With little annual leave left for 2017 and saving up for the wedding, CLB and I have forgone a summer holiday and instead have been making the most of long weekends. Recently we decided to embark on a camping trip with two friends of ours.
Picking a campsite can often be a gamble, as I find they can be under reviewed. After lots of searching on Pitch Up I came across Fontmills Farm Campsite in East Sussex – now, it doesn’t fall into the adults only category I usually look for but it does allow campfires and was under 2hrs from home plus looked totally cute and welcoming so we gave it a shot!
We took a half day off work to ensure we would be pitching tents in the daylight on the Friday; setting up camp in the dark really is no fun in the slightest. Upon arrival at the site, the owners Nicola and Steve welcomed us in person, checked us in and passed on some information sheets before Steve showed us to the camping field.
Facilities wise the site is great and all located in the camping field are 4x loos and 2x showers with HOT water – a luxury at a lot of sites – plus a kitchen area with fridge/freezer and sink for washing up those dirty pots and pans, or in our case marshmallow skewers and tea mugs.
You pitch around the edge of the field leaving the middle free to play games, run around in etc which is great as firstly it means no tripping over guy ropes in the dark but most importantly it limits the amount of campers you can have at any one time; a big tick from me as I can’t stand over crowded sites (unless at a festival when it’s standard).
Fast forward two hours and both tents were ready and the campfire was alight just in time for the arrival of our friends. And the arrival of the rain, A LOT of rain…!
For dinner we headed to the local town Hailsham and picked fish and chips from Ken’s to eat in the rain before bailing to the car to play some games – note for next trip, pack a gazebo for bad weather!
The sun greeted us on Saturday morning which was a blessing as we wanted to head off on a big walk before the weather turned back to rain in the PM. We were up and out by 10:30 walking along the Cuckoo Trail in the sunshine…bliss!
We stopped in a few miles up the track in Hailsham for a cuppa and recharge at The Snug, and to plan our next steps; we all agreed on heading to The Gun gastropub but rather than going the road route we’d speed up the walk and go cross country…did I say speed up? More like add on about 4hrs as we got lost!!! We walked up and down wheat fields then back and forth through bean fields and surprisingly didn’t get shot by a farmer! It was quite the adventure, especially in the pouring rain and by the time we arrived at the pub it was 5pm and I could wring the water out of my socks 🙈
I don’t think I’ve ever needed a beer and a hot three course meal quite so much as I did on that Saturday. The Gun is a lovely pub with a tasty menu and great drinks selection, what wasn’t lovely however was the wet dog smell that started to linger around us as we waited for our taxi back to the site a few hours later, (walk and get lost again, no thank you) sorry to the staff and local punters!
First job on arrival back at the campsite was to get the fire going as the rain had finally stopped; cue marshmallows and s’mores whilst star gazing before bed 😊
The next day after check out CLB and I went via Hastings on our way home as neither of us had been before.
The new town is nothing to write home about, but the old town is so quaint with its curiosity shops on George Street, great beach front with an abundance of fish & chip shops (typical English seaside town!) and of course, an amusement arcade for us 2p machine fiends.
For lunch we boarded the West Hill Cliff Railway and headed to the top to ensure a scenic sandwich. The funicular railway still uses the original wooden Victorian coaches, and there is another one on the East Hill too, we however didn’t have time to mooch over to that one but saw it from afar.
Despite the rain we had a fabulous weekend with friends, exploring the countryside and many a giggle were had. Next time though, I’ll do my sun dance a bit harder…