Hawthbush Farm

UK England South East England East Sussex Hailsham

  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Friendly, beautiful site, perfect for families who want camping with a bit of comfort thrown in

Here at Cool Camping, it’s fair to say we’re not exactly inundated with superb campsites close to London. Generally the more remote and distant from the large cities, the better the campsite. Hawthbush however, is the camping equivalent of a breath of fresh air and an unexpected slap around the face.

Cruising past the ancient shapes & shadows of Ashdown Forest on a road where all the trees look deliberately sculpted into leafy tunnels, certainly makes the site look promising. But it’s as you’re crawling down the gravelly, archetypal country track and towards the camping field when you start to truly love Hawthbush.

Surrounded by a panorama of wild flower meadows, golden hay bales and hand drawn chalk ‘camping here’ signs, it’s easy to become somewhat envious of owner Toby and his family. They left London several years ago to run the 140 acre organic working farm – which isn’t just about cruising on quad bikes and collecting fresh eggs each morning, contrary to some belief. Instead, the site works closely with Natural England to help preserve the meadows and wildlife of East Sussex. So look out for the occasional (and often massive) butterflies whilst en route to the nearby field where the resident brigade of Romney sheep live.

The sizeable shepherd hut field provides plenty of space for daytime activities like cartwheels and badminton – if that’s your bag. Where as the adjacent woodland with its huge fire pit makes the ultimate family evening hangout. The huts are beautifully decorated and come complete with wood burning stove, fresh bed linen and an outdoor kitchen area – making al fresco feasts a great deal easier to knock up.

It’s almost too easy to get snagged by the beguiling comforts of the camping field. But if you do decide to venture out, you will be gobsmacked by the amount of activities East Sussex has to offer. Not only is there the home of Winnie himself: Ashdown Forest, but there’s also a massive assortment of family run farms, local cider tasting breweries for the grown ups and more country pubs than you can shake a poohstick at.

So if you’re looking for effortless but still back to basics camping in stunning rural setting for all the family, Hawthbush is your answer.



Each hut has its own camp kitchen next to it, with gas stove, coolbox and crockery and cutlery. Each hut also has its own picnic table and kadai firepit/bbq. There is a small block on the edge of the woodland near the shepherds huts comprising 2 toilets, a hot shower and washing up facilities. There is also a much larger barn near the parking area with more toilets and showers, kitchen, fridge and freezer and a washing machine. You'll also find a ping pong table, plus other sports goodies. A projector for watching old movies on rainy days will be installed soon. Toby has big plans for the 2013 season. Not only will there be more shepherd huts in a completely different field, but there'll also be brand new (and pretty big) Safari tents – ideal for families. But the pièce de résistance? A cedar hut tub in the woods!

Suitable For

Large groups can rent out the private field for up to 15 tents. Glampers can stay in the shepherds huts. Sorry— no dogs allowed.

Food & Drink

The Gun (01825 872 361) is 800m away and serves excellent food. The Chiddingly Village Shop and Cafe is only a mile away. Middle Farm is an excellent local farm shop offering a bewildering array of local foods. It's also home to the National Cider & Perry collection, where you can try before you buy.

Only a 800m walk away is the excellent Gun Pub (01825 872361) with great food, local ale, garden and kids play area. Just under 2 miles away is the vibrant Six Bells pub in Chiddingly (01825 872227) which serves good value food and has live music at weekends, very popular with the locals.

Opening Times

Early Apr–Oct


Contact Hawthbush Farm, Hawthbush Farm, Gun Hill, East Sussex TN21 0JX

Show Map

Getting There

If coming from London on the A22 about a mile after Golden Cross turn left onto Nash Street and travel for 1.5 miles. About 400m on the right after the ’Gun Hill’ roadsign you will find the Hawthbush Farm sign and a farmgate. There is a regular service from London Victoria to Lewes, running every 30 minutes. The nearest station is Berwick, approximatley 6 miles from Hawthbush Farm.


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