The Sunset Tree

UK England South East England West Sussex Haywards Heath

  • Contactless check in
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
A sociable, tents-only, pop-up campsite, with a good village pub and playground on the doorstep

The willow tree is said to be a symbol of new life and adaptability. It’s certainly resilient. A broken branch planted in the ground forms a new tree; cut it down and it grows back. There’s a particularly striking specimen willow on a farm in a place called Staplefield. Its unusual form is such that two limbs grow parallel to the floor at a perfect height for sitting on. Come sunset and a small group of people often gather on these natural pews to marvel at the colours in the sky. This is, in fact, The Sunset Tree; the namesake and symbol of a new campsite that’s taking root in Sussex.

Set up as a sociable and safe place for people to holiday and regain a sense of community after the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, it’s rather appropriate that it’s a willow that campers are drawn to on this site. But, even so, it’s not the heart of the place. That honour is reserved for the communal campfire where campers are welcome to share stories, play instruments and perhaps even have a sing-a-long. It’s the vision of campsite owner, Adam, whose background in festivals and the arts is evident in this relaxed and rustic site which pops up for a few weeks in summer.

There are 18 informal and unmarked grassy pitches and two pre-pitched bell tents available to hire. You can choose to camp in a quiet area at the top of the site or down in the main camping space which is closer to the communal campfire and edged by a little wood. By day, the woodland is all that’s needed by way of a playground, by night it’s lit with fairy lights. The sociable side of the campsite is, in some ways, its defining factor but there’s no pressure to join in. There’s enough space in the two-and-a-half acres for people who are just here to enjoy the rural Sussex setting too.

The village centre of Staplefield is just 100 metres from the farm entrance and has two pubs, a cricket ground and a small kids’ play area. Gardens, grand houses and pretty Sussex villages are plentiful round here with Nymans National Trust gardens, the closest, less than two miles from site. The Ashdown Forest and the South Downs National Park are a short drive away and bustling Brighton, and it’s beaches, are easy to get to thanks to the site’s proximity to the A23. The road is worth a mention here as you should expect some noise from traffic, though it’s often well-muffled by trees. However you spend your days, if it seems quiet when you return to site, just look towards the willow. If it’s sunset, we can almost guarantee you’ll see the silhouette of campers enjoying the warm embrace of The Sunset Tree. Maybe you should join them.

Details

Facilities

There are four compost loos on site and two shared field kitchens. In each, there's running water, a washing-up station and a gas stove. There are also covered seating areas throughout site. The two bell tents, each kitted out with beds (guests need to bring their own bedding) and solar lighting. Campfires are allowed and there's a communal campfire area or campers can use their own off-ground fire pits. Logs are for sale on site and fire pits will be available for campers' use. It's worth noting that there are no showers on this campsite.

Suitable For

Campers, glampers, small groups, dogs on leads – yes. Campervans, motorhomes, caravans, groups of more than 10 people – no.

Nearby

The village of Staplefield is a five-minute walk away and has two pubs on the green. From there, you can head out walks in the Sussex countryside, perhaps to nearby Handcross and Nymans, a National Trust garden (01444 405250), which is less than two miles from The Sunset Tree. There are plenty of other gardens, grand houses and estates to visit in the area, including the privately-owned Borde Hill Gardens (01444 450326) five miles away, Wakehurst (01444 894066) wild botanic garden and Sheffield Park and Garden (01825 790231), both within 15 miles of the campsite. The bright lights and beaches of Brighton are a little further but still within a half-hour drive as is the Ashdown Forest.

Food & Drink

There are two pubs on the village green in Staplefield, just a five-minute walk away: The Jolly Tanners (01444 400335) and The Victory (01444 400463). Both do food. There's also The Red Lion (01444 400292) in Handcross, two miles away. For a fine dining experience try Heritage (01444 401102) just down the road in Slaugham. If you prefer to cook and eat on the campsite, the closest shop is the Spar in Handcross or, for larger supermarkets, and more choice head to Haywards Heath, five miles from site.

Open

July weekends, August and September only.

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The Owner Says

More than just a campsite or tranquil place to get away from it all, The Sunset Tree is a place for connection and community. A place where families, friends and strangers can come together under the stars to share time, stories and smiles as we reconnect to our shared humanity after this extraordinary year of isolation and remember the magic of togetherness that happens when people and nature meet.
Whether you’re looking for peaceful solitude in nature, or a fun-filled family holiday, our friendly, Covid-safe site is a place to relax and play, where guests are warmly encouraged to lend their voices, music and hands to help co-create our enchanted village, or simply watch the world go by, swinging in a comfy hammock in our own secret woodland, the Dragon Woods.
Throughout the season you’ll discover art installations, wellbeing workshops, kid’s activities and storytelling at our beautiful low-impact site, where sustainability and fun are at the heart of everything we do.

The Sunset Tree is a family friendly campsite with creativity at its core; a place for people who want more than just a pitch. Being just a short drive from the world famous Ashdown Forest, with a playground and two pubs within walking distance and all shops and amenities just five minutes away, you’re sure to have everything you need for a convenient and comfortable stay.

Set amongst the fields of Home Farm in Staplefield, West Sussex, campers can pitch up in our quiet family area, or feel at ease to make a little late night noise with friends in the main camping area, and wake up to the gentle mooing of some of the farm’s cows.

Children will love exploring Dragon Wood, our mini woodland complete with rope swing, wildlife pond and picnic tables. We even have a dedicated kid’s art hut to get creative in. Just watch out for our resident dragon…

As the day draws to a close, take a seat on a bench beneath our namesake, The Sunset Tree, a willow tree at the edge of the site where you can watch the sun dip beneath the horizon before heading over to The Heart, our communal campfire where campers can reconnect with old friends and make a few new ones! So bring your instruments and tall tales, or simply sit back and soak up the joy of belonging to a likeminded community, if only for a little while.

Pitches

Two bell tents and 18 grassy pitches.

Quiet Grass Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 10 5 Available
A quiet grass pitch sleeps up to 6 people. This area is at the top of the site overlooking woodland. There are compost loos and a washing up station nearby.

Tent Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 10 13 Available
Grass pitch suitable for tents, sleeps up to 10 people. This area is at the bottom of the site with easy access to the Woodland nestled in the valley. Easy access to compost loos, communal fire and washing up facilities.

Willow Bell

Bell tent Sleeps 4 2 Available
Furnished 5m Bell Tent with private outdoor sheltered space, lit with solar lighting and warmed with your very own firepit. Beds provided but please bring your own bedding. Sleeps up to 4 people.

Check Availability

Location

Contact The Sunset Tree, Home Farm, Staplefield, Sussex RH17 6AP

Show Map

Getting There

If approaching from the north on the A23, take the slip road signposted B2115 Warninglid/Slaugham. Immediately at the end of the slip road is a left turn. Take this and follow the road for a mile until you reach a cross junction. At the crossroads turn left and you'll find The Sunset Tree signposted approximately 100 metres further on the right.

If approaching from the south, heading north on the A23, take the B2115 Signposted Warninglid/ Slaugham. At the end of the slip road is a mini roundabout, take the first exit. After about 100 yards you'll come to a T Junction – turn left and drive over the bridge across A23. After this, take the first left and then the first right. Follow this road for a mile to a crossroads. At the crossroads turn left and you'll find The Sunset Tree signposted approximately 100 metres further on the right.

Balcombe station is closest at three miles away from where you would need to book a taxi for the last part of the journey to site. Alternatively Haywards Heath is a bigger station five miles away (just 45 minutes from London Victoria) with bus connections to Staplefield (via the 271 to Crawley); it takes 20 minutes. You can also use the bus to get to or from Crawley, Horsham, Haywards Heath and Brighton from the village centre.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 9 reviews

★★★★★

What a Gem of a place....

It's just a piece of land but through the brilliant dedication and enginuity of Adam his created a little paradise which has stamped a memorable stay in our hearts especially for the little ones. Sitting around the communal fire pit, roasting marshmallows, exchanging campfire stories and meeting amazing people. The compost loos and kitchen area were very clean and well looked after. There is also a constant supply of firewood from Adam at a very cheap price. Adams laid back and chilled out manner made the stay perfect for my family and I, so it's safe to say that we will be definitely coming back to 'The Sunset Tree ' to create new beautiful memories. Thanks again for the advice Adam, stay safe.
Sep 7, 2021 by Sam
★★★★★

Best campsite closest to London

Torn about leaving this review as I'd prefer people didn't discover and it stayed our secret getaway! Ha. Really lovely little campsite with a big heart. Magical place that the kids absolutely loved. Hanging out at the communal 'Heart' fire pit with our kids and other families whilst eating marshmallows, chatting together and telling stories after sunset was very special indeed. Adam, the owner and creative mastermind behind it has made a wonderful getaway just outside London, he has been involved in staging festivals and events all around Europe and it really shows with all the imaginative spaces around the site. Very excited to see what is added for our return in spring / summer 2022!
Sep 2, 2021 by Matt Hayes Verified Review
★★★★★

Beautiful place

One of the best camping experiences I have had. The bell tents were clean and spacious with enough room for 6 of us to sleep in. The cooking utensils and campfire tools are provided which allowed us to have a campfire near our tents. The site itself is beautiful as the owner has made a special area for a camp fire with colouring books for kids. The curfew for noise is at 12pm which was very reasonable and even then just for the music. Very well organised and managed.
Aug 28, 2021 by Saransh Sharma
★★★★★

Wonderful chilled out site

The owner Adam, has put his heart and sole into this brand new campsite which delivers far more than just a beautiful field in a very convenient location. I took 4 children with me, who were at first dubious of the composting toilets, but soon forgot as they quickly embraced the woodland area and dragons lair, which turns quite magical at night. It's unusual to have a communal space for adults and children to enjoy, how they have set up the cooking and eating areas, art space and a fantastic campfire really works well, the beautiful decorations give it a lovely vibe. Adam and Squeezy really went out of their way to help, accommodating all requests. It lives up to its name, the Sunsets were spectacular. We had a very relaxing time and hope to come back again next year.
★★★★★

Treated ourselves to a bell tent

Although we are seasoned campers, we decided to treat ourselves to one of the bell tents which fitted our family of 4 perfectly. The sunset tree campsite is a really lovely spot and we loved all the solar lights in the evening lighting up the woodland area which also has a large barbecue available as well as a field kitchen close by with 2 gas rings. Compostable toilets were very clean and agree with other reviewer soooo much better than a portaloo. We also enjoyed watching the buzzard family doing their aerial acrobatics. Thanks Adam for making us feel so welcome.
Aug 21, 2021 by SharonT Verified Review
★★★★★

What a great site!

A family friendly campsite, laid back and geared for chilled vibes. Lovely copse woodland with secluded picnic / bbq spots and the communal firebowl with a story chair. Great place for kids to come together for stories, poetry and songs before their bedtime, and adults, with drinkies before theirs!
Aug 17, 2021 by MarkR Verified Review
★★★★★

Family friendly woodland camp site

Sunset Tree was a great little site conveniently placed on the road to Brighton. We were warmly welcomed to the site and shown our way round. We loved the woodland campfire area and benches and benches as did our toddler son. Perfect spot for a short break- would recommend it to others
Aug 16, 2021 by Louise Verified Review
★★★☆☆

Lovely site but too near the A23

The site has been really thoughtfully put together - clean compost loos, a good kitchen area with fresh herbs, and a kids’ area. The view was also lovely. But the sound of cars and lorries on the A23 woke me a few times in the night, unfortunately. Maybe fine for heavy sleepers!

Response from The Sunset Tree

Hi Elisabeth
Was lovely to meet you. I'm sorry you had problems with sleeping at The Sunset Tree.  We're aware of a little road noise when the wind blows in the wrong direction... Its difficult to avoid in Sussex.... .but I'm thankful you enjoyed the rest of the site and amenities... And you get a good night's rest now back in your own bed!
★★★★★

This is how campsites should be

A fantastic campsite that has been beautifully planned and executed. Trees ring most of the site to help protect it from the wind although there are still wonderful views. Adam the Manager gave us a warm welcome and advised where best to pitch. He is passionate about the site he has created using his years of camping experience to create a magical site. Facilities are basic but all you need. The compost toilets are clean and so much better than the portaloo variety, as well as being better for the environment. There is a camp kitchen area where you can cook and wash-up under cover. Bell tents and fire pits can be hired and there is an art room for kids. What makes it truly special is watching the sunset and once set meeting fellow campers at the communal campfire and seating area. The trees are lit with a myriad of solar lights and on the occasion we visited there were some brilliant singers and guitar players (some as young as 8!) that entertained us. The tree canopy protected us from the rain as it would from the sun had is shone! If you prefer a bit of peace and quiet it's far enough away from the pitches not to disturb anyone. Even in the rain it was a great stay and we can't wait to return. Thank you Adam and all for a great stay.
Aug 2, 2021 by Melanie Krolick

Response from The Sunset Tree

Thank you for bringing your smiles and good vibes to the sunset tree.. We're super happy you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back

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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