Set in 700 acres of farmland in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty, Park Farm Caravan & Camping is a relaxed, family-friendly site open from 1 April to 31 October. Just outside the picturesque village of Bodiam in the Rother Valley, it’s ideally placed for camping, motorhome and caravan holidays in East Sussex and Kent.
The campsite has a fascinating history, with the main field having started life as a place for itinerant workers to stay while hop-picking for the Guinness brewery. It was bought by the current family owners in 1975 and became a campsite three years later.
Today, it’s looked after day-to-day by friendly caretakers Brian and Jackie Green, and majors on relaxed, back-to-basics camping, rather than on luxurious facilities. The romantic atmosphere is accentuated as the evening draws in by the fact that barbecues and campfires are permitted throughout the site. Foraging for your own firewood is not permitted, but a local supplier brings round bags of logs daily, priced at £3.50 per large bag or £10 for three.
There are no permanent static caravans, but Park Farm Caravan & Camping welcomes tents, caravans and motorhomes. The site was recently extended to 180 pitches, and its large acreage means that you never feel crammed in, and pitch sizes aren’t aggressively regulated – ideal for tent campers.
There are 70 pitches with electric hook-ups and 50 seasonal pitches – 10 of them with hardstanding. The remainder of the pitches are grass, and it’s worth remembering to bring ramps to level touring caravans or motorhomes because some areas are quite bumpy.
This campsite is very dog-friendly provided they are kept on a lead, and there is plenty of space to exercise them in the adjoining fields. Groups are also welcomed, so don’t expect silence, but there is on-site security from 10.30pm and there’s an overflow field for those who prefer the quiet life. You can even rent a picturesque private field for rallies – though you’ll need to bring generators if you want power.
New for 2014 are an on-site café trailer and a tuck-shop, which also sells camping essentials so you don’t need to keep going out in the car for your holiday essentials. If you need anything for your tourer or motorhome, you’ll find it at Caravan Tech in nearby Hurst Green.
The campsite's recently refurbished facilities are relatively basic, but regularly cleaned with separate shower and toilet blocks, free hot water, plus additional basins and a dedicated area for washing-up. There are three large waste points, plus four bins for bottle recycling and one chemical toilet disposal point.
The main attraction for the younger members of your party will be the fantastic play area. Recently extended with a fenced-in Little Tikes climbing frame for toddlers, it also features a zip-wire, a play fort with a slide, a model traction engine and an assault course, plus a covered area with swings in case it rains.
The campsite’s location beside the River Rother is ideal for fishermen – and you can fish on site for free if you bring your own gear. A short scenic walk along the river takes you to the beautiful 14th century Bodiam Castle, a National Trust property, along with the Bodiam stop for the Kent and Sussex Steam Railway and The Castle Inn pub.
Bodiam village itself has few facilities, but the site is easily accessed from the A21 that runs south from London, and the pretty town of Hawkhurst is just a short drive away for shops and local amenities. Park Farm’s position right on the East Sussex/Kent border makes it ideal for visiting attractions in both counties.
Park Farm Caravan & Camping levies no additional charges for tents, caravans, awnings or cars. Instead, there’s a per-person, per-night rate of £8 for adults (£10 on bank holidays) or £4 for under 16s (£5). Under threes go free, but there is a charge of £2 for dogs, while electric hook-up is £4 per night and if you want to put up a gazebo it’s an extra £5.
It is worth noting that this is a cash-only site, and single-night bookings are welcome apart from on bank holidays when there is a minimum two-night charge.
This is a charming campsite in East Sussex, a great base for your motorhome, camping and caravan holidays.
As well as the beautiful countryside, the fantastic history and the wonderful beaches, there are lots of attractions within easy driving reach of Park Farm: National Trust, Bodiam Castle, vineyards, steam railways, gardens, fishing and watersports.
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