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Blackberry Wood

UK England South East England East Sussex Lewes

  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Magical, pagan woodland camping in the South Downs with campfires encouraged, excellent East Sussex pubs on the doorstep and heaps of quirky glamping options thrown in too

You can stay at Blackberry Wood any number of times, but each visit is likely to feel completely different – partly because the secluded woodland changes with the seasons, but mainly because owner Tim is so focused on expanding his unique range of glamping accommodation, that there’s no anticipating what weird and wonderful structures you might find next. On our first encounter, a double-decker bus poked from a clearing and an assortment of revamped old caravans and bell tents were available for hire. Today, there are also the likes of an ex-RAF helicopter and a brand new treehouse with a shower room built inside its wonky turret!

It’s the ‘proper’ camping, though, that’s the real heritage of this site. Nestled on the South Downs, the place is almost lost among the native woodland. Follow one of the footpaths leading into the rambling straggle of thicket to find twenty of the most coveted pitches, located in individual clearings with a firepit, some rudimentary seating and enough space for a medium-sized tent. Each spot feels gloriously secluded and, with so few pitches in this part of the site, there’s a rare and special kind of peace among the trees, enhanced each evening by the soporific soundtrack of campfires gently fizzing.

On the opposite side of the road a second wooded camping area with a ‘no kids and no groups’ rule also does a roaring trade during peak season – it’s popularity only waning as couples return the next year to splash out on one of the glamping options instead. Indeed it’s impossible to visit once and not return again to try out something new. The options just seem endless.

‘Bubble’ the 1960s caravan and a brightly-painted gypsy wagon have a particular air of romance, while the red Routemaster bus, equipped with a kitchen/diner downstairs and a kids’ soft-play area upstairs is on the more eccentric end of the spectrum. The full-sized RAF chopper with rotor blades still attached is an even more bizarre find still. It’s Tim’s new treehouse, though, completed in 2016, that is perhaps his biggest pride and joy. It sleeps up to four adults (or two adults and three children), with a double bed and a snug loft bed, as well as featuring a well-equipped kitchen, a wood-burning stove and a sun terrace outside. Its higgledy-piggledy shape formed by the naturally irregular branches gives it a charming, storybook quality.

All these contraptions can be found scattered around the first small field when checking in at the reception caravan. Of course, reception was in a caravan at the time of writing, but we hear that NASA is selling off de-commissioned space shuttles, so next year’s check-in experience might be altogether quite different!

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Campfires allowed in the designated firepits; logs and BBQ coal are available from reception, as well as food essentials. 4 hot showers on the main site; there’s also a fantastic al fresco woodland shower on the adults-only side of the site. Plenty of toilets and washing-up sinks. Logs for sale.

Suitable For

Tents, glampers, dogs (on leads at all times) – yes. Motorhomes, caravans – no.


The South Downs National Park (01730 814810) is the newest in the UK, which means a lot of recent investment in the excellent paths and landscape. The site provides route maps for lovely local walks and, depending on which direction you take, a 45-minute walk can take you to the village of Ditchling; to the superb Jolly Sportsman pub (01273 890400) with outstanding food and friendly ambience; or to the Black Cap viewpoint, a high point on the South Downs Way from where you can see eight miles across the Sussex countryside to the sea. Chilled-out Lewes is just 5 miles away, or it’s 8 miles to the bright lights of Brighton, with its pier, pebble beach and pavilion. Take a trip back in time at the fully restored Jill Windmill in Clayton, open Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.

Food & Drink

A well-stocked campsite shops ells local produce, including eggs, bacon, sausages and honey. There’s a truly great pub within walking distance; The Jolly Sportsman (01273 890400) in East Chillington is fantastically snug and cosy, and serves up a changing menu of gastro delights. Visit the farmers’ market on the second Friday of the month at Garden Pride Garden Centre (01273 846844) in Ditchling.

Opening Times

All year round.

Why book with Glampingly?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

Magical, pagan woodland camping and glamping at its finest. There's heaps of flora and fauna to keep you bewitched, not to mention the encouragement of big woodland campfires! Blackberry wood campsite is situated in beautiful, quiet Sussex countryside at the foot of the South downs, in the National Park.


Tent pitches are each in their own private clearing, with a general family campsite on one side of the road and a quieter, adults-only site on the other. Glampers can chose from the helicopter, double-decker bus, 1960’s caravan, gypsy wagon, wooden 'curvy cabin' and 2 treehouse.

Fire Engine

Quirky Sleeps 5
Nee-naw, nee-naw, climb aboard Angus the Fire Engine for a glamping experience with a difference! Fully insulated, heated and self-contained, Angus can sleep 4 people in double bunk beds

Curvy Cabin

Cabin Sleeps 5
The Curvy Cabin is situated in the proximity of the Holiday Bus, the Holicopter, the Gypsy caravan and the Retro caravan and is completely self-contained with a modern kitchen (4-ring gas cooker, a toaster, a fridge, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans) and a cool bathroom with a shower.

The Holicopter

Quirky Sleeps 5
Up, Up and Away! Come and stay in our converted 1965 Wessex Search and Rescue helicopter!

Holiday Bus

Quirky Sleeps 5
All aboard our 1964 Routemaster London double-decker Bus. Ding Ding! "We're all going on a summer holiday"... The Bus has a downstairs kitchen/dining area with a two-ring gas cooker, grill, toaster and a fridge, as well as all the crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. Upstairs is a cosy sleeping/lounge area. As an added attraction to children, it has a soft play area which, at night and as if by magic, transforms into a bedroom!

Higgledy Treehouse

Tree house Sleeps 5
An amazing, handcrafted, masterpiece of a fairytale treehouse.

Piggledy Treehouse

Tree house Sleeps 4
A fairytale treehouse with a large terrace perfect for birdwatching and al fresco dining.

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Show Map

Getting There

From the M23 continue south onto the A23 for 14 miles. Turn left onto the A273 for about a mile, then bear right onto B2112 New Road for 2 miles. Turn right onto the B2116 Lewes Road and turn left onto Streat Lane after 2 miles. You’ll see the site signposted on the right.

Train to Hassocks railway station then a taxi which will cost around £12 or train to Plumpton station then a 25. min cross country walk


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Why book with Glampingly?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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