Knowing the warmer nights were coming, I had always loved the idea of laying inside a bell tent on a sunny morning, waking up and unzipping the canvas to a nice country view. Although many of you know I love Norfolk and all that my little beach shack brings, the fact I live on the South Coast and only an hour away from the New Forest means I can pack up the camping gear and be somewhere on a Friday evening.

Only ever camped once before 12 years ago I really did think I needed to convince myself and especially my hubby that this camping malarkey can be fun and relaxing which is what we crave right now in our busy lives.

Scouring the net looking for the perfect bell tent seems easy enough until you are an interior addict who starts thinking that you want to style your tent when you get to your desired destination, so you hesitate on which size you will need. Surely that extra metre isn’t going to mean that much room and well you might want to have an amazing kitchen area indoors in case it rains!

Photo by Lisa Cohen Photo

Well, I can tell you I did go for the extra metre and when we opened it and got inside there was enough room for about 10 double blow up beds gasp! But in my defence, my hubby hates feeling enclosed and so with the height of the bell tent and the space he felt good!

Taking nice basket trunks and lovely lanterns did make my hubby laugh as did the bunting I packed for the outside, but he had a fab time and was happy to go venturing off again.

Our trip was booked through a cool website where the size of your tent didn’t matter which was a bloody good job really wasn’t it?

Looking around at places we found a lovely farm that was not too far from Hastings. The weather could not have been any better, about 28 degrees all wknd yay!

Farm smells are ok for a few hours but a whole wknd I might have gone crazy, but actually, the tent field sat quite far away from those muddy pigs and wondering chickens!

Having now bought my tent, put it up, taken it down and styled it for a weekend, I can say I do love it and although I have spent a fair bit of money, I am sure I am going to use it loads and go camping across the south coast following a journey down to Devon and Cornwall I hope.

My favourite things about having a bell tent are ;

The height and space you get inside.

Being able to glamp the hell out of it.

How quickly you can erect it and I mean once you have done it once you feel like you can take on the world!

Being able to head off on a Friday afternoon and have a whole wknd away enjoying lovely parts of our pretty island.

Hanging bunting out the front and a door mat, then adding candles and lights inside.

What I am so looking forward to adding in the Autumn is a wood burner to just give it that cosy edge! So I am saving my pennies for that 🙂

If you are not brave enough to buy a bell tent there are tons of glamping sites that you can book and stay in. I absolutely loved the farm where we stayed in East Sussex and will definitely go back there again.

Heading back on the Easter Sunday, we visited Hastings for lunch and a browse and wow what a place! Full of cool Interior shops, places to eat and a real energetic vibe it is a place I want to go back to and spend more time.

Pretty lighting makes all the difference when camping in a bell tent, as does having a camp fire and so I would say add these things into your experience.

Planning my next trip I hope to share with you some amazing places that are new to me so keep looking out for my travels over the Summer.

By Louise O’Brien

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