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A beautiful, tents-only campsite situated at the bottom of a wooded valley in the South Downs National Park

Though Fox Wood is a summer campsite, the familiar smell of wood smoke still wafts through the trees in wintertime. It’s a nostalgic scent that leaves you dreaming of late night campfires and summer evenings. And it’s created by campsite owners Ian and Sarah, whose time is spent in the colder months creating sustainable charcoal. It’s no surprise that, after a few years wandering beneath the mighty oak they were struck with the thought of opening it up to other people; allowing them to embrace the same romantic setting and star studded skies that they had enjoyed for all those years. And thus, Fox Wood Camping was born.

In the bottom of a gently sloping valley, just to the south of a long shelf that runs through the South Downs National Park, Fox Wood is a 34-acre Oak wood with around half set aside for tent-only camping. Each pitch is in its own natural clearing and comes with a fire pit and log seats, with campers parking near the entrance before using wheel-barrows to truck their stuff out to their pitch. For maximum privacy, it’s worth making the extra effort to lug your things right to the far end of the wood, though pitch near the entrance and you can catch the early morning dawn as it splinters through the tall trees.

Visitors looking for a South Downs campsite with drying rooms for walking boots, playgrounds for the kids and electrical hook-ups for plugging in your boom-box are in the wrong place. Fox Wood is a true back-to-basics, family-friendly site and facilities are few and far between. There are no bins, so you need to remember to take your litter home, there’s no electricity, so remember to charge your phone, and there are certainly no glaring lights beaming through the night, so remember your torch and a telescope! But they do have the bare essentials to ensure campers have that wild experience, without the need to bathe in the pond. Excellent gas-powered showers are housed within quirky, wooden-clad cube, while there’s a block of composting toilets tucked away beneath the trees. After that, what else do you need?

As with all the best campsites, it’s the location that really does all the hard work. The woods constantly chirp with the sound of wildlife and the lean canopy branches clatter gently in the breeze. Beneath, worn down pathways lead you to the entrance where, a few strides across the lane, a local footpath is found. It’s really just the start of a network of opportunities, as anyone with an OS map will tell you or those into Geocaching. Countless routes from here will take you into the heart of the South Downs. Not that you need to go that far. Many take to the trails and wind their way in one of three directions: The World’s End, The Woodman Arms and The Fox – each an easy and worthy stroll away. Proper wild camping and a pub in easy reach. Now we’re talking!

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The campsite owner says

A beautiful, family-friendly campsite nestled at the bottom of a wooded valley within the South Downs National Park. The site is located within a 35 acre private woodland, and each of the pitches has their very own fire pit area with log seats. Fox Wood is directly adjacent to the Angmering Park Estate, which has footpaths and bridleways within an expansive 1300 acres of woodland to explore.

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