In about six weeks time our campsites emerge from their quiet winter hibernation. The challenge for us is how we maintain the peace and quiet in the camping areas when the sites start to fill up.
Three peaceful Sussex campsites
When we opened the The Secret Campsite Lewes in 2012 we were determined to create a tranquil haven – a peaceful and quiet campsite. We wanted wildlife and campers to flourish alongside each other in blissful harmony. This quiet calm is pretty unique in the camping world but its very dear to our hearts.
Better still, the local wildlife loves it. Whats good for them, is brilliant for our campers.
Make the pitches huge and keep them well spaced
To achieve this serenity, we design our sites with lots of space in between the pitches and we let this space go a little wild. Its not rocket science, and it does mean a lot less pitches per acre. It also ensures that lots of happy and relaxed campers leave our sites at the end of their stay.
In contrast, most other campsites set off in completely the opposite direction. They’re desperate to cram as many tents into the camping areas as they can. We call this ‘housing estate in a field’ camping and its what our campers are escaping from. Secret campers want peace, quiet and the chance to connect with the friends and family they are camping with. They want to see and hear the gentle sights and sounds of nature. Twinkling stars, or a buzzard mewing overhead.
Limit the numbers and ask the campers to respect the tranquility
On top of spacing the pitches out we work hard to minimise the sources of noise emanating from our campers. We limit the numbers of people on pitches and this avoids raucous groups disturbing the the peace.
As night draws in, we actively police a quiet time from 10:30pm. We ask campers gathered round their campfires to talk quietly and enjoy natures noises. It’s at this time that you hear the owls and stags in the woodland and the frogs calling from the ponds.
In contrast, the morning refrain is to stress the importance of children moving about the campsite quietly. After all, now is the time for the dawn chorus. It’s an otherworldly start to the day and rarely heard by city dwellers. So a screaming child can have quite a lot of impact.
We also ask our campers not to have any music or electronic noise on their pitches. It’s not every campers cup of tea but in pursuit of our Nothing Much ethos, we think its worth sticking to.
Quiet campsites – Keep them car free
One of my favourite elements in our quest for peace around the campsite is keeping vehicles out of the camping areas. For those of you keen to escape the sounds of city life, the last thing you want as you drift off to sleep is the sound of a car pulling up to the next door tent. This distraction, is often coupled with the radio being switched on and the headlights lighting up the inside of your tent. The absence of the noisy car also helps keep the camping areas a peaceful place to explore safely.
Leave pets at home
Our final quest for a quiet campsite is not to allow dogs, parrots or any other pets into the camping areas. Don’t get me wrong, we love dogs. But, the sound of a dog, furiously barking throughout the night, can drive some to insanity. After all, it’s probably just confused by one of the baby hedgehogs we have been encouraging into the camping areas. It’s what makes our sites so special.
It comes as no surprise that after all these efforts to limit the noise around the campsite, we often hear the words quiet, peaceful and relaxed in our reviews.
And that makes us all ‘quietly’ pleased.