Campsites in East Sussex

79 bookable campsites in East Sussex Sorted by our favourites

Why camp in East Sussex?

Sand, shingle and sheer chalk cliffs

Bring your swimming kit if a trip to East Sussex is in the offing – from the gorgeous white cliffs of Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters to Brighton’s shingle beaches, piers and promenades, this part of the South East is stacked with scenic English Channel seascapes. 

East Sussex also has a handful of excellent sandy beaches for laidback bucket and spade days – look for a campsite or holiday park near Camber Sands in Rye for five miles of almost totally stone-free shores, or try Broomhill Sands (slightly to the east of Camber Sands) and Hastings if you’re after a mix of shingle and fine sand. 

The South Downs and High Weald

Sweeping through East and West Sussex and all the way to Hampshire, the South Downs National Park forms a ribbon of chalky hills in the south of the county, with countless footpaths, bike trails and bridleways making it easy to experience the place at a leisurely pace. 

This part of the national park has a fair few cultural connections too, including some of the Bloomsbury Group’s favourite summer haunts and Glyndebourne Opera House near Lewes.

The High Weald in the north of the county is in many ways the opposite of the Downs – mostly covered by thick forests and sandy soil, this area of outstanding natural beauty also straddles the nearby counties of Kent and Surrey

1066 country

East Sussex is famously rich in historical connections, with William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings being the foremost among them. The surrounding part of the county is full of impressive Norman heritage – take a stroll along the 1066 Country Walk to discover William’s landing point at Pevensey, continue past Herstmonceux Castle and finish in the village of Battle where the fiercest of the fighting actually took place. 

The best things to see and do in East Sussex

East Sussex’s top castles

  • Bodiam Castle – a National-Trust managed 14th-century castle with an impressive moat

  • Herstmonceux Castle – an unmistakable brick-built building where you can visit the former site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory

  • Lewes Castle – an intriguing hilltop lookout just to the north of the county town’s busy high street

The best of Brighton and Hove

  • The i360 viewing tower – a panoramic observation tower on the edge of Brighton seafront 

  • The Royal Pavilion – an extravagant 18th-century pleasure palace built for King George IV

  • Sea Life Brighton – a top-rated aquarium that also happens to be the world’s oldest

  • Volk’s Electric Railway – a mile-long stretch of Victorian narrow-gauge railway that zips up and down the promenade 

Family-friendly activities in East Sussex

  • Drusillas Park, Alfriston – a small-scale zoo with lemurs, macaques and other furry friendly, plus a Hello Kitty-themed secret garden for fans of all things cute and candyfloss-coloured 

  • Brighton Toy and Model Museum 

  • Pose for photos with The Long Man, a mysterious chalk figure on a hillside six miles outside Eastbourne 

East Sussex’s prettiest parks, gardens and stately homes

  • Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield – extensive landscaped parkland, with a Peter Rabbit-themed trail for the kids

  • Driftwood Garden, Seaford – a tiny coastal garden with plants and objects salvaged from locations on land and at sea

  • Great Dixter House & Gardens, Rye – a classic English-style garden, lovingly maintained by the National Trust

Unexplored East Sussex

Outside the big city but full of urban art

East Sussex is arguably the edgiest of the Home Counties, with Brighton hosting a wide range of world-class festivals, exhibitions and street art to prove it. 

Nearbouring Kent is also home to a good amount of intriguing exhibitions, particularly Margate, where you can visit an eccentric underground shell-lined grotto or the innovative Turner Contemporary art gallery. 

Secluded seaside spots

Hidden beaches are dotted all around East Sussex’s coast, with particularly scenic spots including Cuckmere Haven near Seaford, Fairlight Glen Naturist Beach near Wadhurst and Saltdean’s mix of beaches, gardens and an open-air lido, all of which are just outside Peacehaven.

East Sussex’s most peaceful nature reserves

  • Brede High Woods near Rye – a mix of ancient woodland, wildlife-rich grassland and sandy heath in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

  • Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trail, Polegate – particularly worth visiting in April and May

  • Eridge Rocks Nature Reserve – a peaceful woodland peppered with geological oddities 

Here’s how

So, what kind of East Sussex camping holiday will it be? From fishing breaks near the High Weald to self-catering lodges around the South Downs National Park, we have a wide range of campsites for budget breaks, the smartest glamping stays and everything in between.

Use the tick-box filters on this page when browsing to narrow down your results by facilities and themes, or use the map if you have a particular corner of the county in mind. 

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For further inspiration, head across the border to West Sussex, find your favourite campsites in Kent or look to Greater London for an all-outdoor break within the M25. 


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