Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
Wapsbourne Manor Farm, Sheffield Park, nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3QT
Wapsbourne Manor Farm, or ‘Wowo’, as it’s affectionately known by a growing band of regulars, is a rare and beautiful thing – a great campsite within two hours’ drive of London. It’s light on unnecessary rules and regulations, and big on fun and freedom. With smoky campfires (facilitated by a firewood delivery-man who appears at dusk on his little tractor), old rope swings and free camping for performing musicians, this is not a site for the Nanny-State obsessed. But go with the flow and this rural wonderland is the perfect outdoor adventure playground.
This magical spot always seems to have something new to reveal: another field hidden behind the thicket, a secret pathway, a yurt nestled among the trees. And while the 40 pitches in the camping fields come with plenty of surrounding space for game playing, there’s a whole separate site that you might not see unless you go looking: the premium woodland camping pitches, otherwise known as the Tipi Trail. These eight pitches (christened with such delightfully spacey names as ‘Hobbit’,‘Woodland’ and ‘Little Owl’) are secreted away in their own exclusive woodland setting, ideal for celebrities, politicians, and newlywed royal couples looking for seclusion. What’s more, they offer a fairy-tale-like setting for games of hide-and-seek. Two new additions to the site include the fully-equipped shepherd’s huts and a couple of roomy bell tents. There’s always something fun going on during summer weekend evenings too: soup suppers; pizza making and plenty of mingling.
Children’s entertainment is strictly of the old-school variety: climbing trees, swinging on tyres, rolling around in ditches, making camps in the undergrowth. In fact, the entire 150-acre site is a huge, natural adventure playground extending well beyond the four main camping areas. Saturday night is music night: free camping for musicians in return for an ‘open campfire’ policy allowing all-comers to join in a sing-song around the fire. It’s a hippified rule alright, but fitting for mildly bohemian Wowo.
Nearby, the Bluebell Railway steam train is a big draw, as is Sheffield Park. Lovingly sculpted in the late 1700s by the visionary landscape architect, Capability Brown, the park is arguably one of the country’s finest gardens. With the famous four lakes forming its centrepiece, the rich array of surrounding horticulture exudes vibrant explosions of colour at almost any time of the year. In autumn, black tupelos blend with the rusty reds of the maple and deep scarlet leaves of the oak. Spring brings a lively riot of daffodils and iconic Sussex bluebells. In summer there are flashy splodges of pink rhododendrons and the soft, magenta tones of the rampant azaleas, while an early morning winter circuit around the lake, the grounds blanketed in snow, gives the whole setting an otherwordly quality. Cricket fans might also care to know that the park’s pitch was the venue for the very first home tie between England and Australia in 1884.
But then, many weekend visitors don't get that far, happy to settle for the ample pleasures of exploring the grounds of Wowo for a few days. With the evening air scented with campfire smoke, the soft murmur of sociability and perhaps a musical soundtrack, this wonderful woodland hideaway just oozes back-to-basics appeal. Leave the rules at home. Let the kids roam free.
The Owner Says
Stayed in the Hobbit yurt for the first time in a chilly weekend in March. We were amazed at how well set up the yurt was and everything you could need was available therefore we were able to get the log burner up and roaring within 10 minutes. Inside was clean, comfortable and cosy- we especially loved the little touches such as tea lights dotted around inside. We made the most of the Yurt by ordering a takeaway and spent the evening round the campfire outside. Loved our weekend at Wowo and can't wait to return in the summer months when the days are a little longer to make the most of all the campsite has to offer!
Won't believe returning
Whilst the facilities were quite nice, the weekend we stayed the site was packed with unsupervised brats who seemed to take pleasure in making other kids cry and whose parents were nowhere to be found. We ended up leaving early as it was a horrible atmosphere with this sort of bullying going on.
Response from Campsite Owner:I'm really sorry you found the other children at the campsite unsupervised and unfriendly over the weekend you stayed. Unfortunately it is down to individual families to control and discipline their children but happily we don't normally find this is the case and our young guests often make new friends while at Wowo. I hope you found the other aspects of your stay with us satisfactory and you would consider giving us another try when another mix of campers are onsite.
Mud, streams and camp fires
It helps that we've just had some of the most gorgeous summer weather Britain can offer so we visited for two days in ideal conditions. Toilets - two types. Normal flushable ones near the Barn - I did see them getting cleaned but could do with a good jet wash and fresh paint. Flushable composting ones dotted around the whole campsite - please, please put the instructions outside (laminated) so you can read them in fresh air and with light. The light inside one didn't work at night but they're quite dark inside anyway with very small windows. Yes, they are tricky especially for children but once I'd gone through the instructions with my son he was fine. Showers were good especially the single ones though could do with a really good scrub. Family showers - nice idea but so hot and steamy you felt like you needed another shower after. Very, very muddy in there which doesn't help! Again probably need more frequent cleaning but the campsite was busy. The Barn - brilliant! Chill out area with tv, table tennis, lockable mobile phone charging (£2.50), lots of campers' fridge freezers (even a pen and plenty of labels to name your stuff) and reception / farm shop. One of the best stocked camp shops we've been to with essentials (milk, bread, eggs, sausages, torch batteries, tent pegs etc) and non essentials (gin, chocolate, cider, ice cream). Really helpful staff. The camping areas are lovely. We chose a quieter spot away from the main wigwam area but within minutes my son was off running around with other children. We only really saw him when he was hungry or thirsty which is a good sign! There are lots of different areas for children to play - open grass areas, woods to have adventures in, streams to swing across, logs to tightrope walk over, mud baths to wallow in! Not sure if it's a version of Lost Boys or Lord of the Flies. Camp fires are a must for camping. Each spot has 3 wooden benches around a campfire, ideal for a bit of protection from roaming children and plenty of wood available at a reasonable price. Overall, a great campsite, brilliant for big groups and small families. Just don't expect to spend much time with your children!
Great for groups
We stayed here with a group of 8 families last summer. It was clearing out on the Monday morning when we arrived, but I hear it is very busy on weekends.
We had plenty of space in a big field near woods. The children had great fun.
It was useful having a campsite shop, fridges And food van!!
We loved seeing the donkeys.
Perfect kids and campfire site.
Having heard so much about Wowo, we decided to give it a go, albeit with trepidation as the campsites we normally go to are decided on quality of showers and toilets along with other items.
We went with our 2 yr old and 4 yr old, along with another 2 couples with kids of the same age. 1 couple was camping for the first time, and they booked the Gypsy wagon.
Upon arrival we had a very friendly greeting, and all was explained. The pitch itself was lovely, we all setup on the Gypsy pitch as it was our fiends who had rented it. Provided was a very nice undercover table, and what I have to say it the best campfire pit I have seen, it was to become the focal point of the stay.
The weekend was very busy, however unlike most campsites, Wowo seems to get better the more people there are. the kids loved the swings, exploring the dry river beds, visiting the ducks and chickens, as well as the barn which they led me to first thing every morning as soon as they got up. Lots to look at and fiddle with.
Saturday night was free soup night up in the main field, what a lovely experience. Gorgeous soup and bread, with the kids running wild.
The main showers and toilet block were as I had expected, very run down, very grimy. I am by no means a camping snob, but these are the worst facilities I have come across.
We stuck to the compostable toilets, which were always clean and actually quite pleasant and private. Maybe they were cleaner because people avoided them and the area around them was grassed, so not so much dirt getting tracked in.
We did not use the site shop apart from firewood, so cannot comment.
The no parking of cars by your pitch was widely ignored and not enforced, but that does not bother me. The no driving after dark was also ignored all the time, my lovely neighbour driving up each night revving through the mud at 1pm was testament to this.
The kids and families all had a ball and really enjoyed the site. If you come with the right frame of mind that you can go a few days without a good clean, then this site is perfect.
I very much doubt we will return, purely because of the shower facilities. Other than that, this is a lovely, friendly, welcoming site in a beautiful setting.
Would have got 5 stars if the showers and toilets were up to scratch.
Wonderful as ever..
Pics of our stay here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danskinner/sets/72157648203440175
This was something like our 4th visit to WoWo, it having first introduced us to the whole concept of ‘proper’ camping (ie. in woods with fire..) back in 2010ish. We’ve since explored quite a few of the cool camping sites in Kent & East Sussex, but WoWo is undeniably special so we ‘will’ be coming back here until we begin falling apart trying..
This visit was special in that we took advantage of a late season window of good weather and snapped up the ‘Stepping Stones’ shepherds hut down on the tipi trail. Being able to rock up with just our bedding & food made for a truly idyllic weekend, and the location of this wonderful little hut was truly spectacular.
Having been initially struck by how small it was we were pleasantly surprised at how easily we fitted all 4 of us in there, with the boys sleeping snugly under the fold-down bed, and us having far more room that we were used to. The hut was super warm with its wood burning stove, and all the little touches (candles, wood, firelighters, decorations) made it SO homely and cosy.
The boys had an absolute blast swinging over the stream and we set up a slack line bridge that attracted kids from far & wide! There are already so many things to do at WoWo but this pitch was wonderful and kept us amused all weekend. As you’ll see from the photos, late summer also brings some fantastic foggy ‘inversions’ which we’ve never seen before and were truly magical.
So many wonderful memories. We can’t wait to take our new baby there as soon as it’s ready for its first night under canvas :)
We stayed 2 nights in April, the kids had an absolute ball. Best part is it's less than 2 hrs from London, we hardly saw the kids had to drag them in for meals as within an hour of being there they had so many friends who were all running around the campsite which has a moat of water around it - lots of mud and lots of fun for them. The high swings are amazing and dotted all around the site. Each site has a campsite and a metal rack which you can set your cooking things on- very handy. Many also have a wooden table and benches. Toilets are close by and didn't have to que. Clean and tidy at all times. Man came on tractor with firewood each afternoon. You can take your car to your campsite as well. Well stocked farm store on site and pubs within walking distance, lovely trail for walks if you can get the kids to leave the site! Chickens and ducks live up near the shed. Large farm shed with table tennis and toys couches etc good in case of bad weather to go and chill out in for a while. Will definitely be returning, can't fault it. Hopefully sunnier weather next time. :)
Great midweek but not a peaceful weekend retreat
We recently visited for the 2nd time. Let’s deal with the loos first! The last time we were at Wowo it has to be said the compost toilets were a bit of an experience. If you are fussy about such things then it might put you off. However, there are ‘normal’ toilets if you insist on them. This time round we discovered a new version of the composting loos – a bit of a read of the rules and some supervision of smaller children and they are absolutely fine. No need for all the hoo-ha!
We visited with a group of 7 families with children between 5 and 13 years old. They go free range and absolutely love it which makes for a relaxing time for the adults too. There’s lots space for large scale rounders, cricket or football games and if they want something different there’s the barn to hang out in or the large rope swings. The fire pits are great – although at £6 a crate the wood can get expensive – but it’s a great focus for a social gathering and on a chilly night a welcome source of warmth.
The laid back approach of the owners is lovely; however there are downsides to this when you’re on a large and busy campsite. If you are in a medium to large group on a busy weekend it’s quite hard to get a pitch together around a fire pit. Reservations can be made but they just don’t seem to work out, possibly because campers don’t turn up together and other smaller groups settle in between the areas waiting to be reserved.
Wowo is a beautiful, peaceful place midweek, an absolute treat. But if you are looking for a relaxing place for the weekend, it’s not the place to be. We were all kept awake by an adjacent group until 4.30am. They had been told by the night warden to keep quiet but they took no notice at all. The curfew is 11/11.30pm, most people are considerate but the sheer bulk of people onsite makes it a noisy and crowded place. Take earplugs just in case.
One last point, the food vans that appear during the week are a great idea, however once again the large number of people means that you stand little or no chance of getting food quickly. The wood oven pizza vans had 2hour+ waiting times on the Friday night. We were told that online booking would have helped – shame we had no idea about its existence, and even then the people in front had booked online and were told they had a similar wait. We ordered from Dominos in Haywards Heath – not really in-line with the wholesome eco experience we were looking for.
We did have a great weekend though!
Serial visitors to WoWo
We've been three times now to WoWo and it's great whether it's sunny or rainy. We visit with a few other families each year now, and the kids adore it. geese, rope swings, brooks - just bring a gazebo or event shelter and you are sorted whatever the weather.
Looking forward to going again in 2015.
Streams, Trees and Camp Fires
Stayed here in May - it was great. Would definitely recommend - would definitely come back. Yes, it is a large site and I can see that in summer it could be very busy which would indeed be a negative, but when we were there it was busy enough to be social, but not overcrowded by any means.
We were a couple of families with children ranging in age from 2 - 6, and this place is at its best if you are willing/wanting for your children to embrace the whole tree-climbing, rope-swinging, camp-fire, lost-in-the-woods "risks", even if that does result in scratches, scrapes, stinger-nettle-rash, and minor burns!
It's all part of Growing Up and Being British!
(Or do I go to jail for being a neglectful parent ? Pah.)
We went to Wowo as part of a big group (7 families - 14 adults and 15 kids aged between 4 and 15). It is a kid's wonderland - the trees, ditches, dykes, swings, dens. I don't think there is a better campsite in the land in terms of adventure and freedom. Even when the rains drenched the site it become a muddy nature Disneyland.
The site is well thought out for groups set around a fire area with benches and a banqueting table. Thankfully we were in tone of the higher fields - the lower ones suffered in the storms.
There are some nice touches and the visiting pizza and paella vans ere reasonable and tasty food served. The entertainment in the village area was a bit hit and miss.
And so to the loos - if used properly they are fine - accompany the kids to make sure they are flushed and there shouldn't be a problem.
It got very busy at the weekend and there were a few less than thought campers but during the week there was space aplenty.
The shop is pricey but there is some nice stuff there. There is a bit of a manyana feel about the place generally but none of the kids complained and, with the kids away the adults could ... relax too!
Not perfect but don't be put off by the bad reviews. If you are in a group, have loads of adventurous kids and are in it for a good fun time, Wowo is difficult to beat.
Perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.
Just back from our family break - amazing, perfect, awesome.
Absolutely LOVED it and can't wait to go back again. Kids had the best time, off in the woods, dried river beds, fields and rope swings. There were plenty of facilities, all clean and topped up. The family shower room was great.
Staff in the reception were welcoming, helpful and good humored. The pitches were fine and amply big enough, even for our 7m Outwell tent. As the sun sets there's a lovely communal feel with camp fires abound.
The barn was great complete with its fridges and freezers for campers use.
My only niggle was that we couldn't take our family bulldog because of a ban on certain breeds that I personally don't agree with.
a new tradition
Last year we stayed at the wowo campsite with some lovely friends. My boys and her girls had a fantastic time playing in the woods and in the stream by "clay mountain". We had such fab time that i see this as becoming tradition each summer. They loved making things out of the clay tha they harvested from the river bank. The new composting toilet are fantastic - no flies, no smell, the only difference between hem a "normal" toilets is the pumping of the flush which is no problem at all. We love having a fire pit for our tent, and having a pile of wood to feed it with. The field got a bit muddy after some storms - but that just became a mud bath for the kids to play in. Ours did restrain themselves and just paddle in the mud - other kids were head to toe in mud :-D It's great that its' just across the field to the Bluebell railway. It wasn't as peaceful or as spaced out as it was last year - but the weather was better and so i guess more folk were camping. The big barn with the table tennis and books and sofas is great for wet evenings if you don't want to sit by a fire. It also has lockable charge points for phones/cameras which was great for one who uses her phone as a camera!). Think we'll be back again next year!
Decent toilets aren't rocket science.
Just back from a weekend at wowo. Am I recalling the sunshine? The open fire? The thoughtful items that accompanied the gypsy caravan (large covered eating area, washing up bowl + sponge, water, gas, kettle, etc)? The plentiful hot water for washing up? The many tree swings? The stream? The free soup? Watching England lose to Italy? Nope.
Stayed here in May 2013. Beautiful pitch right by the creek, loved the HUGE firepit space and sat up there late into the evening! Very peaceful.
Hidden treasure in the woods...
Wowo is big! It's probably not the kind of place we'd camp in summer, because it must get pretty busy. But in November, we needed a mini-adventure, so we walked down the Sussex Ouse Valley Way from Handcross down to Wowo. We arrived late, but the shop was open and we got some local veg supplies and firewood.
The trick here is to get a pitch in the Tipi Trail - wow! We were the only ones there - not many are mad enough to camp in winter - and we got 'Frank's spot'. To say it was idyllic was an understatement. Tucked down the end of a copse next to a little stream, we pitched on the flat between the trees. There was a fire bowl, so we hung a tarp to provide some shelter from the rain, and baked potatoes in the fire. In the morning, we woke up to light mist hanging over the fields on the other side of the stream so we tiptoed over the bridge and explored up into the woods, after having tea by the fire. The staff were friendly, the site was beautiful, compost toilets were clean. We'd definitely go back. Out of high season I can highly recommend it - it's all about your location! Book early to get the best pitch.
This site had rave reviews, so we were pretty excited. Unfortunately it didn't fulfil expectation. We arrived in early September 2013.
We were a large group (3 families of 4), but booked independently, so probably should've moved to the group section of the site (didn't realise this until we were pitched).
Also there isn't a lot of grass cover where we were pitched, so it got pretty dusty. If it rained, it would've been very muddy.
The water from the taps where we were pitched was ok for washing etc, but no good for drinking (tasted horrible). If you walk closer to reception and fill your water bottles, it tastes much better.
The facilities were ok, but not fantastic. I also think they were catering for overflow with Portaloos in the field we were pitched. I think this was a temporary arrangement though.
Overall we had a great weekend, but probably won't go back.
Brilliant family fun
I stayed here with my 2 and 3 year old and we all absolutely loved it..... the kids all group together in a famous five type fashion and disappear on big woodland adventures all within the confines of the site.... leaving grown ups to sit and .... well just sit really ...... and REALLY relax..... or go on lovely walks..... if you really want to..... lovely campfires, lovely rope swings, very friendly staff... would highly recommend!
A beautiful place to stay
We have stayed at WOWO twice now - both times "glamping" in a yurt in winter. The yurts are beautiful, so well equipped and homely, the staff are very friendly and helpful and the facilities are very clean. Will definitely be back again, it is a very special place for us.
Winter months are perfect for cosy Yurt holidays!
Wowo Campsite is the perfect place for a countryside retreat. A place to be at one with nature for an individual or the whole family.
In December we stayed in the Alice Yurt which is positioned next to a lovely stream and open field. The Yurts here are very cosy and comfortable with no worries of getting cold in the winter months as the wood burner was very efficient and was actually cosier and warmer than our home in Brighton. The Yurts are equipped with everything you may need for your stay. If you need any bits and pieces for cooking then there is an onsite organic farm shop where you can find quality local produce including organic free range eggs from the Wowo chickens. The selection of home grown gourds are especially tasty also.
The staff at Wowo are friendly and welcoming and are happy to assist with anything during your stay. There is also lots of information in the barn about local attractions and places to eat and drink. We hired an Ordinance Survey map from the office so that we could explore the footpaths around the area and visit some of the traditional local pubs.
The toilet and shower facilities are excellent here. Each area of the campsite has toilets and water facilities and the main toilet/shower block has heating, constant hot water and a family wet room with disabled access.
The campsite as a whole is a beautiful and safe place with plenty of areas to explore and play. I would thoroughly recommend Wowo Campsite as a place to visit anytime of the year.
Not so great in winter unfortunately
Heading off on a camping trip in winter was never going to be easy, but we were fully prepped and hopeful as we headed off to Wowo in our campervan and plenty of thermals. Wowo looked great with its eco ethos, the fact that it's one of just a handful of campsites open in winter and the fact we were allowed to take the campervan, yet the site wouldn't be over run with caravans.
When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely owners who were very friendly and we were shown the camp shop which sold a variety of veg and breads - all very artisan (and at artisan prices!). Disappointingly though there was no meat on sale in the winter. We were told that if we'd wanted meat we needed to pre-order which we would have loved to do - if only we'd known!!
We were shown to our pitch which was nice - a spacious plot with a fence around a sheltered table area and a big campfire. So far so good. Once settled we went for a wonder around the site - the first thing that struck us was just how vast Wowo is - I was under the impression from the write up that there were 40 pitches.... there were 30 alone in our field and at least 3 other fields with similar numbers. It made for an eerie experience with all but a couple of camping neighbours (but that's what to expect in the middle of winter!) but we couldn't believe how many residents that would mean in summer! Be warned for anyone looking for a quiet getaway.
As mentioned in the Cool Camping write up - Wowo is low on rules and big fun - there are a few rules that we were aware of though - one keeping dogs on the lead.... on at least 3 occasions we had large dogs racing around our camp at night. We're doggy people but it would have been scary if you weren't! The other is caravans... and the thing we found most disappointing was the 15 or so static caravans that dominate the centre of the site. These were being resided (our only other neighbours) with a mix of people who seemed to be staying there permanently and working as builders etc in the local area. This meant they weren't really campers so we didn't get a friendly hello or smile as we shared the morning wash up routine as you get with most campers. This group also seemed to be employed to do works on the site, which meant that they would head off in fork lift trucks etc when they returned from their day job.... so much for one of the other rules about not driving on the site in the night! Other jobs included cleaning the bathrooms which meant this didn't happen until the very end of each day.
To end, not the best of holidays, we unfortunately broke down in our campervan (an experience many campervan owners must expect) so after a miserable day with the AA we returned to camp absolutely freezing and in desperate need of some warmth.... unfortunately though all our wood had got damp and despite a number of calls through the reception intercom at 6pm to try and find someone who could sell us some wood we lost hope and went to bed early with no dinner!
All in all, Wowo has the bones of a good camp... I'd suggest they'd hold of winter opening though if they're going to be undertaking repairs and have non campers staying on site.
Not So Wow Wow
I have mixed feelings about this place. It is a fantastic location and great place for the kids to get really muddy and have a wonderful time. We hardly saw our 6yr old and his friend from the moment we arrived till the time we left. They really only turned up for food, (not necessarily at mealtimes!) It's not very dog friendly in that they can't run free around the site and have to stay either in the car or tied up some where, tie rings are not provided either, so where to tie them??? The toilets and wash facilities are poor for the cost of the place. It was busy all weekend and bearing in mind this was the first week of term god only knows how much business was made over the summer. There is no excuse really for such poor sanitation and hygiene. On a positive note the pitches are large with adequate space for car, tent and gazebo. It is set up for groups and families and there is plenty of food and entertainment laid on. If you don't have dog and don't mind your kids getting dirty without having a wash for a few days is the place for you. May go back next summer for a couple of nights without the dogs, maybe they will have upgraded the washroom by then.
Beautiful, amazing, what more could I say?
We arrived late Friday evening and popped into reception where we were given the run down of the farm. The staff were friendly with a well stocked shop and ducks wandering around outside.
We drove round to our pitch and saw signs for "free range children", this is great as it meant we lost my 12 year old step daughter and her friend once the tents were up. We left them to their own devices and they loved it, building dens, finding rope swings and rope bridges.
We had a massive fire pit with 4 natural wooden benches around it (each pitch gets this) and the wood delivery came around several times throughout the evening. I really liked the honesty box for the wood, if its late and you want to keep it burning just get your logs and chuck a fiver through the reception door.
The barn equipped with a piano, table tennis and loads of sofa would have been great if the rain was terrible, luckily it wasn't too bad.
The community area had two donkeys in!!! The kids and myself liked this! The area was huge with a bakery and I assume a cauldron where they cooked the most amazing wild garlic and lentil soup filled out with vegetable and home baked bread, all using their own grown ingredients, and gave out for free on the Saturday evening.
There was a kids entertainer in the form of a juggler and a murder mystery set in the woods. What made my weekend from an adult perspective was the live music Saturday evening,4 wonderful musicians plus an amazing singer who just happened to be camping. We were having a sing song till ten pm with the lovely owner (an older guy) and his son. It wa so warm and welcoming and really touched the soul. No pretentiousness, only kind hearts, good food and amazing company.
Thank you Wowo.
We have stayed at Wowo a few times and always had a magical stay with friends. The only problem now is booking in time - it gets booked up well in advance. The site is beautifully situated, the staff are friendly, lovely touches like free vegetable soup served communally. The barn is pretty and a good place to go if it rains. Children love the rope swings and the freedom to roam. The bluebell railway is a walk away and there are beautiful walks through woodland to a pub if you can muster the energy to leave the campsite. We used the launderette facilities once and they were fine and no queuing to use machines! This is the place to go to hang out with friends let the kids enjoy the countryside and just chill out. Highly recommended.
I stayed at Wowo with my 6 year old, during a summer heatwave. It is a fantastic site. A shallow river runs through several fields, giving the many children a great opportunity to create their own adventures. My child only came to me when they were hungry. That is the sign of a good place to be. For the adults, the woodland was a place to take a break from the summer heat.The site is a walk away from the bluebell railway, which offers a great off site adventure for kids, perhaps those who do not easily make friends or get bored. The pitches are large enough to avoid being woken by snoring neighbours. Every pitch has a well maintained fire pit and benches. Shower facilities are adequate: there is a large family room, which allows parents and children to shower together and avoid the stress of trying to make it work in a small cubicle. The site is well managed: the office is open all day, and the usual items in the shop are always available; wood for fires is driven around the site daily; facilities are kept reasonably clean throughout the day, all the taps have drinking water. There is a barn where kids can have a game of pingpong, read a book or play a tune on an old piano. Upon my arrival, having followed the Wowo request to travel by public transport, I was rewarded for the effort with a free box of fire wood. So far so good. However, the campsite shop only sells very basic food, and the nearest farm shop is only accessible by car as the roads are said to be too dangerous to walk. So honouring the Wowo request to leave the car at home, created a problem: hunger. The toilet facilities are so far away from the pitches, that one needs to start walking before feeling the need. So many people relieve themselves next to their tents at night. At sunrise, as the heat set in, an intense urine smell overcame me as a woke up, apparently having pitched my tent on the improvised toilet of the previous campers. For me, the general public was a downside too: the site is taken over mainly by people wearing white ironed trousers and ugg boots, with large cars next to their massive tents... the kind of people who actually want to buy those ridiculously overpriced vegan marshmellows. Weighing everything up, this is not a campsite I would return to or recommend.
Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
We stayed in the Shepherds Hut which is at the start of the Tipi Trail and a great location with views over the stream, accross the fields to the woods beyond. The Shepherds Hut came with everything we needed and plenty more: all bedding, blankets, hot water bottles, crates of wood, a basket of candles, gas stove, a kettle and a log burning stove! We picked a chilly, snowy weekend in february so the Wood burner was amazing and kept us toast through out the night, and also boiled the kettle in the morning whilst we stole a few extra minutes under the duvet. The staff were all really lovely and even picked us up from the Train station which is a 10 min drive away and then gave us a 10% discount off the bill for using public transport! The reception shop is well stocked with vegetables, eggs, milk, bread, marshmallows, ketchup etc! and there seems to be staff around most of the time or on the end of the intercom. I would highly recommend a walk towards Sheffield Park, and checking out The Kitchen Garden Brewery, where you will find a wide range of wines and some amazing home brews. We picked nearly one of each and all tasted great!!! The walk through the woods to the Sloop Inn is also lovely and only takes 20 mins to get there, although the directions are a little sketchy, but its worth it. The staff were really welcoming and the food was very tasty! I would love to come back to this campsite in the summer months when it sounds like there pretty busy and have plenty going on in the evening, including soup and fresh bread baked on site, table tennis, films and accoustic music sessions. For us, the peace and snow in February, tucked up coazy in our Shepherds Hut was magical!
Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
Just been to Wowo for the first time. My friend and I and our two children aged five had a lovely time. We stayed in the Woodland Yurt which was well equipped and plenty warm enough even though we had sub-zero temperatures. We loved having the log burner and had it been warm enough we would have been toasting marshmallows around an open fire. Toilets by yurts were compost loos clean but as expected however you could always go up to the main building a use the toilet and shower facilities there which although fairly basic were clean and warm. The boys had a whale of a time slipping and sliding in mud, paddling in icy streams (not always on purpose) and swinging in the trees. We’ll be back in summer to make the most of this back to nature site.
Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
Dont believe us, check our video link at the end of our write up. Call it ‘cool camping’, ‘glamping’ or even ‘eco tourism’, the campsites in this area of our scene usually have one thing in common – no Camper Vans allowed! In fact, the very idea of pitching up in anything older and less environmentally friendly than a Toyota Prius would find you banished for life. Not so at Wapsbourne Manor Farm, or Wowo as it is fondly known. Owner, Paul Cragg, and his team ensure that your stay on his calm and laid-back site will be everything you could wish for from this type of grass roots camping. Campers are made to feel extremely welcome when they arrive, and the mutual admiration of this, our lifestyle, is more than noticeable when driving past your neighbours in their assorted rustic abodes and fireside huts. Upon check in, you are guided through a lovely timber barn decorated with flowers, bunting and sofas. The rustic structure also houses a range of board games, table tennis for the kids, and an old piano that everyone on site is encouraged to join in with. The woodside pitches are home to a mix of tents, Campers, teepees and yurts, with the later available to hire should you want more space than your Bus might provide. One thing you’ll notice almost immediately is how peaceful the English countryside really is. Despite being less than 45 minutes from London, you may as well be in the depths of rural Britain. The streams that frame each camping field offer their own tranquil soundtrack, while the odd splash and screams of laughter let you know that children are close by and enjoying themselves. In the evening, guest chefs serve either paella (Friday) or pizza (Saturday) around the main entertainment field, with local bands accompanying the sound of the crackling fires, while the Wowo team get busy chopping up the ingredients for the complimentary soup handed out to all the campers before bed. Anyone wishing to stay by their pitch can take advantage of their own fire pit and purchase £5 baskets of logs from any of the visiting tractor drop offs. We found two of these baskets were easily enough to keep us toasty warm throughout a weekend, and will help with tales of real camping adventure in both kids and adults alike, not to mention the customary smell of campfires in your clothing! The standard shower rooms have good water pressure and adequate lighting, but the plush new timber family block is recommended if you want to get ready in the morning all together and in more luxury. There’s also a host of pristine washing-up bays situated right next to the shop, so you can fetch your freshly cooked loaf of bread in the morning while the kids wash up the dishes. Perfect. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend at Wowo and look forward to visiting again soon. http://youtu.be/eDzDMfD5tCA CONTACT: Wapsbourne Manor Farm Campsite, Sheffield Park, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3QT Tel: 01825 723414 FACILITIES: This rural campsite has loads of Camper pitches set amongst teepees, yurts and woodland walks. There are clean and plentiful washing-up facilities, single and family shower rooms, a shop, a communal play room and fire pits for every pitch. Evening meals are offered at the weekends, complete with live music. LOCAL AREA: The site is at the end of the driveway to the Bluebell Steam Railway. In fact, it’s so close you can here the train whistles during the day. It is also a short drive away from Sheffield Park and Wakehurst Place, both National Trust sites. Brighton Pavilion and the beach front and Bodium Castle are also a must.
Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
Just returned from a great week’s camping at Wowo. The owners are lovely and the site is magical, it was just the weather that let us down! We took our baby and our three year old who both loved the wide open spaces and rope swings. It was a joy to revel in good old-fashioned camping with the luxury of a camp fire every night. My husband provided some live music at the weekend and this is a regular feature of life at Wowo. Be warned however - this is not the place for a quiet weekend get away. London and its dog seems to descend at the weekends and you’ll be surrounded by the excited sounds of crusading children hanging from the trees and generally (loudly) enjoying the freedom of the countryside. I know my kids will love this place in a few years time but I’m glad we got to experience the relative quiet of the midweek as well as the craziness of the weekend! Overall, couldn’t recommend this place enough to families but not the place for a romantic getaway! For us, it was perfect.
Wowo (Wapsbourne Manor Farm)
no one I know has ever regretted staying at Wowo
Wapsbourne Manor Farm
Wowo is a beautiful and well run campsite. Even the great British weather couldn’t dampen our spirits despite throwing everything it had at us. We stayed in the magnificent Woodland Yurt which is in the tipi trail. The Yurt itself was well stocked with everything you could ever need (including pots, pans, torch, hot water bottles and a cool camping cookbook) and the surrounding area was gorgeous, hidden amongst the trees and with a stream right beside it. There are rope swings galore and don’t be surprised if you see groups of people staring at the ground as mole spotting is a popular pastime. Campfires are encouraged and wood is brought round daily (£5 per crate). The staff are friendly and helpful and there are some good communal areas with free newspapers at the weekend. We walked to the nearest pub, The Sloop. The menu was confused offering italian food and curry and sandwiches were the cheapest thing on the menu - coming in at just under £9. There was a snobbish attitude when we asked for some chips which annoyed us. I would recommend only using this pub in an emergency situation! Wowo is by far the nicest campsite I have ever stayed in but there is one thing to note - call to confirm your booking as we had a double booking situation.
Wapsbourne Manor Farm
Another excellent weekend camping with friends at wowo. There are more composting loos near the tents now so it’s not such a schlep to the toilet block if you need to go now. And a washing up block in the field where we were camping. Campfires are excellent and everyone is friendly. Great organised activities - we had soup and singing - in the meadow field for free, which the kids loved. You can’t escape the colour of the earth here - it’s red, whether it’s wet mud or dry dust so don’t ever have a summer Calvin Klein moment and pack white clothes of any kind, they won’t stay white for long. So much to explore, rope swings galore and the steam railway just there. We’re already planning a return trip in August if they can fit us in. And I always forget there’s a bank of fridges and freezers in the barn for keeping cold stuff cold, and now ice creams at reception. Who could ask for more?