Saturday, 24 August 2013

Forgewood Campsite

We love camping. Papa Owl and I first met on a camp, we both belong to Guiding and Scouts and camping is in our blood.  Little Owl enjoyed her first camp at just under 4 months old at the Essex Jamboree alongside 8,000 other scouts and guides from around the world - and she wasn't even the youngest there!

Unsurprisingly then, we decided to go camping for our summer holiday.  We thought about going to France to chase some sunshine but with the glorious summer we have had in the UK this year, we made the last minute decision to stay in the UK - in fact we only just crossed the Sussex border to Kent!

Whilst we thought a pool might be nice, we decided the most important thing a campsite could offer us would be a fire.  You know where you are at with a fire.  A little searching on the internet and we came across Forgewood campsite near Tunbridge Wells.

We arrived late afternoon, but still had plenty of room to chose from.  We chose a spot on the main field near the facilities as we thought this would be easier with Little Owl.  However, we could have chosen the quieter spot on the further field or a secluded spot in the woods.

Pitches weren't marked out - we were just told to chose a spot around the edge of the field as the middle was for the children to play.  Having pitched our tent, we decided to hire one of the grills from the campsite so we could BBQ over the our fire. The grills were strong enough that they could hold saucepans if you wanted to cook a proper meal!  Every evening a van drove round the site selling bags of wood. Each bag was plenty to cook a meal over or if you were just wanted the fire for a pleasant glow then it could last you two evenings.
From reading the reviews online before hand, two things worried us - noise at night at the toilets.  It was noisy when Little Owl was trying to go to sleep, a dozen or more kids were racing around on their bikes and playing football but they all started to head to bed about 9 and by 10 the only noise to be heard was Papa Owl snoring in his chair!

As for the toilets - well its the first time I have been on a campsite with fresh flowers in the loo! They were clean enough for me to sit on the floor while Little Owl took her time!  There was 3 showers and 3 toilets for both the men and the women, as well as two separate toilets which also held a shower.  These were mainly used by families with small children as you could lock the outer door and have the shower and toilet to yourself.

We weren't as lucky with the weather as we had hoped and had one morning of rain.  This was when the on site caf√© was really useful - a hot coffee without having to turn on the stove! They also sold a few essentials and treats in their shop.

On the map we were given upon arrival we noticed there were 'caves' not that far away, so on our last morning we went exploring - so glad we took our torch - they were 'big dark caves'!
We needn't have worried about being so close to home - all the families we spoke to were from Kent and Sussex - one group were from Tunbridge Wells!  We really enjoyed our time at Forgewood and are making plans to go back next year with friends.

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