The perfect eco- and walking-friendly hostel, easily reachable by train and bang on the South Downs Way.
Itford Farm Beddingham Near Lewes East Sussex BN8 6JS 0845 371 9574
This flagship hostel, opened in 2013 by the Queen no less, is really rather lovely. Converted from an old Sussex farmhouse, the buildings spread out higgeldy piggeldy around a central courtyard edged by borders of wild flowers. Common areas are spick and modern, and overall it has the look of a particularly inviting boutique hotel, with a comfy lounge, a scrummy café that serves food all day and a cosy bar. The rooms themselves house 66 beds divided between multi-bedded dorms and private and family rooms, some of which are en-suite, plus there is the option of staying outside and really enjoying the location, either glamping in their (3- or 4-berth) purpose-built heated wooden pods or bell tents, all of which have access to the hostel's facilities, or camping on selected days and weekends throughout the summer. There's also a licensed bar, lounge, a cycle store, a laundry room with a coin-operated washing machines and tumble dryers and a separate drying room with plenty of hanging space. But the real bonus is the hostel’s great location in the heart of the South Downs National Park, right on the South Downs Way long-distance footpath. Just a short stroll from Southease Railway station, it's also extremely easy to reach by public transport , making it the perfect pace to escape to from London and – surrounded by the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park and in its own extensive grounds, tune in drop out and leave the car keys at home. From the doorstep, you can puff your way uphill to Firle Beacon, for fabulous Downland views, before dropping down to The Ram in pretty Firle village for lunch; or head west over the River Ouse to visit Virginia Woolf’s old home in Rodmell. And if walking sounds like too much hard work, Southease station is just 200m away, so you can hop on a train and be in Lewes in 10 minutes or Brighton in 20 minutes. It's also just an hour and a half from London – all in all a fabulous budget retreat in some of the most spectacular countryside in southeast England.
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66 beds, divided between dormitories and private rooms and family rooms for up to 4 people, plus 2 bell tents sleeping 4–5 people, 2 standard glamping pods sleeping three (on futons) and 2 large glamping pods sleeping four (on a double futon and 2 single beds) in the grounds. There is also summer camping with your own tent.
Find a bed in a place to sleep near you
Dormitory beds from £10 a night, private and family rooms £25–£29 a night, camping pods £29–£65 a night, bell tents £39–£89 a night, camping from £13 per person.
- Private Rooms
- Getting Away from it All
- Sensational Views
- YHA hostels
The best way to visit YHA South Downs is by train – Southease station, is less than 200m from the front door, and has regular connections to London Victoria via nearby Lewes. The 123 bus runs to Southease village - a 10-minute walk from the site, and the route takes in Lewes (train & bus station), Kingston, Rodmell and Newhaven. Coming by car, the entrance to the hostel is on the A26 between Newhaven and Lewes, and parking is available.
Hostel open all year. Café open to public daily10am–4pm, and open for breakfast and evening meals for residents.