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The Secret Campsite
226 reviews
· Lewes, England
8 acres
24 units
3 Glamping
21 Tent
A not so secret campsite in East Sussex with camping and glamping – and campfires encouraged
The Secret Campsite Lewes is, of course, not really very secret at all. Nor does owner Tim want it to be. He wants people to know about it, to come and support his fledgling business and the rural economy nearby. The real secret is just how unique and special this campsite is. After arriving and parking at the reception and amenities area, occupying the various nondescript buildings of the now defunct garden centre previously located here, visitors grab a wheelbarrow, load up their gear and follow the grassy path up and over an old brick railway bridge. (The railway underneath has long gone, leaving a beautifully overgrown pathway to explore). Accessing the site from the bridge makes it feel isolated, secluded – and just that little bit secret. From this vantage point, it’s easy to take in the features of this place: just 15 hugely spacious pitches cut in to the long grass of this secluded meadow, interspersed with a scattering of recently planted saplings and all encircled with a backdrop of ancient oak and hornbeam trees. Wild flowers are bursting to show off their colours, while the woods beyond are ripe for exploration. In fact, the plan is for plants to be a big part of this site. Tim is a botanist and wants to turn this place into the UK’s first ‘edible campsite’ – a planting programme is underway, with an increasing array of berries, edible shrubs and flowers growing freely, ready for campers to pick fresh and add to the saucepan. In the meantime, there’s something else growing quickly – and that’s the reputation of the Secret Campsite. Secret? It won't be a secret for very long!
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Lewes, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Tim B.Joined in February 2016
56 Ratings · 226 reviews
Sam H.recommends
August 1, 2022
110 - Meadow Camping Pitch
Beautiful location to camp
The Secret campsite is one of our favourites as the location and scenery is beautiful. The pitches are huge and well laid out with more privacy than you usually get elsewhere. Cars are left a few minutes away whilst you wheel barrow your equipment to your pitch. It is therefore so staff for young children. Plenty of good walks/pub walks to do whether with friends or with family. The site shop has thought of all things to make your stay more comfortable whether that be ice creams, cold drinks or even coffee for the mornings! In the evenings you can sit back with a fire on your pitch and see the stars. I would say the only negative is the bathroom/shower block is looking quite tired now compared to many of the sites we go to. Whilst functional it is very basic. It doesn’t appear to be cleaned regularly especially after campers have used it in the morning and the floor in the showers or main bathroom dirty from shoes etc. On other sites we see staff in and out keeping floors clean etc but we did not see this or on previous visits here. Lots of cobwebs also. If investment was made to refurbish the shower/wc block this campsite would be absolutely perfect and you couldn’t fault it.
Aniko K.recommends
July 25, 2022
140 - Orchard Camping Pitch
Back to nature
Very nice, well kept campsite with its own atmosphere. Good and clean facilities too. The only thing that could elevate it more is a play area for the kids (which it doesn’t have at the moment). Most suitable for families.
Sarah R.recommends
July 24, 2022
40 - Meadow Camping Pitch
A truly special place
Our stay at the Secret Campsite was brilliant! The pitches are super spacious, with an abundance of wildlife! Beautiful butterflies, bats, birds and glow worms too! Simply magical. The on-site shop is fab as are the friendly folk who work there. A brilliant local farm shop is just down the road too. It was honestly one of our best camping experiences.
Layla T.recommends
July 2, 2022
Orchard Camping Pitch (small)
hipcamp made a hiccup
The campsite is really nice, queiet and tranquil place. Back to nature, as you are surrounded by wild grass and all the pitches are spaced out so you feel you have your own area. My only complaint is HIPCAMP failed to sync the booking with the campsite, so when I turned up I was told that the pitch I had specifically selected, was double booked and I had been moved to a different pitch. Also the campsite were unaware I had paid for wood. I won’t be booking through hipcamp again for this reason.
Peter H.recommends
June 30, 2022
30 - Meadow Camping Pitch
Peaceful site. Good conveniences. Abundant wild grasses dividing the sites.
Helen M.recommends
June 7, 2022
90 - Meadow Camping Pitch
This was either our third or fourth trip to the secret campsite. We love it so much. Tim is very friendly and it is really well thought out. The kids love helping with the wheelbarrows emptying the car and washing up at the washblock. The pitches are spaced out and quiet so you really feel like you are immersed in nature! The wash block is rustic but I think adds to the natural charm of the place. We have already booked to go again next year. Perfect for families.
From the host
The Secret Campsite is a small campsite focused on nature, peace and space. The campsite is a peaceful, campsite for nature lovers, real campers and their families, who are looking to explore Sussex, Brighton or Lewes. Our woodland meadow camping pitches are large and secluded and come with their own camp fire pit and free hot showers. We also have a number of unusual shelters where you can spend the night. We have 3 EV charging points and all hot water is produced by a large solar PV array. By keeping the meadow car and dog free we enable wildlife to flourish, and this increases the number of encounters that you and your family will enjoy. It also ensures that it is a safe place for children to roam freely and explore, and we have an area of woodland where dens can be built and trees climbed. We are located in a beautiful and sparsely populated part of East Sussex, and our camping meadow is enclosed by both private and public nature sites. These include great stands of ancient and coppiced woodland, and a site of nature conservation interest, SNCI. This mosaic of habitats is incredibly rich in wildlife and The Secret Campsite Lewes is lightly managed to create an environment where wildlife can thrive. The surrounding ancient woodland has been encouraged to advance at the edges of the camping meadow, which ensures an ever changing diversity of animals and plants for you to watch, hear, eat, smell and touch. Catch glimpses of deer, hunt for slow worms, wake to the dawn chorus, build dens or simply enjoy each others company at the end of a busy day. We also have three secret shelters, The Tree Tent The Okra and Gridshell. These are fantastic quirky accommodation options for your stay in our beautiful site. Each shelter was designed by local inventor and designer Jason Thawley and the Tree Tent appeared in an early episode of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces. Camp with us as you relax and explore Lewes, Brighton, the South Downs and the Sussex coast Please note we are a peaceful family site and do not allow groups or any cars in the camoing areas.
Nearby attractions
There’s plenty to do in Brighton, 13 miles away, but don’t overlook the delights of Lewes, a pretty market town nestled in the South Downs just 5 miles from the site. There’s a farmer’s market on the first Saturday of the month and an outdoor lido for hotter days. You can walk there from the site – ask at reception for the route. Glyndebourne Opera House is just a few miles away and the South Downs National Park is a 3 mile stroll to Offham. Finally, Middle Farm and Drusillas Park are a great morning out for children which can be combined with walks around the Friston or Ashdown Forests to wear everyone out ready to collapse back at the campsite around a fire to tell stories and play cards.
Food and drink
Tim, the owner, knows all the best places to get fresh, local produce, including the Holmansbridge Farm Shop (01273 401964) in Town Littleworth which is a 5 minute walk away. The Royal Oak (01273 400418) is a 30 minute walk away along the dismantled railway line that links the campsite to the village of Barcombe. The Five Bells (01825 722259) is a 40 minute walk through Balneath Woods and Markstakes Common and serves great beers and traditional pub food. If all country pubs could be as good as The Griffin at Fletchling (01825 722890) with its delightful garden and exceptional food, the world would be a happier place. Lewes is home to the wonderful Cafe du Jardin, which is located in a courtyard that it shares with an antiques business, and for the more adventurous Chaula's Indian Restaurant (01273 476707) is heaven for gourmets of Indian cuisine.
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