Housedean Farm Campsite
Housedean Farm, Brighton Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 3JW
Slap, bang in the heart of the peaceful, undulating East Sussex Downs lies Housedean Farm, a 900-acre family-run farm. Being right on the doorstep of some of rural England's loveliest scenery, this is a walker's Disneyland, but if you don't come here specifically for a jaunty stroll, Cool Camping advises (especially on a bright blue summers day) you do surrender to the irresistible draw of the South Downs Way, and get walking. You won't regret it.
With 20 or so spacious, well-kept pitches, two cosy bell tents (each sleeping 6) and one newly installed shepherd's hut, Housedean campsite caters for well-schooled campers and novices alike. The recently-installed bathroom facilities (4 toilets and 3 showers) are also worth mentioning; a modern yet simple block, always immaculately kept, with the open-air hot shower a real highlight. Campers can lather, rinse and repeat whilst gazing up at the fluffy Sussex clouds.
One of Housedean's plus points has to be its close proximity to the public transport-friendly A27, allowing visitors to easily explore the local and wider area (including bohemian Brighton & the charming hillside town of Lewes) without the prerequisite of a car. There is, in fact, a bus stop right outside the campsite, so car-less campers could make the trip from Brighton train station relatively easily. However, that juxtaposition may also be classed as a disadvantage for those wanting to completely ‘get away from it all.’ The background hum of the road can be heard, and while it's not too intrusive (the camping fields are located at the rear of the farm), it is definitely noticeable. In any case, the campers here don't ever seem bothered by it; there's too much else to be distracted by.
After an exhilarating day exploring the winding trails, river valleys and Saxon churches of the South Downs Way you will not doubt be looking for a serene setting to watch the world go by. And as luck would have it the rolling Down-land vistas at Housedean Farm fit the bill. The sites welcoming owners have stuck to their roots and created a campsite that doesn’t pretend to be anything it's not; it’s a genuine, traditional working farm, and that’s just how we like it.
The Owner SaysHousedean Farm Campsite is located on a working farm, within the South Downs National Park between Lewes and Brighton in East Sussex. The campsite is a great base from which to explore the National Park and is easily accessible by bus from Brighton and Lewes. The farm and campsite are also situated directly on the South Downs Way so we are perfectly located for walkers and cyclists. While we offer a traditional, basic camping experience, we want you to be comfortable throughout your stay and therefore provide modern facilities with rustic open air hot showers.
We had a great time at Housedean Farm!
Everyone was really friendly and helpful. We even got handed out a map for a roundwalk.
The facilities are neat and clean and really warm. The field is a little uneven, still we had no problem balancing out our campervan. A big plus are the fireplaces at each pitch. You can buy logs from the owners.
We really enjoyed our stay!
Really nice, tidy site. Not big, but spacious pitches. Shop a little limited, but otherwise, facilities were very good and spotless. Some posts mention the A27, but have to say we hardly noticed it at all at night. Really handy for stopping off on the South Downs Way as well as being handy for Lewes, Brighton and further afield. Great walks straight from the farm. Owners were really friendly and helpful. Its a lovely site, but it is still a working farm, so go and enjoy it, but also please respect its peace and location.
Friendly and welcoming
A warm welcome from the owners, great pitches and fabulous, very clean facilities. Good for Brighton and Lewes as A27 very close.
We have just finished a two-night stay at Housedean Farm, and would definitely recommend it. The staff were warm and helpful, the facilities well-kept (the best of any campsite I've stayed in), pitches were spacious, and it was very easy to reach by public transport. The location was great: we could easily access the South Downs Way for stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and a bus took us to lovely Lewes or Brighton from directly outside the campsite. (Non-drivers: I wouldn't recommend trying to walk from Falmer station to the site, as we did, as the walk takes you along a very busy road that isn't always pavemented). Yes, the noise of the nearby road doesn't really cease, but it seems quite a small price for beautiful scenery made so easily accessible.
We have stayed at this campsite twice now and it is great. Nice family friendly atmosphere. With cows wondering around in the next field you feel like you are in the middle of a lovely English farm. Beautiful view of fields all around. The facilities are great, kept in top-notch condition, everything you need from clean toilets to warm showers. There is a fast road nearby so you can hear traffic on the campsite but this does mean it is easy to get out of the campsite and start exploring Brighton straightaway! Some pitches are a bit hilly so you may end up bundled up in the corner of your tent. But all round a great campsite that we will be visiting again!
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Beautiful weekend, great walks and pubs, watch out for the (harmless) flying beetles!
I stayed here this weekend with a group of my best friends (all in our twenties) and didn't want it to ever end. This lovely campsite wasn't too crowded at all, Nick had been very patient and understanding in organising a large group and plotting us accordingly away from young families etc. We were in four tents altogether, and were given a really large pitch around our own fire pit, despite the space we took up, we were still quite far away from our neighbours. You can buy reasonably priced fire wood there too, each pitch has it's own place to make a fire and we enjoyed two lovely nights huddled around it laughing, secure in the knowledge we were far away enough not to disturb anyone. The fields which surrounded Housedean had cows and bulls in, and on the other side some beautiful horses - all beautiful to watch from the tent.
The campsite was simple and functional. It has a reception/shop, and we easily got a taxi from Lewes station, although you can also get a bus from the main road. It also has bike hire. It had amazing clean, well kept, hot showers, nice toilets, and a fridge/freezer area for storing barbecue supplies and beer! The kitchen also had charge points for phones etc.
The woman at reception directed us to a very close by and easy to access beautiful walk along South Downs Way, which took us through rolling poppy filled fields to a small town called Plumpton, (about four miles slow walk each way) which had a fantastic pub called the Half Moon. They did an amazing lunch! There were a few different walking paths along the way, but we were happy with our walk. Then we returned to relax by the fire. Music isn't allowed at night, but to be honest this was a very welcome rule, the experience is all the better for it, no music, just campfire and stories!
If you have children (or even if you don't!), do explain to them beforehand about flying beetles/May Bugs/Cockchafers. And explain to them that may bugs will likely fly near them on this site. On our first night, we had no idea that at sunset, as it was a very warm lovely evening, and we were camping right underneath two large trees, we would be invaded by curious flying beetles. They are totally harmless, and do not sting (the tapered back end is where females lay eggs), however they do make a humming noise and are curious and will fly / buzz near you, which can be quite alarming if you think they're a bee. I saw a few little kids upset at them, and a fair few adults doing a hilarious terrified swatting dance. After sunset when it got colder and darker the swarms went away, but they mainly flew around near the trees. As they are totally unavoidable, i'd say ignore them, swat them away, or if you can't ignore them, put your fingers in your ears to avoid hearing the unnerving buzz, I didn't like them and this helped me. The May Bugs didn't take away from the experience though, just worth bearing in mind, and the site is still amazing!
Happy at Housedean
Spent a week at Housedean Farm (10-17th August 2014). Lovely setting on South Downs Way & also well located for nearby Lewes, Brighton, Seven Sisters, Birling Gap, Beachy Head etc. Site is slightly exposed and not that many flat areas, neither of these bothered me particularly though. I guess what did slightly was the proximity of the neighbouring A27; although the road noise was surprisingly quiet considering. I think it was more the resulting feeling I got of not quite being 'away from it all'. The provision of fire-pits for every pitch was great and logs could be purchased on site & delivered to your pitch. Washing up/bathroom/loo facilities were all very good and cleaned thoroughly daily. I can definitely recommend the outdoor shower which was great! I'd say the small on-site shop would benefit from stocking a few more basics like farm eggs and fresh bread; I appreciate this can be down to supply & demand & not always easy to judge for campsite owners but would have been nice. All in all, a good site, the owners were always friendly and ready to give advice on things to do, walks etc and answering my regular and probably annoying impending weather questions! My wife, daughter & I would definitely be happy to return. A couple of shots I took on 35mm film at Housedean here - https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=33116320@N04&q=housedean
Lovely, relaxed campsite between Brighton and Lewes
I was lucky enough to come here on a girly weekend this May. There were 14 of us and we rented the 2 bell tents available and brought one of own too. The campsite is beautiful,set in a little 'valley' between the hills, and so despite being situated right beside the main road betwen Brighton and Lewes (great for access) it was super quiet.
The Bell tents were lovely and spacious and we made full use of the dutch oven/fire pits for dinners.
We took the advice of the owner and did a walk along the south downs way, which was stunning- although sadly the pub we were aiming to get to was closed at the time!
Facilities were cleaned daily and included open air showers/closed showers and toilets -I was impressed of the standard for a campsite.
A really good alternative if you don't want to rough it camping!
Would recommend and visit again.
Great experience.. would stay again!
Can not fault this campsite. Welcoming, pretty and great views. Easy access to public transport but you can't actually see the road from the campsite so you feel right in the country. We had a lovely spacious pitch on the peak of the campsite and could see the tops of the hills and the cows in the next field. Fire pit is a really nice touch and you can buy bags of wood and a fire starter pack for an affordable price which lasted us about 3 nights having roaring fires. Showers, toilets and kitchen area was immaculate and the condition of the grass and pitch was also good, no worries about stones or lumps and bumps.
A little pricier then most campsites but the experience and condition of the site was worth every penny, we are a young couple who would definitely stay again!
A happy week
As an older person travelling on my own I felt very safe at Housedean Farm campsite. There were plenty of pitches to choose from. The shower and toilet facilities are modern and clean, and I also made use of the washing up area and fridge. The location is very pretty and easy to get onto the South Downs Way. I was glad the bus stops outside, and just over the bridge if you are going the other way. I made great use of my freedom pass with easy travel to Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne, Devil's Dyke etc. This was my first experience of camping and I definately recommend this campsite. Denise Braun.
Brilliant trip to the South Downs
I have just spent a lovely weekend in Housedean Farm! As other reviewers have said, the pitches are generous and the facilities are all that you need. They sell fire wood for a campfire at the office however we found it to be a little damp and difficult to burn. On our first night we were absolutely freezing, it was a very clear night! It was quite tricky to get our fire going with ever so slightly damp wood. After a day of walking we visited a local farm shop, bought some dry wood and some tasty burgers. We had a much more successful campfire the second night.
It is a popular site, but deservedly so! Well worth a visit and we will be back soon. :)
I stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of April in a campervan with my dog and it was great. I was doing a course at Stanmer park and this was really convenient plus it gave a great sense of isolation/rural living whilst still being very close to the main road. I arrived late on the Friday night and there were instructions left on the shop door to help yourself to a pitch and also to firewood and you'd be able to settle up the next day. Lovely place and i'll definitely go back again.
My wife and I stayed here for two nights, the site was easy to get to and extremely well placed for Brighton and Lewes. The facilities were very clean and well maintained, the washing up area with a fridge, freezer and spare plug sockets was an unexpected and very welcome find. The site is large enough that you have your own space and if like us you put your tent up the wrong way (intentional, of course, nothing to do with putting up the tent in the dark in the wind!) you can be looking out over the downs and forget there is any one else around! Yes there is a main road, but after a while you don't notice it. We will definitely be back if we have cause to be down this way again.
Lovely Bank Holiday weekend
Warm welcome, campsite office was well-stocked with essentials you may have forgotten, based on a working farm, ideally situated for anyone wishing to explore the South Downs and beyond.... Facilities were exceptionally clean, don't be put off by the outdoor showers - they are, in fact, fantastic. Toilets are heated and the water was piping hot. Washing up area was big, covered and more than adequate for the number of campers. 2 x fridges, very useful. Noise from A27 was not too bad, to be expected given the location. 26 pitches, spaciously arranged over 2 fields. Great firepits, £7 for kindling and logs. Water taps throughout the site. Choose your pitch carefully because there are slopes... Beautiful views. All in all, great campsite - camping at its best.
Spent two nights at Housedean this week. Travelled by public transport, train to Falmer and then the bus to the site, the bus stops right outside. Huge pitches and a firepit at each one, beautiful views all round. Nick is very welcoming and I had choice of pitches.
The facilities are first class, two regular showers and the famous outside one, 4 toilets which at first glance look a bit 'portaloo-ish' but on closer inspection prove to be quite luxurious, very clean, connected to the mains and include a hand basin.
There is a freezer and fridge in the washing up area along with three sinks and the water was hot. All the facilities are new.
The location is great for anyone attempting the South Downs Way or even if you just fancy a wander in the hills.
In conclusion, just about the perfect campsite, there is road noise (and the occasional train) but if you adjust your mind to think of it as breaking waves (really, try it!) it really isn't a problem. Loved my stay.
A rather nice campsite.
I stayed with my wife and my in laws at this campsite in August and found it to be rather charming. The facilities were very basic but functional and clean. The pitches were generous and had a fire pit, which makes the camping experience that little more enjoyable. We were not camping on top of one another as the pitches were well spaced out. The site is close to the main dual carriageway, however, you get used to this and the frequent farm traffic as the site is on a working farm.
Over all, the campsite offers great access to the countryside and a good camping experience. It is good value for money and will suit outdoor enthusiasts perfectly.
This is a simple campsite, but then those are often the best kind. The open-air hot shower was a highlight, and the fact that they allow (even encourage) campfires was 'warmly' appreciated!
Surrounded by beautiful rolling fields and mature trees. Advantage and disadvantage of being close to the A27, very accessable albeit a little noisy. 10 mins drive to Brighton and 5 mins to Lewes. Be careful getting off the main road as the signpost is very small so is easily missed.
4 very clean toilets, 3 showers one of which has no roof, so you can watch the clouds as you wash.
Each pitch has a fire pit and logs can be bought from the tiny site shop, very basic, but Lewes is 5 mins down the road if you need any provisions.
A lovely feel to this site, no annoying music, peaceful, full of like-minded people. I would definitely go back here.
Housedean Farm Campsite
First of all, we - a married couple in their 20s - enjoyed our visit here very much. We stayed 6 nights in August. The atmosphere and the feeling here is great. There are lots of families and lots of kids, but although everything and everyone is very relaxed, people here are also considerate and thoughtful. Perfect! Every pitch has its own fire pit and logs are sold by the campsite owner. The location is superb, Brighton and Lewes and the Seven Sisters being on the door step. The bus leaves outside the camp site, so you can explore the local and wider area without a car. Besides the location a big plus are the facilities. The toilets and showers are simply awesome. Also, the owners are very nice. The one big negative point is the road. It's very loud throughout the day and can be heard in the night, too, although it's more quiet on weekends. It's not that intrusive, but it is definitely there. If you really want to get away from it all, you should consider choosing another campsite. Still, I recommend this place.
Everything about Housedean works. If you're looking for somewhere that offers you the location for perfect walks when you're feeling adventurous and perfect views for when you'd rather stay and relax; then this is it. Watch the sunset over the South Downs while you stoke an open fire and ask yourself why you don't do this more often.
Tranquil spot in South Downs
We stayed here for 2 nights as a base for visiting Brighton with our teenage kids. Super site – gorgeous views, huge pitches, each with fab firepits; high quality clean portaloos with hot and cold running water and lighting/mirrors and super hot showers.
It was so relaxing sitting around fire each night and counting the stars! Amazed by how peaceful it was – our fellow campers were so respectful of the 11pm curfew so we had 2 good nights' sleep.
Lovely little camp shop, and Nick was so helpful – I have since found out from him that you can freeze coolbox icepacks in the shop freezer if you need to.
It is great being on a working farm – several calves had not been born when we arrived and we had the best view ever of the whole herd walking along a steep field in front of us and seeing who was minding the young and observed them communicating with each other.
Don't worry about road noise – it is quite near the main Brighton to Lewes road, but the camping fields are at far rear of the farm, so you are far from the road – it is only background noise (I am a light sleeper and did not notice it at all). Plus side of good road links is you are in Lewes within about 5-10 mins and edge of Brighton in no time too. We fully intend to return and walk some of South Downs Way (there is a stunning walk from site to Lewes).
What Housedean Farm is really like
I am married to VWMatt (who reviewed the site on July 15th and who is a grumpy man!) I think he made much too much of our noisy neighbours. It was a VERY small thing and we wouldn't hesitate to come back in the future. In fact we have already decided which pitch we want to reserve for our next visit. I would hate to think that anyone would think twice about visiting this campsite because my husband is such a light sleeper. We had a fab time in this beautiful location. The owners were friendly and helpful and my daughter was blissful roasting sausages and marshmallows (not together) over the camp fire.
My family and I stayed here for 2 nights last weekend and I have to say, it was a joy! The weather obviously helped as there's not much better than a good campsite when it's sunny. Pitches here are large and toilets and showers seemed in great order. The fire pit meant the evening was enjoyed just chilling out. There were loads of families around which is great to see and although there was a stag and wedding party, we weren't kept awake but that may have something to do with the location of the pitch as we were quite far away. All in all, I've rarely stayed at better. In fact, I'm just looking for another weekend to go and visit again.
We stayed here with some friends over a gloriously sunny weekend. The site is beautifully situated in a fold in the Downs with lovely views all around. We found the staff really friendly and helpful and the facilities were clean and adequate despite it being a busy weekend. It was great to be able to have a campfire which really added to the camping experience. The only downside to this lovely site is its proximity to Brighton which seems to encourage hen and stag dos to camp here. As a result on the first night we were kept awake till 2 in the morning and on the second we were woken in the early hours when two parties returned from sampling Brighton's nightlife. A shame because this seems such a perfect campsite for families otherwise.
Housedean Farm Campsite
We've just had 2 nights here and loved it. The site is swish with an understated charm – basic toilets kept cleaner than many hotels or restaurants, open air showers make a nice experience, and the fire pits provide evening fun and warmth. The road noise is there most of the time, but the elegance of this site drowns out any nuisance that may present the noise sensitive. The pitches are huge, no need to feel crowded or lack privacy here. The vibe is superb and friendly. We'll be back later in the year for more of the same wonderful camping life.
Housedean Farm Campsite
We stayed here during the last half term and had a lovely time. The facilities are really nice and we hired an unfurnished bell tent which suited the needs of our trip this time perfectly.
The staff were friendly and the fire pit gave the men in the group endless opportunities to prove how manly they are!
It is a short drive from Brighton so is a handly location if you don't want to stay in the city. It was peaceful and quiet and we were very fortunate with the weather which helped!
I have just returned from a 3 night stay at this wonderful campsite.
We chose this site primarily because it seemed like a nice location and they allowed campfires. The surrounding countryside was absolutely stunning. Situated on the South Downs Way you are surrounded by rolling hills and there are lots of walks and cycle routes. We enjoyed several walks during our stay, normally ending up in the picturesque nearby town of Lewes.
The site is located just off the A27. The downside of this is that you could hear the road from the campsite, but to be honest it wasn't intrusive to the peaceful atmosphere. The upside is that you can access the main routes to the nearby towns of Lewes and Brighton easily, there is even a bus stop right outside.
The facilities on site we're excellent. Both the toilets and the showers were very clean. Although I could feel a breeze blowing underneath the cubicle the water was always warm no matter the time of day.
Both Nick and David were very friendly and delivered us bags of logs each night for a very reasonable price.
Each pitch was an excellent size and although most appeared to be on a slope this gave each pitch an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. We will definitely becoming back with friends.
Housedean Farm Campsite
Just back from a long bank holiday weekend with 4 other families. What a fabulous campsite - great setting, convenient for all the local attractions. We had a very warm welcome from Nick followed by a delivery of logs to use for our campfire! How exciting - we roasted marshmallows over a raging campfire in the evenings, pondered over the chemical make-up of flames, admired the moon! The shower and toilet facilities were always clean. With a bracing wind, the showers were a bit of a challenge (breezy!) - but plenty of warm water. Will definitely be back as so much to do in the area! Loved it!
Housedean Farm Campsite
I stayed here in the furnished bell tent with 3 friends, it was fantastic! A quiet campsite close to Brighton center (10 min drive). The bell tents are great for anybody who likes camping with a bit more comfort. I will def be returning here again!
Today I have just returned from staying at Housedean Farm Campsite. My stay began on Tuesday 7th August 2012. I have very much fallen in love with this campsite and had a warm welcome from the owners David and Nick. David and Nick are very friendly and helpful as with all the staff members. This was my first ever camping trip and it was just delightful. The campsite is beautiful, clean and maintained to an excellent standard. The facilites they offer are ample for a simple, easy going and relaxed stay, and the open air shower adds a touch of something extra special. Surrounding the campsite is the farm which my children and husband found most entertaining (watching normal daily farm activities!) and the cows added to the idylic views when they came down to graze. My children even picked and ate berries too! I loved the fact that each pitch has its own campfire pit and the pitches are spaced out enough so it does not feel crowded but still encouraging a camping community. I enjoyed going into Lewes and to Brighton but there is alot more to do and see, in and around the surrounding areas. Next time I wish to indulge in some walking and a spot of cycling too! Housedean Farm Campsite exceeded all my expectations and I shall now be a regular there, and I must say that the pictures (no offence) do not do this campsite justice and I highly recommend this campsite to ALL!
One experience in a great place
Since July 11, 2012 until the 15th, I had the pleasure of being in this campsite and I have to say that from the first day I take a walk around and I see lots of wildlife and forest portion of English, I am Spanish and was very special. From day one, both David and Nick received me very kindly, giving me at the outset all possible facilities and lending me excellent service. On the other hand, is very rewarding to see how life on a farm especially for someone like me who spends all year in the city. I highly recommend spending a few days in this place for its views and the proximity and the charming town of Brighton. José Luis Cerezo
Housedean Farm Campsite
If you want simple camping then this is for you (we like the simple things in life so don't go here for luxury). David who owns the Farm is a nice fellow and very helpful. We cycled into Brighton by day and cooked our food over the open fire by night with logs supplied by David. Perfect..