back. In the US we start out with sleeping bags by the lake or beach, then it's a big step up when we get our first tent big enough for a real bed or two and a real campfire kit. From there we beg the universe to provide us with a camper, and once achieved, never look back. :D I can't imagine a damp tent again, even though I love the quiet of the forest, the lapping of water on the shore, a canoe ride........the blissful quiet. I abhor an outhouse and no running hot water. Sorry.....just can't go back. When you're really young - it's fun. Now - not so much. Good for you for trying it though and don't feel bad that you didn't care for it enough to do it again. Everything has it's time.

Go give that camper of yours a big hug! :D
xoxo Moonie

Zia Meadows said...

this looks fab! I have been planning to send my hubbie and the boys off for some bonding time!

periwinkle said...

I think you should give it another go , your camping stove is soooo much better than what we had , we had beans and sausages and some burgers on one of those takeaway BBQ's lol. Your site and tent lookes awesome ....

Fell Tops said...

The idea of camping sounds great and looking at your pictures I am almost tempted and then I hear the words bed, showers, windows, doors spring to mind!

Vanessa x

re said...

Blackberry Wood sounds just perfect.

my day said...

Hello Carol,
It is nice to hear from you again, I really did miss your lovely post.The campingplace looks great only if the weather was a bit better maybe you would have a better time there.I think you must try again because your tent looks lovely and you will miss it when you sell it.
Loved this post and wish you a lovely day,Hugs Ingrid.

lemonade kitty said...

Why not give it another go? Maybe go somewhere where there are more people about then if you realy don't like it well at least you've tried. I love camping I think it's the "back to nature" of it all and the come and go as you please love Lucey x

Itch2stitch.com said...

That to me looks and sounds like heaven, I would love it! The whole camp just looks so beautiful! suzie. x

Amongst The Oaks said...

See, now to me that would have been heaven. The quiet, the nature, the rustic cooking...
and the perfectly adorable tent.

Country Cottage Chic said...

I must admit that I'm not much of a camper - love the photos & idea of it but not the practicalities!
Give me a nice comfy bed, hot running water & a flushing loo any day!


Blueberry Heart said...

It looks like a beautiful place to get away from it all - nothing but the sound of nature for a couple of days just seems bliss! My other half refuses point blank to go camping - too much of it when he was a kid whereas I've never been camping hence the 'want' to go! He's always said that while I 'enjoy' being in the tent he'll be in the B&B down the road waiting for my phone call to come get me!!

Lovely photos in your post as always too.

Have a great weekend Carol
BH x

Suzie Sews said...


Diane said...

I love love love tent camping - give it another go when it is a bit warmer.