Sleeps: Up to 5
Price: £145 / 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 month we visited Canvas and Stars and I think it’s fair to say that these guys take family Glamping to the next level! Canvas and Stars have 3 sites across East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire each offering luxury family escapes in a stunning location. The sites were set up by friends Nicky and Rachel in 2017 and with two seasons successfully under their belt they seem to have managed to tailor their Glamping breaks to families wanting the perfect balance between the embracing outdoors whilst maintaining a good level of comfort. They have used their vast personal experience 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.
We visited their original site in East Sussex located tucked away down winding lanes in the heart of Sussex countryside 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: activity packs with pencils for the children, toiletries, flapjacks, ponchos for cold evenings, 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 camping chairs), small table and water jug. 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 which was followed by bingo and an impromptu game of badminton. All the structured ‘mini-glamper’ activities proved an excellent way to find our bearings and worked as the perfect ice breaker in terms of the kids making a few new friends. 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. To top things off I was greeted with a beautiful glass of bubbly by one of the friendly hosts.
We were blessed with fantastic weather for our stay but rainy days have also been catered for in the form of a chill out tent, full of games, toys and props for make believe and role play. Canvas and Stars also run a variety of additional activities throughout the Summer including bushcraft skills and stargazing so there really is plenty to keep busy with!
We cooked our evening meal over the suspended fire pit outside our tent. These are great for cooking general BBQ and camping meals but gas hobs are also available in the mess tent for quick cups of tea or heating up pasta etc. An outside caterer, Fab Foods For You provides a pop-up dining experience on specific dates during high season and BBQ packs are available to pre-order should you need. 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 and loos (complete with fairy lights and flowers) located in the centre of the site so a morning freshen up is very straight forward.
There’s a communal ‘mess tent’ or kitchen area at the entrance of the site where all those little things that you forget to pack are made available for guests to help themselves. Coffee, tea, milk, sugar…even bread and fresh eggs 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!
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 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.