THINGS TO DO, SEE & EAT
Earth Camp, Chailey is nestled deep in the East Sussex countryside, some distance from any main roads and surrounded by beautiful woodland which is especially charming during the bluebell season (April/May). There is lots of space on-site to play games and a ping-pong table and badminton net are available, please bring your bats and balls. There are multiple footpaths leading directly from our campsite, with lots of wonderful long and short local walks and cycle rides also. There is a new children's playground on Roeheath, just a 10 minute walk down the road and Newick boasts a larger playground and skateboard ramps, just 25 minutes across the fields.
Barcombe Mills is a short drive or pleasant walk from our campsite, where you can go wild swimming and enjoy water sports such as kayaking. Barcombe also has rowing boat/canoe hire at the Anchor Inn.
Chailey is just a 10 minute drive from the historical market town of Lewes, known for its 11th Century Norman castle, as well as Anne of Cleves house (King Henry VIII's 4th wife). We are also just 10 miles from the iconic Glyndebourne Opera house, featuring world class operas and plays in a stunning Grade II listed location.
There are plenty of nearby activities for families, including Washbrooks Family Farm a 25 minute drive away, and Tilgate Park (just over half an hour away) has water sports, an extensive children's play park, as well as Go Ape, family restaurants and a fantastic nature reserve with a variety of animals, from meerkats to kangaroos.
Paradise Park is a favourite amongst younger kids & adults alike. 25 minutes drive away, the carefully constructed gardens are a mixture of full size dinosaurs, exotic plants and a heritage trail, recreating many of Sussex's highlights in miniature. There is an indoor museum, outdoor & indoor play areas, mini golf, an arcade and a miniature steam train. The built in restaurant and garden centre adds extra value for adult visitors also. Great value for money.
Another excellent option, wet or dry, is Drusillas Park. Located roughly 25 minutes from our site, its 10-acre zoo, extensive playgrounds and soft play, Thomas the Tank Engine stream train and even a Hello Kitty themed theme park, Drusillas will keep your younger children (2-10 years) entertained all day.
With an extensive choice of top restaurants, tourist attractions, a 3-mile shingle beach with a marina, and not forgetting the world famous nightlife, Brighton has been the no.1 place to escape from London since the 18th Century.
We are also only 10 minutes drive from the famous Bluebell steam railway, an active steam train line with 4 stations, preserved in an 1930's-50's era - a great day out for the whole family. A mile or two further down the road is Heaven Farm, a hidden gem, with walks, Cow-Putt, a play barn, tea rooms and also boasts a traditional ice creamery, well worth the visit.
On rainy days there is still plenty to do in the local area. The Triangle Leisure Centre is a 20 minute drive, offering a large pool with 3 flumes, jacuzzis and indoor & outdoor rapids. It also has racquet sports courts to hire and an excellent array of climbing walls.
For younger children, Monkey Bizness in Lewes is a local favourite, with a huge indoor activity centre with endless climbing apparatus, slides and ball pools to keep your kids entertained for hours.
Other great options nearby include Jump In inflatable theme park, roughly 15 mins drive, or Knockhatch Adventure Park is another great day out for kids: Roughly 30 mins drive away, it has a petting zoo, giant play castle, boating lake and lots more.
15 minutes drive North of our campsite is the magnificent Ashdown Forest - an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the forest has endless footpaths and cycle paths and is famous for 'Pooh Bridge' (from A.A.Milne's Winnie the Pooh books) where you can play a classic game of pooh sticks whilst enjoying the beautiful Sussex countryside.
The Five Bells, Chailey - Just 20 minutes walk away, this excellent pub offers a great range of food and drink. It also boasts a stunning garden bordered with beautiful flower beds.
The Anchor Inn, Barcombe Mills - 15 mins drive or 4 miles on foot, this 18th century riverside pub offers excellent food in its expansive garden, as well as hiring out rowing boots so you can mess about on the river.
The Plough Inn, Plumpton Green - This pub boasts a huge beer garden with a play area and a heated covered terrace. It is a Harvey's Brewery pub so has a wide range of ales as well as serving food, and is roughly 6 mins drive.
The Fountain Inn, Plumpton Green - Just round the corner from the Plough, this Gastro pub offers upmarket food in a traditional pub setting.
The Griffin Inn, Fletching - Roughly an hours walk away (or less than 10 mins drive), the Griffin Inn is a 16th Century pub, renowned for its excellent food, and consistently award winning in the Good Pub Guide.
The Rainbow, Cooksbridge - Only 8 minutes drive away, the Rainbow offers an excellent carvery on a Sunday - worth booking in advance. It also has a garden to enjoy the summer weather.
Bang's Burgers is a mobile gourmet burger van, offering coffee & cakes in the mornings. Available at Ditchling Sports club (15 min drive) on Thursday evenings, & Wivelsfield Green Village Hall (10 min drive) on Fridays from 5-8pm.Bangs also offers barista coffee & cake from 8am-4pm at Ditchling on Tuesdays, Wivelsfield on Wednesdays and Ote Hall (13 min drive) on Sundays (exact locations HERE).
Truly Scrumptious offer kebabs and burgers from their van parked in South Chailey Thursday-Sat 5pm-9pm and Newick Fridays 5pm-10pm.
The Village Chippy is located in North Chailey, BN8 8ET, on a Tuesday 4.30pm-8pm and a bit further afield in Wivelsfield Green, RH17 7QH on Wednesdays 4.30pm-8pm.
The nearest shop to Earth Camp is a McColl's convenience store, which sells a reasonable range of food & drinks, including an off-licence, and is about 30 minute cross country walk (or 3 mins by car). The convenience store on Newick Green is a similar distance away and is situated in the vicinity of several shops including a Lloyd's Pharmacy, a butchers and the Cottage Bakery. There is also a well stocked farm shop 6 minute drive away and a local pick your own about 30 minute walk.
If you require a larger shop, we are conveniently sited between 3 towns with major supermarkets, all around a 15 minute drive away. In Lewes and Uckfield there are Tesco and Waitrose superstores, with Lewes also having an Aldi. Haywards Heath has a Sainsburys and M&S store. Each town also has smaller "local" versions of the leading supermarket stores.
WALKING & CYCLING
There are endless beautiful walks available in the area, many of which start at our campsite, taking in the beautiful Sussex countryside. Local walks will take you through new and ancient woodlands, across farms and around fowl filled lakes.
Chailey Common Nature Reserve is split over a number of locations in the village, consisting of 450 acres of lowland heath, and is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. There are lots of free car parks on the edge of the common, just a few minutes drive from our site, or they are within half an hours walking distance.
The South Downs National Park is 5 miles away, offering fantastic views from the top, as well as the infamous South Downs Way, a 100 mile ancient footpath along the ridges of the South Downs, which is also a public bridleway so is excellent for cyclist also.
Chailey offers an excellent starting point for road cyclists and off-road cyclists alike. The country lanes are thick with cycling groups, with our site just a few miles from the London to Brighton route, and the dreaded Ditchling Beacon, the final climb to Brighton and once part of the Tour de France!
There are also plenty of public bridleways throughout Chailey and beyond, offering fantastic woodland and hill riding.
There are lots of mapped out walks available from and around Chailey village. Here are a few of our favourites:
Komoot - 8 walks around Chailey (Walks no.1 & 5 go within a couple of minutes of our campsite!)
All Trails - A 15Km loop trail from North Chailey, taking in Wivelsfield Green and Scaynes Hill.
Chailey Common Ordnance Survey Maps are available on this link.
Komoot also offers 20 fantastic cycle routes around Chailey for you to enjoy.