Local Walks

– footpaths galore

walk the downs

The South Downs Way (10 mins) may be the celebrated trail of the National Park, but in reality, it is criss-crossed with puiblic footpaths. Walking in this beatiful countryside is nothing but a pleasure, but stopping at one of the Downland pubs on the way back, is so much more than that!

Country Pubs

– lots nearby

In fact, there are three pubs within easy walking distance, which makes Roundhill not quite as remote as it first appears. The Ram at Firle maybe the people’s favorite, but The Barley Mow at Selmeston and The (wonderful) Rose Tree Cottage in the equally wonderful Hamlet of Alciston is a must.

Farm Shops

& cafe society

Middle Farm shop

You can also walk to Middle Farm, which houses a fantastic Farm Shop and as it happens,  the National Collection of Cider (200+ varieties). Cafe society is also well represented by not just one, but three Tea Rooms close by.  One (The Beanstalk Cafe), is quite amazingly,  just ten minutes walk away!

Historic Houses

– around the Corner!

Historic house

We are also lucky to be able to walk to two of Sussex’ most popular visitor attractions; Charleston Farmhouse (of Bloomsbury Group fame) is a 20 minute walk, as is the lovely village of Firle,  which along with a well-stocked village shop, hosts Firle Place, a beautiful and historic country house.

beaches

Wonderful beaches are around 20 minutes drive – in really beautiful countryside. Remember tide times though! It’s more fun when the tide is low.

There is masses to do across a wide range of activities, from extremely hearty to much more relaxed. Click the link for some opportunities.

Beanstalk tea Garden

The land of tea & coffee. Walk 10 mins to Beanstalk, 25 mins to the licensed cafe at Charleston & 30 mins to Firle Place & Middle Farm.

sussex wine routes

Sussex is the hub of the UK’s burgeoning wine presence. There are some lovely estates. Talk to us about bike routes, a fun, safe, tasting method!

Things to do – WalksPubsShops CultureActivitiesCafesWine

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Campfires and Hot Showers – in the rural heart of the Sussex Countryside

There are some great walks!

There are no prizes for guessing that one of the major attractions of Firle is it’s proximity to the The South Downs Way. In fact, Firle Beacon (just 10 steep mins from Roundhill & 25 mins from Firle Camp) is one of the SDW’s best known landmarks. Bonfires are lit there in times of war (The Spanish Armada in 1588) and peace (the Queens Jubillee June 2012), so the whole area is steeped in history.

It is therefore a given that the walking is some of the most beautiful in the UK. However, it is not just the Downs that campers have access to. There are also substantial and varied walks on the Firle Estate as well. In fact, it is a veritable feast of walks….a banquet of walks may be a better description!

Top tip;  If you have yound children & want to avoid the slog up the hill, there is a car park at Firle Beacon (BN8 6LR), but a quieter place (and walk) is from the car park (BN26 6UJ) at the top of Bo Peep Lane. It’s also closer to the beautiful Alciston and The Rose Tree Cottage Inn (01323 870377 – don’t talk to the parrot!).

There are some great bike rides!

Mountain bikers will make a bee-line to The Downs, while road bikers can take-off directly from Heighton St and start to discover a network of little used country lanes that go on for miles. Road bikers are better off on the north side of the A27, where there are masses of local villages at the end of quiet country roads – and good loops back.

Glynde, Laughton, Chalvington & Arlington are the names to look out for. If you want to test the wobbliness of your legs, then the run up to Firle Beacon is a must!

There are some great Pubs!

The Ram Inn, Firle – 01273 858222 – Kitchen closes 9.30pm

A cracking Pub!

The Barley Mow – Selmeston – 01273 811033 – 9pm (Sun to 8pm)

Very good childrens play area

The Rose Cottage Inn – Selmeston – 01273 870377 – 9pm

Mind the Parrot!

The Trevor Arms – Glynde – 01273 858208 – 9 pm

Great views.

The Snowdrop – Lewes – 01825 471018 – 9pm

A Lewes institution?

The Cricketers Arms – Berwick – 01323 870469 – 8.30 pm (Sun to 7pm)

Alfriston; The George Inn for food, The Star Inn and The Smugglers are popular drinking pubs and Wingrove & Moonrakers are two well thought of restaurants.

There are some great Farm Shops!

Middle Farm

Fun for all the family. Suicidal chickens….There is an in-house Butcher, Bakery and it sells a huge range of cheese, vegetables, staples…and meat pies & quiches to die for. Amazing that it’s within walking distance. On top of all that, the National collection of cider. A&E here we come.

Spring Barn Farm Shop

Lewes

Bluebell Farm Shop

Arlington – Fri & Sat only

Dymock Farm Shop

Newhaven – to 4pm

Lewes Farmers Market

in Lewes on 1st & 3rd Saturday each month

There are some great local shops!

Firle Village Shop – surprisingly well stocked, the hub of all village news – a classic of it’s kind!

Selmeston Garage  – One of the greats! A cafe, THE best take-out sandwiches and rolls, beer, wine & basics

Glynde Village shop – has a cafe, so definitely worth stopping if you can find it!

Berwick Stores (Sat closes 1230) 01323 870200, with a proper butcher

There are some great Cafes!

The Beanstalk Tea Garden – (lunch too!) – 10 mins walk BN8 6PA 01273 858906

Charleston Farmhouse – (licensed!) – 20 mins walk

Firle Place Tea Rooms – 25 mins walk

Middle Farm Cafe – 30 mins walk

Little Cottage Tea rooms – Glynde 3 miles

More than you would care to mention in Alfriston – 3 miles

There are some great Beaches!

Everyone has their favourites, but the key point is to check tide time before leaving. There is MUCH more to see and do at low tide! Our nearest beaches are from around 20 mins drive, so an afternoon by the seaside is a real possibility.

Three favourites are;

Tide Mills, between Newhaven and Seaford;

Cuckmere Haven

Birling Gap.

There are some great activities to do too!

Here are some ideas!

Free

Wild Swimming in the Ouse

Pooh Sticks on Ashdown Forest

Walking the South Downs around Firle

Beaches at Beachy Head

Crabbing at Cuckmere Haven

Seven Sisters Country Park

Wine Routes to wander

Antique hunting in Lewes

Browse The Lanes in Brighton

Ramble around Rodmell

Marchants Hardy Plants

Firle village

And if all else fails, there are cinemas in Uckfield (12 mins), Burgess Hill (20 mins), Brighton (25 mins) and Crawley (25 mins)

There is some great culture!

It’s a real bonus that one of the iconic movements of the 20th Century was based in relatively easy walking distance. Charleston Farmhouse was the home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group. A mixture of radical literary and artistic movers and shakers (physically as well as mentally if the recent TV series is to be believed!), the best known of whom was Virginia Woolf.

The house and gardens are both open to the public and are fascinating for the insight they provide on another era. The fact that there is a shop and a cafe that serves lunch and tea, may be another factor that tips the balance in favour of this worthwhile destination. (Top Tip ?) If you do walk, ask for a cut-price ticket, because they offer that to non-car visitors!

While Charleston may be the beating heart of The Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf’s home, Monk’s House, is in the village of Rodmell (BN7 3HF-20 mins car) . While Berwick Church (BN26 6SZ – 3 miles car) contains murals painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant during the Second World War. Both are worth a visit.

That is also the post code for The Berwick Inn (01323 870018), a traditional Sussex Pub with great views from their garden. If they are full, there is always The Cricketerers Inn (01323 870469 Harvey’s) to fall into!

Closer to home again is Firle Place (15 mins walk across the park with the nearby Ram Inn as an added incentive) , home to the Gage family for the last 500 years. They introduced (hence their name) Greengages’s to England. Anyway, we digress…the house is packed full of hidden treasures, while a walk around the gardens (then taking in the village and Church) is a great way to while away a short afternoon.

In the next door village of Glynde, is Glyndebourne, of picnic and Opera fame. This is a must see, even if it is just a drive through their car park (not on an opera day though. If it’s Wagner, you may get stuck for 6 hours!). Take in Glynde Place on the way through…no idea why there are so many grand houses in such a small area…must have been something in the water.

There are some great Wine Routes

Sussex has fast become one of the prime producing areas in the UK. With the same terroir as Champagne, the sparkling wines in particular have a growing repuatation for excellence. It’s also great fun doing a tasting, so what about renting a bicycle and doing a little tour!.

There are plenty of vineyards to choose from! Most beautiful (and if you want to see how a retired “hedgie” spends his money) must be Rathfinny Estate in Alfriston (10 mins car). A spectacular driveway, with incredible views.

Not to be outdone, retired property mogul (the marvellous) Freddie who owns Bluebell Vineyard (a short walk from Kitts) is slightly less in your face, but has (in our opinion) the best pink Sparkling Wine of the lot…totally delicious!

There are at least two other notable vineyards (this time closer to www.ditchlingcamp.co.uk), but still very much in the area. Ridgeview Wines are well known (est 1995 and recently served to The Chinese Premier by the Queen) and have won masses of awards for some really well made stuff.

Also in Ditchling is Court Garden Vineyard. Another oldish-timer (est 2005) on a beautiful south facing slope. It too specialises in Sparkling wine, but has a decent White, Rose and Red offer too.

Other local vineyards open by appointment only are;

www.albournestate.co.uk BN6 9DX .01273 832341. A272 www.breakybottom.co.uk BN7 3EX .01273 476427. Lewes area
plumpton College BN7 3AE .01293 890454. Lewes area
Mount Harry Vines. 01273 474456. Lewes area

More info from; South East Vineyards Association; www.seva.uk.com