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Camping as it should be in the heart of the South Downs.

If ever there was a campsite run by campers for campers, it’s Woodfire Camping in West Sussex. Opening for the first time in 2018, this brand new spot in the heart of the South Downs is the brainchild of hosts Stella and Griff. Drawing on a lifetime’s worth of camping experience around the UK and the wider world, this couple know what ingredients go in to making a truly cracking campsite. As Stella explains, “we've both camped all our lives, in orange canvas tents in the 70s and 80's; in a cosy two-man round Europe when we were younger and then every summer in a family tent since we've had children. Hopefully our experience will show in the way we've planned our campsite”.

Woodfire Camping is a throwback to camping from the good old days. This refreshingly understated spot is all about traditional tent camping with nature providing the entertainment – there’s not a hard-standing, electric hook-up, clubhouse or satellite TV in sight. And, as the name suggests, campfires are positively encouraged!

The spacious buttercup-dotted meadow hosts just 30 tents, with a crowd-pleasing pitch-where-you-like policy meaning guests a free to find a spot that suits on the grass. For those lazy bones who can’t be doing with the pegs and poles themselves, a handful of pre-erected tents are available to rent, including some cool retro models equipped with comfy vintage furnishings.

Despite its off-grid nature, the site doesn’t lack for the bare necessities. A pair of showers dispense instant hot water – although in keeping  with the site’s green credentials, these are only available at peak hours in the morning and evening to help conserve water – and loos are of the compost variety. Power-wise nothing is wired in, either, though the camp kitchen supplies enough juice to charge your phone. The lack of synthetic light at this designated Dark Sky Peserve ensures some of the best stargazing in the south-east.

There’s even a few luxury touches on offer like a resident masseuse offering half-hour pampering sessions. And, influenced by their stays at Italian agriturismos, Stella and Griff also offer a range of home-cooked breakfasts and dinners – from huevos rancheros to delicious stews with gremolata and flatbreads – all cooked over the campfire. 

It’s often said that a campsite is only as good as its setting and Woodfire ticks more than a few boxes in the location stakes. The campsite is located on Westerlands, a 1,000 acre stud farm regarded as one of England’s most scenic – it’s forest-fringed fields filled with horses, Dexter cattle and Suffolk sheep. The site neighbours the Goodwood Estate while there’s an abundance of chocolate-box market towns nearby like Arundel, Bosham, Petersfield and Petworth, and Bosham. Best of all, there’s peerless access to the South Downs Way – literally take the track out the gate and follow your nose.

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The Owner Says

Woodfire Camping is in a very special spot, with stunning views of the South Downs and surrounding countryside.

We have hot showers, campfires and wood-fired cooking, with pre-erected tents available for hire. The track leading directly off the campsite leads up on to the 90-mile-long South Downs Way, with more fantastic views in all directions, some as far as the sea.

There are four great local pubs within walking distance, with good food and beer gardens, and ancient market towns, castles, stately homes and sandy beaches all just a short drive away.

Reviews

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★★★★★

Foodie Heaven with Beautiful Views

We've not long returned from an absolutely lovely stay at Woodfire camping, and despite the rain (which really couldn't be helped) I loved every second of it. The campsites in a really beautiful location with lots of nice walks nearby or if you fancy going a bit further afield Climping beach is only a short drive away. It was so relaxing not having to worry about cooking and I can honestly say the beef stew was one of the nicest meals out I've had anywhere, it was so tender I could have eaten it with a spoon. Waking up to the sight of open fields, sitting round the fire pit and catching up with our fellow campers at the communal dining tables only added to the charm. It's great that the site has a few eco touches here and there with efforts to conserve water and compost toilets in situ. Me, hubby and the dog (it's very dog friendly) definitely came home extremely chilled and look forward to doing it all over again in the very near future. It definitely shows that both Stella and Griff have put a lot of thought and a lot of love into creating this very special place.
Aug 14, 2018 by Naomi
★★★★★

Great food, great site

This is the only campsite I have ever been on that cooks for you, and it's totally brilliant. You can get breakfast and dinner every day Thursday - Sunday, at very reasonable prices. The flatbreads are the best. So so good. The rest of the site is great too. Plenty of space, not too many pitches. Highly recommended.
Aug 14, 2018 by Ben Dwyer
★★★★★

How camping should be :)

I stayed here with my husband and two year old last weekend - it was such a great experience, I really can't fault it particularly with a little one in tow. The facilities are absolutely spot on and really cater for everyone. Lots of unexpected touches that just make it that bit better than any other campsite I've stayed at - from a toddler loo seat in the brand new compost loos, to a central covered area where you can all congregate and chat to Stella and Griff. We hadn't been camping with our son before so weren't sure how it would go - we opted for one of the pre-erected canvas tents, it was absolutely brilliant - by far the nicest tent I've stayed in, lots of room for all three of us with beds, blankets and a little lamp all thoughtfully provided. We had Stella and Griff's beef stew on our first night and that was just delicious and really took the pressure off having to cook every night. Perhaps not the campsite for big groups looking to stay up late and party but if you fancy a quiet break with stunning surroundings, great facilities and friendly hosts I don't think you'll find better.
Aug 13, 2018 by Sheridan
★★★★★

Sunsets and stars

THIS is exactly what we love about camping. A friendly welcome, a fire by our tent, peace, quiet, space, big sky and absolutely stunning sunsets. And once the sun went down the night sky was unspoiled and we could see a million stars. Within easy travelling distance of several main routes, this campsite felt as if we were hours away from traffic jams and work. Beautiful countryside and the beach half hour drive away. On-site facilities were well thought-out and organised, imaginative and the compost loos were wonderfully clean. Even in the middle of a heatwave! Like other reviewers I think this is a 5* campsite but I'm a little hesitant about posting - I really want to be able to come here again and book with ease. I've raved to my family and friends and we're already planning our next outing. However (not just my) word-of-mouth will ensure Woodfire Campings popularity.
Aug 12, 2018 by Felicity
★★★★★

The owners love what they are doing and it shows in everything they've done

Easy to book either on line or by phone. Very friendly relaxed site where having children running around making friends was a pleasure as the parents were relaxed and friendly. The overall friendly feel of the place belies the fact that A LOT of thought and hard work has gone into the establishment and running of the place. It is basically one field overlooking lovely hills with eco friendly wash/shower and compost loo at one end and open air place to eat the evening meal and breakfast at the other. You wake to the joy of beautiful morning air and feint sound of 'God' (must be seen) the cockerel in neighbouring farm where you can also buy eggs....individually named. We went here in August , it has only been open since June. My recommendation is to go soon before others find out about this gem. They want to stay small.....I don't know how they will do that as they are bound to be a huge hit! Thanks for such a super time:)
Aug 11, 2018 by Jackie
★★★★★

Peaceful eco site with great hospitality

Wow! We loved this camp site! In fact this place is such a gem I'm almost worried about giving it a rave review in case we can't get a pitch for a return visit next year. We were cycling the South Downs Way and are so glad we stumbled across this brand new camp site on the Internet. It was a steep ascent back to the trail the next day but worth every minute of pushing the bikes. The owners Stella and Griff are the perfect hosts. At weekends they cook food over fires for their guests for less than a tenner per adult and cheaper for children or you can hire a fire pit if you prefer. There is a big communal table to sit at if you wish. They sell marshmallows for toasting over the fires which made my boys very happy. There are several plugs and USB charging ports for phones etc in the outdoor camp kitchen area. The composting toilets were always clean and the tin of feminine hygiene products in case you get caught short was a nice touch. Showers and hot water for washing up are limited to certain times in the day to conserve water from the natural spring water supply but we never had to queue. Because they only allow one tent per pitch it gives a wide spacious area to the site with lots of room for kids to play in the middle. Price is per person so as we were cycling with all the camping gear we had two small tents so two pitches. The site is on a field in the middle of a farm so there are the usual country livestock noises but other than that it is silent. Guests are requested not to listen to music on electronic devices. Cars are only allowed on site for unpacking so it is safe for children to play. I guess if you are looking for a site with play parks and pools this isn't the site for you. But if you want to sit, chat around a fire, watch the sunsets, let the kids make their own entertainment (mine were happy learning to play cricket with the owners' children) then this is the place to be.
Aug 10, 2018 by Rebecca
★★★★★

Idyllic setting - super friendly and helpful

Only stayed for one night, but absolutely loved it. Situated along a private track which leads off from a small road through gorgeous woodland the campsite had a great 'middle of nowhere' feel about it. We loved the 'Swiss Family Robinson' inspired wooden constructions - especially the showers - which really added to the experience. The surrounding countryside is stunning, and the wooded slopes of the South Downs near the site were perfect for exploring. We rode to the campsite from Brighton along the South Downs Way with our 13 year old - the distance (about 35 miles) made for a challenging but memorable one day adventure on our bikes. We can't wait to return one day for a longer stay and will definitely recommend to friends!
Aug 7, 2018 by Alex & Sue
★★★★★

Peaceful and well run campsite

I booked for a last minute couple of days with my children (11 and 9). The site is lovely - great location, friendly and helpful owners and nicely spaced out pitches. The night sky was incredible with real darkness and visible stars. Good area to explore...Petworth House, Littlehampton and nice local pubs. I would happily recommend this site
Aug 3, 2018 by Jim
★★★★★

chilled fabulous spot

wonderful first visit to this heavenly site not too crowded super friendly, easy walking in beautiful countryside. best outside showers I've experienced. will definitely visit again.
Aug 1, 2018 by Kat
★★★★★

Spot on camping experience

Can't recommend this campsite enough. They've put so much care and thought into everything. From the eco-friendly setup to the tasty homecooked grub, the whole site provides such a great camping experience. Stella and Griff are the perfect hosts and make everyone feel so welcome. We'll definitely be back.
Jul 31, 2018 by Kaye Stenner
★★★★★

Excellent campsite

Great campsite in a beautiful setting, surrounding views and countryside are stunning. Toilets and showers clean, pub 20 minute walk away through the fields, local shop 5 minute drive. Owners couldn't be nicer. Recommended.
Jul 31, 2018 by Simon Smith
★★★★★

Lovely views, great food!

What a lovely spot - fantastic views of the South Downs and brand new facilities. Stella and Griff have created something rather special. We will be back.
Jul 30, 2018 by Philippa Hartridge
★★★★★

Great time on our first camping trip

It was great to be able to use one of the spacious pre-erected tents for our first camping trip as a family. Stella & Griff were friendly and helpful hosts. My daughter loved having a campfire. This campsite has wonderful views and we even enjoyed using the clean and tidy compost loos! We’d love to go back here.
Jul 30, 2018 by Anna D
★★★★★

Great campsite, lovely hosts

Beautiful campsite with very good facilities - hadn't used composting toilets before, but they were great, and not smelly at all! Plenty of places to visit nearby. We always enjoy sitting with a fire going in the evening and toasting marshmallows, so the fire pits for hire were great. And of course Stella & Griff, who cook great breakfasts and dinners and make everybody feel welcome. We alternated between cooking our own food and eating at the camp kitchen - so nice to have a cooked breakfast (but not cooked by me) before striking the tent to head off. Peaceful at night too, even though it was pretty busy on our last night. Thanks Stella & Griff - we'll be back!
Jul 28, 2018 by Carey & Mike
★★★★★

Amazing campsite with fantastic views

We stayed here last weekend and it was easily one of the best campsites we have ever stayed in. Stella and Griff are such welcoming hosts and the views are simply stunning. The toilets and showers were simple but spacious and very nicely done. We hope to return soon!
Jul 28, 2018 by Sari
★★★★★

Stella and Griff

Peaceful Avocado bagels Cricket Pubs Friends Fire Evening BBQ (delicious and very reasonable) It's ACE.
★★★★★

Fantastic campsite- everything we could ask for and more

The best thing about this campsite is the hosts, Stella and Griff. They have done an amazing job of creating a site with everything you need. The eco loos are the best I have come across. Really good and roomy showers. There are plenty of pubs within walking distance but with Stella and Griff offering home coked food you don’t need to go out and eat dinner. We were a big group so not having to cook ourselves was brilliant. We will definitely be returning to Woodfire.
Jul 16, 2018 by Tracey Mohabir
★★★★★

A wonderful campsite for relaxing

We had such a wonderful time last weekend. Stella and Griff are very friendly and welcoming. The site is in a perfect setting with views of the downs and lovely walks in the countryside (perfect for dog walks) straight from the site including one to a very nice pub (The Cricketers) within a 20 min walk across beautiful fields. Nice facilities and very nice showers, all kept very clean. We opted to cook for ourselves but the communal area made a nice centre piece of activity. Thoroughly recommend and we will be returning.
Jul 11, 2018 by Caroline & Andy
★★★★★

Wonderful stay

This is a great dog friendly place where you can sit back and relax. Stunning views, local pubs and close proximity to beautiful towns. Nice and clean amenities and a possibility to have a delicious meal onsite.
Jul 10, 2018 by Magdalena & Konrad
★★★★★

Great Campsite

We had a great time at Woodfire this weekend. It's a beautiful setting with plenty of space as they don't overfill the site. The views of the stars at night were fantastic. Stella and Griff are very nice and accommodating hosts and the option of eating their food was an added bonus! We've already booked ourselves in for a return trip :-)
Jul 9, 2018 by Neil Kidd
★★★★★

Idyllic camping experience

We've been to a lot of campsites in Sussex and this was definitely our favourite. As soon as we arrived I was bowled over by the gorgeous location - just the Downs and fields. It feels beautifully rural. The owners (and Stella's parents!) were so friendly and accommodating, and just so welcoming. We had their cooked breakfast in the morning and (my favourite) a 'proper' coffee, and sat at the long trestle tables overlooking the rolling countryside. We cooked our own food in the evening - a decision i slightly regretted because the ability to eat home cooked food in the company of other campers is a v special characteristic of this site. I felt really sad packing up and vowed to return as soon as possible.
Jul 3, 2018 by Jude
★★★★★

Picturesque eco-friendly family-run campsite in idyllic location

We enjoyed a fantastic weekend at this fledgling campsite. As has been mentioned by others the facilities were fabulous - clean eco-friendly loos and showers with pretty (geraniums and gorgeous antique mirrors) as well as kind (stash of sanitary ware) touches. The campsite was full the weekend we stayed but faced no problems finding a free toilet cubicle/ shower/ sink while was there. We self catered so didn't end up eating at the Camp Kitchen but enjoyed the atmosphere this communal area created and how hospitable and chatty Stella and Griff were. The location was perfect for exploring the south downs on foot and bike. The South Downs Way was only a 4km cycle away on mostly bridleways with a small stretch on private roads within Seaford College - we joined the SDW at 50º56'06.93"N 00º40'02.71"W which i think is the closest point. Lavington Common, an area of national trust open heathland, was a very short walk away. It contains Merlin’s Wood (off Duncton Common Road): an eerie experience to walk through with its twisted tunnels of rhododendrons. Well worth it and I'ld imagine kids would love it (only 1.5km from campsite). The River Rother snakes nearby and there is a nice wild swimming/ paddling spot 4-km-away near Selham. A perfect getaway into the beautiful wilderness the South Downs has to offer! Thanks.
Jul 2, 2018 by Ellie and Tim
★★★★★

Cracking spot on the South Downs

Lovely, small site. Great touches with the facilities and little extras. Loads of great public footpaths close as well.
Jul 2, 2018 by Alex
★★★★★

Small, friendly and with super food!

An unobtrusive site that's perfect for walking and biking up onto the downs. Super friendly and there's real coffee! Stella and Griff do lovely breakfasts and communal dinners and afterwards you can sit around your fire and watch the sun go down. Perfect!
Jul 2, 2018 by Ted C
★★★★★

Super relaxing, great food and terrific toilets

Isaac (8 yrs) and I (undisclosed yrs) had a fantastic weekend at Woodfire Camping. Stella and Griff were perfect hosts, the setting was great and it was really easy to get to from West London. It makes a huge difference knowing that if your coming down late on Friday evening that someone's cooking, so you don't have to worry. Finally and perhaps most importantly are the shower and toilet blocks. Isaac (although I'm sure he's not alone) can be a little fussy about camping facilities and it was one of things he was worried about before we arrived. As a parent it's a huge relief when the toilets are clean (and not scary), the showers are huge and there's plenty of hot water. Looking forward to returning soon - thank you Stella and Griff for a smashing stay. All the best Pat and Isaac
Jul 2, 2018 by Pat and Isaac
★★★★★

Stunning view, really chilled atmosphere, great food

One of the greatest camping weekends ever. Stella and griff welcomed us with a really fantastic dinner on Friday night, then we watched a glorious sunset over the forest. Just the greatest views, basic facilities but really intelligently done and hot showers that don't turn themselves off. Totally dark and quiet at night. Tip: camp by the hedge for early morning shade. Recommend!
Jun 25, 2018 by David S
★★★★☆

Simple, lovely + great steak

We stayed on the opening weekend and were greeted with a super-friendly welcome and steak straight off the BBQ. It’s a good sized field, lovely open skies and feeling of space, and a nice balance between the communal “camp kitchen” where you can eat and chat with other campers, and space (and fire pits) if you want to keep it private. Lovely hot showers and clean loos. The only reason I haven’t given it 5 stars is that parts of the field are a bit sloping so it might be hard to find a flat pitch if the site is full, and there’s not much shade (not a prob for us as there wasn’t much sun!). Everything else is spot on though, we’ll done Stella and Griff!
Jun 25, 2018 by Heather and Jamie
★★★★★

Beautiful campsite in the middle of stunning countryside

We had a wonderful weekend camping here. Beautiful scenery, family friendly, delicious food available and friendly hosts. Easilh accessible from London . Would strongly recommend.
Jun 25, 2018 by Laura
★★★★★

Total peace with epic views

Welcomed by Stella and Griff on our weekend at Woodfire Camping we immediately started to relax and unwind. Dawn bird song, the breeze in the trees and a very self important cockeral were the sound track to our chance to decompress. Easy to find and super easy to get to from our home in East London - who knew such beauty existed so close to town? Beautiful walks for our 2 terriers and lovely routes for running beneath the branches of trees or through quaint English villages with sensational sunsets and star gazing in the evenings, all with the delicious aroma of wood smoke and Griffs cooking hanging in the air! What more could you ask for? Oh yes - Stella's coffee to kick start the morning...
Jun 25, 2018 by Joseph and Giancarlo
★★★★★

Gorgeous hideaway spot with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside

A hidden gem in the countryside and I was treated to some incredible sunsets! This is a great family friendly site run by really welcoming owners. Plenty of space to choose your perfect spot to set up camp. Clean washing area & compost toilets. Love that they offer campfire cooked meals which sets them apart from other campsites. Sit back, relax and enjoy! Note: my satnav took me to the wrong entrance, and I wasnt the only one who had issues with satnav directions. Definitely advise you to follow the written directions from Petworth, especially as there is no sign for Westerlands Stud Farm if you approach coming from the opposite direction (from Graffham or Selham) so you can easily miss the turning.
Jun 25, 2018 by Jen
★★★★★

Really lovely campsite with beautiful views

A lovely, chilled campsite with great views over the South Downs - perfect for watching a brilliant sunset whilst toasting marshmallows on the campfire! We opted for one of the tents already put up which is a great idea as we could really maximise our time there. The option to have food in the camp kitchen was very tasty and a real treat - especially after the drive down on the M25! The campsite is in a great location, loads of walking nearby and some great pubs close by. Would definitely recommend!
Jun 25, 2018 by Emma
★★★★★

Gorgeous people and gorgeous surrounds (and eggs with the layer's name on them!)

First weekend, and we, the first guests in. What we discovered will only become busier as more people find out what an absolute gem of a place it is. But it can only get 'so' busy as it's small and intimate and all the things that you dream of in a campsite either already there or in the planning. The gorgeous Griff and Stella who run it are made for this life, and are so hospitable and warm you want to hang with them fireside, and the food that they offer up is better than anything you could cook yourself. A quick walk to 3 awesome pubs and plenty of animals a stroll away to entertain the kids. Fire pits, drop loos, and super hot showers top it off. And then you can pick up your eggs for breakfast around the corner from some very obliging chickens and a big rooster called God. Oh, and did I mention that they can put up a tent for you which has super comfy mattresses and sheets and lights and tables and.... all for a bargain??? Quite simply, perfect. xxxx
Jun 19, 2018 by Elizaflan
★★★★★

Beautiful, quiet and unspoilt spot with great facilities and fabulous hosts, worth a visit!

We had a fabulous experience at Woodfire camping, it’s a lovely setting with views of the South Downs and right on the South Downs Way so perfect for walking in all directions, with a fair few good pubs to discover en-route! The campsite is enclosed and is down a very quiet road/access track so there is limited traffic hence relatively safe for children. Nearby Graffham has a great local shop with local produce. We booked last minute and were one of their first paying customers on their debut weekend, we’re glad we chose here. The facilities are all newly constructed and although there are a few finishing touches they are completing imminently, like mirrors, it has everything you need. There are 3 showers with great pressure and hot water in the morning and early evening which is just when you need it, as well as washing up facilities and washbasins. The eco friendly composting loos also work well. Stella and Griff are great hosts, friendly and welcoming, checking that you have what you need. The food they cooked was delicious and a great idea to get people in the camp together, share anecdotes and create a real community feel but equally you can do your own thing. We would definitely return in the future although I doubt they will have many last minute bookings available for long.......it will become a popular spot very soon once word gets out!
Jun 18, 2018 by Jenny and Richard
★★★★★

Beautiful peaceful setting. Perfect camping spot

Great value for a stressfree, comfortable, peaceful camping experience. We will definitely be visiting with the kids again. Thank you Stella and Griff for your wonderful hospitality. See you again soon!
Jun 17, 2018 by Mary
★★★★★

Beautiful views in a tranquil setting, short walk to great country pubs and the south downs way and amazing food!

We had a fantastic few days at Woodfire Camping with our 3 kids (when the owners held a 'soft launch' weekend for friends and friends of friends). There was loads of space for the kids to run and play whilst we relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views, sunsets and starscape. The facilities were spotlessly clean as well as being environmentally friendly (a big plus for me). The food cooked up by Stella and Griff was delicious and it was a real treat not to have to cook for ourselves. The location is incredible - less than two hours from London, with direct access to the south downs way and a short drive to loads of great attractions - we visited the huge, sandy beach at West Wittering, Arundel Castle, and the Weald and Downland Living Museum, all of which were great. We will be back very soon! Highly recommended.
Jun 7, 2018 by NiciH
★★★★★

Rare to be in such a beautiful rural campsite where you can have fires!!

Really tranquil setting surrounded by quite fields and trees all in easy access of surrounding paths that take you to great local pubs and the south downs. My three boys (9, 7 and 2) loved meeting and playing with other children. Lots of interesting things to do nearby as well e.g. Petworth, Arundell Castle and the Open Air Museum. Already booked back in for August!
Jun 6, 2018 by Ben E
★★★★★

Wonderful stress free experience in beautiful surroundings, relatively close to London and with lovely hosts

My family (with kids aged 10 &12) camped for the weekend and had an amazing time. There are loads of fun and family friendly walks close by with a number of great local village pubs to visit. We used one of the on site ready pitched tents which was new and comfortable and spacious for a family of 4. The hosts Stella and Griff were so friendly and really helped make the weekend perfect. It also helped that it was a relatively short drive from London which made arriving on the Friday much easier. We will defiantly be returning later in the summer an hope that we are blessed with the same great weather.
Jun 6, 2018 by Will C

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If you've stayed at Woodfire Camping campsite, please take a minute to tell us about your experience. Every month, one lucky reviewer will be picked at random to win a £100 voucher, courtesy of our recommended retailer Blacks. Each review counts as one entry, so get writing!

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