Wild Camping in Sussex: 5 great places to pitch your tent

If your in need of a digital detox this summer get outside and sleep under the stars at one of Sussex's 'wild campsites'.

If you need a digital detox this summer, get outside at one of Sussex's 'wild campsites'. - Credit: Yann Allegre / Unsplash

Head out into the Sussex wilderness this summer to sleep under the stars and get back to nature.

Technically speaking, wild camping is actually illegal in most parts of England unless you receive the landowner's permission first. So with that in mind, many campsites offer a near authentic wild-camping experience. Here are our top 5.

Hundred Acres Camping

Hundred Acres Farm, Compton, West Sussex, England, PO18 9NN

Set in the South Downs, Hundred Acre Camping offers you the opportunity to pitch a tent on a great open field or camp under a canopy of trees in its woodland campsite. 

As the South Downs National Park is International Dark Sky Reserve, a status it proudly received in 2016, this campsite is a must-visit for amateur astronomers or those looking to lie beneath the stars and talk till sunrise in the name of romance.

Milky Way

The Secret Campsite 

Brickyard Farm, Town Littleworth Rd, Lewes BN8 4TD

Secluded and all about experiencing nature in the best possible way, The Secret Campsite offers tent pitches or a stay in a glamping pod. There are three glamping pods to choose from one is suspended from a tree, another is a geometrically shaped wooden hut, and the final one is a shell-shaped tent made from a heavy-duty waterproof sail canvas.

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Evergreen Farm Woodland Campsite

West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 4NE

Evergreen Farm Woodland Campsite is the perfect getaway, whether you're coming in from London or a nearby town. There are plenty of pitches to choose from including woodland and grassland spots. 

Hikers and rock climbers should check out the local geological marvel Stone Hill Rocks which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and there are around 74 identified climbs on the rocks so there is plenty of climbing to do. For something a little more casual spend the day at Ashdown Forest retracing the steps of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Stone Farm Rocks, West Sussex.

Earth Camp

Cinder Hill, North Chailey, Lewes BN8 4HR

The ethos behind Earth Camp is to have sustainability and relaxation at the core of everything. It's a place to escape the worries of modern life and reconnect to nature. If you feel particularly tense, drop by the Alternative Therapy bell tent where you can book an Indian Head Massage, Massage or Reiki treatment.

Unlike many campsites, dogs are welcome on-site, too, as long as they are kept on a lead and not allowed to go on barking through the night. Also, the village of Chailey is less than 5 minutes drive away or reachable in a 30-minute walk.

Pegs & Pitches Camping

Treemans Road, Haywards Heath RH17 7EA or B2096 Kane Hythe Road, Battle TN33 9QU

Choose between either Wild Boar Wood Campsite in West Sussex or Beech Estate Campsite in East Sussex to get the Pegs & Pitches Camping experience. 

Facilities include hot water bucket showers, eco-toilets or compost toilets and campfires. Everything is off-grid, so any power is minimal and comes from renewable resources such as solar lamps.

You can choose between bell tents for something more akin to Glamping if you need a comfy bed to sleep on at night or if your really looking for an authentic experience, bring a tent and cosy sleeping bag. And for the intrepid swimmer, there are also nearby locations just a short drive away for a spot of wild swimming.

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