As I trundled down the long winding drive that is Waspbourne Farm it was immediately apparent that I was in the middle of nowhere. I hadn’t banked on Wowo campsite being so remote and my phone not even striking up one small bar of signal. The two hour drive to East Sussex from where I live had got inherently better once I had hit the A27 and started to enjoy the beautiful coastline and castles along the way. Hampshire has always felt like the gateway to the west, on the door step of the New Forest National Park and with links like the M27 and A31 it’s so easy to head to Dorset, Devon or Cornwall for a mini-break. It’s just as easy to forget what the South-East has to offer…
Pulling up at the hut I was definitely more excited than Wilf, who having just woken up looked like a stroppy little teenager that had been forced to go on yet another crazy adventure with his equally crazy and embarrassing mother. Pulling on his wellies and grabbing a few bags we wondered in to explore. The Bluebell Hut was simply gorgeous. The space was utilised well and for such small accommodation there was everything we needed. A good sized double bed that made a comfortable sofa during the day, a triple bunk suitable for children and adults under 6ft and a kitchenette with double hob and all the utensils you could ever need. My favourite feature was the small log burner which took a matter of minutes to get going and was more than enough to heat our little shepherd’s hut. Unlike most glamping options we also had an en suite toilet which was really useful – not always easy traipsing across fields with a 1 year old when you need the loo at night.
Wowo’s income generated from tourism allows funds to be invested into the infrastructure of the farm and establishing further environmental benefits through the regeneration of hedgerow, field margins, and pond and woodland areas. They have developed a ‘niche’ in the camping market by providing a back to nature ‘wild’ setting with outdoor fire pits, and the enjoyment of wildlife being one of the main reasons people choose them.
Wowo also has ‘The Village’ based in Lower Moat, open since 2010 it offers evening entertainment in the warmer months, live acoustic music and complimentary meals such as locally sourced vegetable soup. Not forgetting the farm shop on site which has fresh food as well as some camping essentials, most of which are organic and locally sourced.
Despite its quiet location you can be at several great pubs and restaurants within 10 to 15 minutes. We chose to go to one of the closet – The Bull, and were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food and the peaceful atmosphere in the restaurant side. A friend of mine enjoyed Crisp Confit Duck leg, whitebeans, chorizo & tarragon cassoulette with buttered curly kale. Whereas I opted for the monkfish & king prawn madras, aromatic rice, poppadoms and cucumber mint dressing. They didn’t seem phased by Wilfred running around causing havoc either, so it is definitely a good place for families if that’s what you’re looking for.
The great thing about our location was how well it was linked, we were a stone’s throw from London, Brighton, the south coast and so many great activities for campers. I will definitely be back one day to do some proper English Country Wine Tasting, or to ride the Bluebell railway. As I had Wilf on my own we settled for a Winnie the Pooh day. I discovered we were just 15 minutes’ drive from Ashdown Forest A.K.A – 100 Aker Wood. It was quite exciting to think that A.A Milne’s iconic book was written and based upon the stunning scenery right nearby. We wasted no time in setting off towards the town of Harting, stopping off along the way to explore the woods and of course find the original Pooh Sticks Bridge. We finished off with a visit to a quirky little shop called Pooh Corner and Piglet Tea Rooms. The Pooh memorabilia was quite out of this world, every single detail about the place had something to do with Winnie the Pooh. Tablecloths, napkins, framed pictures, food menu, children’s toys and crockery were just a few of the themed items we enjoyed during our lunch. We particularly liked the clocks all chiming on the hour, some with figurines appearing from behind closed doors, themed songs and rhymes suddenly screaming out from everywhere. Extremely amusing whilst we enjoyed some proper tea room grub.
The glamping in particular was fantastic, and I can’t recommend Wowo enough, although a rather large friendly spider reminded me that glamping, in all its glory, is still very much just like camping. It may have been the one and only time on our break away where I was contemplating getting back into the dating game – just to ensure I didn’t have to deal with the old eight-legged fury friends on my own. In all seriousness however one truly felt connected with nature, living amongst it (almost too literally in my case), and I was unsurprised to find that I didn’t miss much of all the materialistic possessions sitting at home.