Sunday, 26 June 2011

Pitch-a-Tent at Puxton Park

We erected our tent at Puxton Park to overcast skies on a thankfully dry evening. We hadn’t brought very much with us: you learn to camp light when you need to and, anyway, we’d only be here for 18 hours – the doors opened at 4pm on Saturday and all tents were packed away by 10 the next morning, plus the burger bar complimented the fruit and biscuits we’d bought from the Farm Shop there, which took the whole cool box and stove carrying out of the equation, though some people did light their own barbeques.

In all, 17 tents were pitched at the circumference of the ‘Main Arena,’ leaving plenty of space for the kids to run and play, if needed. But really, with so much to do here, we only went to the camping area to sleep.

Our first stop {and one we returned to often over the hours that followed} was the jumping pillow and, with so few people at Puxton, I was able to bounce as hard and as high as I could, delighting my daughter. This may have been the best part of spending an evening as a camper – we felt as though we had the place to ourselves. The Play Barn was open till 9:30pm, which is also when the toilets closed. Throughout the evening, three keen young lads strummed their guitars and sang barely audible numbers at the entrance to the building, next to the burger van on the other side of the doors. We slid, bounced, crawled, swung and squealed our way through a couple of hours.

At 8:30pm we passed the cows, goats, sheep, ponies, chickens and alpacas and all trotted down to the Twilight Zone for a highly entertaining owl display, where we learned a few things about these creatures’ habits. Children and adults got to be hand perches for a range of birds and the Owl Guy, who clearly loves his job, had us all taking part in some way, even if only through our laughter and listening.

Then we went back outside for a sheep race. We were giving betting slips, so C decided on Sheep Number 6, who didn’t win but that was fine because everyone got a lollipop prize. Next we were treated to a slightly wild trip around the Park on a cart, pulled along by a big red tractor, The Wurzels playing loudly in our ears. Completely bizarre and very Somerset. We absolutely loved it.

I barely had time to catch my breath when she pulled me over to the wooden fort as the sun went down. Finally it was time for bed with no resistance from a happily exhausted almost 5-year old.

We awoke to full sunshine, had a touch of breakfast in The Meadows restaurant and then made our way to The Barn for some more sliding and twisting – all by 8:30am. We found our way once more to the jumping pillow, where she perfected her gambol, and then we went to say ‘Hello’ to the adorable new-born piglets, snuggled up with Mummy Pig. A quick look in the Falconry Centre and time for one more swing before collapsing the tent and packing the car. Another stop at the Farm Shop for Sunday’s bread and milk to take to our home, just 10 minutes away.

My only problem with this £10 a night Pitch a Tent at Puxton Park is that they don’t do it more often. We would go at every available opportunity. It’s the most relaxed camping trip that we have ever been on. And that’s saying something.

A big thank you to all the staff, who were so friendly and very helpful. And to Clover the Cow :-}

- by Becky


  1. Sounds like my kind of camping! Hope they do it again...

  2. Sounds like a brilliant evening! I work at Puxton Park and would have loved to have been there but unfortunately (or very fortunate for me) I was at Glastonbury this weekend. It was so nice to read such a lovely review about my work place. I am definitely going to try my hardest to persuade them to do this again as I would love to join in the fun!