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Blissfully back-to-basics camping in the heart of the West Sussex High Weald

It's easy to marvel at the West Sussex High Weald and not realise the history hued in its landscape of sprawling heathlands, woodland pockets and scattered farmsteads. This irregular patchwork of undulating fields, snaked with ancient bridle paths is a living medieval landscape sculpted and shaped by the 14th century rural folk of these parts. As the years progressed and the rest of the world bore witness to the sweeping tide of industrialisation, this charming corner of south-east England remained wonderfully unspoiled for a region just a couple of hours from the capital. The lucky inhabitants of its quaint ridge-top villages have always had a healthy respect for the land which continues to this day, hence its status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And it is on one such hilltop village, West Hoathly, that the Buckley family's vast former dairy farm now plays host to the region's loveliest back-to-basics campsite.

Spread over 20 acres of typically tranquil meadowland, Hook Farm is a tents only site site with space for just 10 privileged pitches. Facilities are sparse to say the least (portable loos, no showers), but that's all part of the charm of this place – a real throwback to the days of building dens and stories round the campfire.  

The south-facing site's open grasslands, fringed by copses of enchanting woodland, are free to explore, unencumbered by roads, permanent buildings and grazed upon by cattle in the winter months. This is seriously low-impact camping.

And from its enviable location in the heart of the High Weald, the charms of West Sussex are eminently explorable. Take the steam locomotive Bluebell Railway and chug your way through the region. Or for chugging of a different kind, there's a cracking traditional country pub in The Cat Inn, mere metres' walk from the campsite.     

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The Owner Says

The campsite is nestled on the south facing valley of the farm with beautiful views of the Sussex Weald. The site extends to include over twenty acres of secluded meadows, and small copses of woodland giving each pitch a unique feel. The site offers an opportunity to camp in the authentic English countryside, but only a short journey from the hustle and bustle of nearby London, Brighton and Tunbridge Wells.

The patchwork of small meadows makes the site perfect for family camping, with the Top Field large enough for games of cricket, football, badminton, the list goes on. The Lower Fields offer more tranquillity where you can have a secluded pitch perfect for couples looking to have their own space and peace and quiet.

You will experience true wild camping, there are no permanent buildings on the site, no showers and no main roads and over the winter months the site is grazed by cattle. The campsite is designed to have a minimal impact on the landscape and environment. We feel this gives the site a natural charm.

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