We have a team of fantastic photographers on site each year capturing our wild weekend in the beautiful Pippingford Park. Thank you to all of you who have provided so many wonderful memories of Elderflower Fields over the years.
This year we’re welcoming five talented new young photographers to the team, all on a mission to fulfill briefs of their own making. Meet them here:
Arriving at a festival can be stressful, especially if you’ve got excited kids after a long journey, all your camping gear and it’s chucking it down… This page explains what to expect when you arrive at Elderflower Fields this year, which will hopefully help you plan to make the arrival experience as smooth as possible.
1) Check where you’re going. The post code for Pippingford is TN22 3HW. There will be yellow AA signs along the A22 as you approach the entrance. Once off the road, stewards will direct you towards the parking.
2) Have your tickets ready. Either printed out, or on your phone. You may be asked to show them as you come into the site.
The idea of bringing kids to a festival can seem a little daunting if it’s your first time. We’ve all been there with wet wipe disasters and forgotten flip flops. Here’s our little suggestion for what to bring and what to leave at home, to make your festival experience a success.
Your tent. Unless you’re lucky enough to own a camper van or have treated yourselves to a lovely bell tent or tipi, you’ll need something to sleep in. Plus sleeping bags, pillows and maybe some extra blankets. It’s worth remembering that it can get surprisingly cold in the middle of the night at this time of year, so bring something warm to sleep in.
Clothing. Ah, the great British summer! It will be sunny, hot, showery and cold at various times over the weekend if past experience is anything to go by. Bring waterproofs, wellies, layers and suncream!
Dressing up. Festivals are all about fancy dress and outrageous costumes. Dressing up is strongly encouraged! There is no specific theme this year, but we’d love it if you dress fabulously and colourfully, especially on the Sunday afternoon when we want to see a full fancy dress picnic!…
Food & Drink. We have some of the finest food and drink in the area available on site. There is something for everyone and the prices are quite reasonable. Please see our Food and Drink page for more information. The bars stock a good selection of drinks but make sure you bring a water bottle to refill at the taps or buy a festival bottle from the Info Tent. If you bring snacks for the little ones or a camping stove to cook meals please do your best to minimise waste and do not bring any glass on to site.
Pack light… Our single best tip is to pack light. It’s a five minute walk down from the car park to the main camping field and although there is the Elderflower Express on hand this year (see our guide to arrival here) you’ll still have to trek across the campsite at least a little, so having less definitely makes life easier! If you forget bits and bobs there is always the festival shop which will stock snacks, camping essentials and milk etc.
What not to bring. Finally, please remember, no pets, no sky lanterns or fireworks, no sound systems and no glass…
We all love food, YES?
Elderflower Fields are lucky enough to welcome some of the finest local food vendors from Sussex and beyond. Food is a big part of our festival and this year we are introducing an exciting new Campfire Cookout zone featuring workshops and demos for foodies young and old. Our friends from Holmes Wood Play will also be back with their messy Mud Kitchen for our youngest guests, and of course, our So Sussex family taster picnic returns.
But what to do when bellies are full? Food waste at festivals can be a big issue but we’re taking steps to reduce what is thrown away. Our fantastic array of food providers offer child sized portions and we are very careful with what is brought in to Pippingford Park by anyone attending. We encourage you to only bring what you really need to the festival and share any surplus supplies of food or drink with your campsite neighbours rather than sending it to the bin.
Last year The Real Junk Food Project Brighton were on site at the end of the festival and we are proud to say that almost all of the excess food from our catering vendors was redistributed. This year there will also be tables in the campsites and at the entrance to the festival on Monday morning for anything that you really can’t use or take home.
We want your wild adventure with us to be a relaxing and stress free family experience. Each year we look at ways of making camping with kids as easy as possible. The introduction of trolley hire to assist with luggage, improved campsite showers and toilets, and our popular buggy service for tired legs are just a few of these. For those that are looking for an even easier camping experience we also have some premium glamping options available, and new for 2017, pre-erected tents from Tangerine Fields.
Glamping options at Elderflower Fields offer extra comfort and a spacious and relaxed Boutique Village with its own toilets, showers and water point. Boutique guests can take advantage of a dedicated buggy luggage service direct from the car park to their own beautifully furnished tipi or bell tent without the hassle of setting up camp.
Our popular Loveabell tents return after several successful years offering bell tents at Elderflower Fields with prices from £280. These sell out every year so book early to avoid disappointment.
Black Dog Tipis will also return and create a gorgeous tipi village in the exclusive boutique camping area. Sleeping 6 people in comfort and style, prices start from £450 for the weekend.
Both options come in a range of furnished and unfurnished packages and provide a luxury, hassle free way of enjoying your adventure in comfort. Guests can enjoy our relaxed boutique corner of the main family camping field.
Tangerine Fields join us for the first time in 2017 and provide simple, pre-erected tents sleeping up to 8 guests. Take the hassle out of pitching up and make the most of your full weekend at the festival. Based in general family camping, Tangerine Fields’ packages allow you to book with large groups of friends if you wish, and arrive any time knowing your tent is already erected.
For guests in motorhomes, campers, caravans, or those who wish to camp with their car or friends, limited pre-bookable live-in vehicle pitches are available for £40.
All premium camping options are limited and have been very popular in past years. All options are likely to sell out.
What adventures do you have planned this half term?
As the seasons change, it’s easy to go in to hibernation with the kids. Turning to screens and indoor activities, rather than getting outdoors and your daily fix of wild time.
Branching Out Adventures
Why not discover this brilliant outdoor adventure park based near Lewes in Sussex this half term? Branching Out Adventures introduces your family to the thrill of treetop activity and adventure in a safe and professional environment.
This year at Elderflower Fields, our friends from Wakehurst shared their expertise and helped plant sunflower seeds in our fantastic new woodland potting shed built by Sandy and her talented team from The Woodland Hut Company.
Many of you have been planting sunflower seeds at home and at Elderflower Fields. We want to see how they are going!
WIN tickets to Into The Trees and Wakehurst
We’ve got a family ticket to both Into The Trees 2016 AND a to Wakehurst for two lucky gardeners. Share a photo ofyour sunflowers and two winners will be selected. One winner will be drawn randomly from everyone who enters and another will be judged on successful growing.
Into The Trees is the second event from So Sussex and takes place on the 3rd and 4th of September at Pippingford Park in Sussex. A chance for children, their parents and grandparents to be inspired to spend more time outdoorstogether. Two fascinating family days which take you into the amazing world of trees, the woods and forests and explores ways in which we can play, work, learn and explore amongst the leaves branches and trunks.
Wakehurst is a stunning botanic garden located near Ardingly, West Sussex and managed by RBG Kew. Set in 465 acres of country estate, Wakehurst boasts ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands, a nature reserve, and an Elizabethan mansion. Learn about the essential conservation work of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, enjoy afternoon tea and have fun in the natural children’s play areas for a great family day out.
Share your pics to WIN!
Tweet, Facebook or Instagram tagging Elderflower Fields and using #ShowMySunflower or email your photo to [email protected] before 20th July.
Happy growing everyone!
*Terms and Conditions: Ends 20th July when 2 winners will be selected. 1 winner will be randomly selected from all entries and the other will be judged on successful growing by our green fingered experts. Both winners will receive a family day ticket to Into The Trees either 3rd or 4th September AND a standard entry family ticket to Wakehurst to be used within 1 year and not inclusive of special events or shows. Family ticket is for 2 adults and 2 kids. UK only. Competition is run by So Sussex and not endorsed or promoted by Facebook or any other social media platform.
Elderflower Fields 2016 is a sell-out!
Well, almost. We have just one remaining family weekend ticket up for grabs. We’d love to invite you all to our second event Into The Trees this September, and give you the chance to WIN the last Elderflower Fields family ticket too. Everyone who books tickets to Into The Trees before 24th May will be in the draw. An advanced family day ticket is just £22. Don’t worry if you are already booked for Elderflower Fields 2016, if you win you can gift the ticket to a friend or we’ll swap it for Elderflower Fields 2017 instead!
Into The Trees is a fascinating day of discovery for parents, grandparents and kids of all ages and will take you into the amazing world of trees, woods and forests. One of the south of England’s most amazing landscapes, Pippingford Park offers the rare chance to explore and enjoy protected ancient woodland in the Ashdown Forest.
Six diverse woodland zones full of activities to discover:
Working in the trees – demonstration and craft workshops from skilled blacksmiths, toolmakers, trug and basket makers, and more.
Playing in the trees – explore the tree canopies and play in the branches with climbing and slacklining. Enjoy woodland storytelling and games in the trees.
Art in the trees – create wonderful works of art with your family from wood and browse beautiful work from local artists.
Living in the trees – explore ways in which we can live within the trees. Get mucky with the kids and try mini mud hut building or check out the tree tents or Woodland Hut Company or Mark’s True Tiny House.
Wildlife in the trees – Join some of our brilliant experts from Sussex Wildlife Trust and other partners to learn more about the wonderful wildlife in the woods.
Surviving in the trees – discover ways in which we can survive in the woods with bushcraft skills, foraging and more.
Into The Trees tickets on sale now – Book your ticket before 24th May to enter the prize draw to WIN a family ticket to Elderflower Fields (2016 or 2017) worth £300.
Into The Trees 3rd or 4th September 2016 day ticket prices:
Family from £22
Adult from £8
Child from £5
Under 5s FREE
Term and Conditions: Every email address used to purchase tickets to Into The Trees 2016 before 24th May will automatically be entered into this prize draw (including tickets already purchased). 1 winner will be randomly selected and notified using the email supplied and has 1 week to respond or another winner will be selected. The prize is a family weekend ticket to Elderflower Fields Festival 2016 (2 adults / 2 kids) on 27-30th May. Prize can be gifted but not sold and may also be exchanged for a family ticket to Elderflower Fields 2017 (26-29th May 2017).
If you go down to the woods this May you’re in for a big surprise…
The year six students from Michael Hall Steiner school in Forest Row have been working on an exciting art project with Elderflower Fields Festival.
The Steiner curriculum looks at the life cycles of different plants and animals helping children to relate to human reproduction from both a grounded and universal perspective. Elderflower Fields have invited the children to create something for our magical woods at Pippingford Park and the children have enthusiastically responded with huge 3D moths. They have spent time studying the reproductive cycle of the moth and designed and created these wonderful structures from willow and tissue paper as part of an art installation.
The creation of these sculptural forms also fulfils the 12 yr-olds’ developing ability for design. They have studied the different forms of moths and worked out how to transform the precise geometrical forms and colours of the images of real moths into sculptural forms that will not only look stunning but withstand the weather.
The students have successfully combined accurate design, teamwork and biology into one activity that will be displayed for us all to enjoy and perhaps inspire more of us to get outside and be creative. Thank you to all the students and teachers involved – we can’t wait to see the moths in flight!
We understand not everyone loves the sheer joy of a completely wild time sleeping on the floor. The great British weather can fill some parents with dread at the thought of sleeping under a sheet of thin nylon. Glamping options at Elderflower Fields offer a little bit of extra comfort.
New for 2016, Black Dog Tipis will create our first Tipi village in our exclusive glamping area. Sleeping 6 people in comfort and style, prices start from £450 for the weekend.
Our popular Loveabell tents return after several successful years offering bell tents at Elderflower Fields but are unfortunately already sold out.
Both options come in a range of furnished and unfurnished packages and provide a luxury, hassle free way of enjoying our 5th birthday in style. Guests can enjoy our relaxed boutique corner of the main family camping field. The glamping area offers its own toilets, showers and water point with a dedicated buggy service direct from the car park to the boutique area to carry your luggage.
If canvas in any form still fills you with fear, then our premium camping pitches offer space for you to pitch up in motorhomes, caravans or anything you like, provided it fits within your spacious 6×9 meter space. Pitches can be booked here.
Glamping has been very popular in past years and all options are likely to sell out very soon.
Elderflower Fields is all about trying new things. After overwhelmingly positive feedback our So Sussex Sunday taster picnic is back. It’s a chance to sample new food and introduce kids to some delicious local produce, but above all, a chance to meet new friends and come together as a community.
All our activities at Elderflower Fields encourage families to join in and give things a go. Seeing children enjoy new experiences and become part of our magical community is what makes our event so special for us. The family picnic experience invites you to collect a picnic bag and enjoy the delights inside with a group of 12 festival guests.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter our Elderflower Fields colouring competition recently. We really enjoyed looking at all of the amazingly creative entries and they are now proudly on display to keep us smiling during the busy build up to the festival.
Congratulations to our overall winner Jasmine Kirkus Hislop (aged 8) who wins a family ticket to Elderflower Fields 2016 this May. Also to our runners up Leon Watson (aged 9) and Lena Komaier-Peeters (aged 10) who win family tickets to journey into the wonderful world of wood with us at Into The Trees this September.
So Sussex, the creators of Elderflower Fields festival have been working with students from Priory School in Lewes on another exciting competion for this years festival.
Last years two year 9 students from the school won ‘Design an Elderflower Fields app’ and this year pupils have been invited to design the festivals ‘Kids HQ’. The winners will see aspects of their own designs come to life at our 5th birthday festival this May.
Priory School has run the new Elderflower Fields competition for pupils to be involved in the design of 3 connecting, themed geodesic domes that promote the festival ethos: nature, art, music and sports.
Once the winning design is selected a team of Priory students will be helping construct the geodesic domes on site at the festival and the winning designers will enjoy a family weekend at the event.
So Sussex works closely with school’s and young people through the School’s Without Walls programme providing outdoor learning and experiences that are both fun and stimulating. So Sussex are keen to involve school’s and young people in Elderflower Fields and our sister festival Into The Trees.
We aim to provide exciting and unique family experience that opens children and their parents’ minds to new opportunities in sport, music, the arts, the environment and food in the great outdoors
The Real Junk Food Project Brighton intercept food destined for landfill, and this May we are super excited to welcome them to Pippingford Park to help us reduce our waste. With all the delicious grub on offer at Elderflower Fields, we have always been keen not to waste a single mouthful. Unfortunately, as with most outdoor events, food waste is something we will never be able to eliminate entirely.
We have some of the finest local food vendors joining us this year and The Real Junk Food Project will be on site to collect anything that isn’t used at the end of the weekend to feed people who need it at one of their weekly pop-up Junk Food Cafes in the city of Brighton. The revolutionary ‘pay as you feel’ concept encourages people to think about what their plate of food means to them, if they can’t afford to pay money, then they may want to wash up, weigh some intercepted food, or spread the word about the project. Food is a basic amenity that should be available to EVERYONE regardless of financial status and the project provides healthy meals, not just for homeless people, but low-income families, students and anyone struggling financially.
Tucked away in a peaceful corner of the site you’ll discover the Green People Woodland Spa which has been designed to help you fully relax into the festival. A haven of tranquility, the spa offers various 60 minute treatments for £45.
Bookings are now available for sessions starting on Friday at 6pm through till 11am on Monday morning.
Our fantastic team of fully qualified & highly professional local therapists offer a wide range of spa treatments to suit your needs. You will be looked after by the Green People team who we are hugely grateful to for their continued support. Green People are the UK’s most loved natural and organic skin care brand. They offer a range of skin products for all the family and support our therapists with treatments.
And for complete peace of mind, why not book the children into one of our supervised Sports and Arts camps whilst you’re visiting the spa? Head to the activity booking page for more info.
The Sports and Arts camps at Elderflower Fields give your children the opportunity to try a range of exciting sports and games, and to get seriously creative in the safe hands of our experienced coaches and staff.
The camps (like most of the activities) are included free with your festival tickets, but we recommend you book your sessions online in advance to suit your family.
Plenty of our activities at Elderflower Fields are run on a drop-in basis, but these pre-bookable sessions allow you to plan a little time without the kids. Some parents choose to take advantage of our Green People Woodland Spa treatments for total relaxation which are also available to pre-book here.
Our Sports camps are available to children in different age groups so your child can mix with others of similar ability and also meet new friends. Sessions can be booked for over 11’s, 5-11 year olds, and there is a session for under 5’s on Saturday morning. Parents are more than welcome to stay and watch and some younger children may prefer you stay close by if they are not used to being left.
Limited Arts camp sessions will welcome guest authors and other festival firsts. Some sessions are aimed at younger children where parents are asked to stay. Details of these can be found on the booking page.
To make sure all our Elderflower Fields kids get a chance to experience both Arts and Sports camps we request only one session of each is booked per child. There may be additional sessions available during the festival but these will be offered at the festival.
If you didn’t make it to our brand new little sister festival Into The Trees this summer, here’s a chance for your kids to WIN 1 of 3 family tickets to the 2016 event.
Into The Trees is an opportunity to explore the great outdoors and the wonderful world or trees, woods and forests. Our first event in September was a huge success and invited families to discover the ways we play, work and learn in the trees.