W will be starting school this year, I thought we could make the most of our time together before being beholden by term time for holidays and days out by writing out a bucket list of things he wants to do before starting school. The first item on our list was camping, in particular he wanted the experience of roasting marshmallows round a campfire. A quick Google search for glamping in Devon later, and I had booked us a last minute 4 night stay at Cuckoo Down Farm.
We arrived late afternoon to our gorgeous safari tent, Poppy. We were the only ones staying at the farm as it was term time but it meant that B and W were free to roam the glamping field without disturbing anybody. The card, wine and chocolate was a lovely welcoming touch. Our first night was definitely a learning curve as I discovered that I was inexperience in the art of wood burning stoves.
TOP TIP: Make sure you know how to use a wood burning stove or be prepared to ask for help, to avoid spending the first night snuggled together in PJs, jumpers, 3 pairs of socks and under plenty of blankets.
We spent our first morning admiring the view from the barn; it held the fridges for each tent/yurt and shared freezers, showers (though we had our own hot shower and toilet at the back of our safari tent), washing machine and charging points for phones and lamps. I had finally got the wood burning stove working, which meant warm croissants for breakfast before exploring the 3 acres of woodland on the farm. W had brought his British Wildlife book on holiday with us in the hopes of finding some creepy crawlies, and B was convinced he had seen a flash of a rabbit in a blue coat (Peter Rabbit enthusiast!).
We had a lovely lunch at local pub, The Golden Lion Inn in Tipton St John. Everybody was incredibly friendly and helpful, the food was delicious and we were able to spend our afternoon walking along the nearby River Otter.
On Wednesday B and W had the opportunity to meet, brush and ride Ebony, the pony. We also met some newborn lambs, said hello to Honey, the goat and fed the chickens as well as collected some eggs for our dinner.
I had packed a picnic lunch for us to take to Sidmouth, with plans to enjoy the Jurassic coastline and explore the pebbled beach pretending to be fossil hunters. However, it was so windy and unpleasant for us all, we resorted to seeking shelter in the car and returning to the farm to read books in front of the stove with warm milk and cookies. I also decided that tonight would be the night we had sausages around the campfire and toasted marshmallows much to their enjoyment!
Our last full day, I had considered the just under 2 hour drive to The Eden Project in Cornwall however after looking at the one the day prices and reading reviews online I settled on a linked site, The Lost Gardens of Heligan. We were graced with lovely sunny weather for what a magical day it turned out to be. Firm favourites were the Giant’s Head and Mud Maid sculptures within the 60acres of woodland. W also enjoyed crossing the Burmese Rope Bridge in the Jungle while I carried B across. It is recommended for over 5’s but I allowed W to cross anyway as it was a quiet term time day and he could take as much time as he needed to cross. We had lunch at one of the cafes where you could take your food outside and borrow one of the many picnic rugs available. We finished our day looking at the calf, piglets, lambs and chicks in the barn, watching a lathe demonstration and exploring the gardens.
Our last morning was spent enjoying warm croissants and porridge before the 4 hour drive home, we are all sad to go and it was an incredibly enjoyable experience for me, as I had had some reservations about taking them without another adult to help supervise/entertain. I would definitely consider glamping again in the future, but perhaps when they are old enough to help me with the wood burner!