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Debden house - Epping forest

(16 Posts)
Stars66 Mon 29-Jun-15 22:16:57

Has anyone ever camped here? It's really accessible to London, so easy, but gets awful reviewsshock

lavendersun Tue 30-Jun-15 06:14:35

No, but have you seen this thread?

FrozenAteMyDaughter Tue 30-Jun-15 09:49:29

I camped here once before children. We managed to find quite a quiet field (initially), probably because it had no facilities and was quite far from the exit. I don't remember it being too bad - we built a fire out of pallets (on site for the purpose) but my brother had a nasty accident that kind of marred the whole weekend so I don't remember it with any great fondness.

Overall, if it is in the best place for you transport into London wise, then it's OK, but otherwise I would probably say go for one of the other London sites - Lee Valley or Crystal Palace. I happen to live nearish to CP and like it as an area so am a bit biased but its transport links have certainly improved since it got the Overground.

Disclaimer: Debden is the only site I have actually stayed at out of these.

hz Tue 30-Jun-15 11:13:37

Rough and ready. Its huge so you can usually find a corner, the woods around are amazing. We've been there twice so clearly it wasn't bad enough to stop us going again.Pretty good for a big group camp - but then thats what lots of people think so if you aren't in a big group you may find ourself near one. Having said that the pitches in the more distant fields are massive (big enough to fit a fair number o tents) so you won't ever be cheek by jowl with someone else. Some fields can become 'party fields' but we didn't have this problem. If it's just for a couple of nights it may be worth it. Probably not a huge help for your dilemma!

hz Tue 30-Jun-15 11:17:37

Here is the review I wrote of it. Says pretty much the same thing.

Stars66 Wed 01-Jul-15 22:21:33

Hz that's a pretty full review, and sounds honest. And I honestly don't know what to expect!
We are 5 families with little ones age under 3. I love camping and have been selling it to friends for ages. Now one of the group chose Debden he's and booked it - ok we are only going for one night, and the more reviews I read the more people just are not complimentary.
My favourite site - forge wood in Kent has closed this year confused
But then again, we will have beer and baby wipes and will take water. And it's only one night. I just don't want the reviews about the police turning up or tents being ransacked to happen.shock

hillbilly Wed 01-Jul-15 23:24:07

Forgewood was also my fave. How about Wowo unless it's already been decided. That's now my "go to" site.

hillbilly Wed 01-Jul-15 23:25:14

Sorry just realised you have already booked.

hz Thu 02-Jul-15 09:58:11

If you are going with a group I honestly think you will be fine. The woods really are lovely and there is lots of space. (It's not going to be quite as idyllic as Forgewood though). Inwood - another of camping unplugged sites - is my favourite, esp for large groups.

Stars66 Mon 06-Jul-15 07:56:00

Thanks, I'm sure we'll be fine too... But we've now extended for 2 nights.
Can you drive your cars up to the tents? And is there really only 1 set of toilets?shock

hz Mon 06-Jul-15 12:38:28

Yes, you can drive cars to pitches - a least you could last time I went....There are two sets of toilets - some people drive to them if they are in a far away field.....

Stars66 Mon 06-Jul-15 19:12:58

Sounds like I'd better bring dd's potty! and maybe an adult one too

Blu Mon 06-Jul-15 21:37:33

Debden sounds like the kind of site you book because you want to camp with access into London, not the site to book if you live in London and like to escape to the wilds - a la Forgewood!

Other Forgewood-y sites are Welsummer (much smaller woods but facilities very geared to littlies) and Nethergong Nurseries, and the new Unplugged site, Lordswood, in Kent. Though Lordswood has fewer facilties than Forgewood had.

Good luck, Op - report back! It will be fun anyway.

Stars66 Wed 08-Jul-15 21:17:13

Thanks Blu! I am camping with some camping novices so this is just wetting their feet! And trying to inspire more camping! Let's hope its successful! Will def report back!!! grin

Stars66 Wed 15-Jul-15 21:23:10

Soooooo, we had a great time!

The site is huge, there are about 7 fields, two where you can have fires in the places where there are already holes on ground. The other fields are for camper vans, groups, a day field and something else!

You go in pre-arranged pitches which are pretty big and there's enough room for a good few big tents in each pitch. Although they are fairly close to the pitch next to you, they are also far enough away for them to be out of sound. We had two pitches but spread around one pitch with seven tents as we only wanted one fire.

The fields are organised with pitches in the middle and all around the outside, so there is plenty of space in between for games, parking, running, football.

Field 5 is mostly hill however except for about two pitches, it's not a problem as is a low gradient.

The site is surrounded by woods, perfect for looking for the gruffalo in! There was the odd bit of rubbish that people have dropped.

There were two toilet blocks, one by the entrance and the other by the field for arranged groups (schools / guides etc). This was the only negative part of the site, for such a big site, they could do with another set and perhaps cleaning them more frequently on Saturdays, especially first thing in the morning!!

The wood was £5 a bag, not the biggest bag, but there we go!

All in all,the site perfectly suited our needs, the location helping massively!!

hz Thu 16-Jul-15 09:06:33

Excellent! So glad you had a good time. The woods are fantastic aren't they. I got completely lost in them with as group of kids which was rather hair raising as the sun began to set. The site is really huge isn't it. I remember there was a VW camper van rally going on while we were there but we couldn't tell where it was because the place is so huge. More toilets would be a bonus though....

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