Care-free, pop-up camping in the Kent Downs, with ample space, glowing campfires and expert owners.
For space, sunsets and simple, back-to-basics charm, few sites come close to this new, pop-up campsite four miles from the Kent coast. Open during the school summer holidays only, Pete’s Field is, for most of the year, grazed by Cole Farm’s cattle and home to roaming rabbits and pheasants. Unsurprisingly, then, given it is only around for a few weeks, this is a small-scale and wild-feeling campsite, where ‘digital detox’ is the buzzword. There’s no Wi-Fi, toilets are in a cleverly converted container, while open-air bucket showers offer blissfully basic outdoor bathing. For those who like the grass-stained knees and tyre-swing fun of proper camping, however, the place is a haven.
Though a new campsite, the couple behind Pete’s Field are a dab hand at happy camping. Having worked as wardens on another Hipcamp recommended location for several years, they know that a plentiful supply of logs and comprehensive pointers to the local pub (200-metres away) are all important. Pete (yes, the Pete) is a campfire-lighting supremo, while Amy’s adventure credentials have seen her write articles for camping websites and outdoors retailers. Their nous for good ideas, includes separate parking, so that the camping meadow is car free, and four pre-pitched bell tents for campers without their own equipment.
At the south-east end of the Kent Downs AONB, Pete's Field is in a nimble position for walkers – it’s less than a mile off the North Downs Way – as well as being close to the beaches around Hythe, Folkestone and Dover. In fact, the campsite is twice as close to France as it is to London, though the capital is only just over an hours’ drive away. It’s enough distance that urbanites can admire wonderfully dark, starry skies and proper sunsets as well as teeny little countryside hamlets like Paddlesworth, where Pete's Field is based. Its quirky charms include a pub called The Cat and Custard Pot – owing to a badly painted picture of a red lion – and an 11th-century church that gave rise to the wonderfully self-deprecating village motto, “Highest Church, Lowest Steeple, Poorest Parish, Fewest People”.
Paddlesworth, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Amy And Pete W.Joined in June 2018
53 Ratings · 95 reviews
August 14, 2022
First time solo camping.
Fantastic site, facilities were spotlessly clean. Amy & Pete are great hosts. Great value for money especially as fire pit is included. Loved the bucket showers. Great area with lots to do. Will definitely recommend to others and hope to go back next year.
August 8, 2022
We loved how straightforward and organised everything was. All the pitches were great and the space was well considered.
August 8, 2022
We loved the campsite. It is incredibly zen! Beautiful views, well-spaced pitches, handy fire pits and a really nice vibe.
August 8, 2022
Such a great campsite, lots of space, loved the vibe of the site. Clean toilets. A fire pit included and could purchase wood on site as well as few other bits. Hoping to be back in a couple of weeks and telling friends.
July 31, 2022
Perfect campsite near Dover
I spent one night at Pete's Field and loved it! It feels tucked away and surrounded by nature, yet is at a really convenient location. The facilities are exactly what you need and were neat and tidy. The view is great, and Amy and Pete were very welcoming.
The campsite is also a 40min cycle from Dover, following a great cycle way, making it the perfect campsite for catching an early ferry the next day. Highly recommend it, and I hope to be back soon!
July 30, 2022
2 - Bell Tent
We had a brilliant time at Pete’s field! Great space with swings, hammocks and toys to keep the children entertained. Our bell tent was very spacious and Amy & Pete supplied lots of necessities (crockery, cutlery, gas stove, cool box etc) which took the stress out of packing. Lovely clean toilets and a fun hot water bucket shower. Will definitely come back and recommend to others!
From the host
Our quiet, campsite, Pete's Field, pops up at Cole Farm in the Kent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the summer, offering back-to-basics camping – with campfires allowed. We have 20 pitches for people with their own tents, four bell tents set up for people who don't fancy pitching their own and a cosy camping cabin too. If you like wildlife, walking, quiet camping and campfires, we think you'll like it here.
Outside of the camping season, our camping cabin remains available for two.
As a pop-up campsite with a focus on camping, we don't have a snazzy facilities block, wifi or even electric hook-up, we just offer classic camping where watching sunset over the Downs and toasting marshmallows on the campfire counts as entertainment. Having said that, as keen campers ourselves, we know how important it is to have clean toilets and a place to scrub up after a night around the campfire so we've got a cleverly converted container with flushing toilets as well as open air bucket showers and washing-up facilities. We keep Pete's Field peaceful with a no amplified music policy, quiet after 10pm and cars parked in a separate field.
Our bell tents are simply furnished and set up for four with a double mattress on a futon base for a comfortable night's sleep as well as fold-out beds for kids. We also provide a picnic bench, two camping chairs and a fire bowl with your tent and cooking equipment that's suitable for use over the flames.
The camping cabin is set up for two (please enquire if you want to stay with children). It has similar equipment to the bell tents but with a made-up raised double bed, a breakfast bar, its own kitchen unit with a sink, a kettle and an electricity supply. During the camping season facilities are shared with campers, outside the season it has its own hot-water shower and sole use of our flushing toilet block a short walk away.
Cole Farm is a small working farm owned by the Clayson family who keep a small herd of cows within their 60 acres. It is situated in the tiny village of Paddlesworth, which has a pub, a church and a few farms, it is the perfect place to relax, read a book and generally enjoy the Kent countryside. It's also in a great location for visiting the seaside at Folkestone or Hythe, exploring historic Canterbury or Dover Castle and is just a couple of miles from the Channel Tunnel.
The campsite is situated in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, less than a mile from the North Downs Way National Trail. The Kent Battle of Britain Museum (01303 893140) is about a mile away at Hawkinge and there’s a little railway museum and countryside centre, the Elham Valley Line Trust, in the other direction. Pete's Field is one the closest campsites to the Channel Tunnel and just a few miles from the ferry port at Dover. Folkestone harbour and Sunny Sands beach are a 10-minute drive away as is the quaint town of Hythe with its shingle beach. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway (01797 362353), Port Lympne Wild Animal Park (01303 264647) and Dover Castle are within 10 miles of the campsite and historic Canterbury with its famous cathedral is under 20 miles away.
Food and drink
The Cat & Custard Pot (01303 892205) is just 200 metres up the road from the campsite and is good for a pint and a packet of crisps at weekends - but is not currently serving food. The Gatekeeper Inn (01303 864345), two miles away, in Etchinghill however has a good menu featuring local produce. There's a supermarket just over a mile from site in Hawkinge and nearby Folkestone has a wealth of pubs and eateries with fresh fish and seafood available in the harbour and a growing selection of well-regarded food and drink outlets on the Harbour Arm. Amy and Pete can offer tips on the closest shops and places to buy local produce.