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Dernwood Farm Wild Camping

· Waldron, East Sussex, England
70 acres hosted by Dernwood F.
7 glamping pitches · 10 tent pitches
Dernwood is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Creature comforts
Enjoy the comforts of home at some sites—including flush toilets, showers, and a kitchen.
Recent Hipcampers say this Hipcamp is great for families and kids.
Camping and glamping in Sussex meadows and woodlands

Dernwood Farm offers wild camping and rustic off-grid glamping among the ancient trees of a Sussex woodland. You arrive here down leafy lanes then check in with your lovely hosts at the farm shop and cafe which doubles as campsite reception. The car and all the stress of the journey are abandoned as you make your way to your home for a night or two. Whether it’s a bell tent, a cabin, or simply a patch of grass in the field, the walk through woodland with wheelbarrows sets the tone for your stay. You slow down, take in your surroundings, enjoy a bit of nature’s magic… and breathe.

As you make your way through the trees, the glampers are signposted off to their private clearings in the woods. The site’s wagon, shepherd’s hut, cabin, and safari tent each have their own personality, quirks, and space but do have some similarities. They are all furnished with made-up beds, their own loo, the means to cook, and a fire pit outside. The wagon and the cabin both have a hot tub too. There are also three bell tents which come well equipped – but without bedding included.

If you’ve come with your own tent, you finally emerge into the main camping field to find a car-free, sheltered idyll that you can access only on foot. It’s a lovely spot where you choose your own pitch. It’s the kind of place that once you’re in, you’re in. With tree swings, dens, and footpaths through the surrounding 70 acres of trees, why would you go anywhere else? Okay, so you might want a shower at some point. If so, just toddle back up to the main facilities (there are loos in the field, but no showers). Those are close to where you parked your car and, while you’re there, perhaps pop into the cafe and shop. It’s stocked with everything you need for a weekend of camping including farm-fresh burgers, bacon, and eggs. If you want more than that, how about a long walk to the local pub? Or a trip out to some of the nearby Sussex attractions: Drusilla’s Zoo Park, the Bluebell Railway or even the beach at Pevensey Bay.

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34 Ratings · 32 reviews
Melanie E.recommends
May 8, 2024
Site 5 - Wild Camping Field
Lovely campsite with gorgeous bluebells in May. Very relaxed and beautiful forests. Be prepared for hard work pulling the gear to the pitches though!
Robert G.recommends
May 8, 2024
Site 1 - Wild Camping Field
Heart of ancient woodland
Amanda and Emma do a fab job of looking after camping and glamping visitors to little dernwood farm. We stayed on the main camping field located about 400m from the car park. In exchange for energetic trolley-pushing of your gear to the site, you get a beautiful car free field, surrounded by bluebell woodland. As other reviewers have noted, on an early may bank holiday, there was lots of space in the field so it doesn't feel busy. Typical campers were families with children with lots of wood exploring going on. Some of the farm animals are visible for those young animal lovers to see. In the main field there's a cold water washing up area and three flushing loos. Back at the car park are 4 amazing rainfall hot showers. The shop and brunch restaurant has most essentials except for fresh fruit and veg. It does lots of excellent breakfast options as well as offering excellent local sourced beef, pork and lamb. Order in advance from Amanda over email. Even an ice cream van (epic gelato) appears on busy weekends. Plenty to do in local area although we didn't need to leave the site! A lovely break from city life in amongst the bluebells and spring trees.
Sharon L.recommends
May 7, 2024
Site 6 - Wild Camping Field
Fantastic campsite, woods and hosts
Great campsite. Beautiful woodland - the bluebells were stunning! Amanda and Emma were such friendly hosts - I loved that they remembered my name each time I wandered into their small but extremely well stocked shop, tempted by yet another delish treat. Will definitely be back and will try out the Bell Tent, The Wagon and the Encampment too, if only for a shorter walk to the loos :). Highly recommend for a much more natural experience than an allocated pitch set up where you pitch next to your vehicle. More work but so worth it.
Caroline J.recommends
October 25, 2023
Site 10 - Wild Camping Field
We loved it. We were met on arrival and given lots of useful information about the surrounding area. The whole site is really well run. Showers and toilets were very clean. Lovely 45 min walk to the pub, mostly along public footpaths so ideal for the dogs. We will definitely be back next year.
Richard ?.recommends
September 13, 2023
Site 3 - Wild Camping Field
Loved camping at Dernwood. Pulling the camping kit to the campfield was hard work, but the payoff was kids free to roam without being reminded to be careful of cars and peace of no car noise. Children adored the woods and the wee shop and icecream van visits. The brunches at the cafe were delicious and we had some of the best steak ever on the camp fire grill from the shop.
Juliet M.recommends
September 7, 2023
Site 5 - Wild Camping Field
It is a beautiful location surrounded by wonderful woodland. We all loved exploring the woods and the kids especially enjoyed discovering the swings and dens. The owners were friendly and helpful and the meat from the farm was delicious.
Waldron, East Sussex, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Dernwood F.Joined in January 2011
From the host
Woodland campsite and luxury glamping… We are family run working farm in the heart of the Sussex Weald, in between Brighton, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. We have woodland pitches and a camping meadow in the middle of 70 acres of ancient coppiced woodland. Ideal for those who enjoy a bit of wild camping with open fires, and we are dog friendly! We are tent only. Farm Map : https://dernwoodfarm.co.uk/farm-map/ Glamping We also have lots of gorgeous glamping choices from bell tents in gorgeous private clearings, with wood-burning stoves and toilet and shower facilities to right at the top of the camping scale we have our safari tent, situated in a large sunny glade in an exclusive area of woodland. This has 3 bedrooms, wood burning range, ‘normal’ hot shower, and hot water. You really couldn’t ask for anything more. It is the ultimate in luxury camping. The Cabin was built by a team from William Hardie Designs after an idea by architect and innovative design aficionado George Clarke. The build was filmed throughout by Channel 4, and used local resources and timber harvested from our ancient coppice woodland. It was shown on the third series of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. It has a great big wood fueled hot tub which will fit you all in. The Wagon is our gypsy caravan and perfect for two people, with its own wood fired hot tub made out of an old Victorian cast iron water trough it’s the perfect way to escape – sitting in the hot tub watching the stars in your secluded woodland clearing will shake off the city blues. Our newest addition is The Shepherd’s Hut, a great family option, it sleeps four with a cool loft bed for 2 children and sofa which pulls out to a large double. It has a walk in wet room with hot water shower and hot running water inside the Hut too. Tucked into the corner of the clearing is the amazing tree-bog toilet, which looks rather like a tiny chapel. As with all our beautiful spaces it is situated in a private woodland clearing with a fire pit and outside seating plus a table on the large deck. All our accommodation options are placed sensitively in clearings in our woodland. We are not like so many sites, where you are just plonked in a field with everyone else and have no privacy. You are immersed in the woodland, able to reconnect with nature, unplug from technology and find refuge from urban existence and everyday life. As one recent Tripadvisor reviewer put it “re-wilding the children at Dernwood”. I couldn’t have put it better myself! Our cafe serves our home produced award winning meat for breakfasts and lunches. We are a dog friendly campsite, providing they are kept under control! No unaccompanied under 18s Please – no breed banned under the Dangerous Dog Act.
Nearby attractions

The Cuckoo Trail, a spit from the site, is a great option for cycling or walks – weaving through woods, fields, and the best of Sussex countryside. Drusilla's Zoo Park (nine miles) is great for kids as it has fantastic play equipment (indoors and out) as well as a host of animals. The south coast at Pevensey and Normans Bay, named after the Normans who landed here a thousand years ago, is just 20 minutes away for days at the beach. Alternatively, pop into The Observatory Science Centre (seven miles away) for hands-on science and, on selected evenings, a peek through their telescopes. There are plenty of grand houses and gardens in the surrounding countryside too including Batemans, once the home of Rudyard Kipling (eight miles), and Sheffield Park Gardens (18 miles) from where you can also hop aboard the heritage trains of The Bluebell Railway.

Food and drink

Your hosts, sisters Amanda and Emma, run Dernwood Farm Shop and Cafe at the entrance to site. Stock up on steaks before heading to camp – they’re hung for 21 days so are bursting with flavour. They also do a good line in breakfasts and brunches if you don't fancy cooking and stock basic camping supplies too. Beyond the woods, The Six Bells in Chiddingly is a 45-minute walk away (just under three miles). It comes highly recommended (voted Best Bargain Pub in Britain) for its tasty fare and shabby-chic decor. Other recommended nearby options for a meal out are The Gun Inn at Gun Hill (which has a children's play area) and The Star at Waldron. Both are about three miles away and walkable in an hour.

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