Little Oldwick Barn
Little Oldwick Barn, West Lavant, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 9AD
There’s an unintentional journey through time at Little Oldwick Barn in Sussex. First comes the bell tent – a simple canvas structure, as old as the notion of ‘camping’ itself. Then there’s the traditional shepherd’s hut, an agricultural implement that has its roots here in the South Downs and a history as far reaching as the 18th century. And finally comes the hip, 1960’s swinger: the American Airstream trailer, an icon of its generation. Age by age there’s something here for everyone and all, of course, have been brought up to thoroughly 21st-century standards (think en-suite toilets, gas stoves and sumptuous double-beds). Just pick the era for you.
It’s fitting, too, that there is a rather timeless quality to the setting. To the north, the South Downs roll away in a fold of rich, green slopes, while the campsite itself is peacefully contained, sheltered by mature hedgerows and alleyways of tall, wild flowers. Long grasses are thronged with cow parsley and, around each of the accommodation units, more manicured, potted plants add some extra colour. Whether you take the Airstream, shepherd’s hut or bell tent, you have an entirely private space, while all are loosely centred around the ancient stone barn that gives the site its name.
Built in the mid-1800's, the nine-bay barn is, today, the home of campsite owner Paula and her two children. There’s no doubt that Paula’s work restoring it – once derelict and dilapidated – has filtered through to the passion she has for the surrounding site. The attention to detail within each glamping abode is wonderful and the vintage-style designs suit the place perfectly. The shepherd’s hut, for example, complete with a well-equipped kitchen area and fitted continental double-beds, has a painted mural across the ceiling. On one side, Friesian cattle graze the South Downs hills, while the other depicts boats, pulled up in the sands of Chichester Harbour.
The 1968 Airstream, meanwhile, retains its original interior style. The shiny metal work partially reflects the wood-veneer of the fitted furnishings – a sofa area and table, the kitchenette surfaces, fitted bed and entranceway to the en suite shower room. And electricity throughout allows the addition of extra luxuries, including a television and coffee machine. They’re there, just in case you fancy an evening in with your feet up. Or a cosy shelter from the rain.
Not that time with the feet up comes easily. There’s much around to keep you busy – not least the pleasant stroll across the meadows to the local pub. The South Downs National Park, offers endless other walking (and mountain biking) opportunities, while the coastline to the south – here a patchwork of marshes, beaches and pretty harbour towns – supplies endless hours of intrigue.
The Owner SaysBespoke tailored individual glamping set in the heart of the South Downs National Park, 5 mins from Chichester with many places of interest on your doorstep. The beach of West Wittering is just down the road. Take your choice of staying in a beautifully restored 1986 Airstream Overlander, or the most unique Shepherds Hut with beautiful art work across the ceiling of the surrounding area, both being available all year round as have heating. When the weather warms up again come stay in a 5 mtr luxury bell tent with electricity, fire pit and private use of shower room and toilet in the house. Both Airstream and Shepherds Hut have there own en-suit bathrooms and kitchen. We always try to make every guest feel special and hopefully when you leave your ready to tackle life's everyday challenges feeling calmer and more relaxed.
The most relaxing weekend we can remember! Our stay in Paula's Shepherds Hut was absolutely perfect. The setting, in a beautiful wildflower meadow, is nothing short of magical and the interior is completely charming and very comfortable. Every little detail has been thought through and from the Robert's Radio playing quietly on our arrival to the delicious provisions, we felt completely looked after. You couldn't pick an area with more to do. Walk out from the Shepherd's Hut and you are on footpaths to the South Downs or the coast is a very short drive away - we were even able to walk into Chichester! Thank you Paula, we can't wait to book our next stay!
Paula was a great host. The place is very cozy and even better than you'd imagine. We stayed for one night and we could have easily stayed longer. The hut has everything you need and we had a little cozy fire outside which was just beautiful. Paula cooked eggs in the morning and made sure we had a fantastic time. We loved it and would come again. Thanks Paula! Flo