Elderflower Fields Festival is a family festival held in Pippingford Park, Uckfield, Sussex. Here’s what we thought of Elderflower Field Festival 2019 and some tips for Elderflower Fields Festival in 2020.
Elderflower Fields festival has been running since 2012 but this year was our first time going to it. We were lucky enough to be invited to get involved and experience all the things the Festival has to offer: sports, arts and crafts, music, food and a whole load more besides.
To cut to the chase, we had the best time! Being northerners, we had to make a 6 1/2 hour drive down to Sussex with our caravan. Many would been put off with that length of journey, especially with 3 young kids, but I can assure you it’s definitely worth the effort!
So why did we love Elderflower Fields Festival so much?
Unlike other festivals we’ve been to this one incorporated lots of different sports along with arts, crafts, drama and music. There were so many opportunities to be involved in doing things, not just watching. We took part in most activities together as a family which meant we spent proper quality time together. In fact there were so many things we wanted to do that we didn’t get round them all! Some activities get booked up so it’s worth pre-booking them if you can or heading down to them early in the morning if you can’t pre-book. The sports camps and art camps give parents a well-earned hour off during the day and a chance to do something for yourself. All 3 of ours enjoyed the clubs immensely. (Note: if your child is Under 5 you must accompany them at clubs).
How did the weekend at Elderflower Fields Festival pan out for us?
Once we arrived we set up camp and headed down to the festival to get our wristbands and have a wander round to get our bearings. It’s a big site so it’s worth finding out where the activities are going on. There was a really chilled out vibe to the evening as people were setting up; chatting, making new friends, eating and drinking. Some performers and activities started on the Friday so we watched some of the acts on the main stage, Dragonfly Hill while we ate Lamb Naan Kebabs and had a cold beer (lemonade for the kids!).
As it started to turn cooler we headed up to Wow Pow area and sit around the campfire. Our kids joined in an impromptu straw fight with lots of other kids and squealed and giggled as they scooped up handfuls of hay and dumped them on our heads too! Tip for the campfire – take marshmallows with you! Sadly we didn’t have any but a lovely lady gave our kids a few of hers. We then watched a story with a small shadow puppet theatre which relaxed the youngsters and so we headed off to bed.
On Saturday mummy and daddy didn’t want to get up too early but as everyone was excited to go back into the festival we were back through the gates by 10am. It turned out to be an action packed day with the kids trying their hand at skateboarding, zip wire, helping to build a playground out of wood, frisbee golf, singing with Bee in the Woods, playing swing ball and seeing the curious Insect Circus Museum, which particularly delighted our younger two! We wound the day up with a bbq with our friends and then turned in early as everyone was worn out!
Sunday was an early start as mummy had booked the 9am sports club for our 4 year old, much to daddy’s dismay. However this proved to be a smart move as the boys were able to get signed up for a go on the climbing wall and go skateboarding again before most people emerged. At 11am, up in the Pow Wow area, the younger two accompanied by dad went on a bear hunt! This was one of the highlights of the festival as they were absorbed into the story and revelled in acting it out. What a thoughtful touch to have someone dressed up as a nice bear giving out cuddles! Meanwhile me and the eldest went off on a guided foraging tour. My son was enthralled by the guide and keen to taste all the different edible leaves.
The rest of the day flew by (literally) with more frisbee golf, archery, a wonderful So Sussex giant picnic, art club for our 6 and 8 year olds, Mud Monsters, a Playing With Beads workshop for mum, making feather earrings and eating more ice creams!
What were our favourite activities at Elderflower Fields Festival?
For mum it was the playing with beads workshop. Just an hour alone with boxes and boxes of beautiful beads and an expert to show you how to put your necklace or bracelet together. I’m so proud of my necklace, I wear it whenever I can get it off my daughter!
For dad it was having time to relax and listen to the live music with a beer while the kids were busy playing together.
Our 8 year old’s favourite activity was Frisbee Golf, our 6 year old’s was Mud Monsters and our 4 year old’s was the U5’s Sport’s Club.
Tips for Elderflower Fields Festival 2020
- When you are camping give priority to your sleeping arrangements. You need to be on top form to get the most out of the days so a warm, comfortable nights sleep is necessary. Some campers do stay up late so a pair of ear plugs might be useful too.
- A backpack is very useful for carrying things like suncream, hand gel, waterproofs, etc around the festival all day.
- Read the programme before you go and have a rough idea of what you want to do. I always highlight the things our kids really want to do!
- Make a plan for getting your camping stuff from the car to your camping pitch. The ground is bumpy and a bit of a walk (you can’t take your car to your pitch, it stays in the main car park). A trolly is a good idea but you could improvise – we saw someone with a wheel barrow!
- Consider taking ear defenders for children that don’t like loud music if you want to spend time checking out the live music.
- Pre-book any must do activities if you can. This can be done online before you go so it’s worth liking the Facebook page for Elderflower Fields and reading the emails you get sent before hand.
- Take plenty of cash as there isn’t a cash machine on site.
- Pack a lightweight picnic blanket.
- Take picnic food with you for during the day. There are loads of food outlets and the Sunday picnic is fab but if you want to keep costs down it’s fine to bring your own food and drinks.
- Read our blog post about festival camping essentials.