Every year, Bentley Country Park is host to Bentley Woodfair. My parents have attended several years running, but this year Mum was away whilst it was on, so Dad and I went instead!
Spread across two fields, the wood fair is 'a celebration of woodlands, forestry, timber, trees, woodcrafts and more...'
I hadn't attended in the past, because I wasn't sure if I'd find it interesting. However it was great to see craftspeople working using traditional methods, whether they were weaving baskets, whittling wooden spoons and bowls, or creating carvings!
The event also had an arena, which hosted a number of demonstrations including falconry and the casting of an arrowhead (the latter of which I missed, unfortunately!)
Alongside the demonstrations there were plenty of goods for sale, ranging from old tools to modern-styled wooden lamps!
A couple of 'show homes' were on display too--traditional-styled wooden huts that would be perfect for a woodland hideaway, or even a little space to escape to at the bottom of the garden.
As well as the fields, more could be found within a little patch of woodland. This is where the local agricultural colleges were set up doing more demonstrations and handing out information, but the thing I was most impressed by were the wooden sculptures! There was an ongoing live display, where a group of men were using chainsaws to carve bears from chunks of timber. The carvings were also being darkened to look more bear-like! I couldn't get a photo of the demonstration as there were so many people watching, but I did take a couple of shots of these fantastic carvings.
The skill of the craftspeople in this area was hugely impressive--you could tell that they were true masters of their craft. I loved the dugout canoes!
Several little traditional-style structures sit within the woodland, great examples of how people once lived. I really enjoyed seeing these; despite the crowds of modern-clothed people, it was like stepping back in time!
The Woodfair is very much a family event, with cheap crafts and workshops for children as well as demonstrations, shopping and good old cider for the adults!
Being a woodland event, the food on offer had very much a traditional, outdoorsy feel, including wild boar, venison and rabbit!
However, I went for a very tasty sausage in a wrap from The Sussex Sausage Co, who were serving their handmade, free range sausages from a very neat pink and purple van!
I also had some locally-made mint choc chip ice cream, which was delicious!
Of course, Dad and I went back to the car via Biddenden Vineyards' stand, where we ended up buying their last bottle of sweet Kentish cider! We had some with dinner that evening, and it was utterly delicious.