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Canvas & Stars at Hale Farm

UK England South East England East Sussex Hailsham

Hale Farm, Hale Green, Chiddingly, East Sussex, BN8 6HQ

Bell tent glamping on a Sussex farm complete with campfires, scavenger hunts and plenty of luxury touches

Double beds, bunting, fluffy pillows… there are always a few things to be expected when you book a luxury bell tent stay. But you know you’re doing glamping right, when the gin van shows up. Serving local tipple from across Sussex, including beers from nearby Horsham, cider from Cowford and gin from Brighton, Chilgrove and the Blackdown Hills, the evening arrival of this mobile bar, housed inside a vintage Citroen horsebox, sums up the quirky, classy nature of Canvas & Stars. This is glamping with a capital ‘G’.

Set in a secluded segment of the spacious and scenic Hale Farm Campsite – a working farm where kiddies can get up close with the animals each morning, feeding rare breed pigs, donkeys and lambs – Canvas & Stars is a new luxury offering (though already being lauded by The Telegraph as one of the UK's top mild camping sites) set within its own private space. Their ‘bell village’ comprises 10 fully furnished tents, with beds for a family of up to five people, and an eleventh, communal tent with board games, books and magazines in case the weather turns. Outside, meanwhile, every tent has its own campfire pit and deck chairs, with access to a pop-up kitchen with all the utensils you need, either for cooking on a gas hob or on your open fire.

While the attention to detail here is excellent – complimentary toiletries provided on arrival; a scavenger hunt and fancy dress rail for children in each bell tent; a gift for anyone celebrating a party – it’s still the more universal charms of the place that make it stand out. The two homely local pubs are a perfect case in point, both eminently walkable from the campsite down the quiet Sussex lane, while National Trust attractions and ancient castles seem to pop-up in every direction you drive.

In all, it treads the ideal line between camping and luxury. Those essential elements of the outdoors are still there – the smell of campfire smoke, the morning stroll to the showers through dewy grass, the morning alarm of birdsong – but you’ve still got an incredibly comfortable bed to sleep in and a minimal amount of packing is required. All that, plus the gin van. Now that's the way to glamp!

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★★★☆☆

Lovely spot but did not meet expectations

This is a lovely spot but unfortunately it did not meet our expectations as much of the information about what on offer is inaccurate. Things we liked: - lovely countryside - nice pubs close by - helpful friendly staff - tents are really nice and beds comfortable Things that were disappointing: - so many of the things advertised here were not available and in the end we felt it was not good value for money, eg: no gin van; no books/boardgames/bean bags in the communal tent; the kids dressing up rail is communal rather than in each tent; no option to buy breakfast hampers; no complimentary toiletries provided on arrival (communal toiletries are in showers); chemical loos rather than compost - poor expectation management on site: the fridge and utensils provided were really not adequate for the number of people; we were told there would be complimentary eggs and bread each morning - there were eggs but no bread; we were told we could buy firewood and meat at 5pm, then later that this could be as late as 7pm and no meat was available. This was very frustrating for our own planning and meant we were not able to be as relaxed as we had expected, given all the emphasis placed on this supposedly being a luxury experience. Given the luxury price tag we expected more, and at the very least for it to fit the description provided here.
Aug 25, 2018 by Ms R
★★★★★

Just Perfect

We stayed here in August and had a wonderful time, the staff were very friendly and helpful and nothing was a problem. Tents are not too close to each other. Kids loved the scavenger hunt and bingo. We loved them being safe running around the open countryside and the fancy dress rail. The tent interiors were just beautiful, beds very comfortable and we loved the pop up bar.
Dec 14, 2017 by Justine Wilson
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