The Otter Channel

UK England South East England East Sussex Rye

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Spacious, nature-friendly camping with campfires on the banks of the River Rother

Rare, elusive but wonderfully beautiful, there aren’t many otters in the south east of England. But when one was first spotted, for the first time in over 50 years, it was the River Rother that it called home. It’s a prime patch for it to have chosen, the waters glistening, the shaggy grass banks providing hiding nooks and shade. What a joy then, down river, on the quiet banks of that same waterway, to find another rare and beautiful thing: a low-key campsite with nature at it’s heart.

On the edge of the High Weald, three miles from Rye, the Otter Channel is a great escape for those looking to step away from their phone and enjoy the wonder of wildlife. There are less than 20 pitches here in total, but oodles of space, and the site offers splendid views over open farmland and the hills of the old shoreline that was once Romney Marsh before it joined the sea. It’s a great home for local wildlife, with grass left long around the edges, surrounding trees to climb and the flowing Rother alongside. Just sitting by the river is a great way to spend an afternoon, spotting the dragonflies, rising fish and, if you’re lucky, the piercing blue Kingfisher.

The site feels as natural as its setting: Campfires are allowed, there's a shop inside a horsebox and adventurous campers can try the three ‘Hot Bucket’ showers. Bathing under the stars with water you’ve boiled on the campfire is an experience to remember and, if you’re brave enough to rise to the challenge, you get to wear it like a badge of honour for the rest of the trip. There’s a real technique to the process but learning it is just as fun as the shower itself and if you’re feeling, well, a bit boring, then there are normal showers available too.

Kayaks and paddle boards are available to hire to make the most of the river during your stay but, for those looking to explore further afield, Pett Level beach has amazing cliff lines and is a great place to go crabbing. Some of the beach isn’t suitable for small children – it’s very rocky and bruised knees and feet are somewhat unavoidable – but it’s a fun day out for older kids and adults, and historic Hastings, Battle and Bodiam Castle are also within a half-hour drive too.

Details

Facilities

There are toilets, showers (‘normal’ and bucket type), a basic washing up area and a small farm shop operating from inside a horse trailer. Grills and fire pits are provided and firewood is available to buy from the shop.

Suitable For

Tents, groups, kids and dogs – yes. Caravans and campervans – no.

Nearby

The River Rother itself offers huge amounts of fun, from paddle boarding and kayaking to swimming – equipment is available to hire from Epic Life (07377184505). If you take a ten-minute drive to the town of Rye, you’ll be able to explore it in all its medieval glory. One of the most complete medieval towns left in England, its cobbled, windy streets are perfect for history buffs with its various antique shops, including The Mint and its fascinating Rye Art Gallery (01797222433). If that’s too much, climb to the top of St. Mary’s Spire for views of the whole town in one place, plus the estuary leading to Camber Sands. Once you see Camber Sands you might as well go there, it’s a short distance from Rye (or a fifteen-minute drive from the campsite). The beach is backed by cafés and restaurants and can get very busy in the summer months but it’s great for sandcastle building and a swim.

Food & Drink

There are several scenic walks across farmland to the local village of Peasmarsh. It’s about 20 minutes to The Royal Oak (01797 230494) and The Horse and Cart (01797 230034). Both are dog friendly and have beautiful gardens and the latter serves fine pizzas. In Rye, try Webbe’s at The Fish Café (01797 222210) set inside a characterfully converted warehouse space and with a focus on fresh, local seafood and sustainable cookery.

Open

April–September.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

In the heart of the East Sussex and Kent border is the location of the The Otter Channel campsite. It’s located on the edge of the River Rother which flows into Rye and out to sea. Surrounded by wildlife, twittering birds, mooing cows, stunning views, and in the summertime, the sound of the combine harvesting in the surrounding fields. It is the ideal place to mute the phone or even turn the phone off and enjoy that glass of your favourite tipple by the campfire.

There are two compostable toilets which have been especially designed for The Otter Channel and eventually the ‘compost’ ends up back in our veggie patch! Don’t worry we do not sell the veg in the shop. There are three ‘Hot Bucket’ showers for the more adventurous and brave of the campers, there are no electric showers!

It really is an experience to shower under the stars with water you have boiled on the campfire. There is a huge technique to the showering process, but learning it is just as fun. With washing up being the worst bit of camping, there is a basic washing up area, just to make it a little less painful. At The Otter Channel we always believe it is the Kid’s job, definitely not the Chef’s.

We also hire out Fire Pits for £10 per stay,  with a refundable £50 deposit.

Pitches

Around 20 spacious pitches in a grassy riverside field.

Otter Channel

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 15 Available
A spacious pitch on one of The Otter Channel grassy fields with stunning views of farmland. Suitable for Tents only.

Check Availability

Location

Contact The Otter Channel, Wittersham Road, Peasmarsh, East Sussex TN31 6TD

Show Map

Getting There

You’ll likely be coming from the A259 to get to the campsite. If so, head  northeast on the Winchelsea Road towards the Kettle o’Fish roundabout. Once you’ve reached the roundabout, take the third exit onto the A259. Continue for just over half a mile until you reach the next roundabout, then take the first exit onto Fishmarket Road (the A268). Stay on this road for a 3 miles, heading towards Peasmarsh.  When you enter the village of Peasmarsh look for the Flackley Ash Hotel and turn right by the side of the hotel heading to Wittersham, the road is called Wittersham Road.  Drive along for 2 miles until you drive over a small narrow bridge.  The campsite is 150 yards after this bridge on your right.  If you have gone over the River Rother then you have gone too far.  The entrance is located 15 yards from the River.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 9 reviews

★★★★★

Perfect riverside weekend

Camping here was perfect; great toilets and the showers really are easy (altho there are no electric ones!). The river is amazing, sitting around the firepit in the evening with friends and dogs was just what was needed. Will definitely be back.
★★★★★

Relaxing and peaceful campsite

A lovely weekend at Otter Channel. Very peaceful campsite perfect for a chilled camping trip. With just 2 fields and limited pitches it meant it didn't feel busy and we weren't on top of anyone! Very accommodating owners and happy to put our 3 pitches together in a great area of the campsite so our group could be together. Would definitely recommend.
Jul 5, 2021 by Sarah
★★★★★

Peaceful small campsite with loads of space

This is a great place to stay for a few days for a back to nature camping experience! Lots of space in two fields, composting loos, bucket showers. Could hear birdsong all the time - cuckoos, warblers, and a wonderful starling murmuration the first night we were there (end june). will definitely be back!
Jun 28, 2021 by JoTaylor Verified Review
★★★★★

Perfect campsite for wild swimmers and paddleboarders

We had a lovely weekend at the Otter Channel. The River Rother is beautiful, I would recommend this campsite to people who enjoy wild swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, dog owners and families. The campsite is small and the pitches are well spaced. Katie was very helpful and we hope to visit again soon. :)
★★★★★

Lovely campsite!

A delightful small campsite next to the River Rother with quirky hot bucket showers and compost toilets. The birdsong was amazing to wake up to and the river was fantastic entertainment for the kids - warm to swim and paddle board in! Pleased that dogs were welcome and open fires were encouraged.
★★★★★

Lovely lowkey campsite perfectly situated

We enjoyed the views over the wheat field; the quiet - not many people in the campsite and nicely spaced out; the proximity to the river - we brought our paddleboard and had a great time there; we love Pett Level beach and we enjoyed a meal in one of the lovely local pubs. Katie was extremely helpful and the compost toilets, showers and washing up areas were all really well kept. Lovely place to stay and loads to do.
★★★★★

Relaxed, peaceful, back-to-basics camping

We’ve just come back from a perfect camping mini-break here. Katie was super helpful from beginning to end, with timely communication about our booking and arrival, and she was on hand for questions and local information. The site is idyllic, relaxed and unfussy, with views across farmland and walks along the river. The pitches are very well spaced so that even when it was busy it never felt crowded. Everything was impeccably clean and tidy, with a large sink for washing up and a gas stove for heating water for the showers. There are so many things to do and places to see nearby but we (my teenage daughter and I) actually just did very little. It was a simple two days in the end, mostly eating and reading, with a wonderful long walk to Rye thrown in, and we left feeling like we’d been on holiday for a week!
Jun 5, 2021 by mrsegret Verified Review
★★★★★

Lovely location and helpful host

Peaceful and beautiful location with lots of bird life to enjoy. Children loved exploring the riverbank. The covered washing up area has a gas stove to heat water for showers and cooking - very helpful, especially in the rain! Katie, the host, sent us a list of places to eat locally ahead of our trip and met us on arrival. Fire pits can be hired and firewood, kindling provided. We had a lovely weekend despite the British weather!
May 17, 2021 by Rosie Ogier Verified Review
★★★★★

Lovely setting and really accommodating campsite

We had a brilliant weekend at otter channel. The surroundings were beautiful! A lovely river running by and some great walks to the nearby pubs. A short drive to Rye which is worth a visit. The owner was incredibly hospitable and friendly and the facilities were all really clean! Would highly recommend a stay here.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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