Bodiam Woodland Camping
A secret, shady glade near an old castle may sound like the stuff of fairy tales, but Bodiam Woodland Camping is no fantasy. It’s an idyllic campsite with little grassy clearings on the edge of an ancient woodland and the banks of a gently flowing river. Camp here and you’ll be surrounded by trees, wildlife and the soundtrack of British farmland in summertime. You can mess about on the river or settle beside your tent and cook up a storm on the campfire – all within walking distance of a castle, a country pub, a vineyard and a steam train.
On arrival at Bodiam Woodland Campsite, you check in at The Hub, the on-site cafe-bistro-shop, where you’re likely to meet Anna or Nick Eastwood. They’ve been in the camping and glamping business for more than a decade so they’ve got a good idea of what us campers need. They’ve seen enough people turning up frazzled after a week of work that they introduced Friday-night pizzas during summer so the cooking is taken care of. And The Hub is fully licensed so they can mix you a G&T too.
After checking in, cars are parked away from the two camping areas (quite possibly next to a tractor as this is very much a working farm) and you’ll be directed to your pitch a short walk away. Half of the 30 pitches are in a poplar woodland next to the River Rother and in sight of Bodiam Castle and half are in the Hop Pickers’ Wood above an orchard. Which is more idyllic, it’s hard to say.
The facilities are in keeping with this low-impact place. Each camping area has eco loos, hot showers and washing up facilities housed in a discreet shepherd’s hut. There’s also a handy sheltered area with an open fire which makes it ideal for small group gatherings. You can even bring along friends who don’t have their own tent (or leave yours at home for the weekend) as there are seven ‘tin tabernacles’; unique little glamping cabins that offer a solid roof, futon-style beds and basic camping kit. If you’d prefer not to bring your own bedding, you might want to consider the more luxurious shepherd’s huts at Quarry Farm’s glamping only site, The Original Hut Company.
With food and fun on site and attractions so close by, you might want to forget the car altogether during your visit. The local pub, the Oastbrook Vineyard and mighty Bodiam Castle are just a short stroll away from your tent, while the steam trains of the Kent and East Sussex Railway puff to a stop at Bodiam Station, within the farm’s own boundaries. "All aboard!" The uniformed conductor cries, as if to complete the fairytale scene.
Contact Cool Camping on 0207 820 9333 to arrange group/whole-site bookings.
Why book with Cool Places?
- Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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- Trusted for over 10 years
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The Owner Says
We love camping and have developed Bodiam Woodland Camping to tick every box that we would like to see in a campsite. The site is quiet, off grid and of minimal environmantal impact. Campfires are positively encoraged (but only within clearly marked fiepits). Within this tiny non-commercial site each pitch has space around. It is possible to see you children anywhere within the confines of the site which allows them the freedom to explore while you the knowledge that they are safe. We never allow a group to take more that 5 pitches so the site shouldn't ever be over run with one party. The loos and showers are attractive and the showers piping hot. The wash facilites are regualy cleaned. We love the restored hop Pickers cook house. This offers campers a communal covered area with a huge fireplace to sit and dry out in the warm should the Great British Summer let you down. This has proved to be a great space for families and friends to get together in the evenings even if the weather isn't perfect (and has been the birth place of the odd hangover!!).
There is loads to do in the Local area with the Historic towns of Rye, Battle, Hastings and Tenterden all within 10 miles. There are loads of Gardens and woodlands to visit, National Trust and English Heritage Sites. Locally there are great Beaches, proper old fashioned sea side fun. As well as fantastic Local Gastro experiences.
Bodiam Woodland Camping is on our family run farm where there are 200 acres of grass land and orchards to explore. The River Rother flows through the bottom of the farm and can be fished during the season for a variety of course fish. The Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway runs into the farm enabling guest to catch a steam train to Tenterden for Lunch. Or hop on a boat trip down the river from the castle to the next pub.
We are very happy to accommodate groups on a seperate site on the farm - just ping us an email or give us a call! This offers the same wash facilities and a covered communal area, but is removed from the main Bodiam Woodland Camping site.
Our favourite spot
Campers, glampers, tents, groups (up to five tents) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, dogs – no.
The local area
The National Trust-run Bodiam Castle is a mere 10-15 minute stroll across three undulating fields. You can travel from the castle by boat (01797 253838) to nearby pub, The White Hart (01797 252166) in Newenden, or by a Kent and East Sussex Railway steam train to Tenterden. The Bodiam station is actually within Quarry Farm and there’s a 10% discount for midweek glampers and campers. Tenterden itself (12 miles away) has a lovely high street of independent shops and cafes and is home to both The Old Dairy Brewery and the well-known Chapel Down Vineyard, a little way out of town. Even closer to site (within walking or kayaking distance) is the Oastbrook Vineyard where tours and tastings are also available. The huge sandy beach of Camber Sands is about half an hour away (17 miles) and well worth a visit on a sunny day. Battle, with its famous abbey, battlefield and small high street of independent shops, is eight miles away. The enchanting medieval port town of Rye is 13 miles away and it’s about the same distance to seaside Hastings. There's lots of lovely walks, bike trails and Go Ape at the National Pine Arboretum at Bedgebury (nine miles from site) and the nearby Bewl Water reservoir.
Best local places to eat and drink
This part of East Sussex is renowned for food and at the heart of the English wine renaissance. You don’t have to go far to find either. On site, The Hub is a shop and a licensed cafe-bistro where you can buy and try local produce. A range of catered options are available for groups too (if booked in advance). The Oastbrook Vineyard is within walking distance of site and just one of the vineyards within easy reach. Chapel Down, Sedlescombe and Oxney Organics are others. Pub-wise, The Castle Inn (01580 083330) is within walking distance, just the other side of the river and does some great homemade pub fare. The Salehurst Halt (01580 880620) and The White Dog Inn (01580 830264) are both lovely local free houses and about an hour’s walk (or a five-minute drive) away.
Why stay with us?
Camping pitches can be found in two separate areas – each has its own shepherd’s hut hut for facilities which include two loos, two hot showers and washing up sinks. Each camping area also has a communal covered area with a fireplace. Campfires are allowed and logs are for sale at The Hub, a short stroll from the huts. You can also stock up on camping supplies and local produce here and dine or drink at the fully-licensed cafe-bistro. The Hub has space for a wide range of workshops and activities ranging from yoga to foraging and there are treatment rooms for pampering too. You can also hire paddleboards and kayaks to use on the River Rother. Contact the site directly to pre-book activities.
30 tent pitches and 7 ‘tin tabernacle’ cabinsCheck Availability
From £27.50 for a camping pitch and £77.50 for a tin tabernacle.
From London, head South on the A21 through a village called Hurst Green. On the south side of the village, bear left (signed to Bodiam Castle). Continue along that road to a crossroads at the end. Go straight over. As you drop down into the village, the castle is on your left. Continue over the bridge and railway crossing. The farm drive is clearly marked on the right.
Most guests drive; however the site is only a few minutes by car from the main line stations at Robertsbridge or Etchingham. Taxis are available from local firm AK Rother but pre-booking is essential (01424 401424).
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