Blackberry Wood

UK England South East England East Sussex Lewes

  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Magical, pagan woodland camping in the South Downs with campfires encouraged, excellent East Sussex pubs on the doorstep and heaps of quirky glamping options thrown in too

You can stay at Blackberry Wood any number of times, but each visit is likely to feel completely different – partly because the secluded woodland changes with the seasons, but mainly because owner Tim is so focused on expanding his unique range of glamping accommodation, that there’s no anticipating what weird and wonderful structures you might find next. On our first encounter, a double-decker bus poked from a clearing and an assortment of revamped old caravans and bell tents were available for hire. Today, there are also the likes of an ex-RAF helicopter and a brand new treehouse with a shower room built inside its wonky turret!

It’s the ‘proper’ camping, though, that’s the real heritage of this site. Nestled on the South Downs, the place is almost lost among the native woodland. Follow one of the footpaths leading into the rambling straggle of thicket to find twenty of the most coveted pitches, located in individual clearings with a firepit, some rudimentary seating and enough space for a medium-sized tent. Each spot feels gloriously secluded and, with so few pitches in this part of the site, there’s a rare and special kind of peace among the trees, enhanced each evening by the soporific soundtrack of campfires gently fizzing.

On the opposite side of the road a second wooded camping area with a ‘no kids and no groups’ rule also does a roaring trade during peak season – it’s popularity only waning as couples return the next year to splash out on one of the glamping options instead. Indeed it’s impossible to visit once and not return again to try out something new. The options just seem endless.

‘Bubble’ the 1960s caravan and a brightly-painted gypsy wagon have a particular air of romance, while the red Routemaster bus, equipped with a kitchen/diner downstairs and a kids’ soft-play area upstairs is on the more eccentric end of the spectrum. The full-sized RAF chopper with rotor blades still attached is an even more bizarre find still. It’s Tim’s new treehouse, though, completed in 2016, that is perhaps his biggest pride and joy. It sleeps up to four adults (or two adults and three children), with a double bed and a snug loft bed, as well as featuring a well-equipped kitchen, a wood-burning stove and a sun terrace outside. Its higgledy-piggledy shape formed by the naturally irregular branches gives it a charming, storybook quality.

All these contraptions can be found scattered around the first small field when checking in at the reception caravan. Of course, reception was in a caravan at the time of writing, but we hear that NASA is selling off de-commissioned space shuttles, so next year’s check-in experience might be altogether quite different!

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Details

Facilities

Campfires allowed in the designated firepits; logs and BBQ coal are available from reception, as well as food essentials. 4 hot showers on the main site; there’s also a fantastic al fresco woodland shower on the adults-only side of the site. Plenty of toilets and washing-up sinks. Logs for sale.

Suitable For

Tents, glampers, dogs (on leads at all times) – yes. Motorhomes, caravans – no.

Nearby

The South Downs National Park (01730 814810) is the newest in the UK, which means a lot of recent investment in the excellent paths and landscape. The site provides route maps for lovely local walks and, depending on which direction you take, a 45-minute walk can take you to the village of Ditchling; to the superb Jolly Sportsman pub (01273 890400) with outstanding food and friendly ambience; or to the Black Cap viewpoint, a high point on the South Downs Way from where you can see eight miles across the Sussex countryside to the sea. Chilled-out Lewes is just 5 miles away, or it’s 8 miles to the bright lights of Brighton, with its pier, pebble beach and pavilion. Take a trip back in time at the fully restored Jill Windmill in Clayton, open Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.

Food & Drink

A well-stocked campsite shops ells local produce, including eggs, bacon, sausages and honey. There’s a truly great pub within walking distance; The Jolly Sportsman (01273 890400) in East Chillington is fantastically snug and cosy, and serves up a changing menu of gastro delights. Visit the farmers’ market on the second Friday of the month at Garden Pride Garden Centre (01273 846844) in Ditchling.

Opening Times

All year round.

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The Owner Says

Magical, pagan woodland camping and glamping at its finest. There's heaps of flora and fauna to keep you bewitched, not to mention the encouragement of big woodland campfires! Blackberry wood campsite is situated in beautiful, quiet Sussex countryside at the foot of the South downs, in the National Park.

Accommodation

Tent pitches are each in their own private clearing, with a general family campsite on one side of the road and a quieter, adults-only site on the other. Glampers can chose from the helicopter, double-decker bus, 1960’s caravan, gypsy wagon, wooden 'curvy cabin' and 2 treehouse.

Fire Engine

Quirky Sleeps 5
Nee-naw, nee-naw, climb aboard Angus the Fire Engine for a glamping experience with a difference! Fully insulated, heated and self-contained, Angus can sleep 4 people in double bunk beds

Curvy Cabin

Cabin Sleeps 5
The Curvy Cabin is situated in the proximity of the Holiday Bus, the Holicopter, the Gypsy caravan and the Retro caravan and is completely self-contained with a modern kitchen (4-ring gas cooker, a toaster, a fridge, crockery, cutlery, pots and pans) and a cool bathroom with a shower.

The Holicopter

Quirky Sleeps 5
Up, Up and Away! Come and stay in our converted 1965 Wessex Search and Rescue helicopter!

Holiday Bus

Quirky Sleeps 5
All aboard our 1964 Routemaster London double-decker Bus. Ding Ding! "We're all going on a summer holiday"... The Bus has a downstairs kitchen/dining area with a two-ring gas cooker, grill, toaster and a fridge, as well as all the crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. Upstairs is a cosy sleeping/lounge area. As an added attraction to children, it has a soft play area which, at night and as if by magic, transforms into a bedroom!

Gypsy Caravan

Gypsy caravan Sleeps 2
Be a Gypsy for a night in our original 1930's Gypsy Wagon. Made by Gypsies and beautifully decorated, our perfect romantic hideaway sleeps 2 adults (only) in a snug double bed.

Woodland Clearing / Open Meadow Tent Camping (Adult Only)

Grass pitch Sleeps 5 30 Available
For those of you looking for complete peace and quiet during summer weekends we can offer beautifully sited woodland clearings and pitches in the open meadow with stunning views of the South Downs, all with own firepits and on land neighbouring Blackberry Wood. Please book one pitch for each tent you wish to bring, you need to select an additional pitch for each additional tent.

Woodland Tent Camping

Woodland Pitch Sleeps 5 25 Available
Camp in our famous secluded glades in the heart of Blackberry Wood. Camp fires and bbq's are allowed. Nearby are basic washing and toilet facilities. Please book one pitch for each tent you wish to bring, you need to select an additional pitch for each additional tent.

Higgledy Treehouse

Tree house Sleeps 5
An amazing, handcrafted, masterpiece of a fairytale treehouse.

Piggledy Treehouse

Tree house Sleeps 4
A fairytale treehouse with a large terrace perfect for birdwatching and al fresco dining.

Check Availability

Location

Contact Blackberry Wood, Blackberry Wood, Streat Lane, Streat, nr Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8RS

Show Map

Getting There

From the M23 continue south onto the A23 for 14 miles. Turn left onto the A273 for about a mile, then bear right onto B2112 New Road for 2 miles. Turn right onto the B2116 Lewes Road and turn left onto Streat Lane after 2 miles. You’ll see the site signposted on the right.

Train to Hassocks railway station then a taxi which will cost around £12 or train to Plumpton station then a 25. min cross country walk

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 48 reviews

★★★★★

Our little piece of Wild

After years of coming to Blackberry Wood, I thought it was about time that we wrote a review of one of our favourite places on earth. Every time we arrive for our weekend in the wild, it’s as if it’s the first time we stepped into those woods. The pitches are brilliant, the names of them never get old and it’s fun choosing which one to stay in each time. It’s private without being secluded, kids running around making their own fun or playing in the wild woodland playground. It doesn’t matter where people are from or how shy they are, by the time you get you have your first morning coffee round the fire, you’ll know all your neighbours and feel very welcome. We like to take our OS map up to the downs and explore the area around the campsite. The Bull at Ditchling was our most recent jaunt, and was a nice big trek from the campsite and back. But usually we head up to the top of the downs and just see where the sun (or clouds) take us. I’d recommend staying here any time of year, our February trip was the most magical. If there is anywhere I recommend for anybody who asks me where to go camping, I will always and forever say ‘Blackberry Wood’.
Sep 1, 2019 by Fay Bamblett
★★★★★

Brilliant campsite!

Blackberry Wood is a fantastic campsite! We stayed on the adult only wildside and hid ourselves away at the back of the meadow - it was private and peaceful! The facilities are good and the outdoor shower is fun! Wheel barrows are provided to help you from your car to camping spot which is a nice touch. Thank you for a lovely stay!
Aug 28, 2019 by Felicia Britton
★★★★★

Enchanting and magical

Blackberry Wood lives up to everything it says on the web-site. We went with 4 of our kids and partners, and most of the grandchildren. We had the whole of Apple ( a large clearing on the edge of the site) with a picnic table and fire-pit. It was the most wonderful experience of camping I can remember in a very long time. Facilities were very clean and the owners were lovely. We now want to make Blackberry Wood an annual trip.
Aug 12, 2019 by Nana Lynn
★★★★★

Brilliant Weekend with Friends

Blackberry Wood is my favourite camp site, hands down. A group of friends and I have been coming here for a couple of years now, and we’ll be attending again most years. The individual woodland pitches give the feel of solo camping even when in a group, and are shaded from the blazing sun in summer - no waking up boiling in your tent! Our main pitch had a large fire pit with a grill and barbecue, perfect for all our group campfire/cooking needs. The well kept, flushing toilets were two minutes away and there were showers, water taps and washing up facilities all nearby. The woodland camping doesn’t allow music, since it’s a quiet zone, so we spent a very peaceful two nights sitting chatting and laughing around the campfire. Marvellous! Many happy memories made.
Jul 29, 2019 by Charlee Adams
★★★★★

Completely exceeded my expectations!

Thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Blackberry Wood and would definitely go back! It is so beautiful and authentic, everything down to the toilets are crafted so beautifully and everything works efficiently and to meet your convenience! There is even a little shop there run by the owners which is very reasonably priced and has essentials as well as hand crafted gifts! Truly amazing and it attracted lovely people so the atmosphere felt very positive and safe. Each set of campers gets there own little cove formed out of the trees and brambles which was beautiful! Would recommend it to all anyone and everyone looking for the perfect getaway! :)
Jul 27, 2019 by Tarah Kandial
★★★★★

The perfect little getaway

Blackberry Wood is a beautiful, magical place to get back to nature in style. We stayed in 'Minty' - a glade almost completely secluded with loads of space, a little duck pond and a fire pit. The loos and showers are spotlessly clean, and very artistically designed with wood carvings. We had big plans to explore the area but once we put our tent up, we didn't feel the need to go elsewhere for the first couple of days - it was just so perfect where we were. There was a thunderstorm all night on the first night which made it even more romantic and cosy, and because the area is so well designed there was no flooding or muddiness in the morning, thanks to the cobble. This does however require a little more padding under the sleeping mats, but that was no problem because we brought so many pillows with us! The nearby Jolly Sportsman is a proper treat - gorgeous food & drink, and a very pretty garden. Would definitely recommend. Blackberry Wood doesn't feel like a campsite at all, it's like you're sleeping in the middle of a beautifu wood, which, of course you are. I've been wanting to visit since I bought my first Cool Camping book more than 10 years ago. It was everything I imagined it would be and so much more. Can't wait to visit again.
Jul 1, 2019 by jo.north
★★★★★

Pure relaxation

This is the 3rd time we’ve stayed at Blackberry Wood... 1st time was in the bus, 2nd in the helicopter and this time we stayed in The Higgledy Tree House, just so beautiful and so cleverly built. We love this little campsite and can’t wait to get back to stay in the new Fire Engine 😁
Jun 29, 2019 by Nikki
★★★★★

Best campsite we've visited!

Just returned from a weekend at Blackberry Wood and I have to say that I think this is the best campsite we've visited. Communication prior to our stay was excellent, and the site itself is lovely. Each generously-sized pitch is in its own little glade in the woods, so you have some privacy from your neighbours, and each site has a fire pit, bench, and fire rack (so that you can cook over the fire). The facilities at the site were outstanding - the cleanest and most comfortable toilets we've come across, and abundant hot water for washing up and showering (not to mention that the shower/toilet/washing up blocks are beautiful, with sinks inset into carved wood worktops, etc.). The camp shop sells all of the sundries you may have forgot (marshmallows, beer, milk, fire supplies, etc.) and the owners were really friendly and helpful. The site itself is in walking distance of a few nice pubs and there are loads of trails to explore. If I had to give one *very* small complaint, it would be that the no-music/no-noise-after-11pm rule didn't seem to have been entirely enforced, so there was a bit of noise at night (but that's down to other guests, I suppose). Overall, though, I can't recommend this site highly enough - we loved it and will definitely return!
Jun 10, 2019 by Jade Price
★★★★★

Magical stay - and the kids just loved it!

We were so excited when we arrived and found our pitch - a short walk along a wild and green pathway. There was so much to explore just on site, along overgrown pathways and wooden bridges, to hidden playgrounds, tree swings, and nature at its best. And we were joined daily by friendly blackbirds and robins - and even pheasants burst through the undergrowth one day - you really couldn’t get closer. Simply loved it!
Jun 2, 2019 by Jenny Ridge
★★★★★

Lovely weekend in the woods

Magical place to spend a few daysin the tranquility of woods and fields. Close to Brighton and Lewes for urban glitz. Fab.
Apr 8, 2019 by Hazel D
★★★★★

Short weekend camp in the woods

Owners of the campsite very helpful, a short walking distance from plumpton station, unique campsite and good facilities. Perfect spot for a weekend camp!
Jan 15, 2019 by Anonymous
★★★★★

Beautiful winter camping

Spent a night in the wooded camping area and loved it. The trees added some privacy and having our own fire pit was really nice. Can't wait to come back in the summer!
Jan 7, 2019 by Emily
★★★★★

Great Stay!

Just back from a long weekend at Blackberry Wood and missing it already... Lovely hosts, spotless facilities, quiet - an amazing woodland camping experience! The pitch was huge, with its own fire pit and our kids ran off to the adventure play area at every opportunity. Great walks to be had and good pubs in walking distance, so if you want to get back to nature and relax, I can't recommend it highly enough!
Oct 24, 2018 by Kathy
★★★★★

The tranquillity

Brilliant campsite if your looking for an adult only break, or some time away with the kids.
Aug 27, 2018 by James
★★★★★

A magical place for kids and adults alike ❤️

Just back from a fantastic experience at Blackberry Wood. Everything about this place was perfect, from the beautiful woodlands to our hosts Wendy and Duncan who were so welcoming and kind. Our woodland pitch was picture perfect with our own fire pit and swing. The play area nestled at the back of the site in the woods was excellent and provided an ideal meeting spot for new friends to plan adventures. Our girls (6&10) immediately felt at home and roamed about the site like two happy woodland fairies for our 3 night stay. They were in heaven exploring, making friends and eating the lovely local food from the little shop onsite, cooked on the fire. They even managed to make some yummy blackberry jam from foraged berries on the campfire! Happy kids, happy parents 😆 The facilities were always pristine and we never had to wait for a lovely warm shower. This site was full of quirky features to keep both adults and kids entertained but in reality it was the woodlands that had the most appeal for all. The surrounding area had plenty of cute pubs and walks, but we rarely left the site itself. Day trips to Brighton were easily made, and enjoyed. The girls just wanted to get back to Blackberry and would have happily stayed in site the entire time, however. Thank you Wendy and Duncan for a wonderful experience, we will be back x
Aug 16, 2018 by Chiara Hanrahan
★★★★★

Great weekend

Just back from a great weekend of camping on the Wild Side at Blackberry Wood. Arrived and pitched in a massive downpour but with the added benefit of a fire pit on the pitch, was soon able to dry out. Great pitch size with plenty to chose from, simple but clean facilities - try the outdoor shower - very invigorating! Shop on the main site is well stocked. Great walk from the campsite right onto the South Downs at Ditchling Beacon, with a well earned pint in the Bull on the way back down.
Aug 12, 2018 by Paco the Dog
★★★★★

Perfect campsite

Had a wonderful stay. The pitches are large and really secluded, had two tents up and there was lots more space available. It was also super quiet especially at night. The fire pit was an added bonus perfect in the evenings. Toilets and showers were really clean and new. Overall it was so good we all want to go back and stay again!
Aug 3, 2018 by Leigh
★★★★★

This campsite provided all the peace and quiet we could have asked for

Blackberry woods is one of the best campsites I’ve ever stayed at. The people running it were absolutely lovely. The toilets and showers were super clean and, much like the rest of the buildings on site, they were very quirky. The pitches themselves were also absolutely lovely! We stayed on the woodland site and I’ve never had a pitch that was so peaceful and secluded. I would 100% come back for another stay.
Aug 2, 2018 by Chris
★★★★★

Perfect Relaxing Retreat

We had a really special time staying on the Wildside campsite. I was a bit apprehensive at first about the outdoor shower, but it was actually a really fun experience and it has a curtain around it so no one will see you! Big plots to camp on plenty of space and a really lovely atmosphere. The fire pits are very cosy and you can buy wood and essentials each day at the shop. There are lots of fantastic walks and we walked to the Ridgeview sparkling wine vineyard to have a free tasting! The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. I am a novice camper but I will definitely be going again now!
May 29, 2018 by Faith
★★★★★

Great campsite, super relaxed and laid back atmosphere

Check in was easy, all the staff were very nice and accommodating. There is a bunch of information on things to do in the area and a shop where you can get all the things you may need but forgot to bring - including fire wood for keeping warm at night. We stayed in the meadow of the adult only side. All the pitches were great and just the right distance from each other so as to get your own privacy and peace and quiet. The location is remote enough to feel as though you have escaped the daily grind but within easy reach of the south coast, Brighton, the Seven Sisters and plenty more. Would definitely stay here again!
May 29, 2018 by Jon
★★★★★

Lovely campsite

Stayed for two nights and had a lovely time. Our pitch was on the 'wild side' and really peaceful. Great facilities and helpful owners. Hopefully coming back to stay in a glamping pod soon
Aug 8, 2017 by princess_mamoru
★★★★★

Perfect in Every Way

Have stayed at Blackberry Wood twice now and each time has been fantastic. All the amenities you could want without being "in your face". I've camped in the wood each time (first time in Bunny, second in Witchwood - if you've been there, you'll understand!) Such a great experience. The campsite is only a short walk away from the South Downs and me and my little boy, Jasper (the 4-legged barking variety) have thoroughly enjoyed our stays. We will be back!

May 31, 2016 by mitchpixx
★★★★★

What a gem!

Read some great reviews and some not so great reviews. My verdict? It was amazing! Since it's off season, only the main site was open and not the Blackberry Wood on the Wild (adults only site). Toilets and shower facilities are very basic but kept clean at all times. Shower cost 20p for about 10 minutes. Each pit has a fire pit with a couple of benches and chairs. It's a quiet site, with no music and radio policy. Only down side to this place is - the cost. I found it quite expensive compared to other sites I've been around in the country. But overall, it was good fun and I would definitely visit again.

Oct 19, 2015 by JL
★★★★★

Blackberry Peace

We stayed in the teeny weeny 2 person 1960s caravan last summer - before the schools broke up with my husband.  It was perfect.  The outdoor kitchen was quaint and functional. The sun shone, we took woodland showers and cycled and thoroughly enjoyed the quirkyness and the sound of young children playing in the central area.  

Jun 9, 2015 by beverley
★★★☆☆

Want to love it...but

So off we went for an Easter weekend camp. Read all the positive reviews for Blackberry Wood and had high hopes. Arrived and had a little difficulty finding the reception, which was sign posted but not obvious. Met by and older gent who was welcoming but not very chatty, almost as if I was disturbing his day. Not a great start. Taken to our pitch in the wood. We had a pitch named Sirius which could accommodate our large tent. Got all tent up and went to have a look around. 

The idea behind the site is sound with individual pitches for each camp separated by foliage and trees. Some pitches are a bit too close and the couple who pitched up in the dark next to us to then shout at each other for about 3 hours before going to bed and then shouting some more obviously had no respect for anyone else but heh that's not the site's fault. 

There is a shower block next to the reception and one nearer to the pitches. This pitch block was in terrible order. The lights in one of the toilet wasn't working, it wasn't cleaned for the whole weekend, no hot water to wash up with at all and really tired looking. The showers cost 20p and just about dribbled out. Also the shower area here doesn't have cover over the whole shower cubicle and as such your clothes will get soaked if the weather's poor outside. The shower at the reception was fine and much better standard. Strange really.

The "shop" on site wasn't staffed and felt like a very poor after thought, it's a shed with nobody in it and may as well be in the reception.

I honestly think with some basic maintenance and elbow grease the site would be outstanding but it appears they are living off past glories and are spending all there time and effort building an extravagant tree house.

Would I go again? Maybe, but I wouldn't whole heartedly recommend it unfortunately without the aforementioned effort from the owners.

Apr 9, 2015 by apday101
★★★★★

Loved it! Intimate, cosy, beautiful and the fact you can have a campfire makes it a top trump for me :)

Wonderful stay in this intimate, cosy woodland campsite :) lovely little woodland glades offering privacy and larger more open areas for families or small groups.  Excellent for children to explore, but I loved doing so myself!  Cut off from everyday life and the hustle and bustle, yet close to beautiful towns such as Lewes, where I spent the day wandering around whiling away the hours in the little shops and shopping for food supplies.  Would most definitely recommend to anyone, although would also love to keep it as my little secret.

Aug 28, 2014 by shivalou
★★★☆☆

Secluded pitches

Blackberry Wood's pitches are set in "glades" or clearings in the brambles  are lovely as you can eat and camp and relax with nobody  looking  on. Pubs a nice walk (2.5miles) in Dtchling.

It is quite back to basics even in the non-wild side camping - walking to the toilets in the dark through the cleared pathways is a bit I a challenge thought I do think we came just after a growth spurt as the overhanging branches and nettles were a bit too overgrown.

There was also a bit of rubbish in the bushes near our fire- but more the fault I previous campers.  That said I'd happily deal with this then an overly rules driven campsite and the people running the place did create a lovely atmosphere, were easy to find and helpful.

Jul 22, 2014 by Sjabear
★★★★★

Excellent stay

We stayed here with our two young children in the winter on the double decker bus. It was such an amazing stay and the kids have still 6 months later not stopped talking about it. They now want to go back to stay on the helicopter.  Even in the winter we was perfectly warm with two oil radiators which are on the bus. The owners are so friendly and welcoming and even made sure the drivers cab was open so the kids could get in to pretend being the driver. Highly recommend 

Jul 22, 2014 by Meader
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood | Wild Side

We spent a nice weekend staying on a plot in The Wild Side. Really nice and secluded clearing in the wooded area. Would highly recommend. In fact we going back again shortly! 

May 14, 2014 by Rich
★★★★★

So great we're going back

The world is a big place and as such I've always questioned why people are so keen to keep going back to the same destinations. With Blackberry Wood I get it!

Rustic camping in relatively secluded plots, and only an hour from home  saw us re-booking for end of May bank holiday the day we returned from the early bank hol.

We're a couple with no kids and still managed to enjoy a campsite during half term. Miracle!

Great pubs in walking distance, nearby Lewes has everything you need and fab far shops nearby.

Though we enjoyed sitting round - and cooking on the fire - so much we barely left the site. 

A must for people whi enjoy proper camping!

May 14, 2014 by kate
★★★★★

Wonderful Campsite!

Nigel and Margaret were wonderfully welcoming and friendly, greeting us when we arrived, showing us around and letting us know how everything worked (and kindly lending us a pan as I had managed to leave ours behind). Our pitch was a large secluded glade with a brilliant rope swing and a fire-pit surrounded by rustic wooden benches - it was even better than we had hoped - plenty of room to pitch the tent well away from the camp fire and a real feeling of woodland camping.
During the day our boys (6 and 9) roamed around and explored  - there's a great little woodland adventure playground just beyond the camping glades and we spent ages there each day - finally managed the tight rope on the last day :)
The little shop sells all sorts, from marshmallows to sausages (very good ones, incidentally) and you can order freshly-baked croissants and pain au chocolat (we had these on the last day...should've started earlier ;). Not sure what to make of the reviews saying the toilets and showers were dirty...everything was lovely and clean - the shower was nice and hot and lasted for ages and the washing up station is really well designed with hot water and plenty of space.
 
Blackberry wood is a campsite for people who love camping and want to enjoy nature - music isn't allowed and it wouldn't be the place to choose if you want to stay up late laughing and joking but it's a perfect place for parents to sit together gazing into a camp fire and quietly chatting/getting sloshed while the kids snore in the tent nearby.
The site is blissfully quiet, and after about 10pm the only sounds are the crackling of camp fires and occasional startling noises from the pheasants and foxes that live in the woods.

There are so many little things that I'll remember about our trip - the boys proudly unloading the car with the rickety wheelbarrows provided....lighting our own fire and cooking on it.....tiny rabbits running about everywhere...a brilliant holiday and a brilliant site!

Apr 23, 2014 by Sally O
★★★★★

Even better than imagined

After wanting to go for years (since buying my first copy of "cool camping"), we finally got organised and booked (well in advance, as is necessary here) to camp in the summer last year. I wanted to know what the fuss was about and if the photo's were as good as the real thing, but also half expected something trendy and perhaps a little pretentious: it's not! This is a beautiful down to earth and simple site with lovely attention to detail in the little statues and wooden wash/toilet facilities. These little details appear to have evolved over time and found there place in the site rather than having been placed there by design.

The pitches are wonderfully secluded and all options you could wish for: shady, sunny, tucked away, on the path, near the facilities, near the fields with views, near the kids play area (which is wonderful... even I couldn't resist a go on the zip wire when no one was looking). There are other kids toys (trikes little houses etc) on the reception field which are great for littler ones.

We had a lovely secluded one with an opening in the tree canopy to see the stars. We set up fairy lights and candles and had our own fairy glade. A pheasant (I think: I'm no expert) visited, which was a treat for the kids.

Yes, the manager/owner was a little noise sensitive, but more as a warning than because our kids were actually noisy. I don't have a problem with children making a noise and having fun - that's what camping is all about, but I also don't want to feel conscious of my own children being a nuisance... luckily for us there were others noisier, so I didn't let his "truth in jest" remarks bother me.

The facilities were spot on and really cute. Hot water was on and off that day due to utility issues rather than a fault of the camp site, I believe, but we were warned at arrival, which was helpful to plan our shower times accordingly. Little shop sells everything you need even warm brekkie croissants (which you should book the day before, but we didn't and were still accommodated). I recall a large fire pit in the main reception field where the quirky helicopter/retro campervans/huts etc are. These too look wonderful, but are perhaps a little under the watchful eye (or ear) of reception. There's a great walk to a nearby pub which we did (in the rain, with a buggy) and it's close to loads of kids/or other attractions in the area.

But mostly we just relaxed. Such a special site, despite the weather we had. We will be back as soon as we can get booking far enough in advance!

Mar 31, 2014 by Taitin
★★★★☆

Blackberry Wood

March 2014, we have just returned from a lovely weekend staying at Blackberry Wood Campsite and would recommend it to other campers looking for a secluded and peaceful getaway. 

The pros would be the location, being a short walk from the South Downs and a lovely pub up the road. Because the pitches are well spaced (on the whole) and leafy, you really get the feeling of wild camping. 

The cons would be the facilities as the toilets, showers and washing up facilities are very basic. We went off season and the washing up station closest to the campsite simply didn't work which was a shame. 

Upon arrival we were given the chance to choose whichever pitch we wanted which was great, however we weren't given any kind of map of the site so had to make our own way into the woods. It would be good if they provided a little map of the site as there is no fencing so it's hard to tell where the boundaries are in some places and on our last morning during breakfast 4 large dogs from a local farm jumped across the stream and into our breakfast! 

It also would have been nice to receive a map of local walks and directions to the pub. Perhaps some of this was due to the fact that we went out of season so the campsite was quite quiet. 

Mar 12, 2014 by Naomi Wright
★★★★★

JPLondon

September 2013. On arrival hosts were grumpy and off hand (end of season?). Didn't even have a smile when we arrived. Also we were not aware how far it would be to take our kit from the car to the site in wheelbarrows. Quite fun but would be good to know in advance. The toilets and showers were the grottiest/most basic of any camp site we have stayed in and we have camped all over the UK France and NZ over the last 15 years and are pretty basic campers. We are all for nature and not getting too commercial but a basic clean area to shower and a loo in a building that was not a damp smelly crumbling cobweb filled hut would be appreciated! Bring your own loo roll too.

That said the location was magical camping literally in the woods, the woodland playground was fabulous and it was a very pretty walk to some local pubs and walks in the South Downs. Would we go back and is the place worth the hype and advanced booking - all 3 families who we were with agreed no! Glad to have had the experience but plenty of other charming camp sites in this area.

Nov 7, 2013 by Jennifer
★★★★★

Camping as it should be!

Just back from a great few days at Blackberry Wood. Wonderful place - each pitch has its own identity and is reached by little pathways through the trees. We were allocated a lovely little wooded glade called Bramble Hide that was nicely secluded, yet just a stroll to the washing facilities. We did have 'glade envy' for those in a sunnier spot as ours was heavily wooded and therefore a bit dark, though looked magical when the sun was shining through the leaves. I like the fact that you couldn't see the cars from the pitches, and that campfires were encouraged. Facilities were rustic but fine - always hot water for showers and washing up, and the fairy lights in the loos added a charming touch. Great for kids as there is a little play area in one of the glades with tyre swings, a mini zip wire and things to climb on. Lots of wildlife to be seen on the site - bunnies, butterflies, dragonflies and lots of birds were seen and heard - but there were also rather a lot of rats running around. There were bait traps but if you have a phobia of long-tailed brown rodents then this is not the place for you! Despite this we loved it and hope to be back soon.

Aug 10, 2013 by Chantryrow
★★★★★

Idyllic Cool Camping

This was our first camping trip away this year. Finding Blackberry Wood was as easy as it gets from the instructions on the website. This matched our experience so far from viewing the website to booking to leaving special instructions for out 5 metre bell tent.

Upon arrival at Blackberry Wood we were warmly greeted by the owners and shown around the wooded glades to allow us to chose our glade for the 4 days of our stay. We chose 'Sirius'. A circular glade with a small path running through it and surrounded by trees. The car parking is but a short walk from all the glades and thanks to the woods is perfectly screened from the glades, adding to the real sense of wild camping. Wheel barrows are provided to transport your camping gear to your chosen site.

After setting up we took our dogs for a short walk around the surrounding countryside which is almost entirely farmland and woods. The owners kindly supplied us with a map of all the local footpaths of which there are a fair few. Enough to fill a weeks worth of walking.

The campsite allows campfires and kindly sells bags of logs with kindling thrown in for just £5 a bag. Plenty for an evenings fire. Each glade also comes with it's own campfire grill to allow you to cook over an open fire. We cooked everything from Mackerel to Burgers. All with that magical ingredient of woodsmoke. You also notice whilst you are in camp the abundance of birdsong and wildlife that meander in and around the site. Presumably they have become used to us temporary guests and are on the lookout for any scraps of food you may have dropped from your campfire bbq.

All in all Blackberry wood is fantastically priced for such a wonderful tranquil experience. There are above average basic facilities such as a solar shower open to the air (wonderful) and our hosts were simply fantastic. Will I come here again? Absolutely it is one of the best campsites in Sussex without a shadow of a doubt. A tip though, if you are planning a weekend book way way in advance it fills up extraordinarily quickly. If you can go Sunday to Thursday in term time you should be fine.

Aug 8, 2013 by TonyTomlinson
★★★★★

Coming from Canada, this is as good as it gets!

I'd like to think that coming from Canada, I know what a good, back to the basics campsite is. Forget the open fields where all you see are other tents and builders cracks everywhere! This place is for those who like to be in the woods, back to nature, and build fires with their little ones. 

We stayed on the Dumpty Humpty pitch which was actually only two pitches down from the second parking lot but you couldn't tell as we were surrounded by beautiful woodland. Actually most of the pitches here are surrounded by woodland and have their own private fire pits. It doesn't get any better than this! Trust me, I've probably spent about a week researching for campsites that allow campfires ( not fire buckets, blah!), in a wooded area, quiet ( my 3 year old doesn't appreciate techno at midnight), and that's within a 2 hour drive from London. This is the perfect place.

But for those of you who would like a bit more comfort, well, these guys have showers, hot water, sweet toilets with paper and fairy lights, two play areas for kids to play, a cute shop that has ice cream and marshmallows. They even have converted caravans, a wooden cabin, a helicopter and a double decker bus which actually has a mini built in soft play room upstairs which I guess, could be used as a large sleeping area for babies.

I only had the chance to meet Eva, who was lovely and baked ( maybe you bought them) croissants for one of our lazy mornings. Nigel, the park warden was super friendly! I don't think he had a minute to sit down though as he had someone new going up to him for wood or something else, every second! They'll both stop what there doing to help you out and you feel so welcomed.

If the privacy of your pitch is too lonely, no need to fret, there's an open space between all the converted helicopters and buses, where there's a communal fire pit and picnic tables where people go to chat and let the kiddies run.

Can you tell I love this place? It really is a wonderful place. 

Aug 5, 2013 by matsume
★★★★☆

Little peice of heaven

I have just returned from a delightful 4 night stay at this wonderful site and I can honestly say that if I could have stayed for longer I would have.

I was pitched up on Hawthorne, which was a good sized pitch in the middle of the site. Our pitch was probably the most surrounded of all the pitches and although we could hear people (especially some suitably excited young campers) first thing, it was very peaceful overall. The nature of the woodland clearing pitches seems to promote a private but friendly campsite. It was a pleasent pitch that easily accomodated our standing height, 4 man tent. It was well sheltered with a clearing through the trees that allowed for a small amount of sunlight to shine through throughout the day. This week was exceptionally hot, but the forrest was refreshingly cool. This was my first visit so I cannot say what it is like camping here on colder days, but with a firepit on each site you can keep warn and suggly in front of the fire each night.

A few small things to bear in mind, the floor in the forrest is quite hard so do bring camping rolls or mattresses. The forrest is very dark at night and if you need to run off the the loo at least 10 times every night like me then you will need a reliable tourch to get you there. The washing up facilities were very good, with plenty of hot water. The showers are 20p but lasted a good amount of time and were reasonably powerful. The site was full for most of our stay and we did not have to queue at any point for the toilets or the showers. I have to say that I did prefer the showers nearer the caravan site as the roof covers both the shower and changing area rather than just the shower area like the woodland ones. Yes there were a few cobwebs or insects occasionally in the cubicles, but then this is the forrest.

Overall a great campsite that I will visit again in the future.

Jul 12, 2013 by Chezmite
★★★★★

Wonderful

My first visit here after trying to get in for quite some time!  It exceeded everyone's expectations - fantastic setting, the individual 'glades' in the woods are the perfect mix of a bit of privacy but with a sense of community.  Re the one or two negative reviews, I'd say this is no place for a team building day - it's a quiet, peaceful, family site.  And I thought the facilities were charming - rustic for sure, but clean and functional.  We'll be back!

Jun 26, 2013 by NeilC
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

Just left after yet another wonderful break at Blackberry Wood Campsite (my fifth stay). Located in excellent untouched surrounds with a combination of tents,  and novelty indoor options including a London bus and new log cabin to name but a few. Very relaxed overall atmosphere and everyone is very friendly and helpful. This is the perfect spot for relaxation and unwinding. Ok, so they are strict on no noise after 11pm but this is one of the reasons we like it here. Great walks in the surrounding areas, and very close to the fabulous south downs. Will be booking my spot for next year soon.

Jun 17, 2013 by E Ahern
★☆☆☆☆

Blackberry Wood

This is a really nice campsite in a lovely part of the world. The problem here is the owner. We were down on a team building day and had a booking for 15 people. A group of 15 people will make noise, this is just a fact. The owner started screaming at us like a banshee at 1030 pm for making too much noise ( we were having a silent disco at the time!). He is an annoying little man and the way he spoke to paying guests was ridiculous. If you want a silent break, this place is perfect. Should you want to talk past 10pm, avoid.

May 27, 2013 by PhilM
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

We absolutely loved it here. We camped over the road in the ’No kids’ area in a little clearing. The shower facilities might not be to everyones liking, very basic, home-made outdoor shower from a water tank heated (or not) by the sun but we thought that was a lot of fun. Would love to go back but so hard to get a pitch.
Apr 4, 2012 by MrHew
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

I have been on several camping trips this year, and this is by far my favourite site.

Each pitch is in a clearing which is spacious and feels very private. Campfires are encouraged and the rules are minimal, which adds to the free and easy fun of camping. The facilities are good, 20p for a shower which is annoying but not enough to spoil the magic of Blackberry Wood. Logs are £4 a bag and there is a small shop, which like all campsite shops has a wonderfully selection of goods. The bus, caravans and helicopter add to the eccentric feel to the site.

We walked to the Half Moon Inn in Plumpton and it was a great (flat) walk through fields and woods.

The downside to this campsite is the difficulty in booking a pitch - its already fully booked for every weekend in June and July 2012. I wish the secret wasn't out!

Sep 2, 2011 by rky
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

What a campsite! Even better than we expected even after all these positive comments! Worth waiting for and booking in advance. I loved to see the campfires shimmering through the trees and people talking, cooking, drinking by their own fire even in the rain.... Pitches are very different in size and location, some are huge and very shady, but it is a great place to stay.

Aug 1, 2011 by dutchskies
★☆☆☆☆

Blackberry Wood

It really is a very nice place and I agree with most of the Cool Camping review. I do think it is important for people to know that the owners are VERY sensitive to any noise. Granted we were a large group of dads and kids but we are not a rowdy bunch. We were told off 3 times for just sitting around the fire having fun. The last time he came over to "shut us up" he was really worked up. We all thought it was unreasonable. So if you have kids I would NOT recommend BBW. If you are a small group who like to have hushed conversations and go to bed at dusk then this is the place for you.
Jun 11, 2011 by famjung
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

6 of us pitched up at the lovely Blackberry Wood and stayed in a clearing called ’Wobble’! We all go camping together several times a year and are always on the lookout for a campsite with a difference - and Blackberry Wood hit the spot for us! It’s a beautiful site where you can collect your own firewood, have the privacy of your own clearing in the wood, enjoy the luxury of hot showers and compost toilets - perfect for those eco-minded amongst us! When we felt more adventurous we set off on a walk to the train station and headed off to Brighton for the day - a great place to pick up some fresh fist to be cooked on the open fire later! The trick for getting into this much sought after campsite is to book a year in advance - which is why our next visit is 2012! We have recommended Blackberry Wood to all our friends - it’s a lovely tranquil place where you can spend your time spotting the local wildlife, or simply indulging in some relxation.
Jun 1, 2011 by Donna Mitchell
★★★★★

Blackberry Wood

Thank you! We stayed for one night this week as a test for camping this year. Our goal was to see if we could get everything we thought we needed on out motorbikes and camp. Verdict - yes - brilliant. As for Blackberry Wood - what can we say - we are in love. We pitched in Cosy and had such a lovely evening, a good night’s sleep, were woken by the dawn chorus, had 2 great camp fires on whcih we did all of our cooking. We also had an outdoor shower which was magical, yet quite surreal under the blue sky and trees. The facilities were clean, basic and provided everything that you would need. We will definitely be back.
Apr 7, 2011 by chdeli
★★★★☆

Blackberry Wood

Great fun site - the pitches are lovely in the woods and my boys enjoyed taking our stuff from the car to the pitch in the wheel barrows provided. The facilities are VERY basic, but there is a certain maddness in open air showering.
Sep 7, 2010 by fieldr001

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