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A small, peaceful campsite with a relaxed atmosphere and an unbeatable location for visiting Rye and East Sussex
A small town atop a sandstone promontory that was once a strategic port, Rye has retained its charming cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy houses to now look like a piece of old England pickled in a jar. Just two miles to its north, The Hare & Hounds has a strangely similar vibe. The red tiled roof and old, strutted windows look across Rye Road to a stretch of orchards, while a tiny thatched cottage is almost hidden behind its own greening garden hedge. A blackboard sign beyond the cottage door reads simply, ‘please drive in for free range eggs’, though you half expect a lady on horseback to gallop down the drive with a basket of them swinging under her arm.

It’s the view from the back windows that we’re interested in though. Behind the old pub – sadly they recently called last orders and it’s now been converted into a tasteful B&B – two simple grassy fields offer camping for tenting folk looking for a laid-back place to pitch. If you still fancy a pint, though, it’s an easy walk down the road to The Oak or you can head back to the bustling lanes of Rye, close enough to reach by bike.

The campsite itself has a wonderfully honest feel. There’s no one marching round with a rule book or designating pitches and the place exudes and incredibly informal atmosphere, yet everything operates with an air of mutual politeness – kids playing ball games in the ample space without getting on anyone’s nerves. The washing, toilet and shower facilities are all brand new, bringing and oddly modern contrast to this obviously historic area, and a policy of limiting the pitches to just 30 in the two and half acre field means you’ll never get your guy ropes tangled with the neighbour.

Beyond the picture perfect townscapes you can escape the summer crowds by heading into the surrounding countryside – within the High Weald AONB, there’s plenty of top walking to be had, with particularly good local routes following along the banks of the River Rother. Or head down to the beaches of the south coast to dabble in the sea and build sand castle replicas of Bodiam Castle, a perfectly formed, moated keep just 10 miles from the campsite.

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The campsite owner says

A small, peaceful campsite with a relaxed atmosphere and an unbeatable location for visiting Rye and East Sussex.


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