When I received an email asking if we wanted to head to Elderflower Fields Festival in the days leading up to our first ever family holiday (which you can read about HERE), I was dubious and even typed out the declining email due to the mammoth packing task that lay ahead. But, of course, not before clicking the link to see what it was all about. About 30 seconds into my browsing experience, I retyped my email and it was a resounding YES! This was a family festival, taking place in the heart of the Sussex country side with a plethora of boy-friendly madness – although we couldn’t go for the whole weekend, we could certainly put the packing, washing and ironing to one side for a day trip of fun.
Elderflower Fields is a small, independent family-festival, created in 2012 by a group of friends and set within the stunning private grounds and magical woodland of Pippingford Park in the Ashdown Forest. I’ll admit at this stage, I’m not much of a festival music lover (although there were apparently over 40 bands) but I love nothing more than seeing my kiddies have an awesome time – and that’s exactly what was had, despite a little sprinkling of rain!
I arrived in a grumpy mood due to aforementioned packing and rain. Then, to add fuel to my Debbie-Downer fire, I was informed that a lot of the uber cool activities like mountain boarding, den building/fire lighting had been fully booked prior to the day; or that a Disney-in-the-height-of-summer sized cue was to be joined for climbing, slack lining or scooting. All in all, not a spectacular start. But after a short while, assisted by the chilled music, natural vibe of the place and an abundance of adults wearing flower garlands, I started to come round to it.
We packed as much as we could into the day. The boys enjoyed slack-lining, wall climbing, parkour, sports camp, giant bubble making, archery, skate boarding and making pizzas for lunch.
The Best Bits:
- The boys really loved the parkour session and the sports camp. I equally loved these as they got whisked off for 45 minutes and 1.5 hours respectively – so free time to wander, or enjoy a yummy cocktail from the bar.
- Our lunch from Curry Cook House was delicious!
- Making pizzas (so good they did it twice) with the charismatic Dough Brothers.
- I adored the feeling of safety about the place. I was more than happy for the boys to run off to do their own thing.
- Going for the whole weekend! It took me a few hours to get into the relaxed vibe, whereas, if we’d arrived on the Friday night, come Saturday morning I would’ve been in the swing of things. I think the same can be said for the kids.
- Booking online. You can book some of the activities before you arrive – this will save on the grumpy faces (me and the kids!)
- If you want to look different – do not wear a floral crown!
- Look out for the fleet of golf-buggies that help get you and your stuff from the car park to the camping/main festival. The site is quite hilly and these can be like a beacon of hope for weary legs.
- Whilst the bigger boys had a blast (8 and 9) there wasn’t much for Casper (1), especially as it had been raining, so the boggy terrain wasn’t conducive to his new walking skills.
Considering I’d rocked up in a pretty crappy mood, I left wishing we were staying for the weekend. We had to leave behind a beautiful sunset, as kids continued to play and run wild in the woods whilst the parents relaxed into the evening with a G&T and the lighting of the camp fire.
Will you have us back for longer next time Elderflower Fields?
Thanks so much to the fab folk over at ID&C who provided us with our day tickets to the festival and all the lovely wristbands being worn that weekend (and possibly still!).