Take a seat. Have a glance around the room that you currently occupy. Perhaps there lies a book, spine bent backwards, pages face down to save your last sentence read or maybe a paper clip waits patiently for it’s next starring moment to bind an important document.

Whatever your surrounding space, each and every object has a specific purpose. Well, so we thought.

My next instruction is a little trickier, shrink yourself to two inches tall.

Now take another look around the room, the book turns into a tipi for the night; the cover a slide in the pouring rain. The paperclip transforms into a weapon to hunt or a pool cube for the Skittles you had lost six months ago behind the radiator. Two inches tall and the room transforms into a world full of obstacles, adventurous inventions and a jungle to get lost in.

If you haven’t already, meet The Borrowers.

Arriety and her family showed the nation just how exciting it can be to embrace Norfolk as small folk in the 1992 series adaptation of The Borrowers Afield. They celebrate a world of creative craftsmanship, imagination and heart stopping moments once they are spotted by humans. The most ‘on the edge of your seat moment’ was when a gypsy, Mild Eye leaves his gypsy wagon in search for his lost shoe, the exact one The Borrowers had made into their cosy home. Once retrieved and trapped in Mild Eye’s gypsy wagon, the caravan becomes a colourful theme park for The Borrowers to navigate, a moving castle to try and escape from.

The Elle de Vardo gypsy wagon nestled in the grounds of a Norfolk tithe barn gave my partner and I similar butterflies as we climbed the carefully crafted steps into the contemporary glamping interior. We both knew what each other was thinking.

7029-ext-koch-1024[1]After a full day exploring the delightful Norfolk Broads we were pleased to see the glimmering lights of the gypsy wagon beaconing us in the distance. We put our feet up around the open fire and cooked Jamie Oliver’s chorizo and butter bean stew in a big cast iron pot. The flames danced and miniature shadows skipped around the fire, illuminating the wagon’s stunning craftsmanship. The hanging cups in our gypsy wagon soon became swings for the avid adventurer and pretty curtains became a wonderful pattern for a summer day dress.Before bed we polished off a heap of hand picked black berrries from our walk earlier. (The berries in Norfolk are twice the size of the ones at home!) Content, tucked away in our very own snug gypsy wagon we enjoyed it’s petite, delicate detail and intriguing sounds of the outdoors.  Both, wide eyed we lay awake in the hope that we might catch a glimpse, a quick glance, even a trail of a borrower’s adventure.

The smoke from the dying fire drifted over our wagon and swiftly up towards the moon’s gaze, we had no difficulty dreaming that night, dozing off looking forward to the scrumptious organic Norfolk breakfast (made on site by Jane and Lesley) that would be delivered to our door in the morning.


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Bensfield Treehouse, Sussex

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