A foodie campsite with outdoor feasts, set in the heart of the South Downs
If ever there was a campsite run by campers for campers, it’s Woodfire Camping in West Sussex. Opened in 2018, this spot in the heart of the South Downs is the brainchild of hosts Stella and Griff. Drawing on a lifetime’s worth of camping experience around the UK and the wider world, this couple know what ingredients go in to making a truly cracking campsite. As Stella explains, “we've both camped all our lives, in orange canvas tents in the 70s and 80's; in a cosy two-man round Europe when we were younger and then every summer in a family tent since we've had children. Hopefully our experience will show in the way we've planned our campsite”.
Woodfire Camping is a throwback to camping from the good old days. This refreshingly understated spot is all about traditional tent camping with nature providing the entertainment—there’s not a hard-standing, electric hook-up, clubhouse or satellite TV in sight. And, as the name suggests, campfires are positively encouraged!
The spacious buttercup-dotted meadow hosts just 30 tents, with a crowd-pleasing pitch-where-you-like policy meaning guests a free to find a spot that suits on the grass. For those lazy bones who can’t be doing with the pegs and poles themselves, a handful of pre-erected tents are available to rent, including some cool retro models equipped with comfy vintage furnishings.
Despite its off-grid nature, the site doesn’t lack for the bare necessities. A pair of showers dispense instant hot water—although in keeping with the site’s green credentials, these are only available at peak hours in the morning and evening to help conserve water—and loos are of the compost variety. Power-wise nothing is wired in, either, though the camp kitchen supplies enough juice to charge your phone. The lack of synthetic light at this designated Dark Sky Reserve ensures some of the best stargazing in the south-east.
There’s even a few luxury touches on offer like a resident masseuse offering half-hour pampering sessions. And, influenced by their stays at Italian agriturismos, Stella and Griff also offer a range of home-cooked breakfasts and dinners—from huevos rancheros to delicious stews with gremolata and flatbreads—all cooked over the campfire.
It’s often said that a campsite is only as good as its setting and Woodfire ticks more than a few boxes in the location stakes. The campsite is located on Westerlands, a 1,000 acre stud farm regarded as one of England’s most scenic – it’s forest-fringed fields filled with horses, Dexter cattle and Suffolk sheep. The site neighbours the Goodwood Estate while there’s an abundance of chocolate-box market towns nearby like Arundel, Bosham, Petersfield and Petworth, and Bosham. Best of all, there’s peerless access to the South Downs Way—literally take the track out the gate and follow your nose.
Gu28 0 Qj, West 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 Stella And Griff G.Joined in April 2018
49 Ratings · 102 reviews
August 30, 2022
Beautiful spot. Real shame we weren't allowed a fire off the ground as it was cold at night and that rather killed the campfire mood. But a great location and excellent facilities. Would return
August 9, 2022
Large Tent for Hire 1
Just the break we needed
We had such a restful stay at the campsite and Stella was so kind and accommodating. We were camping with our 3 month old and hadn’t bought a chair to feed the baby and Stella was so kind and lent us theirs. We can’t wait to visit again x
July 31, 2022
It is a lovely, tucked away and secluded. The biggest draw is the hosts Griff and Stella who make you feel very welcome and that nothing is too much trouble. Also Griff cooks an amazing bbq in the weekends which is fabulous!
July 26, 2022
Camping with 3 toddlers!
I've been camping quite alot and this is one of my favourite campsites and will definitely be coming back every year! I love how it's not too big, it feels really safe and no cars allowed on site which is great. I love how everything i.e. the showers and washing up stations have been designed. What I LOVE even more is the food on offer. It is absolutely delicious and such a treat to be cooked for at the end of the day when you've been running around with small kiddies. The whole food area is really beautifully done, shared tables out in the open, it is really dreamy. I noticed some campers getting dressed up for their dinner too :) I love how there is no money transactions until the end of your stay, just write down what you had :) the whole vibe is beautiful and very relaxed it was lovely to meet Stella and Griff, and I looking forward to seeing them next year! The campsite is also in a beautiful spot!
June 26, 2022
Goodwood camping weekend
Lovely site with nice facilities. Bit of a shortage of wheelbarrows and meal time was a bit chaotic but the overall feel of the campsite was lovely. Would return and would recommend!
June 12, 2022
Great views, food overambitious
Lovely location, beautiful views but didn't feel the toilet set up was quite there - the separators were awkward and had sharp edges (I got a cut from one of them).
It was nice to have food cooked for us but rather feel they would be better off doing simpler things really well (it is camping after all). The food was nice, although the vegetarian options were disappointing.
From the host
Woodfire Camping is in a very special spot, with stunning views of the South Downs and surrounding countryside.
We have hot showers, campfires and wood-fired cooking, with pre-erected tents available for hire. The track leading directly off the campsite leads up on to the 90-mile-long South Downs Way, with more fantastic views in all directions, some as far as the sea.
There are four great local pubs within walking distance, with good food and beer gardens, and ancient market towns, castles, stately homes and sandy beaches all just a short drive away.
Downs National Park is eminently explorable from the campsite. England’s
newest national park is filled with miles of dog-friendly
rights-of-way to walk, including the Kingly Vale Trail. Or you could take it on two-wheels by cycling
the South Downs Way. The Goodwood Estate is just under half an hour
away. Home to the famous racecourse, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the
Goodwood Revival, it’s a mecca for petrolheads and fans of the gee-gees alike. The
estate grounds also hosts the Cass Sculpture Foundation (01243 538449) which features over 50
extraordinary works of art amongst stunning gardens and bluebell-strewn
woodland. There are several stately properties to explore including Petworth
House (01798 343929), Uppark House and Garden (01730 825415) – both National Trust-run – and the gorgeous West Dean
Gardens (01243 818210) and Parham House and Gardens (01903 742021). Chichester Harbour AONB is a little over 30 mins away,
so too are the beautiful beaches of Climping, Bracklesham Bay and West
Wittering. The Weald & Downland Living Museum (01243 811348) at Singleton also offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's heritage.
Food and drink
The onsite Camp Kitchen does delicious breakfasts and evening meals most days and every weekend, usually cooked over a woodfire or charcoal, either on the
grill or in the pot. Breakfast is bacon & egg sarnies done perfectly like the good old days, tomato-ey garlicky bread (pan con tomate) using local Nutbourne tomatoes; wood-smoked granola and yoghurt, good coffee, tea and toast/jam/marmite. Dinner might be grilled meat or fish and salads or stews
with gremolata and flatbreads (kids prices are also available). You'll get an email a week or so before your stay with all the ordering details. Pub-wise, there's plenty of traditional Sussex watering holes to seek out after a day's walking on the Downs. Pubs like The Three Moles (01798 861303), a short drive away, or The Cricketers (01798 342473) in Duncton, near Petworth. The latter, 16th century coaching inn, ticks all the boxes with a large Inglenook fireplace, beautiful beer gardens, a range of real ales and hearty pub fayre on offer. The White Horse Graffham (01798 867331) is one of the more upmarket gastropub options serving a refined menu of English classics. Another worthy dining option is The Unicorn Inn (01730 813486) at Heyshott, boasting locally sourced dishes and stunning views from its beer garden. There's a well-stocked village shop in Graffham too for any essentials you may need.