Camping in East Sussex

Visiting East Sussex is like stepping into a landscape painting. With its green hills and pretty weald-land dotted with trees and bushes, it’s a picture of rural beauty. The South Downs National Park dominates the county, comprising vast stretches of farmland, ancient, bluebell-studded woodlands and rolling chalklands. At the coast, the chalk reaches an abrupt and dramatic end in the form of the Seven Sisters white cliffs which plunge down into the sapphire waters of the Channel.

East Sussex’s lush meadows haven’t always been so peaceful: in 1066 the countryside around Hastings was turned to mud during the famous battle between William the Conqueror and King Harold II. The ruins of Hastings castle are among several impressive fortresses dotted along the coastline – Bodiam and Herstmonceaux are also well worth a visit.

If you’re camping in East Sussex for the beaches, there are plenty to choose from. Brighton’s trendy boutiques and eateries make it a popular destination for all ages, while Eastbourne is more relaxed and family-oriented, with its pebble and shingle shoreline, pier and Victorian gardens.

Brighton

Set two miles from the town centre, our Brighton campsite is family-friendly and has a lovely, rural feel. Dogs are welcome.

Ideal for:
• Family stays
• Cycling
• Beach holidays

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Reasons to visit East Sussex

Whether you’re glamping in East Sussex for the beaches or to discover the region’s history and heritage, you’ll find plenty to keep you amused.

Seaside resorts

With all the elements for a traditional British seaside holiday, Brighton is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. You can spend the day relaxing on its pebble beach and splashing about in the surf, or take a stroll along the Victorian pier, where you can enjoy delicious fish and chips or let the kids run riot in the soft play area. Volk’s Railway – the oldest electric railway in Britain – trundles along the sea front between the aquarium and the marina, while for families fascinated by the underwater world, there’s Brighton Sea Life, which is home to sharks, sea turtles and a host of colourful fish.

Another popular destination is Camber Sands, a five-mile stretch of golden sand that’s ideal for families. Younger children can spend hours building sandcastles and playing in the shallows, while adults and older kids can try kitesurfing at the beach’s eastern end. The Kitesurf Centre gives lessons to all abilities in dedicated zones, so you’ll have space to try the sport without bothering the sunbathers.

Family fun

East Sussex campsites are especially good for family holidays thanks to their proximity to lots of attractions. Animal lovers can take a walk on the wild side at Drusillas Park, where a range of exotic critters can be found. Meet red pandas, anteaters, sloths, camels, penguins and more, watch the animals being fed and learn more about them from the experienced keepers. Kids can also burn off some steam in the outdoor play areas, which are well equipped for little monkeys of all ages.

If you want to tie some history into your adventure, Bodiam Castle is great fun for the whole family. Tour of the ruins of this 14th century fortress, seek out the ‘murder holes’ in the roof of the main gatehouse and interact with the costumed characters. There are also activities to try during school holidays and the grounds are a wonderful place for a picnic.

Glamping near the East Sussex coast also puts you on the doorstep of some infamous smugglers’ caves. Smugglers Adventure in Hastings’ St Clement’s Caves is a great place to learn about the lives and exploits of these bands of bootleggers. You can explore the secret tunnels where goods were hidden, meet the characters of the past and decide for yourself whether there’s any truth in the ghostly tales…

Cycling

East Sussex is a fabulous cycling destination, with a range of routes that give you the level of difficulty you’re ready for. Novice riders and families will enjoy the Cuckoo Trail, an 11-mile, inland ride that runs from Polegate near Eastbourne to the market town of Heathfield. Following a former railway line, it’s a peaceful, traffic-free route that runs through woodland, open grasslands and farmland. The cycling is gentle and passes through several villages where you can make a stop for refreshments.

For those seeking a challenge, there’s the 1066 circular route, which takes in the coast and the hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With almost 900m of climbing it’s definitely a trail for the more energetic, but rewards your efforts with spectacular views of Bodiam Castle, and across the Channel. You’ll pass through ancient woods, cross the River Rother and even see the oak on Northiam village green, which Queen Elizabeth I dined under on her way to Rye.

Why choose Experience Freedom?

With some of the best campsites in East Sussex, our Experience Freedom programme is ideal for families and active couples who want to be within reach of all the county has to offer. With camping and glamping available, you can choose the amount of home comfort you want, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere on-site and good access to local attractions. Select a site to learn more or use our search and book tool to make a reservation.