Sleeps: Up to 5
Price: £140 / night (minimum 2 night stay)
Location: Chiddingly, East Sussex
Over the past few months I’ve visited a fair few Glamping sites. Each one unique in it’s own quirky way offering simple ways of getting close to nature and camping without the stress. However, last week I visited Canvas and Stars and I think it’s fair to say that these guys take family Glamping to the next level! The picturesque site was set up in Sussex at the start of this season by friends Nicky and Rachel. They have used their vast personal experience of family Glamping to create a luxury camping experience that also provides activities for children and consequently, relaxation for their parents. Accommodation is immaculate with acute attention to detail to making the stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. It’s the combination of all the little extras that makes this a really special Glamping experience that both kids and adults will go home raving about.
Tucked away down winding lanes in the heart of Sussex countryside the site can be found on Hale Farm in the village of Chiddingly, just outside Lewes. Canvas and Stars is a pretty Bell Tent Village situated in it’s own paddock offering guests 7 acres of rural tranquility. It’s small enough to be intimate and friendly, but large enough to create a small mini festival vibe around the evening fire pit.
The Bell Tents are fully equipped with everything you might need for a short stay. They comfortably sleep up to 5 people with fresh white linen and cosy duvets all made up ready on arrival. There are numerous additional extras which all add a little luxury: toiletries, flapjacks, ponchos for the children, books, fairy lights, petals on the bed and other floral decorations. The outside living area is equally well thought out. Each tent comes with it’s own fire pit, seating (we had two deck chairs), small table and personal water jar. Attention to detail is obvious in the presentation of the bell tents with cute bunting and personalised slate name plates finishing off the pretty scene.
From the moment we arrived the children were busy either dressing up, making friends or joining in with some of the activities that Canvas and Stars put on throughout the afternoon. There’s so much going on! We were invited to join in with a nature scavenger hunt shortly after arriving at the camp. This was an excellent way to find our bearings and worked as the perfect ice breaker in terms of the kids making a few new friends. The scavenger hunt was followed by bingo and kids afternoon tea (all included in the price of a stay). After just a couple of hours of being on site the kids were off doing their own thing…friendships had been forged and I could relax a little more knowing that the children had been well fed and were in their element. We were blessed with fantastic weather for our stay but rainy days have also been catered for in the form of a chill out marquee, full of games, toys and props for make believe and role play.
Once the kids have settled in and kids tea is packed away…the Gin Van arrives!!! Mama Gin is a gorgeous pop up which regularly visits Canvas and Stars offering guests locally sourced Gin and sparkling wine based cocktails. The Gin Van doesn’t take cards so please remember to bring cash with you. The bar provides a social focus for the evening with guests comparing drinks and chatting as they sip their cocktail creations around the fire pit. The evening I spent at the site was very relaxed and sociable with adults enjoying each others company as the kids played on hay bales until dark. The evening wound down with some marshmallow roasting followed by an incredible star gazing session. As it’s a family site we were all tucked up in our tents and the site was quiet by 10:30pm.
Despite a cold and clear night we were warm and slept well. The farm is incredibly quiet with only the local church bells and the dawn chorus to disturb the peace. There are hot showers in the adjacent field and loos (complete with fairy lights and flowers) located close to the Bell Tent Village so a morning freshen up is very straight forward.
There’s a communal kitchen area at the entrance of the Village where all those little things that you forget to pack are made available for guests to help themselves. Coffee, tea, milk, sugar, squash…even bread and bananas are all on offer so you don’t have to bring half of the local supermarket with you! The kitchen area also has a shared fridge and sockets for phone chargers as well a few camping essentials for sale such as marshmallows, wood, matches and lager!
The farm is another added bonus that really makes this place special. It’s open for visitors from 9-10:30am every morning. You can buy bags of animal feed for 20p or sausages and eggs for your morning fry up. It’s an idyllic little spot with very friendly owners and animals. We loved the furry donkeys and the noisy pigs!
Our stay at Canvas and Stars was quite special in a number of ways, I think all of us really enjoyed the social aspects of the camp…not just the kids…but the adults too. This is a really friendly, welcoming site and has an incredible way of making you feel at home even when you’ve just arrived. The little extras have been well thought out through the whole stay, the activities for the children, the kids tea, the tea and coffee…these things all make the experience easy all round and sets Canvas and Stars above other similar sites that I’ve visited. This is true luxury family camping with sprinkles on top where both kids and parents will leave with great memories.
We received a complementary stay at Canvas and Stars in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Nicky and Rachel for organising our stay and looking after us so well.