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- 'Camping as it used to be' on a 200-acre farm
- Wildlife haven: see badgers, foxes, barn owls and more
- Spacious pitches surrounded by stream, woodland and fields
We’d say this is ‘back to basics camping’, but that doesn’t explain why guests of all ilks are generally blown away by this fab little farm site, where the owners offer ‘camping as it used to be’, surrounded by so much nature it’ll take your breath away…
If noisy clubhouses, the kids glued to their consoles and being so close to other campers you can hear them snore puts the wind up you, Freshwinds Camping might just be a breath of fresh air: it’s in a secluded spot on a 200-acre farm between Rye and Hastings deep in the East Sussex countryside, has pitches spacious enough to spread around on and dishes up nature by the bucketload.
Rabbits, badgers, squirrels, weasels, foxes, field mice and a growing bird population can all be seen around the campsite and farm by day; at night, spotting foxes and barn owls should be a hoot.
More domestically, the farm has a herd of 30 suckler cows and a flock of 130 ewes which lamb in March and April, horses and their owners cantering about in the livery yard, and hens laying brown eggs for sale to fry up for breakfast.
The campsite is surrounded by a small stream, woodland and fields. Guests can usually drive their cars to field pitches to unpack their kit before parking in the car park, but if you’re camping in the woodland glade, the farm team will provide a wheelbarrow to get things back and forth as the glade is only accessible by foot.
Campfires are allowed – of course – but please use the same places as previous campers to minimise any impact on local plants. Logs are available to buy from the Freshwinds Farm team, as well as jam, cakes and the aforementioned eggs; the village of Pett – and three pubs – is within a mile.
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However, where the pitch or accommodation occupancy allows it, you can make a booking for up to 30 adults and 30 children in one booking.
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Large groups: check the listing page for any group restrictions set out in the terms and section titled ‘Please note’.
Large tents/caravans: check the restrictions on unit dimensions to ensure your unit is suitable for the space you will be provided with.
Excellent, for camping as it used to be. A lot
Great place for natural camping, with basic commodities.
From the manager...
We love this sort of review very constructive. We are looking at ways of charging phones by solar at campsite electric is out of the question
Lovely green, quiet, relaxing, back-to-nature experience for children
Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Commercial vehicles allowed
No dogs allowed
Cycle hire nearby
Horse riding nearby
Indoor pool nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Public transport nearby
Small (11-25 pitches)
- Coach stations
Hastings: Sedlescombe Rd North Coach Stop — 4.5 miles
4.5 miles Hastings: Town Centre Coach Stops — 4.6 miles
4.6 miles St Leonards: Warrior Square Coach Stop — 5.3 miles
- Train stations
Three Oaks Rail Station — 1.8 miles
1.8 miles Doleham Rail Station — 2.2 miles
2.2 miles Winchelsea Rail Station — 3.0 miles
- Ferry ports
Folkestone Eurotunnel Terminal — 24.3 miles
24.3 miles Newhaven Harbour Ferry Terminal — 27.3 miles
Lydd London Ashford Airport — 12.8 miles
Our campsite is midway between Hastings and Rye, south east of the A259 Hastings to Folkstone road.
To find us, take the turning east off the A259 at the top of Guestling Hill (opposite a Beefeater pub called The White Hart) to the village of Pett, and then take a left turn into Watermill Lane which is about 300m after the butchers shop.
Watermill Lane is a narrow country lane (please be careful!). After about a mile, look out for the sign for Pickham Farm and Freshwinds Camping on the right.
Proceed down the farm drive; you will see a small hut on your left which we call our virtual reception point. Here you will find the necessary information about your check in.
If you’ve come to East Sussex to birdwatch, paint or romantically stroll arm in arm with a beloved, the scenery and sights nearby are a breeze to reach.
The Site of Special Scientific Interest Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a ten-minute drive away for the ornithologically-inclined to spy wetland specimens such as terns, plovers and oystercatchers among the 275+ species recorded so far; and the ancient wetlands of Pett Level, also within ten minutes, has more of the same – although do look down at low tide to see very old trees poking through the sand.
Cliff, downs and wood walks (and more birdwatching) are available a couple of miles away at the ancient woodlands and heathlands of Hastings Country Park, also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve.
Hikers also head to the sands of Winchelsea and inland to the South Downs, which have over 2000 miles of walkways including the South Downs Way, passing along sites to keep historyheads happy such as Iron Age forts, Norman churches and ancient chalk figures carved into hillside.
When it’s time for town, Rye and Hastings both deserve at least a day each, possibly more if you want to go back and have another go at Hastings’ fabulously steep funicular railway, the steepest in Britain (if the town looks familiar from way up here on high, you’ve probably watched Foyle’s War).
Sights to see between the town’s East and West Hills include the biggest fishing fleet in Europe, Hastings Castle (reach it via the cliff railway) and the Hastings Fishmarket where most of the day’s catch is sold. The fishing and maritime history of the town is told at the Shipwreck Museum and the fishermen’s museum at Rock-a-Nore, but if you/the kids like your history a little more horrible, the story of local smuggling is mined at St Clements Caves.
In Rye, stop off for a cream tea and then wend your way around town to see medieval and Georgian buildings, the twelfth century Mermaid Inn, once a stop-off for smugglers, and the Rye Heritage Centre, where you can book guided ghost walks and walking tours.
Pick up fresh fish at the quayside for the campfire later, or, as with Hastings, hire a boat here to go out and catch your own.
- A Smugglers Adventure at St Clements Caves (4.2 miles)
- Hastings Castle and 1066 Story (4.4 miles)
- Camber Sands (6.4 miles)
- Lamb House (4.7 miles)
- Bodiam Castle (8.3 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.