Woodfire Camping

UK England South East England West Sussex Petworth

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Camping as it should be in the heart of the South Downs.

If ever there was a campsite run by campers for campers, it’s Woodfire Camping in West Sussex. Opening for the first time in 2018, this brand new spot in the heart of the South Downs is the brainchild of hosts Stella and Griff. Drawing on a lifetime’s worth of camping experience around the UK and the wider world, this couple know what ingredients go in to making a truly cracking campsite. As Stella explains, “we've both camped all our lives, in orange canvas tents in the 70s and 80's; in a cosy two-man round Europe when we were younger and then every summer in a family tent since we've had children. Hopefully our experience will show in the way we've planned our campsite”.

Woodfire Camping is a throwback to camping from the good old days. This refreshingly understated spot is all about traditional tent camping with nature providing the entertainment – there’s not a hard-standing, electric hook-up, clubhouse or satellite TV in sight. And, as the name suggests, campfires are positively encouraged!

The spacious buttercup-dotted meadow hosts just 30 tents, with a crowd-pleasing pitch-where-you-like policy meaning guests a free to find a spot that suits on the grass. For those lazy bones who can’t be doing with the pegs and poles themselves, a handful of pre-erected tents are available to rent, including some cool retro models equipped with comfy vintage furnishings.

Despite its off-grid nature, the site doesn’t lack for the bare necessities. A pair of showers dispense instant hot water – although in keeping  with the site’s green credentials, these are only available at peak hours in the morning and evening to help conserve water – and loos are of the compost variety. Power-wise nothing is wired in, either, though the camp kitchen supplies enough juice to charge your phone. The lack of synthetic light at this designated Dark Sky Peserve ensures some of the best stargazing in the south-east.

There’s even a few luxury touches on offer like a resident masseuse offering half-hour pampering sessions. And, influenced by their stays at Italian agriturismos, Stella and Griff also offer a range of home-cooked breakfasts and dinners – from huevos rancheros to delicious stews with gremolata and flatbreads – all cooked over the campfire. 

It’s often said that a campsite is only as good as its setting and Woodfire ticks more than a few boxes in the location stakes. The campsite is located on Westerlands, a 1,000 acre stud farm regarded as one of England’s most scenic – it’s forest-fringed fields filled with horses, Dexter cattle and Suffolk sheep. The site neighbours the Goodwood Estate while there’s an abundance of chocolate-box market towns nearby like Arundel, Bosham, Petersfield and Petworth, and Bosham. Best of all, there’s peerless access to the South Downs Way – literally take the track out the gate and follow your nose.

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Details

Facilities

2 hot showers and roomy cubicles with hooks, shelves, benches and mirrors (open from 8-10am and 5-7pm to minimise water usage). A covered washing-up area with 2 sinks and hot water (time restrictions apply); eco-friendly washing-up liquid provided. Compost toilets and urinals available. No electric hook-ups but the camp kitchen does have a small power supply and 12v USB phone charging points. Food waste and recycling facilities provided. Half-hour massages available on selected dates in the summer holidays. Campfires encouraged (logs available onsite)!

Suitable For

Tent campers only. Campervans or caravans – no. 

Nearby

The South Downs National Park is eminently explorable from the campsite. England’s newest national park is filled with miles of dog-friendly rights-of-way to walk, including the Kingley Vale Trail. Or you could take it on two-wheels by cycling the South Downs Way. The Goodwood Estate is just under half an hour away. Home to the famous racecourse, Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival, it’s a mecca for petrolheads and fans of the gee-gees alike. The estate grounds also hosts the Cass Sculpture Foundation (01243 538449) which features over 50 extraordinary works of art amongst stunning gardens and bluebell-strewn woodland. There are several stately properties to explore including Petworth House (01798 343929), Uppark House and Garden (01730 825415) – both National trust-run – and the gorgeous West Dean Gardens (01243 818210) and Parham House and Gardens (01903 742021). Chichester Harbour AONB is a little over 30 mins away, so too are the beautiful beaches of Climping, Bracklesham Bay and West Wittering. The Weald & Downland Living Museum (01243 811348) at Singleton also offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's heritage.

Food & Drink

The onsite camp kitchen does delicious breakfasts and evening meals most days and every weekend, usually cooked over a woodfire or charcoal, either on the grill or in the pot. Breakfast might be huevos rancheros, bacon sandwiches, or just good old porridge to set you up for the day. Dinner might be grilled meat or fish and salads or stews with gremolata and flatbreads (kids options are also available). Pub-wise, there's plenty of traditional Sussex watering holes to seek out after a day's walking on the Downs. Pubs like The Three Moles (01798 861303), a short drive away, or The Cricketers (01798 342473) in Duncton, near Petworth. The latter, 16th century coaching inn, ticks all the boxes with a large Inglenook fireplace, beautiful beer gardens, a range of real ales and hearty pub fayre on offer. The White Horse Graffham (01798 867331) is one of the more upmarket gastropub options serving a refined menu of English classics. Another worthy dining option is The Unicorn Inn (01730 813486) at Heyshott, boasting locally sourced dishes and stunning views from its beer garden. There's a well-stocked village shop in Graffham too for any essentials you may need.

Opening Times

Easter–end of September (but only weekends outside of the summer school holidays).

Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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The Owner Says

Woodfire Camping is in a very special spot, with stunning views of the South Downs and surrounding countryside.

We have hot showers, campfires and wood-fired cooking, with pre-erected tents available for hire. The track leading directly off the campsite leads up on to the 90-mile-long South Downs Way, with more fantastic views in all directions, some as far as the sea.

There are four great local pubs within walking distance, with good food and beer gardens, and ancient market towns, castles, stately homes and sandy beaches all just a short drive away.

Pitches

Large field with space for 25 tents, plus 5 pre-erected tents. 

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Location

Contact Woodfire Camping, Graffham, West Sussex, GU28 0QJ

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Getting There

From London: Follow the A3 (Junction 10) on M25 south towards Guildford. About 3 miles past Guildford, at the Milford turning, take the A283 towards Petworth. Having driven through Petworth, take the A285 towards Chichester. Pass the Badgers Pub on your left, then Ted‘s Heath farm shop on your right and take the next right turn towards Graffham. Westerlands Stud is a 1 mile furhter on the left. Go up the main drive and you’ll see the sign for Woodfire Camping.
There is a regular direct service from London Victoria to Pulborough about (1 hr 20 minutes), or another from Waterloo to Haslemere. Pulborough is a 15 minute drive from the campsite and Haslemere around 20 minutes – both have several taxi firms.

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Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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