On a website dedicated to camping it’s easy to bandy about phrases like 'back to nature' and 'authentic outdoors experience', but few places more genuinely encapsulate what’s so special about a night under canvas better than Adhurst Yurts. Rustic charm has been combined with comfort and luxury, and dropped on the edge of an ancient woodland. A carpet of bluebells, weaving river and leafy canopy enclose a campsite that provides the dreamiest escape imaginable from normal life – a slice of glamping wilderness just an hour from London.
Amid the greenery of the South Downs National Park, this venture by the Adhurst Estate started out with just one cosy abode before blossoming into the four that stand today. A fifth, carefully crafted wood cabin somewhat swerves the campsite name but offers the same, lavish comforts along with an en suite gas shower and toilet. Each yurt is individually designed and finished with a stylish eye for perfection. All are stocked with logs for the wood burner and have spongy double beds where you can lay and admire the exposed lattice work of the Mongolian-style structure. The units are situated 100m apart and have access to one of three outdoor kitchens, with the main safari kitchen sheltered beneath a cedar wood roof. While gas hobs provide an easy boil for the morning cuppa, when mealtime rolls around nothing beats rekindling the campfire and making use of the site's other quirky cooking facilities. A bonfire tripod with hanging pot, an iron cooking stair and a cast iron chicken roaster that keeps meat succulent with a reservoir of beer, all turn the normally mundane task of cooking into a holiday highlight.
Onsite ablutions may often be a footnote to the camping experience but here too something as simple as taking a shower is given a wilderness twist, turning the mundane magical. The gas hot water shower has no roof, so deep in the woods you stand beneath nothing but the leaves, as though bathing in the warm monsoon of a rainforest. Those in the Willow yurt, meanwhile, can also enjoy an en suite bath in the warm glow of solar fairy lights. When Monday rolls around there are still flushing loos and a wet-room by the car park so you can be truly plumped up to head back to urban life.
Indeed, heading back to normal life could well be the only time you leave this campsite. Despite having attractions like the Watercress Steam Railway, Jane Austin’s House and Weald & Downland Open Air Museum just a short drive away, Adhurst Yurts is in such a world of its own that you’ll be reluctant to go anywhere. The 100-acre ancient woodland is riddled with footpaths and provides endless amusement for kids who want to build dens, whizz along the zip wire, or tempt fate by rope swinging across the River Rother, while organised bushcraft courses have also become a hugely popular option – something you can customise to the age of your party and run by a local, professional team.
Whether it’s the rich fauna and flora, evenings around the bonfire or the use of the Adhurst tennis court, there is plenty at this campsite to keep you entertained. The sumptious comfort of the yurts or cabins are just a small part of what makes the site so special. It’s the ancient setting, out-of-Africa style facilities and endless space to explore that combine to create the perfect camping atmosphere.
The campsite owner saysAdhurst Yurts are recommended by Sawday’s, The Telegraph, The Week, Wild Guide and Hampshire Life. Our four yurts and one canvas cabin are tucked within one hundred acres of ancient woodland above the banks of the River Rother and are well away from any roads. Adhurst provide stylish, healthy and ecologically-conscious holidays for everyone from family reunions to romantic couples to holidaying pets, foodies and nature enthusiasts. If you’re keen for some nature and fabulous walks with dinner by the campfire and mornings spent in your cosy yurt – Adhurst is for you. We are one hour from London and you can easily come by train. You can walk from your yurt to three different pubs. The Queens Head in Sheet and The Harrow in Steep are both excellent and charming. As well as the pick-your-own Durleighmarsh Farm up the road. Adhurst is situated within the South Downs National Park and is a 450-acre estate owned by the sixth generation of descendants of the Bonham-Carter family. A mixture of arable farming, woodland habitat and wetlands, Adhurst is a site of special scientific interest on the West Sussex/East Hampshire border. The estate comprises workshops, farmhouses and cottages – as well as privately run allotments and orchard and our conservation wild fly-fishing syndicate.
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