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Our Big Day Out

Lenka Pagan


The last Bank Holiday weekend in May, my son Lucas and I were invited to Big Church Day Out by Wiston House in Steyning, West Sussex. It doesn’t matter if you’re not religious, you can still enjoy this event and although the weather wasn’t the best, we still had an awesome time there. 🙂
Here you can see Wiston House, located at the foot of the South Downs National Park, it’s a large 16th-century country house in Wiston, and a Grade I listed building, which is now used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the European Discussion Centre.
 We started at the Tea Tent Market, one of the busiest areas, where you could find unique, handmade artwork, crafts and gifts all whilst listening to the sweet sounds of those performing on the Tea Tent stage to the right.
Lucas had a go on the vintage car fair ride, before we visited the large tent in the background, where we stopped for a little drum playing. It was so dynamic with so many people playing and dancing with wooden sticks – it was quite an experience for all.
We then stopped for some lunch and I was surprised at how many food vendors there were – from Thai street food, Italian, French Crepes and waffles, dairy-free and gluten-free, vegan and even organic – there was something for everyone. 🙂
Lucas chose an Italian pizza and I had an Indian lentil dahl with rice and tomato salad – they were both tasty.

Next, we had a little rest in these awesome hammocks which were set up for kids and their parents to relax in – what a good idea! If I had a garden, I would surely get one. It was quite busy every time we passed by, but we were lucky enough to get to spend about 20 minutes there. Lucas, who’s quite an energetic boy, nearly fell asleep and I had to admit that I had trouble staying awake too. 🙂

 After our rest, we decided to get active and have a go at wall climbing and archery!

There was a 30 minute wait for the wall climbing as it was very popular, but that didn’t deter a very excited Lucas. I was a bit nervous about whether he would manage to climb that far, but I needn’t have worried – even though he had never done it before he had a go and climbed it not once, but twice – all the way up to the top!
Then it was my turn – and guess what, to my surprise I actually managed to reach the top as well. 🙂 Was I afraid? Yes. Upon reaching the top I felt a bit uncomfortable but I knew that if anything went wrong, I was secured properly and I had support from an experienced climber behind me, so there was actually nothing to worry about. We then both tried archery for the first time – it was great fun.
Here we are having more adventures, but of the scouting kind. Lucas learnt how to light a fire in the wild without using matches, we had a go at boiling water in a pot above an open fire and made a hammer from wood. It was lovely warming up by the fire. 🙂
And after all that excitement there was just time for a dinner of veggie bean burritos (vegan) before we decided to head back home via shuttle bus and train. We got back just before 9 pm, totally exhausted, but determined to go back next year. Except next year we will probably go for the whole weekend and either take or hire a tent. I was surprised at how many hundreds of people did camp (and glamp) and by looking at the flags on their tents, they have travelled from all over the world. 🙂
So what do you think? Have I inspired you to do something different and maybe give the Big Church Day Out a try next year?
Lenka Pagan
Lenka supports women to live happier and healthier life. :-)

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