A Magical Treehouse Adventure – Blackberry Wood
Ever wanted to stay in a Treehouse? Well at Blackberry Wood you can!
I feel asleep dreaming of mischievous fairies riding through the woods on the backs of giant rabbits, their backpacks full of forest treasures, acorns, blackberries and magical things…
Nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of Higgledy and Piggledy. As a child, I always dreamed of climbing The Magic Faraway Tree to a make-believe world and escaping reality. The adventures that await when you stay in a treehouse at Blackberry Wood really are something of fairy tales.
Nestled at the bottom of the South Downs lies a very special countryside spot in the National Park. Blackberry Wood campsite is just a few miles from Brighton, but this rural retreat feels like you have wandered into another world.
We were super excited to stay in our very first treehouse and almost let it slip to the kids that’s what we had planned. They had begged for clues for days and the more they asked to more excited they got. In fact, I started to worry that we had built our next adventure up a little too much. The moment we arrived I needn’t have worried as both kids leapt out of the car and screamed ‘treehouse!’
Higgledy and Piggledy are the kookiest places you have ever seen. Two immense treehouses rising from might oaks like castles in the sky. There is not a straight line to be seen and even climbing the stairs is an exploration into the unknown.
On arrival we were warmly greeted on a freezing winter day and shown around the fabulous campsite. Our family is very used to camping but I was still feeling reasonably nervous about sleeping outdoors at this time of year. We’d packed onesies and extra blankets (and plenty of red wine), plus books and games to keep the kids entertained. None of this even left the car in the end, as the moment we stepped into our Piggledy Treehouse we were cosy and warm and didn’t have time to get bored.
The treehouses are fully insulated and have toasty wood burning stoves inside and out on the terraces, as well as central heating if you need it. The sign on the information caravan door explains that since 2011 the solar panels at Blackberry Wood have generated enough electricity to power 61k lightbulbs, 33k kettles, and 78k fridges! Once inside, the kids explored every nook and cranny and were fascinated by the secret little additions. Everything is meticulously fitted in to its perfect place and the attention to detail and craftsmanship is wonderful. You can’t help but be impressed by the time and effort that has gone into creating these magical getaways and it’s very hard to leave.
Eventually, we tore ourselves away from our treetop abode for a muddy rural walk to the local pub. Blackberry Wood is well located with several great places to eat and you can even order Thai takeaway from a friendly neighbour to be delivered to your door (or tree!). The site was reasonably empty when we visited, I guess it’s only crazy families like us that choose to visit in winter, but this made is so peaceful. We really did feel like we were in another world. Although many of the trees were bare, the wildlife was still very busy. We had squirrels and a friendly robin come right on to our balcony and we saw fluffy rabbits hopping all over the place. The treehouses are an ideal place for bird spotting and we think we heard deer in the night. We were awoken by something rather larger scuffling around below us. Luckily it didn’t wake the kids as we’d fallen asleep happily creating stories of mystical beasts and magical lands.
Higgledy and Piggledy are probably the most luxurious glamping options at Blackberry Wood, but by no means are they the only fun option. Their camping pitches are in hidden little private woodland glades each with their own fire pit and uniqueness. You can also stay in a real-life helicopter, a romantic gypsy caravan, a curvy cabin, or even pretend you are Una Stubbs and Cliff Richard and stay on a double-decker big red holiday bus!
The idyllic camping and glamping site of Blackberry Wood really is very special. Nothing is standard and their sympathetic approach to building and the natural surroundings is admirable. If only other campsites could follow this example and create such unique family breaks. But then again, it wouldn’t be quite so special if everyone did it, would it?
Find out what the kids thought about our stay in a treehouse and watch Daisy’s movie of our Blackberry Wood adventure here.