Enchanted Glade Retreats

UK England South East England West Sussex Crawley

  • Campfires Allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Hot tubs
A perfect, rustic-chic, woodland, glamping retreat deep in the West Sussex woods

Who knew that you'd find your perfect, healing, woodland retreat deep in the West Sussex woods, just an hour from the 'burbs of London? That's where natural-retreat specialists Maria and Lillo have created an off-grid glamping resort, amid the wild woods of the Chidinglye Estate — and it could hardly be a more accurate reflection of its owners' vision and backstory. They've poured their world travel, hospitality and natural therapy experience into a woodland site that's as much about inspiration and healing as it is nature-based glamping. If this sounds like a place for you and your family — and young children love it here — it's hard to think there's a better spot within easy reach of the capital.

The nuts-and-bolts glamping stuff is spot-on — rustic, off-grid, solar-powered, biodegradable, recycled, upcycled, locally sourced, organic, you name it. Accommodation is in three individually-styled bell tents (Shabby Chic, Rustic Organic and Ethnic Oriental) and a couple of gorgeously appointed, converted-truck 'cabins', all nestling in woodland glades that that couldn't be called anything else except 'enchanted'. These are gnarly, wild surroundings — of ferns, and bluebells, and soaring redwoods — the sort of places where hobbits hide and children can run free. The weather is incidental — the tree canopy shelters you from the worst downpours — and toasty wood-burners and firepits keep things cosy in any case. If all this sens-surround forest-bathing isn't enough to ease away the aches and strains of life, then there's turbo-boost healing available in the form of the 'Wild Spa' — the bookable wood-fired sauna and hot tub that's perfect after a day's activity. Add a deep-tissue forest massage and you'll float back to the tent.

Other activities are available too, all entirely in keeping with the vibe, from foraging and bat-spotting sessions to storytelling and sacred song evenings. There's a communal fire area, if you feel like meeting like-minded souls, while the Estate grounds house a really good microbrewery and cafe that's open for weekend meals and drinks.  Otherwise, there's a communal, covered outdoor kitchen, equipped with all you need, or your own firepit and barbecue for campfire meals and marshmallows. Bring wellies, layers and waterproofs, dress for a festival, and you won't go far wrong.

It's wholesome, in the best possible sense — entirely sincere and underpinned by nature, just like Maria and Lillo themselves, and just like you after a few nights in the most enchanted of glades.

Details

Facilities

The three five-metre bell tents each have a proper wooden double bed (complete with bedding), and two single mattresses with sheets and pillows provided — you just need to bring sleeping bags for the mattresses. There's a small wood-burner in each and coordinated furniture and furnishings, including storage boxes, carpet, rugs, sheepskins, bean bags, table and chairs and fairy lighting. There's no electric power — you're advised to bring a torch and you can only use candles in the lanterns that are provided.

Each tent has an outdoor seating area, private firepit and barbecue, and you get a welcome fire-pack of lighter, natural firelighters and logs (with extra logs available to buy). There's also a communal firepit and seating area, while a basic outdoor kitchen has a double-hob gas cooker, cold running water, pots and pans, and some crockery and cutlery — best to bring your own favoured kitchen items along, just in case.

The Cabin is a tiny house made from a converted truck, which sleeps two adults in a double bed and up to two small children (one on a sofa, one on a camping mat on the floor). Bedding is included for all sleeping spaces. It's good on storage, though it is a small space overall — even so, it has a fully equipped kitchen (with twin gas hobs) and wood-burner inside, and decking, table and chairs, small firepit and barbecue outside. A welcome fire-pack is included in the price and there are some basic supplies in the kitchen.

The Wooden Wagon is a similar set-up though slightly larger — it sleeps four people in a double bed and two single beds. The kitchen also has a cool box, there's a private toilet and shower, and a bigger seating area outside with a firepit and barbecue.

The wood-fired hot tub and barrel-shaped sauna is available for bookings, as are spa treatments, workshops, foraging sessions, woodland activities and the like.

Suitable For

Couples, families and large groups — yes. Dogs, drums, speakers, sound systems, noise after 11pm — no.

Nearby

The site's very particular ethos means not only are they keen to keep you in the Enchanted Glade but that you're also unlikely to want to leave. As part of the eco-sustainable Chiddinglye Estate, they work with all sorts of local businesses and providers to offer a massive range of natural and creative activities — so you can sign up for anything from foraging trips and animal-tracking walks to kids' forest schools and wildlife painting. Just check the Enchanted Glades website for the latest offers and events.

If you do want to go off-site, then a couple of trips in keeping with the whole vibe might be in order. A ten-mile drive east is Ashdown Forest (information centre, 01342 823583), a delightful mix of heathland and ancient forest that's great for walks and rambles. More importantly, at least for the children, it's the home of Winnie the Pooh, so you can seek out Pooh Sticks Bridge, the 100 Acre Wood and other locations that inspired A.A. Milne. Ten miles south, the Bluebell Railway (01825 720800) offers another yesteryear blast of nostalgia – an 11-mile steam railway ride through stunning Sussex countryside. There are four stations en route, and all sorts of activities and events throughout the year — the best value is the Day Rover ticket that lets you jump on and off as you please.

Food & Drink

The Missing Link (07515 336785) brewery and taproom is on-site and open every weekend (currently Thursday to Sunday) with different food vans and events. The Cat Inn (01342 810369) is a 5-minute drive or half-an-hour walk away,  a warm and welcoming pub with roots in the 13th century and appearances in The Good Pub Guide and The Michelin Guide.

Open

Open all year.

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The Owner Says

We warmly Welcome you to the Enchanted Glade...
We know how much you’ve been longing to return to nature,
We understand the need to breathe out...to let go…
To release the stresses of this past year and to rest,
To come to a place where you can be nourished, nurtured and replenished.
We offer you this with simplicity, comfort and ease.

Video Tour

Accommodation

Three bell tents sleeping two to four people each. One 'Cabin' and one 'Wagon', also sleeping two to four.

Shabby Chic

Bell tent Sleeps 4
Sleeps 4 *1 double bed with bedding, *2 single mattresses with sheets and pillows. *Sheepskins and rugs for warmth and cosiness. *Wood burner

Ethnic Oriental

Bell tent Sleeps 4
*1 double bed with bedding, *2 single mattresses with sheets and pillows. *Sheepskins and rugs for warmth and cosiness. *Wood burner installed so toasty in all weather conditions.

Rustic Organic

Bell tent Sleeps 4
1 double bed with bedding, *2 single mattresses with sheets and pillows. *Sheepskins and rugs for warmth and cosiness. *Wood burner installed so toasty in all weather conditions.

Quirky Cabin

Quirky Sleeps 4
Rustic and Basic but with everything you need for ultimate comfort. Sleeps 3/4 (2 adults,2 small children)

Wooden Wagon

Quirky Sleeps 4
A double bed (with bedding) * Two single beds, * A wood burning stove with fire starting kit, * Private equipped kitchen with cool box * Private toilet and shower

The Truck

Quirky Sleeps 4
Rustic and Basic but with everything you need for ultimate comfort. Sleeps 4 (2 adults, 2 children), bunk beds

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Location

Contact Enchanted Glade Retreats, Chidinglye Estate, West Hoathly, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 4QS

Show Map

Getting There

Enchanted Glade Retreats is about halfway between London and Brighton, off the A23, between Crawley and East Grinstead. It's on the Chiddinglye Estate in West Hoathly, just past Sharpthorne — just follow the signposts (you'll also see signs for the Missing Link Brewery). When you arrive at the security gate, give the site a call, then follow the signs down towards Patrick’s Barn/Enchanted Glade, and when you get to a fork in the road you'll see a blackboard sign for Enchanted Glade Retreats. Follow the arrow down a bumpy track and around the corner, where you'll see a field on the left for parking. You can unload in the wheelbarrows, and then come out of the car park gate and head left along a track, at the end of which is a sign for the Enchanted Glade. You can contact the site's hosts for further information regarding nearby public transport.

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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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