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Hale Farm

· Chiddingly, East Sussex, England
56 acres hosted by Ruth ?.
4 glamping pitches · 34 tent pitches
Ruth is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Best in South East England: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Best tent sites: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
A family-run, working farm in East Sussex offering spacious, traditional camping with no set pitches

It’s a storybook image: the farmer walking the yard, bucket in hand, tailed by a pair of chattering geese. At Hale Farm in East Sussex this scene has been given a curious twist. Ruth rises early, and heads out to feed the animals one by one – the gorgeous Sandy and Black pigs, Tilly the friendly pony and a couple of playful donkeys – but instead of geese, she’s tailed by chattering children, a herd that’s usually five or six strong. The picture seems to sum up this family-run site; Famous Five-esque in its attitude to camping. If you thought the days of back-to-basics, pitch where you like sites were over, then think again.

Perfectly pinned between the South Downs National Park and Kent’s High Weald, this 56-acre working farm offers camping as it used to be in a large, open meadow, where thin threads of campfire smoke drift lazily into the sky. There’s a standing tap for water, showers, toilets and a couple of washing up sinks but otherwise don’t expect to find a playground or onsite WiFi. That’s not really what they’re all about.

The meadow itself is surrounded by mature hedges and trees, with grass levels managed throughout the year by a flock of Ryeland sheep who shift to a neighbouring field during the summer. Space is certainly not an issue. The farm’s self-imposed limit of around 20 pitches keeps numbers down, while the tents-only rule gives the place a thoroughly traditional feel. Kids roam, safe from roads and vehicles, and adults convene around their evening BBQ (you can buy the farm’s own sausages on site).

Luxury lovers can find one exception to the basic-camping rule, a refurbished shepherd’s hut of the kind often found on the Sussex hills during the 19th century. Inside, it features a full-size double bed and a fitted kitchenette, plus a toasty log burner that warms its wooden interior into a couples’ cocoon of loveliness. It has a real air of romance about it and offers homely comforts to those leaving the tent at home, yet still has enough history and tradition to feel apt on such a rustic campsite.

Aside from losing the kids to the farmyard – prepare yourself for days of hearing their favourite animal stories – there is plenty nearby to keep you busy. A footpath alongside the site connects you quickly to The Weald Way, a scenic long distance route that leads you further through the Cuckmere valley, or you can walk the 10 minutes into the local village of Chiddingly. Simply head for the pointy church spire and the village eventually comes into view, blessed with a convenient local shop and an even more convenient pair of pubs. Re-hydrate in the beer garden and ponder the wonders of Persil. If the kids don’t end their weekend here covered in grass stains then they’re doing something wrong!

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140 Ratings · 151 reviews
Tom C.recommends
June 17, 2024
Grass Pitch
The shepherds hut was amazing and Ruth and Scott were lovely hosts. The farm is brilliant for little ones, there are loads of baby animals to see. The shepherds hut is set in its own private field with complete privacy, it has a bbq and a fire pit with complementary wood provided. They provide two comfy wooden arm chairs so you can sit by the fire watching the horse and sheep. They had everything you would need. It was fantastic.
G H.recommends
May 26, 2024
Grass Pitch
Amazing camping!
Amazing experience, so relaxing. A beautiful meadow with very clean facilities and animals near by. I loved it all sausages on the BBQ delivered to your tent and fresh coffee and croissants from the van in the morning too. What’s not to like?
Megan G.recommends
September 18, 2023
Grass Pitch
Our favourite stay-cation location.
Absolutely loved our stay here! Scott was so accommodating and welcoming. He came around to our pitch to "check in" and delivered some fire work, kindling and fire lights (to purchase for a reasonable price). He helped with the directions to the surrounding areas, answered any other questions we had. Allocated spots meant that we had been placed far away from the families, which helped for a little couples retreat. The highlight is the farm itself, open in the morning with lots of animals to see and pet. The Pygmy Goats are very welcoming, with one little one coming to say hello. (Our favourite moment) . With onsite toilets, (Both flushable, and compost toilets) on the field, and a hot shower available, this really helps to make it comfortable. 2 fresh water taps to fill up the water bottles really helped during the heat wave weekend. Located just far enough away from the airport that the planes are not loud, but low enough to be perfectly visible, so kept my partner occupied plane spotting so that i could relax with a book. We will certainly be returning next season with a few more of us, perfect for a group, or even a little quiet couples weekend. Thank you again!
Anna C.recommends
September 12, 2023
Grass Pitch
Spacious Camping plus Farm Animals!
Lots of space allocated per pitch. Great location alongside the Weald Way walking track and nearby pubs in Chiddingly. Also close to the sea (20 mins ish drive). Owners Ruth and Scott were super lovely, and brought round fresh produce (sausages, eggs and bacon) and firewood in the evening. Also a lovely addition is the farm they have on-site which they open up for the campers every morning 9-11am, which is very unique and makes the campsite one to remember! The goats are a highlight!
Sasha L.recommends
September 6, 2023
Grass Pitch
Everything was perfect. Ruth and Scott are fabulous hosts, kind and helpful. Their animal farm was brilliant, all animals friendly and so well looked after. We purchased their bacon too, which was delicious. We would definitely consider coming back again. Thank you very much.
Beth R.recommends
September 3, 2023
Grass Pitch
Great campsite!
Lovely hosts and campsite. Clean and well maintained facilities. Farm was an extra treat and the fresh produce and logs from hosts 👌☺️ 100% recommend
Chiddingly, East Sussex, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Ruth ?.Joined in February 2016
From the host
Hale Farm is a working, family run farm situated in 56 acres of peaceful, rural Sussex countryside. We offer spacious camping and glamping in a beautiful location and the opportunity to meet our farm residents during your stay!If you would like to camp in an open field, under the stars, with a small campfire outside your tent, where you can sit and watch the night sky on a clear night, then this is the camping site for you.Or if glamping is more your thing relax and unwind in one of our beautiful, Luxury 7 metre Bell Tents.Set in our stunning 9 acre wildflower meadow you really will feel like you have escaped everyday life!Our utterly charming Plankbridge Shepherds Hut provides a romantic getaway for couples.It is beautifully equipped for everything you will need for a memorable, relaxing stay.
Nearby attractions
Nature lovers will be in their element here. Head north east for walks on the High Weald (01424 723011) or south to the South Downs (01730 814810) – though the footpaths directly from the site are not to be sniffed at! Arlington Reservoir is about a 10 minute drive, a good spot for bird watching, while a few hundred metres further is Drusillas Park (01323 874100), a small 10 acres zoo mainly aimed at children. National Trust owned Batemans (01435 882302), former home of Rudyard Kipling, is around 15 minutes in the car, as is Alfriston Clergy House, the very first property the Trust bought back in 1896, before becoming the cherished charity it is today. There's plenty more besides: Knock Hatch Adventure Park (01323 442051), Ashdown Llama Park (01825 713698), Herstmonceux Castle (01323 834457), the Observatory Science Centre (01323 832731), Sheffield Park and Lewes Castle (01273 486290) – all of which are within half and hour. Take your pick!
Food and drink
Hale Farm's free range eggs, sausages and bacon are available to buy onsite. Any other produce and essentials and an excellent cafe be found at the local village shop, a 10-minute walk away. There are also two excellent pubs in the village, The Six Bells and The Gun.
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