Wild Camping

We called ourselves Wild Camping when we first started in 2008, really because we had absolutely no facilities, bar a tap in the field. I’d hand people a shovel when they arrived and off they went! Then we went all upmarket and put in one loo, then two and a washing up area, and then  we  put up a sparkly new shower block, so definitely less wild than we were, but no need for all those baby wipes. And lets face it, deep in the ancient woodland, a mile from the nearest road, you’re still not going to get much wilder than that in this busy little corner of England.

At Little Dernwood Farm we have one of the largest areas of coppice woodland in East Sussex. They are formally identified as semi-natural ancient woodland being the vestige of the dark and forbidding forest that covered The Weald in ancient time, and the camping field is set within the very heart of these 70 acres of woodland. The woods are ablaze with anemones and bluebells in the early spring moving to green and lush in summer – great for camp building – and finally late summer early autumn it’s a foragers’ delight with fruits of the forest from blackberries to chestnuts and a variety of mushrooms to stock up on.

The opportunities for wildlife ‘safaris’ are endless, from your run of the mill rabbits and normal woodland birds to badgers roaming at night from the large sett in the woods to the south of the field, to sightings of our resident herd of fallow deer and huge buzzards flying overhead.

Camp building is always a very popular pass time and some are really very impressive, not sure how much is kids and how much is dads though!

We allow camp fires and we have nets of logs and kindling for sale at our shop, you are very welcome to bring your own wood or buy it from other sources but we do not allow foraging for firewood, it is one of our planning conditions and we strictly enforce this.  We also sell our home produced meat to cook on your fire, and now you can even treat yourself to a cooked breakfast  and lovely coffee up at our cafe!  I know a highlight for many people is  being able to see the cows, pigs and sheep out in the field and then cook steak and sausages from the farm; the ultimate in food traceability and provenance.

We are beautifully located deep in the Sussex Weald on the High Weald Area of Outstandig Natural Beauty,  between Brighton, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells.

Stuff You Need To Know

  • Car free tent only site – 10 minute walk (400M) from car park to field.  Trolleys are provided.  Farm map https://dernwoodfarm.co.uk/farm-map/
  • No electronic music, guitars are fine
  • No rowdy or antisocial behaviour  – we are not the fun police at all – but please be respectful to others
  • Dog friendly, but kept under control please!
  • Please click here for a full list of important site information – Things to Know before you book
  • Check in from 2pm, shop & reception are not always manned, if we are closed there are instructions and maps by the door.
  • 2 night minimum on a weekend, for bank holiday bookings you need to select 3 nights, starting on a Friday.

You can book up to 6 pitches per booking. For groups larger than this or if our booking system has you confused please call me 01435 812726 or email amanda@dernwoodfarm.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

We aim to provide a low impact, sustainable and eco-friendly camp site; it’s a field in the woods, with lots of of peace & quiet, for people who are looking for a real back to nature camping experience.  Please come and have fun, enjoy a glass around the camp fire and just make sure you’re respectful of others, we welcome guitars round the camp fire, however no electronic/amplified music is allowed.

You are immersed in the woodland, able to reconnect with nature, unplugging from technology and finding refuge from urban existence and everyday life.  As one recent Tripadvisor reviewer put it “re-wilding the children at Dernwood”, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

There are 3 toilets and a covered washing up area (cold water), in the camping field and in the shower block up in the carpark. The field is a car free site, which is perfect for families, it’s a 7-10 minute (400m) walk from the car park through the woods to the entrance of the field.  We have a fleet of wheel barrows and trolleys for you to ferry your gear. Those with accessibility concerns should call me before booking for more information. We’re 40 minutes away from Brighton, and 25 minutes from both Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells.



Prices & Rates Wild Camping  
   Per Adult  Per Child (5-16)
Standard Camping £10 per night £5 per night
(Sun – Thurs)    
Weekends 2 Night Minimum 2 Night Minimum
Fri + Sat £14 per night £7 per night
Bank Holidays 3 Night Minimum 3 Night Minimum
(Fri + Sat + Sun)    
  The Encampment  
   Per Adult  Per Child (5-16)
Standard Camping £14 per night £7 per night
(Sun – Thurs)    
Weekends 2 Night Minimum 2 Night Minimum
Fri + Sat £16 per night £8 per night
Bank Holidays 3 Night Minimum 3 Night Minimum
Dogs £3 per dog per night  
Cars £4 per car per night  

Wild Camping Pics