In case you hadn’t noticed, festival season just kicked off. As I type thousands of people are stuffing their wellies and flimsiest tents in a bag and leaping excitedly on trains bound for the West Country for the ultimate music festival of them all. Summer has truly begun.
As a teenager I vividly remember resenting my commitments to the school choir at this time of year. Whilst we warbled away at the annual school commemoration service in June, the cool kids bunked off and headed to Glastonbury to rock out to a very different kind of music. I’m fairly sure the date clash was deliberate.
These days of course festivals are no longer the exclusive domain of teens and twenty-somethings. The cool kids have got kids of their own now and there is a growing number and variety of family-friendly festivals to cater for them. At their heart is getting families together under canvas in a really exciting way out in the great outdoors.
It’s a great idea. We live in an increasingly urbanised and screen-orientated world. Our lives are under huge daily pressure and I’m sure I’m not the only one that finds making time for both family and connecting with a nature a challenge some times. I don’t think there has ever been a more important time to get outdoors together in beautiful natural surroundings and have a complete ball. Those are the times our most treasured childhood memories are so often made of after all.
This August we are dusting off the Baby Routes family tent and intend to do just that. We are heading off to a fantastic family festival that is perfect for nature loving families – our first festival as a family of four.
Escape to the Countryside 2015 promises all the cool of the festival vibe in an intimate, beautiful natural surrounding Rather than being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of other festival goers, this venue offers the chance for the kids to run wild out in nature in good old-fashioned style. If you’re one for uncovering secret gems like we are then you’ll also be interested to know that this is Escape to the Countryside’s debut year.
The setting for the festival is one of the main things I’m excited about. Located just 25 miles south of London’s summertime city stickiness, YoghurtRooms campsite is set on organic Busses Farm in a secluded corner of beautiful rural Sussex that is just a Pooh-stick’s throw away from the countryside that inspired AA Milne’s famous adventures of Christopher Robin & co.
The YoghurtRooms campsite sounds idyllic in its own right. There are ponds for swimming and fishing, acres of farmland to explore, farm animals and wildlife for the kids to get to know and best of all, you can make proper campfires with wood provided on site. If you’re a little unsure of committing to canvas then there is also the option to ‘glamp’ in the romantic looking yurts or take advantage of a fully equipped apartment. There is even an on site beauty caravan to provide some sneaky parental pampering!
Escape to the Countryside will bring a whole new dimension to the camp site. Roo is going to love the sessions run by the Wildlife Trust including bat walks and checking out for nocturnal mammals. I have a feeling both her parents will turn into big kids for the bushcraft skill sessions. You can learn to make a bow or light fire from scratch a la Bear Grylls – how cool is that?
For me, I am looking forward to the yoga sessions running for adults and kids across the weekend as well as some intriguing sounding activities such as nature meditation and laughing classes. I’m not sure I’d be able to keep a straight face for the latter but that’s probably the whole point, no?
Camp-fire storytelling, mask making, treasure hunts, cake decorating, guided walks…the list of activities goes on and there is still more to be confirmed. There is also going to be a big knees-up and BBQ (including organic beef from the farm) on the Saturday night. What a lovely informal way to get everyone together and for kids and adults alike to make new friends. The BBQ is being held incidentally in the camp site’s barn – itself a literal labour of love built by the eldest son of the Bauer family, who run the farm, for his wedding last year. This personal touch is just an example of the kind of attention and warmth of welcome that seems to come across from all aspects of this family farm.
We can’t wait but in the meantime it’s a great excuse to get some pre-festival camping practice in with the girls. We’ve already been out in the garden for a camp-over and hope to get out to a local campsite next month too. Roo and Beth are all for this sudden explosion of camping interest – for them there is no excitement quite like sleeping outside, listening to the sounds of our real life night garden and cooking marshmallows over a fire. If I’m honest, I’m only just a fraction less excited than them!
Escape to the Countryside is being held at YoghurtRooms campsite, Sussex, from 14th-16th August 2015. Full details of the festival, accommodation options and ticket prices are available on the YoghurtRooms website.
We are thrilled to be heading to Escape to the Countryside as guests of YoghurtRooms. All words, giddiness and general excitement however remain entirely our own!