Eco-friendly and truly unique places to stay, in an idyllic location
Hobbs Lane Beckley East Sussex TN31 6TT 01797 260 890
'Idyllic' doesn't do this East Sussex hideaway justice. Nestled within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Swallowtail Hill Farm is 40 acres of tranquil wildflower meadow, ancient woodlands, verdant valley, and vibrant wetlands, cultivated and conserved for your off-grid glamping pleasure – the result of owners Sarah and Christopher Broadbent's 20 years of hard graft and an acute understanding of the local environment. Sustainability is a central tenet of the Swallowtail ethos, which is why they still produce farm-reared meat, fruit, vegetables and copious quantities of timber for building, fuel and fencing. For those with a real interest in conservation, the new Forest School and Wild Woodland Club for kids encourages eco-education and traditional woodcraft methods. Little wonder then that Green Tourism awarded them the coveted gold rating. And TV architect George Clarke recently featured the Swallowtail site as one of his Amazing Spaces.
There are two cosy timber cabins perfect for a family of four, complete with wood-burning stove, kitchenette and firepit for some bonfire grilling under the stars. Resourceful to the last, the quirky double beds have been hand crafted using local wood and you’ll find old apple crates as bedside tables, antique trunks for storage and handmade coffee tables. There are also two whimsical wooden cabins on wheels, the Meadow Keeper's and Woodcutter's Cottages, straight out of the Brothers Grimm, and masterfully crafted by using locally-sourced timber The former is the 'gingerbread cottage' of so many children's story books, sitting in perfect pond-side seclusion between two wildflower meadows, while the latter lies tucked away in a dell at the end of The Dean Wood, an eight-acre chestnut and oak coppiced woodland surrounded by hornbeam, holly, hazel, oak and chestnut hedge lines. A truly special time is assured, and it's a great place for a party – indeed you can have your your wedding/hen/any-excuse-for-a-countryside-celebration here, or to just explore the local area: you're just five miles from Rye and easily placed to access the South Coast's many other delights, Ticks all boxes really, doesn't it?
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From £80 a night per person in cabins, from £100 a night in cottages on wheels.
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Open all year.