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VW Camping & Fabulous Forest Cabins

vwadventuresSettled into our VW Camper Hire van Dexter, we realise that he is a dream to drive - like driving a car, so we take a detour to visit one of QuirkyAccom's most popular holiday locations at Blackwood Forest Cabins just north of the New Forest. I'm guided around the lovely woodland setting and visit a few of the substantial cabins offered here for from 2 to 10 guests. There's no creaky floorboards and damp corners here - these are solid quality structures with everything you would expect in a home, but enjoying lovely views from large windows filled with greenery and trees. Some can accommodate your pets, and some have hot tubs, while the largest cabins that sleep 10 in all, have a delightful treehouse for 2 just steps away across a little bridge. Bagsy I sleep in there! These treehouses are a more handcrafted feel with quirky touches - the one pictured below has an Alice in Wonderland theme. It is also possible to book smaller romantic cabins for 2 with wood stump tables, sunken baths, hot tub and hammock - but they book up way in advance.

 

blackwoodtreehouseannexThese cabins, set deep in the forest, have good facilities for children, but also a lovely laid-back atmosphere for groups of family and friends, corporate outings even. In the woods there is every opportunity to play with other children, making dens, play hide and seek and using their imagination like in the days of my childhood. For me every holiday is a mission to get my kids away from their gadgets! Here there is also a bike hire centre, archery and activities guided by the enthusiastic Forest Rangers like Young Explorers and Night Vision which mean guests can make the most of this special setting.

In the centre between the 3 branches of cabins there is a meeting point/reception area with some locally sources items to buy and a bar/cafe with tables and chairs. It was here that I met up with my disappointed children after my tour.

Why are we not staying here then?? they said accusingly. 

Not this time I'm afraid. We are on a whistle-stop tour of the South Coast and must keep going...

But hey, don't let your children suffer this disappointment! If Blackwood Forest isn't close to you, don't worry. Click here and you will find there are other woodland sites around the country that could suit you better. You can also get price, availability and book instantly. Minimum 3 night stay.

Back in Dexter, we drive East past Chichester to West Wittering, known for its stretches of sand and dunes and boats bobbing and pretty fields edged with flat cycle paths perfect for children. Here my sister and family await us in a lovely campsite called Wick's Farm. Over the next couple of days we understand why many of the campers here return each year. The kids end up playing together, and with the internet not being strong enough to support them all, come up with games for entertainment. There are high well-kept hedges to keep the wind out and an enclosed field specially for ball games. Plus partying is not encouraged so you get a good nights sleep too. Recently they have added some wooden cabins for holiday-makers who you don't have a van or want to be under canvas.

The sun is starting to make an appearance now, the kids are with their cousins and all initial camping woes have drifted away beyond our memories...How lovely to slow down and enjoy the outdoors altogether. To wash up in pairs, to spend extended periods in camping chairs chit-chatting, to get sleepy on sea air.

climbingtreeswestwittering

We hire bikes and one day cycle to West Wittering beach and plot up for the day with picnic and wetsuits for the brave, stopping for cake on the way home. Another day we cycle to Dell Quay and have a gorgeous lunch with views over the harbour at the Crown & Anchor. There are moss and seaweed strewn natural beaches to walk along and pretty inlets with buzzing boatlife around every corner. Such a lovely part of the country! I couldn't help daydreaming about life on a houseboat at Chichester...

Now we are totally relaxed....we must pack up and set off for Camp Bestival (in a traffic jam!) - but it would be worth it. Our next campervan adventure was along the coastline to Dorset at Lulworth Castle Estate - a magical child-friendly festival where eccentric dress and facepaint is a bonus and dancing with your kids is essential. See my next blog for more info.

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