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Lovingly restored shepherd’s huts in the grounds of Sussex' famous Bentley Estate

Since it's inception a few years ago, The Rolling Downs in East Sussex has fast become the region's worst kept secret. Lovingly crafted and hidden away in a quiet nook on the renowned Bentley Estate, this pair of homely shepherd's huts seems to have something for everyone. For couples, the cosy, secluded feel of it all provides an obvious romance, with access to endless country walks and stop-offs in the cute tea rooms on the estate. For families, meanwhile, there's the fun of staying in the shepherd's huts themselves, paired with making your way across the meadows to the Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum and riding on the estate's miniature steam railway.

Despite the attractions on the doorstep, however, this no commercial 'add-on' but a thoroughly sympathetic stay that lets you really tuck yourself away in the countryside. The two shepherd huts, coloured in soothing egg-shell tones of white and sky blue, are plotted amongst a spacious patch of Sussex meadow and are a real labour of love for the glampsite owners, Brett and Clare Young. Both the main family hut and the more recently built younger sibling are mini masterpieces of ergonomic, eco-friendly design. Unlike some shepherd huts, whose compact dimensions and stuffiness can be a little on the oppressive side, the light décor coupled with the cosy textiles and compact wood burning stove give the accommodation a perfect balance of airiness and comfort. Power, from the huts' little wind-turbine, too, means this is a truly eco-friendly affair.

The innate tranquillity of the place is something that Brett and Clare work hard to preserve, so much so that the smaller of the two huts can only be booked as additional accommodation to the larger one (on account of the shared facilities). Consequently, this makes them ideal for parents with young children. The kids will love telling stories by lantern light in the dinky adjacent hut, while mum and dad have the double bed and bathroom to themselves next door.

From the huts it's a relatively easy walk over to the motor museum. It's just one proverbial feather in the 60-acre estate's cap. The place is also home to 1,000 birds (130 species from around the world), including a breed called the Wandering Whistling duck; a craft barn for kids; a superb tearooms and a miniature steam train that even the most grown up of grown ups will want to take a ride on. For those seeking to make the most of tranquility, meanwhile, a walk around the estate grounds peeping in on the Palladian mansion is just as enticing, along with a trip to the cobbled streets of nearby Lewes (15 minutes away).

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The Owner Says

Luxury camping doesn't come much more idyllic than this. Tucked away in a tranquil nook of the Bentley Estate in East Sussex lies The Rolling Downs. Being just over an hour's drive away from London, holidaying city folk are prone to falling head-over-heels for the beguiling charms of this neat little bucolic bolthole. You can almost hear the heady cries of, 'Let's leave it all behind darling…'.

Reviews

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★★★★★

Lovely huts in beautiful location

We had a fantastic weekend staying at The Rolling Downs. Really comfortable and well-equipped huts - perfect place to explore the beautiful Sussex countryside and coast. We loved stoking up the fire pit and cooking under the stars. I would highly recommend this to everyone wanting a short break from the daily routine. Thanks for having us to stay.
Jul 21, 2018 by Thomas Barton
★★★★★

The Rolling Downs - full of heavenly delights

We had a wonderful and relaxing stay at The Rolling Downs. The huts are so cute and cosy. It really is like being a child again and playing house. Everything is a shrunk down version of itself, except the huge king sized bed. There is even a log burner to keep you warm and snuggly on those cold evenings. The location of Bentley is lovely. It's nice and peaceful, a real 'get away from it all' holiday. There is till plenty to d, either at Bentley or further afield into the historic and beautiful town of Lewes. We are National Trust members, so there were lots of places to visit in East Sussex, from Nymans gardens to Virginia Woolf's house in Rodmell. I would definitely recommend staying here for a more quirky but relaxing holiday.
Jan 19, 2018 by Rebecca
★★★★★

Countryside retreat

It was our first time staying in a shepherds hut and it won't be our last. The huts were cute & cosy and had everything you needed for a short break. We will definitely be going back!

Apr 1, 2016 by Mafram

Win a £100 Blacks Voucher!

If you've stayed at The Rolling Downs 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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