Lewes wedding venue experiments with family camping amid covid restrictions

For the last seven years, the summer months have seen a field in Lewes transformed into a festival-style wedding venue for couples tying the knot.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:45 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 10:26 am
The Party Field is run by friends Lucy Buxton and Sarah Taylor

Clusters of tents, tipis and marquees pop up between May and September at The Party Field, which is located down a private road near the South Downs Tennis Club.

Friends Lucy Buxton and Sarah Taylor, who run the site, said it had built up quite a following – with many guests returning to hold their own wedding at the field: “It’s all been very successful.”

But after the pandemic hit in March, putting a ban on weddings, the field has sat empty.

Tipis and tents in the field

Since restrictions eased last week, weddings can now take place with up to 15 people in covid-secure venues but guests must still follow social distancing measures.

From May 17, up to 30 people can attend – but with The Party Field catering for up to 200 people at a time, hosting weddings will remain unfeasible.

Lucy said: “We’ve been trying to think up alternative ways to carry on.

“It’s such a beautiful spot right at the foot of the south downs.

The venue usually plays host to festival-style weddings

“It’s a perfect setting, it seems such a waste to leave it empty.”

Instead, the pair have decided to turn the field into a campsite for families to enjoy a ‘relaxed camping experience’ during the half-term week.

From May 28, people will able to book a pitch for three nights.

There will be 25 pitches in total, Lucy said – “Enough to make a nice buzz and for it to be fun, but not busy so that you’re camped with you tent right next to someone elses.”

Moonlight camping

Families will be able to request a delivery of croissants in the morning and all tents will have their own fire pit.

There will also be a van selling wood-fired pizza on some nights.

Lucy said it would make the venue accessible to more people.

“It’s quite expensive to have a festival wedding there and it’s such a beautiful location, it’s good opportunity for other people to experience it.”