Gumber Farm

  • Campfires allowed
  • Good walks nearby
A tiny, remote, National Trust-owned campsite with heaps of history and a beautiful South Downs setting
Run by the National Trust and situated on its 3,500-acre ewe-peppered Slindon Estate, Gumber Farm’s campsite and bothy are an oasis of remoteness in the crowded south-east of England. The bothy (whose excellent facilities are available to campers) is a converted 19th-century flint barn in a large clearing within an enormous deer-filled wood. The small camping field is right outside it, as is the paddock, in which you may leave your mount should you have ridden in. The irony is that a farm so lovely – it’s surrounded by the sensuous curves of the South Downs and has been eulogised by none other than writer and historian Hilaire Belloc – is habitually used as just a brief stop-over by walkers and cyclists attempting either the South Downs Way or the Monarch’s Way, both of which run close by. Were they to linger on the estate a little longer, they could visit Bronze Age burial mounds; a Neolithic flint knapping site; a section of the arrow-straight Stane Street (built by the Romans to link London and Chichester); and a Victorian folly. In World War II, a dummy airfield was laid out here (though only ever bombed once), and air raid shelters and other bits of fakery can still be seen today. At night, the site becomes a star-gazer’s paradise, with its huge sky untroubled by earthly lights. Come the morning and the same summer sky comes alive with swallows swooping around the plucky sparrows, who make their homes alongside them in the eaves of the bothy.

Details

Facilities

There are 4 men's and 4 womens toilets, and 3 showers for each too. A small kitchen has an oven, kettle and washing up area. There's a drying room, bike storage shed and horse paddock. Fire pits and BBQs are available (charcoal £5/bag).

Suitable For

Tents – yes. Caravans, campervans, vehicles, dogs and pets – no.

Nearby

Slindon village (1½ miles) is a fine example of what many Sussex villages would once have looked like, with some lovely flint and brick cottages; it also claims to be the birthplace of cricket and boasts (ahem) a famous pumpkin display. Arundel Castle (5 miles; 01903 882173) is well worth a visit. Set in a very pleasant hilltop location with 40 acres of grounds and gardens, Arundel hosts exquisite works of art, furniture, tapestries, china, sculpture, clocks and good old fashioned suits of armour.

Food & Drink

There aren't any pubs within walking distance but The George (01243 814340) in Eartham (3 miles) is a great place to head if you on't mind the short journey.

Opening Times

April–October.

Pitches

35 undesignated grass pitches. No electrical hook-ups.

No availability showing at Gumber Farm.

Location

Contact Gumber Farm, Slindon Estate Yard, Slindon, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0RG

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Getting There

The Bothy and campsite are a 2-mile walk from the nearest car park at Bignor Hill or Northwood (grid ref SU 959098) and there is no vehicle access to the site. The campsite is signposted off the South Downs Way. OS Grid reference: SU 961118, Ordnance survey maps: Landranger 197 or Explorer OL10.

The nearest train station is in Amberley 5 miles away. Services run on the London to Bognor Regis line. No onward bus route.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews

★★★★★

calmness in a busy world

We stayed on the late May bank holiday. Arived late and walked up in the dusk and had no problem finding it from the directions provided. The bothy kitchen has everything you need and with swifts flying over head, the showers are great. When we woke in the morning our fellow previous night campers had gone and we had the place to ourselves, it was gorgeous. The following night we were joined by a few more campers in search of the peace and quiet. A camp fire brought us all together to chat in the evening and it was a very pleasant way to pass the time. This is such a jewel of a campsite to find in the busy south of England. We will definitely be back. I just hope the lamb with the cough gets better.

May 26, 2015 by Charlie C
★★★★★

Outstanding!

11 of us stayed at Gumber Bothy last weekend (12th Aug) for a night during our efforts to complete the SouthDowns Way (Eastbourne to Winchester). The place is outstanding! Simple, clean, efficient - everything we needed after the first two days. True it's a bit of a hike down from (and back to) the car park but that's a smal price to pay for the peace and tranquility it offers. The Bothy itself is brillint; we left the barn door open so it was fresh air all round and the resident housemartins came and went at will!

Can't recommend it highly enough. 

Jul 17, 2014 by MCD
★★★★★

Real peace

This campsite is not for the faint-hearted as it's not signposted at all and involves a mile and a half walk up through woods. But completely worth it when you get there. We stayed in August and were the only people on one night so the sense of getting away from it all is amazing, especially considering you are in the crowded south east of England. It is a really atmospheric place and the facilities in the old barn are brilliant. The kitchen has all you could wish for and the toilets/showers were spotless. There is a campfire area as well. Just make sure you've packed everything you need before you leave the car!

Sep 10, 2013 by JJ