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Simple but sophisticated, adults-only bell tent camping on a tiny vineyard with distant views of the South Downs
Well-drained soil, a gentle south-facing slope and protection from the prevailing winds: these are the key characteristics that make Downsview the perfect place for a vineyard. They also make it a pretty perfect place to pitch a tent. It’s something that didn’t go unnoticed by the vineyard’s new owners, who have decided to pitch one for you. That’s assuming you like the sound of a fully-equipped bell tent on a vineyard, with campfires allowed and a tiny, exclusive, on-site bar. Who wouldn’t?
There are four bell tents at Downsview, each kitted out for a couple (or a pair of friends), and pitched, at the top of the vineyard with panoramic views. It’s pared back, rather than ramped up, providing everything you need for a stay where the focus is on the simple things: campfires, countryside, views, vines and, of course, wine. The comfy double airbeds are made for you, a fire pit and logs are provided and a welcome glass of Downsview wine will be served in this three-acre vineyard’s tasting room/bar on arrival night (that’s Friday). This place does weekend-only stays – which is just right for the grown-up crowd it aims to attract.
It’s simple but sophisticated camping, a little over an hour south of London, in the High Weald, where a two-day itinerary is easy. Pre-book a barbecue box of local produce then, after your arrival drink, head back to your pitch for a campfire dinner. Next morning, take a short drive and a bracing walk at the nearby Ashdown Forest or South Downs National Park. You can stop off to stock up on more local goodies at Lewes Farmers Market or the even-closer Oast Farm Shop. On your return to Downsview, come find out more about how this tiny vineyard produces bottles of English still and sparkling wine each year. If you want to head out for a special dinner, Royal Tunbridge Wells, has plenty of options – or simply stay on site and drink in Downsview in all its glory.
Crowborough, East Sussex, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Katy S.Joined in October 2020
55 Ratings · 41 reviews
August 21, 2023
The vineyard is organic and biodynamic and is currenly the only one in the UK The environment is also tree lined, beautiful, quiet, some areas lined with blackberry bushes, and only has 4 bell tents right next to the vines. The hosts were very nice, knowledgeable, accommodating, and the sparkling wine they provided on arrival was excellent. World recommend to anyone.
July 25, 2023
We had a lovely weekend at Downview Winefarm with Katy and Toby. The ready-made tent was comfortably set out (and warmly on an unusually cold and wet July weekend!) and the setting was beautiful. Toby was an extremely friendly and attentive host. We really enjoyed the BBQ box on the Friday night and the Wine, Walk and Picnic on the Saturday (which despite the rain Toby kindly set up for us indoors with a great view of the vineyard). We had a great time and would recommend.
July 16, 2023
We stayed at Downsview on an unseasonably wet and windy weekend, but the super comfy duvet and blankets meant we were really cosy. I would highly recommend the homemade pizzas that are served on Friday evenings and the vineyard tour and tasting. Toby was really knowledgeable and generous with his time and the wine, and it was very dog friendly too. Thank you!
July 10, 2023
Lovely site, wildlife in abundance, friendly hosts, wonderfully relaxing.
June 19, 2023
We had a brilliant time! It is so peaceful and the bell tents are the perfect place to stay. We cannot wait to go back!
June 6, 2023
We had a lovely, peaceful weekend away. Very easy to find and Katy and Toby were very communicative in the run up and during our stay. They were lovely hosts. The pizza van on the Friday night was most welcome. The winetasting was great fun and informative. The BBQ box was delicious.
From the host
Hello! We invite you to come and stay in our lovely little English vineyard. The our luxe bell tents are nestled within the vines, with gorgeous views of the Downs. We're a quiet, adults only campsite, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Let us know if you'd like to book in a wine tasting with the winemaker.
The main attraction is right here on site; the vineyard and winery itself. Tours and tastings are an informal affair, and can be arranged on arrival. The edge of the Ashdown Forest, the largest open access space in the south east is just a couple of miles away. A good place to start your exploration is to head to the forest visitor centre at Wych Cross (nine miles away). The National Trust’s Sheffield Park and Garden is 13 miles away. It’s also close to a station on the Bluebell Railway where you can hop aboard a steam train for a ride through High Weald scenery. If you fancy a mooch around town, Royal Tunbridge Wells is nine miles away with its historic shopping arcade, The Pantiles, and another heritage railway The Spa Valley Railway. Lewes is a little further, on the edge of the South Downs National Park, 15 miles south.
Food and drink
It goes without saying that you’ll be wanting to taste the wines produced at Downsview and if you want more than just the included welcome drink (5pm-7pm on Fridays), you can request a tour and tasting during your stay. Local produce is also for sale in BBQ and snack packs which need to be pre-ordered with your booking. For more supplies head to Oast Farm Shop (01825 733592) in Buxted, five miles away, which is a café, well-stocked farm shop and a PYO. The closest pub is The Wheatsheaf (01892 663756), just a mile away but, as it’s on a busy road, you’ll need to drive. For more of a gastro-pub try The Buxted Inn (01825 733510), about five miles away, or, for a wide selection of great places to eat and drink, head for Royal Tunbridge Wells. There’s a choice of supermarkets in Crowborough, about 10 minutes’ drive from site.