Bodiam Camping

UK England South East England East Sussex Bodiam

  • Daily deep cleaning of common areas
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
  • Beaches
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
A wooded dell with camping pitches and quirky ‘tin tabernacle’ camping cabins within strolling distance of Bodiam Castle

A secret, shady glade near an old castle may sound like the stuff of fairy tales, but Bodiam 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.

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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.

Suitable For

Campers, glampers, tents, groups (up to five tents) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, dogs – no.


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.

Food & 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.

Opening Times


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The Owner Says

We love camping and have developed Bodiam 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.

Social Distancing Measures

Two extra fields will be opened to allow us to create spacious pitches that are 18m wide. One person at a time is allowed in a toilet/shower, the only exception is parent and child. Hand sanitisers have been put on the outside of the toilet blocks & must be used on entering and exciting the block. We will deep clean the toilets in the morning, throughout the day, and when possible, in the evening – they will be closed whilst this happens. To allow for social distancing and you will be allowed to park next to your tent. Should you feel ill, are showing signs of the virus or live in the same household as someone with the virus, please do not attend our facility. For guest that are at greater risk or are medically vulnerable please be extra cautious.

This site offers our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee


30 tent pitches and 7 ‘tin tabernacle’ cabins

Tent Pitch

Woodland Pitch Sleeps 6 9 Available
Spacious camping pitch which can accommodate a 5m bell tent or a regular 6x4m family tent. There are a wealth of activities to enjoy onsite as well as cafe/bar.

Tent Pitch

Woodland Pitch Sleeps 6 10 Available
Spacious camping pitch which can accommodate a 5m bell tent or a regular 6x4m family tent. There are a wealth of activities to enjoy onsite as well as cafe/bar.

Tent Pitch

Woodland Pitch Sleeps 6 44 Available
Spacious camping pitch which can accommodate a 5m bell tent or a regular 6x4m family tent. There are a wealth of activities to enjoy onsite as well as cafe/bar.


Cabin Sleeps 4 7 Available
Camping without the hassle of bringing a tent in one of our beautiful hand-built tin Tabernacles – situated on our tiny riverside campsite.


Woodland Pitch Sleeps 6
Private Camping - Exclusive Hire Site. Contact us directly to book this.

Check Availability


Contact Bodiam Camping, Hop Pickers Campsite, Quarry Farm, Bodiam, East Sussex TN32 5RA

Show Map

Getting There

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).


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 18 reviews


We had a lovely time

We enjoyed our first experience camping at this site. It's was nice to have a bit of shade from the trees and could put the hammock up. Set it a very beautiful place with a cafe and a few animals for the little ones to check out.
Jul 9, 2020 by michelle comrie

Lovely area perfect for families

We loved our little trip to this campsite. We went for one of the tabernacles, which was incredibly warm and cosy in the evening. A short walk to castle and then the boat hire which was a bonus, made the adventure all the more fun. We will be returning when the steam engines are running again, as my son is mad about trains. Only down side was the hot water didn't work during our stay.

A perfect slice of English countryside

This has been one of our favourite campsites for many years. We have stayed here several times and every time it’s magical. The owners are really helpful and the site is very quaint with a lovely block of two toilets and two showers with sweet touches and an overall feeling of charm. We came here back in April and it was idealic. We have just returned from a second weekend there and hope to fit in another couple of trips this year. The nearby Castle Inn pub and Bodiam Castle Is all you need for a perfect weekend.
Jun 12, 2018 by Nicole

Sadly our last visit..

We returned yesterday (2 days early) from our third and probably last visit to this site. Since we stumbled across this lovely site in 2013 its been our firm favourite but, unfortunately, this trip has put us off completely.  Our first night was fine but, after a lovely day at camber, our second night was just awful. We ended up hemmed in ( literally feet away ) from a large group with four pitches . Part of the group had set up in the afternoon but the rest arrived at 9.15pm and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours setting up their camp with absolutely no thought for anyone else trying to have a peaceful evening or our two young children trying to sleep. We thought things would quieten once the tents were up, how wrong we were - 1.30am they finally decided they'd drunk enough and made enough noise and went to bed! We had such an awful night we decided to pack up and leave (something we have never done in all our years of camping) as we had no doubt that last night would be equally as bad, if not worse! We had always had the impression that large groups were separated from small ones to stop people feeling overtaken and that people were asked to quieten things down by 10pm!! Sadly it seems that the ethos has changed and large groups will be accommodated to the detriment of small ones. Really sad as the site is lovely, the owners always helpful, the views beautiful and the whole area has so much to see and do :(

Aug 30, 2015 by SianH

Response from Bodiam Camping

Thank you very much for taking the time to review, I’m so sorry that on this occasion you didn’t have an enjoyable trip, I wish you could have found it within you to let me know the problem at the time as I could have addressed it with the other guests. As you know we implement a quiet policy across the whole site which is well flagged on our website, by email from the point of making an enquiry and again throughout the booking process. It is very much within our ethos, so I would have been very comfortable to speak to them regarding a noise complaint.

Camping is a lovely relaxed way for families to enjoy spending time together as you know, you were traveling with another family yourselves over the Bank Holiday weekend. The group in question did not raise any alarm bells for me. They were a group of four families each with children. I don’t accept bookings for 4 pitches if they are an adult only party and potentially rowdy. You must understand it is incredibly difficult for me to tell from an email enquiry how people are likely to behave on the site.

In terms of arriving at 9.15 pm I can understand that this is not desirable. However given the volume of traffic on a Friday night this is something that we encounter most weekends. We have to accept if we are going to accept bookings from people who have had to work go to on Friday and then get on the road. We do run the campsite as a business and within that we need to be accommodating to a range of different needs from different guests.

We hope that maybe we will see you again one day as you are exactly the type of guest we hope to encourage to the site. I apologise that in this occasion the cohort of guests on site didn’t gel as well as happily it normally does.


A very special place

Tucked in between an old railway line and a river and fields, this magic spot is totally hidden from any public roads. 

We were told tents had to be a certain size, but the pitches were huge and we easily fitted our little and larger tents on our site... They are not marked.

There are some pre erected bell tents for hire too.

The loos are not of the modern flush variety, which was a problem for my daughter, but they didn't smell and the rest of us didn't mind. Showers were great, with huge shower heads and the facilities were in cute little shepards huts.

In our field there was a mini wood for the kids to play in and the wonderful Bodium castle is a walk along the river away. Camber sands is also not too far to visit.

Unfortunately, the wood we got was quite wet so perhaps bring/buy your own, but that's my only negative.

We did try to go back again one bank holiday, but it was understandably full. 

Lovely site, and look out for the entrance of what looks like an industrial park, to find the site. Don't worry, it's not surrounded by factories, just a tricky access to find if you don't expect that.

May 25, 2015 by Taitin

would highly recommend

This is the first campsite I booked completely the opposite of what we had previously used.  We loved it!!

I can't stress how much this takes you back to nature, the raised levels make it private for your camping party but the woods you camp in are fab, it is like you are freestyle camping.  I loved that you could have a campfire and everything felt so relaxed no air pollution so stargazed everynight.

Yes the toilets are eco but hey we are in the middle of nowhere i wasn't looking for a shower block, we brought airspray and took that in with us when we went but it was clean all of the time.  My kids were 7 and 11 and a year later are still talking about this site and we have stayed at many since and recommend this site to everyone.

This by far has been our favourite on this whole site so far!!

Sep 25, 2014 by Phunky_saz


Five of us (all adults) camped at Hop Pickers Farm in June and had the most amazing time ever. It was 100% perfect and we could not find fault with anything.....except we had to call Anna for directions once we got close but not one of our five phones had a signal, so I suggest you keep an eye on your phone and call sooner rather than later. In saying that, we just had to drive back the road a little to pick up a signal.

Thank you very much for a great camping experience.

Aug 7, 2014 by Emily

New annual camping site!

Slightly late in posting my review but we spent the last weekend in June at this site. This is the 2nd year we've been to the farm and we will certainly be making it a regular occurrence. Just as background, we're a group of 4 dads with 4 boys all around 3.5yrs old and last year was our first foray into camping which was such a success (well most of us managed to get our boys to sleep at a reasonable hour!). We stayed on the upper site (the dell) last year and this really was idyllic & picturesque but this year we were at the "overflow" site down by the river which is slightly more open but has more room for the kids to explore and kept themselves occupied. Both have virtually identical facilities which are wonderful and really make the difference to your stay. It may seem rather rudimentary having a compost toilet (yes it can smell a little in warm weather so you just need to open the window) but the toilet/shower/washing block are all perfectly kept and have lovely hot water whether that's for washing or a shower. The overflow is a little easier to walk to the castle inn, Bodiam castle and the steam station which are all definitely worth a visit.  Other nice points are each pitch has an open fire and there is plenty of wood available to buy. Anna is lovely and always helpful. Not sure what else to add but would certainly recommend to anyone.

Jul 22, 2014 by woody5479

Perfect family camping

We stayed at Hop Pickers during the last weekend of May, and it is one of the best campsites I've stayed at. There are two main camping areas, a terraced one nestling in a dell at the top of a small hill, and another with very large pitches spread out by the river. We opted for the dell, which we loved. My daughters quickly made friends with the other children, and the lack of cars within the campsite proper meant they had total freedom  to run around, climb trees, and hide in the woods etc. it was absolutely blissful to come out of London and just let them go free range for a few days. Others have commented about the long-drop loos. To be honest, the only day they smelled of anything other than disinfectant was the Thursday when we arrived, so they are clearly emptied and cleaned regularly. More of an issue was the slightly temperamental boiler for the showers, but a bit of basic tlc soon had it running. Oh and did I mention that they are the cutest facilities ever? the Castle pub (next to NT Bodiam Castle), has decent beer, a large garden, and very decent pub grub, and is only a 20 min walk away along the river. All in all, a great experience, and we can't wait to go back.

Jun 5, 2014 by Matt


This is the loveliest site with the friendliest owners and nicest facilites that i have ever visited. The location is wonderful with a beautiful walk along the river to Bodiam castle. Our children were free to safely run and play and relished the independance it offered. There are a few different camping areas within the farm. Each are lovely and have have clean, comfortable facilities. The campsite quietens down between 8 and 10pm and after that there is just the sound of the campfires crackling and aduls quietly chattin. Its not the place for large rowdy groups! There is nothing bad to say about Hop Pickers Wood - its perfect.

Jun 2, 2014 by Joanna

Just what the doctor ordered!

As a group of friends, we go away camping somewhere different every year for the end of May bank holiday.  This is our 7th year away, and we chose Hop Pickers Wood.  We weren't disappointed!  We were in the 'overflow' field - with about 15 or so tents (there were 3 tents in our party).  So, quite a few people about, but it didn't feel crowded, and I never had to queue for the toilets!  Loos and showers were cleaned daily, so all up to the standard we'd expect.  Anna and Nick were helpful, friendly, and left us to our own devices - apart from when we had some dinner to share with them!! We always go for a camp site where we can have a fire, and the fire pits here worked a treat - they were half of an old oil drum - recycling at it's best! Logs and kindling were available at a reasonable price. We 'cheated' and had Sunday breakfast at the local pub, The Castle, less than 10 minutes walk away - and it was worth it!  We'll be recommending this site to our friends - hope you enjoy it too!  Donna

May 28, 2014 by Donna Mitchell

Naturally gorgeous

Just back from a weekend at Hop Pickers. It's unlike any other site I've been to, absolutely delightful and certainly exceeded our expectations! 

Hidden in a little wooded glade, there are a handful of pitches, each on a different level, with its own fire pit nearby. The layout gives privacy and the feeling of seclusion and there is also a communal fire pit and dining area with a wood burner for anyone preferring to socialise.

The showers were great - piping hot, and the toilets are long drop but every effort has been made to make them as fragrant and pleasant as possible. 

There's zero light pollution so great for star gazers but do make sure to pack a torch! 

The food and service in the Castle pub was fantastic. It was fully booked but they just managed to squeeze us in, so we'll be making a reservation to be on the safe side next time!

All in all a great little site, and we'll definitely be back and inviting our friends to join us.

Sep 8, 2013 by Sassieb

First Time Camper Hooked

I have always avoided camping at any cost, like my home comforts too much but after recently spending  a couple of nights here I'm hooked. Fabulous setting, everything you could need and most important for me being so fussy about facilities, the loos were fine they are a long drop but well presented and regularly checked and emptied.

Aug 22, 2013 by naomi

Nice campsite but the toilets ruined our stay

We have just returned to from this campsite after a four day stay.  The site is lovely and well sheltered.  However, our stay was ruined by the toilet situation. They have a long-drop which smelt terribly by the last day of our stay. The site was at full capacity and the toilets were not cleared out during our stay. We were not alone in our views on this site - such a shame.

Aug 12, 2013 by vix

Response from Bodiam Camping

Hi Vix – thanks for your feedback. The loos are a constant problem for us. We have very strict planning guidance which prevents us putting in conventional loos. It also prevents us from being able to excavate to build a compost loo which would have sufficient capacity for the number of bottoms, as we would have to have above ground tanks which would need to be very high off the ground. There is also the problem of getting everyone to use the loo correctly. We have had comments from other campers that they prefer our system to composting loos they have used previously. With composting there is the additional problem of  removing and storing the waste as it is not safe to bury for 6 months – so we would potentially have tanks all around the farm of waste waiting to be safe enough to bury.  The sitting waste can also attract flies and vermin. 

When we started with the huts we did use loos with the waste pan in but this also proved to be problematic. If the solid waste does not slide down into the pan of its own accord, people often leave it as a gift for the next user. If this is added to, a pyramid effect forms which also proved to be very unpopular with our guests. 

The long drop is a long way from being perfect and sadly when the weather is very warm it does smell (as does any none flushing loo). We have invested in a slurry tanker to enable us to empty the loos ourselves much more regularly as we are no longer reliant on contractors to come in and perform the task for us as they have proved to be unreliable at this busy time of year. We found it difficult to get them to arrive when the service most needed performing. Hopefully this investment will improve the situation.  

We are always on the lookout for better systems, we have come across a solar powered compost loo which separates liquid and solid waste (hopefully preventing fermentation and, in turn, the smell), then with the help of the solar powered fan dries the latter (ingenious!). However, this is horrifically expensive and the manufacturers are not sure at this stage whether it can cope with a capacity of more than 4 users. I'm sorry not to be in a position to offer you a more positive answer but, fingers crossed, we can come up with a better solution. 

In the mean time I can only offer my apologies for any discomfort caused, and reassure future users that with the new tanker we are now able to empty the tanks more frequently!

Anna x


Hop Pickers' Wood

We really enjoyed ourselves here for a couple of nights away. It was perfect for a group of three 12-year-old friends, one of whom had never been camping before, to live wild for a bit, away from roads, with water, a fire to build, room to play and with mum in a nearby nook in the woods (think Ewok village - the pitches are all on different levels with tiny solar lights between) reading a book or watching the amazing variety of wildlife. No need for a car with Carole's taxi from Etchingham via the shop. And either steam train or bus to take you out for the day. Glorious. 

Jul 25, 2013 by KMcG

Hop Pickers Wood

The other half and I were lucky enough to stay here last weekend, (17/18 May) for what ended to being up being an amazing little getaway. Essentially on a trial run with new gear and first camping trip together, this could've been a disaster. However, being greeted by the lovely site owner Anna, we found Hop Pickers Wood to be an enchanting, beautiful retreat away from our busy lives at home. The site was clean, scattered with bluebells and subtly made convenient touches such as tiny solar panelled lighting across the pitches that guided our way to the Shepherds hut which houses some very pretty toilets and showers that were nicer than my own! Bodiam Castle and surrounding towns of Tenterden and Rye are a must. We will be back. Thank you Anna and Nick x 

May 22, 2013 by Smithstock

Hop Pickers Wood

We had this campsite to ourselves for a couple of nights, it's probably the nicest campsite i have come across in England. We camped amongst the primroses and bluebells and had clear moonless skies to watch the stars around the fire. It's a short walk along the river to the steam train station and the castle, and a short drive to the farm shop. Ticks all the right boxes for me.

NB, You could backpack this with a taxi from the station if you pick up food on the way or eat out in the village, otherwise it's a couple of miles to the shop. Plenty of firewood at the campsite for a small charge.

May 3, 2013 by amoeba

Dingy dell

Just back from a brilliant night at Hop Pickers. Slightly reluctant to review as would secretly like to keep it just that - a secret. Peaceful, private and scenic with great facilities that encourage the occupants of the 10 pitches to socialise. An open sided shed with brick fireplace and long dining table for wet weather, very cool loos and showers and views and walks to occupy campers until it’s time to gather around the campfire and turn on the fairy lights. As all 10 pitches can be booked at once, it would make a very cool destination for a group of families and friends. Have rebooked for later in the month. Hooray.
Aug 8, 2012 by kate duthie

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