Camping in Sussex

Camping in Sussex, especially close to the South Downs, is a real treat. There are a few, really delightful sites situated close to the Downs in various rural locations.

Some camping sites are more rustic than others. Some permit caravans and camper vans - if in doubt it's best to contact them in advance.

If you simply want a fun weekend away from the big city, then our part of Sussex, just north of Brighton, is easy to get to, by rail or car. Just one hour south of London on the main London to Brighton rail line. For more detailed directions click here.

Camping in Sussex - just north of Brighton:

Camping at Stoneywish Nature Reserve, Ditchling
Lovely location for fairly basic camping! Highly recommended if you don't need hot showers! Two of the great attractions are the wildlife and the night sky. It's also a beautiful and peaceful spot with views towards the South Downs and wonderful walks.
There's a tap for drinking water and use of the Visitor Toilets, which have small hand-washing basins and baby-changing/disabled facilities.
Access to the Nature Reserve:
During Reserve opening times only. Camping fees (£5 per person per day) do not include entrance to the Reserve. Tickets can be bought at the Ticket Office.

Blackberry campsite, Streat (near Ditchling)
A quiet, delightfully located site, a little off the beaten track, but wonderful if you want a totally natural setting with just the local wildlife for company. The village of Ditchling, with a couple of good pubs serving hot meals, Dolly's Pantry - bakers and tea rooms, Chestertons deli and the Post Office, is about 2-3 miles away. You can actually walk across country from the site to Ditchling.

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Camping in East Sussex

Spring Barn Farm Park
Taking your children camping in Sussex? This relatively new campsite (opened Summer 2008) is conveniently and beautifully located close to the South Downs Way, at Kingston, near Lewes; it has baby animals, pedal go-karts, a farmhouse kitchen open all day and a giant maize maze.
Open 7 days a week - 9.30am-5.30pm
Kingston Road,
East Sussex

Tel: 01273 488450

Two lovely ecocampsites
Eco Camp UK offers stylish ecological woodland camping, set in two beautiful Sussex campsites allowing open campfires.

Wild Boar Wood Campsite and Beech Estate Woodland Campsite are set within bluebell woods in West and East Sussex. Both campsites are in designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and are within easy reach of London, Brighton, Hastings and the South Coast.

Beech Estate Woodland Campsite and Wild Boar Wood Campsite offer 'off-grid' forest camping through Bell Tent ‘glamping’ experiences, with Beech Estate also offering Forest Tent Pitches. The Bell Tents and Pitches are set apart in the trees, giving solitude and privacy. The woodland campsites also provide the chance to meet and relax with friends, family and fellow campers around the campfire.

I do not have personal experience of either of these campsites but they certainly sound very promising.

Camping just east of Brighton:

Sheepcote Valley, East Brighton campsite (near Brigthon Marina)
As yet, this is a bit of an unknown quantity for me. From its website, it is clearly quite a big site, primarily for caravans. Its location in the Downs just along the coast from Brighton, could be great for access to the nearby beaches. If you're travelling by train then go into Brighton and then take public transport the 2/3 miles to the site.

Comments from one person who camped here in 2012: 'However, the 2 biggest problems with the site are the long walk to the beach front/Marina (much further than the "10 minutes" they say) - the only access is through what appears to be an unofficial travellers site - dozens of old vehicles parked along the access road to Sheepcote and then the remainder of the walk is quite horrid - narrow pavements, main roads to cross and walls of concrete. Sheepcote is on a hill so it's a long, boring, unnerving walk back at the end of the day - you certainly hang on to your child's hand!'

Camping in Mid Sussex

Wowo Campsite near Sheffield Park
Situated in Mid Sussex about half and hour by car from the South Downs, close to the lovely Sheffield Park and the Bluebell Railway, Wowo comes highly recommended by friends. You can enjoy a simple camping lifestyle by your own campfire, or leave your tent at home and try their eco-friendly yurt style camping; try a mystery woodland walk on this organic farm within easy reach of London and Brighton.

Kitts Cottage campsite, between Lewes and Haywards Heath
Although I do not personally know anyone who has stayed at this campsite, its location and the description on its website indicate that it is a very pleasant site in a beautiful setting. If you visit, please let us know about your stay on our contact us page. Set in 18 acres on a working farm, the campsite is secluded and has immediate access to an array of public footpaths with numerous other local attractions nearby.

Hook Farm campsite West Hoathly
Located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between East Grinstead and Haywards Heath, Hook Farm campsite is set in 20 acres on a working farm. This site is secluded yet has immediate access to the historic village of West Hoathly. Once again, I am not able to comment on this site personally, however, from the website it certainly looks very promising. If you decide to stay there, please take a moment to give us some feedback on our contact us page.

Tree Retreats Campsite, Nutley, East Sussex
I know little about this site but it certainly looks good! I'd be interested to hear if you've stayed here and what you thought, so let me know via our 'Contact us' page.

Camping in West Sussex near the South Downs

Blacklands Farm Campsite
Blacklands Caravan and Camping offers the perfect opportunity to get away from it all in a picturesque countryside environment. Located in the heart of Sussex, their camping fields are set in oak enclosed meadows, backed by scenic lakes.

The nearest town to the campsite is Henfield, around two miles away, where you can find a supermarket, post office, major banks and several restaurants and fast-food outlets. Henfield also lies along the South Downs Link, a unique walking/cycling route running between Shoreham Beach and Guildford.

The campsite is family run, and family oriented. There is a cordoned children's play park in the centre of the main camping field, with several safe and fun amusements. Kids will easily make new friends and run themselves out, allowing you to sit back and relax.

I have no direct experience of this site but it looks inviting and its guest book is full of promising comments.

Slindon Park Campsite
This campsite is located in an orchard in Slindon Park, which is set in 3,500 acres of land owned by the National Trust. It is a haven for wildlife and has beautiful views across the coastal plain of West Sussex. Slindon is a delightful old Sussex village, just off the A27 not far from Arundel.

Want your own portable toilet? Check out this link ...
20L Portable Toilet for Camping and Outdoors

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