Roundhill Glamping

Firle, nr Lewes, East Sussex
31 19 383 11 21 30

Perfectly situated glamping spot that feels slightly detatched from the real world.

Opening a campsite is nothing new to James Butcher, he’s been running Cool Camping favourite, Firle Camp, just down the road from here, for years. Yet while we’ve seen rustic rural hideaways transform into modern day glamping havens, James has resisted the temptation to pull out the bells and whistles and kept it all wonderfully low key.

Today retaining the simple charms of Firle Camp has left a glorious win-win scenario. While the tent-speckled meadow remains pleasingly untouched and a firm favourite with returning campers of old, it’s just a 25 minute walk down a leafy lane through the beautiful Firle Estate to glorious Roundhill Glamping. Here an altogether different camping adventure awaits.

With two ginormous yurts forming the centrepiece, Roundhill's guests are accommodated in the nine large bell tents bedecked with bunting, beds and fairy lights. While the site is hosting one of its frequent exclusive-hire weekends, the yurts could be crammed full of guests. But on regular weekends, they are left empty for the communal use and enjoyment of bell tent occupants. You might not be able control the great British weather, but at least the yurts mean that you can sit it out in comfort and warmth if things get too chilly!

The setting for Roundhill Glamping is truly one of a kind. Situated within a hidden valley, protected from the elements, but still able to get the sun all day, this place is so tucked away that you can’t even see it until you reach a remote field gate. You then enter into a romantic, untouched valley with the South Downs as your backdrop. If you look up at dusk you will see a blanket of stars and on some nights, the moon appears close enough to touch – simply a magical place.

The field itself is flanked by steep hills and a wood, which shelter glampers from the breeze that drifts across the Downs. Situated in the South Downs National Park, guests can truly immerse themselves in the local wildlife. Firle Beacon is a steep 10 minute walk away and leads to the South Downs Way. The view from the top may be fantastic, but so is the view from the village pub, The Ram – a perfect post-prandial pit-stop.

So, if the weather’s not on your side, the two yurts offer a fantastic communal space for bell tent occupants. They are also a key reason that Roundhill is a popular spot with groups, who can hire out the entire site for their own exclusive use.

Although wonderfully remote, there is masses to do here. Relaxing, walking and getting into sync with nature are the prime activities. But there is also a good selection of outdoor games to play, with a few board games on standby inside if the weather hasn't read the script! So, should the heaven's open, the two yurts offer a valuable communal space for bell tent occupants. They are also a key reason why Roundhill is a popular spot with groups, who can hire out the entire site for their own exclusive use. These outdoor gatherings are a hit with every type of guest too – the luxury lovers can slope of to their bell tent for a little shut eye beneath the canvas, while revellers with their pop-up tents and backpacks can wander back down the road to the original Firle Camp, ready to peg down, roll out and camp the old fashioned way.

Site Info

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The Owner Says

(info supplied by the campsite)

NEW FOR 2016!!! Forest school & Bushcraft courses! 

Each Saturday at the Firle and Roundhill sites we can offer exciting bushcraft sessions with a trained Forest School ranger – a surefire way to get young minds engaged with the outdoors.

In the two hour session you will have the opportunity to gain some unique skills while learning about the outdoors. Whether it be lighting a fire from scratch, learning woodcraft, or building a fortress, you'll be giving Bear Grylls a run for his money in no time!

Sessions run from 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm & 4pm-6pm.

For the two hour session we charge £12 - under 6s must be accompanied by a paying adult.

For more information see our website.

Reviews of Roundhill Glamping

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I can say that the location is indeed lovely for the "glamping".

However that is the only thing that I can say was nice. For £220 for two nights it was in my mind a travesty. There were not plumbed in toilets as advertised only the "loo with a view" a latrine which the whole camp had to share and it stunk, sitting in other people's urine in the dark is in now way "glamorous" (but perhaps I'm too soft and fussy)!

When we got there - we were told there was no tent for us, so we had to hang about watching our gear for over an hour whilst Will milled backwards and forwards - first starting to put up a different bell tent (which he then seemed to get bored with and drove off again). Eventually when he did come back he informed us that we did indeed have a tent, so we had waited around for no reason.

We asked where the Ram pub was and were told it was 15 minutes away - it is not a 15 minute walk, it took us 40 minutes. So rather than enjoy a leisurely supper we had to rush it down in order to not have to trek back for 40 minutes in the dark.

Will gave us 2 packs of logs as a goodwill gesture, however even though a burner is advertised as being available for each tent we didn't get one, so we were not able to make use of the gratis logs as we had nowhere to burn them - unless we wanted to lug it all the way to the communal fire pit. I don't know, maybe it wasn't for burning - perhaps they were edible??

When we got back from our rushed supper, we realised the "shower and toilet" were miles away and on our way to these (let's be generous and say "rustic") facilities, my son tripped over a tent guide rope - due to there being absolutely no way of seeing them unless you got lucky and shone a light directly at them. He is 7 and now nursing 2 broken fingers in his right hand. Again maybe he is a softie and needs toughening up. 

We wanted to leave then and there - but as we had all our gear (because despite this being advertised as "glamping" they supply next to nothing) we were unable to do so.

So off to "bed" we went - the 2 boys on what looked like sunlounger cushions and my wife & I on a bed you could ski down (which you should have a go at - it's impossible to sleep whilst gripping the bed to prevent slippage). It was at this time we also noticed that not only was it impossible to close the tent door fully, but also the bottom sheet and tent walls had multiple gaps, so despite the ample sleeping equipment we had brought and a couple of layers of clothing as well, we were all freezing (my 9 year old was so cold he was in tears - again probably not tough enough - after all hypothermia never hurt anyone)! So we were forced to put the mattress on the floor and all huddle together for warmth. 

At 4am when we were finally greeted by some daylight we were overjoyed as we could finally leave that hellhole. Of course we had to carry the gear and coax a very tired and injured 7 year old the 15 minute walk to the car, thereby injuring my back and shoulder. But it was worth every laborious step.

I feel extremely cheated that we paid an extortionate amount of money for two nights and they failed to deliver any of the things even the most basic of campsites supply. They should feel ashamed at the way it is sold this as a luxurious get away, it is absolutely nothing of the sort, it's rudementary at best.

Responce from the campsite owner:

Thank you for complementing our location - it is indeed beautiful. 

If we may address your complaints; 

Our site has the long-drop toilet (which does not stink). We're sorry if this is a little rustic, but we are in a field far into the Sussex Downs so cannot offer what one may expect in a hotel. We have had no other complaints, indeed our long drop is often commented on as a positive. 

The Ram pub is most certainly not 15 minutes away. We state that The Beanstalk Cafe is 10-15 minutes away, The Ram is 40-50 minutes walk away. We are sorry you had to rush your dinner and walk in the dark. 

We are  sorry it was too dark for you and your son was injured. As mentioned, we are a rural campsite and do advertise the need for you to bring torches.  Tent ropes in your way, these are necessary on our site!

Like any camping experience you will need to bring lots of gear. We supply beds, mattresses, lights, bedside tables, seating and blankets. This is advertised on our site so sorry you were not prepared for this. 

We are sorry it was cold - we cannot guarantee good weather and all our other campers, of all ages, had no complaints. We also had no other complaints about the sleeping arrangements. Sorry they were not adequate for you. 

We have a huge amount of compliments about our site and many happy customers.

1 of 2 readers found this review useful.

★★★★★

Weekend in the Yurt

An excellent weekend with the boys at the Yurt. Owain was extremely helpful to accommodate us and came through with plenty of logs to keep the campsite fire burning throughout the evenings.

Stunning location of the campsite itself! The Yurts are actually hidden away from the other campsite, tucked between two hills. Plenty of nearby walks and pubs to keep you exploring all weekend. The Yurt was well presented with plenty of space for the 5 of us. Wrap up warm though, it does get nippy at night.

Hot showers, 6ft BBQ with the full kit. Whole salmon the first night on the BBQ and
a leg of lamb slow cooked on the firepit the second night, it couldnt have been
any better. Owain kindly came round to provide ice & wood on both
days.

Perfect get away weekend!! A must do.

Many thanks for your assistance Owain

We stayed recently for the weekend at Roundhill and would highly recommend it  - a really beautiful spot, great and clean facilities and the best host (Owain). We will be going back soon! 

★★★★☆

Great weekend spot!

Great location, super quiet and perfect spot to walk the south downs! We were a couple and spent 2 nights in the bell tent with two air beds- good space and big enough for 6 people inside. We brought our own bedding but make sure you bring extra with you, it can get quite cold! 

Small but good kitchen facilities on site- with cutlery, plates, running water and a gas stove. Bring saucepans and your essentials with you to make it more usable. A great fire area for bbq and wood and coal can be bought on site :)

Single hot shower on site was also great with the cold weather, and two toilets at the campsite. 

Owain was a super friendly host and welcoming, and happy to help with any questions of the area, camping facilities and overall a great guy to welcome you on site. 

Site is near Lewes, and other towns (Saltdean and Newhaven) by car. Plus Middle Farm is close and a great place to buy vegetables, meats, chutneys and cider for all your camping needs. 

We had a lovely time, thank you :)

I was recently lucky enough to have exclusive hire of the Roundhill yurts to celebrate my 30th birthday. The whole weekend from start to finish was incredible. Our party size was 31 but it could comfortably take 36 making it even cheaper. When we arrived Owain met us and drove us to the camp in batches in his 4x4 (much needed as the site is so remote it can only be accessed via fields). We were speechless when we saw the site, it is totally secluded with breathtaking views. The site itself was great and had everything we needed including a fully stocked kitchen and a hot shower! The tents include an air bed and although small were much better than sleeping on the floor. The owners can organise coal, ice and firewood which I'd really recommend as it’s one less thing to organise (and carry!).

Both evenings were based around the campfire with dinner from the 3ft BBQ. On the Saturday night we had a “wellie rave” as my birthday party using the PA system and generator that was provided. We went for walks around the rolling hills that surround the site and had a lovely lunch at the Barley Mow pub.

I would without doubt recommend this place to anyone wanting a really different weekend away with the benefits of camping but the luxuries you wouldn’t normally find

Nearby Campsites

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Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

Roundhill Glamping: Bell tents and yurts on the edge of a sleepy Sussex village in the South Downs National Park.

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