East Sussex Woodland Escape Favourite

A secluded romantic retreat, nestled in an ancient copse on a conservation farm

Sleeps 2 + a child

Space & Setting.

This hideaway is like something out of a fairytale: a perfectly round little house-for-2, hidden in the heart of an ancient chestnut woodland. You’re completely alone, but for the odd squirrel scuttling across a branch, or a badger bumbling by in the moonlight; all you’ll hear is birdsong. Inside, a kingsize bed faces a huge window, which frames the woodland trees; come in autumn for spectacular red-gold beauty. There’s also a dining space, a small kitchen and an ensuite shower bathroom.

But you’ll spend most of your time outdoors – in the wood-fired hot tub, and around the Kadai firebowl in the evenings. It’s gloriously romantic; you’ll have to really tear yourselves away to discover the equally magical conservation farm that surrounds you. Its landscapes are incredible – wildflower meadows, sparkling ponds, hidden walkways and amazing views in all directions. Walk for miles, then retreat to your secret hideaway for a BBQ: the owners can provide organic meat and seasonal veg. Say hello to Mr Badger for us.

Getting here: best to drive although you could train to Rye then taxi (20 mins).


The farm is a completely sustainable operation – all 40 acres are given over to conservation; all electricity is from a renewable resource; the farm is climate positive; water courses throughout.


  • Chapel Down winery
    Chapel Down winery
  • Mermaid Street, Rye
    Mermaid Street, Rye
  • Bodiam Castle
    Bodiam Castle
  • Take a guided nature walk around the farm, or just stroll and admire the extraordinary landscape; bring binoculars to spot wild rabbits, deer, moles, colourful butterflies and masses of birdlife.
  • Visit Chapel Down vineyards to taste the UK’s best wines (raise a glass of sparkling rose to us, please).
  • Sarah recommends a sunset river cruise down the Rother, which pulls into Iden Lock just outside Rye as the stars come out. Stroll up to The Tuscan in town for a special meal, then taxi back to the farm (20 mins).
  • Or visit Rye during the day – a historic town lined with eclectic vintage shops and brilliant little independents. We like The Shop Next Door for boutique interiors, and Glass Etc for antiques. Have lunch or brunch at The Fig.
  • Bodiam Castle is pretty amazing, dating back to the 14th C, with a vast moat. Go back in time yourselves and travel there by KESR steam train.
  • High Weald is an AONB. Explore the rolling green countryside on foot or by bike; you can hire bikes from Rother Rides in Newenden.

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