Elderflower Fields 2018 review

Elderflower Fields review from guest writer Christine and family.

We rocked up at Elderflower Fields and were bowled over by the beautiful views. There were lots of happy children climbing trees and excitedly observing a resident vole family they’d found. We immediately felt relaxed and the cares of every day life just drifted away.

It’s always a bit hectic packing to go away when you have a baby and a 4 year old particularly when you factor in the additional stuff you need when going to a festival such as tents, chairs, food etc.  It’s easy to question whether it is all worth it? The inevitable “are we nearly there yet?” for the duration of the journey nearly sent us over the edge, fortunately the festival was only 40 minutes from our home in Brighton.

Elderflower Fields camping

We were camped up on the hill with the live-in vehicles on a pre-bookable pitch which made life really easy. We have a large bell tent but were able to pay and extra £45 for an allocated spot to park our car with our tent.  Well worth it!


There is so much to do at Elderflower Fields at no additional cost and they cater for all ages.  We didn’t pre-book anything because we didn’t want the pressure of having to plan effectively and coordinate our young family to be in a certain place at a set time so we decided to go with the flow.

Elderflower Fields Festival

Fortunately there were lots of things going on where you could just drop in and participate.  The mud kitchen was a massive hit, our daughter and friends loved making mud pies and generally getting muddy.

We enjoyed walking through the woods, our baby loved looking at the dappled light, and our daughter was delighted to discover fairy post boxes and a fairy village. The Woodland Tribe was a hive of activity full of kids of all ages using hammers and saws to build a big boat. 

Elderflower Fields woodland tribe 

There was a climbing wall which older kids waited patiently to have a go on plus a small version for little ones which had no queues. Our daughter  loved taking part in so many things including the drum and bass musical statues competition at the cocktail bar which she and her friend won! A hilarious party game that I would highly recommend.

We made the effort to go and see Lewes Lights at 9.30 pm but there was a lot of waiting around for something to happen. This made it difficult to fully appreciate, especially for the little ones, when it did finally start.

The brilliant Let’s Make Some Bubbles put on a fantastic display on Saturday and Sunday which was enjoyed by everyone.  It wasn’t just children trying to pop the bubbles! One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing a life sized blue whale and calf kite on the sports field! This was really eye catching and stunning.  We had so much fun at Elderflower Fields. there’s certainly not enough time to get involved with everything on offer.

Elderflower Fields Festival

Food & Drink

Baby feeding and a changing tipi is available and it was brilliant to have access to this calm comfortable space. Our son definitely has FOMO (fear of missing out) so getting him to focus on feeding when there are so many distractions can be a challenge.  The complimentary sachets of creams and nursing tea were a nice touch.

There is a good selection of food stalls, we particularly enjoyed the Thai street food at Thai Angle and fair play to them for providing an extra large portion to a breast feeding mother when they were shut!  The wood fired pizzas were lovely and a big hit with the kids.

We were also able to indulge in our daily coffee and cake fix and the ice cream vans and Lickalix lollies were a big hit. It was a hot festival so the ice cream queues were long but there are plenty of wooded areas so you can seek shade and the Woodland stage is covered if you need respite from the beating rays at the main stage.


One of the unique things about Elderflower Fields is the amazing communal Sunday picnic that they provide at no additional cost for everyone to enjoy.  This includes yummy local food, soft drinks and even sachets of suntan lotion. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and sample local produce whilst chilling out in a field.  Turn up early because there are a few thousand hungry mouths to feed although the queue did move surprisingly quickly. I would recommend bringing a parasol or some form of sun protection because the shady areas of the trees get filled up.  One of our group was very organised and brought an awning to the picnic which probably saved a few of us from getting sun stroke.

Elderflower Fields Festival

For the grown ups

We discovered the very moreish Duchess of Sussex gin cocktails at the Folkington’s van which were amazing.  Sadly they ran out of gin by Sunday evening but maybe that wasn’t a bad thing! Food and drink are clearly a big part of Elderflower Fields and everything is great quality and mostly local. You are welcome to come and go from the campsite with your own food and drink and there are no horrible buggy security searches we’ve found at other events.

Elderflower Fields Festival

My lovely friend treated me to a hot tub and sauna as a birthday treat.  These were fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We watched the robots and animals (weekend theme) family dance off from the luxury of our hot tub and although it was a rather scorching afternoon, having a couple of hours child free time was re-energising. The prosecco definitely helped.

We weren’t close to a tap where we camped which fortunately wasn’t an issue because we had brought some with us and had the luxury of our car being next to our tent.  It would have been good to have a few more taps around the site. However, the bars all had water containers where you could help yourself and would give you ice if requested. It was pleasing to see that Elderflower Fields was a straw free festival, and because you had to pay a deposit for your plastic cups, there weren’t any left lying around.  Industrious children set to work earning some extra pocket money so the whole site is spotless.

Elderflower Fields Festival

Toilets and showers

Toilets were a combination of portaloos, compost toilets and mobile toilet blocks which were generally kept in a decent state. If you wanted to wash your hands the mobile toilet blocks had sinks and running water. The showers tended to get a bit mucky and there was lots of grass on the floor, but hey, you are in a field!


The staff were all really friendly, even going as far as helping to track down a child’s lost welly.  My daughter found the information fairy to be particularly engaging. There was a lot of camaraderie with other parents.  We felt that we were enjoying ourselves with like minded people who wanted to make sure that their children have a fantastic time whilst enjoying themselves as well.


The children absolutely loved the very engaging Al Start and the Beastie Band who were singing songs about monkeys making milkshakes and chocolate hippos with green alien friends.

We really enjoyed La Mort Subite on Saturday, our whole family had a good jig to this gypsy folk band.  Lakuta were the last band on the Dragonfly stage on Sunday and their contagious enthusiasm brought this amazing festival to it’s musical conclusion.

elderflower fields review

Monday was a nice chilled day, we sat in the woodland glade eating rosti and drinking coffee.  Our daughter had her face painted and ate her last ice cream of the weekend and there was no queue this time! Unlike many festivals there was no pressure to leave so we had a pack down and enjoyed the sun and beautiful location.

We finished the weekend feeling relaxed and happy.  

In answer to the question, is it worth it with preschoolers?


By the time we’d finished this review  over 50% of tickets to Elderflower Fields 2019 were sold. We’ve already booked ours and can’t wait. The team behind the festival are back at Pippingford Park in September with a nature festival called Into The Trees which you can buy day or weekend tickets for. Find out what Festival Kidz writer Catherine though of Into The Trees here.