Adventures in Sussex: Camping in Blackberry Wood, Hassocks

Camping Sussex

Jon and I kicked off this year’s camping adventures by going to a place that we’d heard great things about from fellow camping aficionados (lol) last year. Blackberry Wood gets rave reviews across the board and now that we’ve been I totally get it – fantastic location slightly hidden in Sussex, pitches that seem completely isolated but aren’t really, great toilet facilities + washing up areas and beautiful landscapes everywhere you look. Can you tell I liked it? I did!

So, remember when we went to Badgell’s Wood in Kent last year with our friends and their beautiful dog (that Bruce hated except for when they were walking together off the lead)? They’re the ones who told us about Blackberry Wood. Great shout guys! And while this was our first camping trip without Bruce/since he passed away (sobbing forever) I definitely recommend it for dog owners who like to camp. We came across a few good fluffs while we were there, mostly due to the fact that our pitch was close to the washing up area so people kept bringing their dogs near-ish to our space to get there. (You could say that was our diabolical secret plan, but it wasn’t actually – just a nice bonus).  Also the side we stayed on was essentially adults only, which we are a fan of when camping. Kids that are not your own running around your campsite just isn’t super fun.

That’s one of the good parts of Blackberrry Wood – they have two huge separate areas for camping depending on what you’re going for. On one side it’s all sorts of fun “quirky” options – gypsy caravan, renovated double decker bus, old HELICOPTER (seriously) and two massive treehouses. It’s insane. But the other part of their property is for regular bring-your-own-tent style camping. That’s where we were!

Cooking is my favorite part of camping. I love planning what we’re going to bring, making it work, and nomming on something delicious next to a fire. Also s’mores. Come on. As I’ve mentioned before, in the UK they don’t do s’mores so I’ve had to improvise by using chocolate digestives that combine what is essentially a graham cracker and a bit of chocolate. It does the job, so all you Euro campers who want to try an American classic, take heed!

This time one of our meals was shwarma kebabs, essentially because I wanted to try this veggie kebab meat I saw at Tesco a few weeks ago. It is delicious! I 10000% will be buying this again. Even Jon liked it, and he has high standards for meat substitutes, unlike me.

When we weren’t cooking we were a) reading in the sunshine, b) playing frisbee, c) drinking cider (also in the sunshine) or d) taking long walks! I mean, there’s only so many walks you can fit in on a short weekend trip, but you know what I mean.

Saturday was a perfectly gorgeous day and we decided we’d walk from our campsite into a local village called Ditchling that is known to have several good pubs. This is an important aspect of any country walk – you MUST have a good pub to stop at either in the middle for sustenance and strength-gathering, or at the end as a reward. Otherwise, why go?

Long story short, the walk was supposed to take just short of an hour, but Jon and I got lost in the wilds of Sussex when we decided not to walk along the bridlepath that we were meant to follow, and it took nearly two hours over field and stream to get into Ditchling. Slightly a more vigorous walk then was intended, only exacerbated by the fact that we were both walking in sandals because it was 1 – too hot and dry to walk in wellies and 2 – both of us had to throw our trusty old Converse out after wearing them at Chernobyl a few weeks ago and hadn’t got replacements just yet. The ciders were well deserved that day, my friends.

Thankfully we found a way to fix our mistake on the return to the campsite, and made it back in an appropriate amount of time. (Sidenote: highly recommend the food and the pub garden at The Bull in Ditchling. I’m pretty sure all of the village was there when we were – they had a fantastic outdoor pizza oven and a really cool kids area that was very very popular!)

Bonus country walk loveliness was coming across this beautiful field of horses. One in particular was incredibly friendly and greeted us as we walked over the turnstile to go along the public pathway (hooray for right to walk in all of these gorgeous places in England!). The same horse trotted across the same field to greet us hours later when we finally made it back their way! What a sweet creature.

We don’t have any other camping trips booked just yet for the rest of the summer. It’s becoming that summertime thing of an event or two every weekend until September, but I’m still hoping we can get away at least once per month. We’ll see. Camping….it is the best.



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