Camping is having a moment right now and I like to go every summer, especially now we have a campervan – our trusty VW T4, called Celeste. Despite having upgraded, there’s a part of me that misses staying in a tent. I think it’s because as a child of the 1970s, I was brought up on a diet of camping holidays in France, which I am often nostalgic for, involving gazillion croissants for breakfast and staying in my parents’ retro yellow and orange tent which I loved so much.
Cue my state of temporary delirium on discovering that there’s a campsite not far from Brighton, where you can stay in a proper 1970s vintage tent! AND they also take campervans! Also, it goes without saying the tents come complete with matching retro accessories.
Welcome to Woodfire Campsite in the heart of the South Downs, near Petworth in West Sussex – about a 30-minute drive from Brighton. This is my dream campsite for so many reasons and there’s a chance that if you read this blog, you’ll like it too.
Here are the owners Stella and Griff in the camp kitchen. Like me, they’re children of the 70s and 80s and lifelong campers. Check out the souvenir tea towel over her shoulder. She’s a woman after my own heart!
Obviously the two main reasons it’s amazing are that it’s close to Brighton and they hire out vintage tents. Then there’s also the setting overlooking the hills (so many times have I rocked up to a campsite only to discover I’m facing a hedge for two nights.
It’s off-grid; they write dinner menus on a blackboard which you order from each morning and they cook for you that night; it’s also within walking distance of four pubs, not to mention several wineries – nothing better than a hike to a winery, then walking back woozy in time for dinner.
Did I mention you can also bring your camper van?
Not surprisingly, because of its uniqueness and brilliance it gets booked up quickly, so it’s recommended you get in early to guarantee your spot which you can do here. Booking opens in January each year – good luck!