Cabins near the beach in Newhaven

Coast and country meet in this southern port town—along with ferries to the continent.

88% (8 reviews)
88% (8 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Newhaven

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Cabins near the beach in Newhaven guide

Overview

Perched at the mouth of the River Ouse and the English Channel, most visitors come to Newhaven to catch the ferry to Normandy in France. The port town is worth more than stopover, though. It’s strategically located for exploring the coast and the surrounding AONBs, has plenty of options for campers and caravanners, plus far fewer crowds than nearby Brighton. Start your explorations at Newhaven Fort, then follow the heritage trail around Paradise Park, take a scenic cruise along the river, or cool off with a swim at the sandy beach.

Where to go

Sussex Coast

Neighboring Brighton is just a 30-minute drive, famous for its street art, shopping boutiques, and LGBTQ community—sampling the nightlife is a must. East of Newhaven, head to Eastbourne to swim, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard along the long sandy beach, or visit Hastings to explore the medieval castle ruins right by the seafront. Summer is the most popular time for seaside camping, or visit out of season to enjoy scenic strolls with the beach all to yourself. 

High Weald

Less than an hour’s drive north, the High Weald AONB is home to some of Kent’s most magnificent landscapes. Stroll through bluebell woods and wildflower valleys, picnic in National Trust gardens, or sample Kent wine at local vineyards. For a change of pace, time your visit to Royal Tunbridge Wells for market day, then hop aboard for a ride on the Spa Valley steam railway.

South Downs

The vast chalklands of the South Downs AONB encircle Newhaven, providing access to miles of hiking, cycling, and horseback riding trails. Hike part of the 101-mile South Downs Way national trail, pitch your tent at backcountry campsites, or paddle along the Cuckmere river in a kayak. Along the coast, head to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, where the towering white chalk sea cliffs are a jaw-dropping sight.

When to go

Passenger ferries run from Newhaven to Dieppe in France from May-September, and the busiest months are July and August, when the port fills up with ferry passengers. To avoid the crowds, come in spring or autumn—the perfect time for hiking among the wildflowers or admiring the fall foliage in the South Downs. 

Know before you go

  • Newhaven has a couple of shops where you can pick up camping supplies, but nearby Brighton (a 20-minute drive) has a larger choice. 
  • Newhaven has public transport links to many of the surrounding towns and AONBs, but it is handy to have your own transport, especially if staying at rural campsites.
  • Most campsites require advance booking, and many ask for the full payment up-front. Be sure to check opening dates, as some campsites close in the winter months.
  • Wild camping is illegal throughout Sussex.

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