02 Jun Campsite Review – Knepp Wildland Safaris Campsite
I spent hours and hours looking for the perfect campsite for the bank holiday weekend. It had to be around the Surrey/West Sussex border as well as quiet and secluded so we could relax. As it was a bank holiday I knew the last part was going to be quite a tall order. When I found Knepp camping it looked ideal – it wasn’t the cheapest campsite but it ticked all the boxes so I booked it straightaway and started to get very excited about our long weekend adventure.
We arrived after a long and hot day of putting up bell tents for a wedding so we were exhausted, sweaty and, to be honest, a little irritable (mainly me). We were greeted by the sight of a butterfly created out of logs in the side of a log stack and I instantly knew we had picked the perfect spot.
Knepp camping is split into two areas: the glamping part and the pitch your own meadow. There are no designated pitches so you can choose whichever bit of meadow you fancy. The meadow is huge so even on a bank holiday weekend with quite a few campers it didn’t feel crowded at all and everyone had their own space without being encroached upon at all.
So after being greeted by the very friendly and helpful Ryan, we grabbed a wheelbarrow, loaded it up with our stuff and pushed it to the furthest point of the camping meadow. In hindsight, it may have been wiser to pitch nearer to the facilities but at that point in time our quest for peace and quiet overruled common sense…
For me, why the campsite works so well is that if you want a real camping experience, away from it all, cooking on your own fire and then washing up in the outdoor facilities – you can. However equally, if you’d like a nice hot shower, to cook on a gas stove and eat at a table, you can.
After dinner on our first night we decided to try out the outdoor baths – total bliss – then crashed out in bed for an early night.
The campsite is part of a huge estate, which has miles and miles of designated footpaths. We picked up a map of suggested walks from the reception area and then promptly left it in our tent. I suggested rather than walk the two minutes back to our tent that we just “follow the path” not realising quite how many paths there were. The estate is part of re-wilding project so walking around does feel like you’re on a kind of safari and there is so much wildlife around. They do run safaris so if you’re staying when one is on I imagine they’re fantastic for pointing out all the wildlife that is around.
Best for: Bird-watching, star-gazing, walking, glamping, open-air baths and showers, organic meat, eggs and shampoo!
Any downsides? I’m still not 100% sold on compost loos although these were some of the best (ie least smelly) I’ve experienced. They do have flushing toilets in the main building so if you’re not a fan you do have other options. The wildflower meadow for the pitch your own camping is utterly beautiful, but if you’re a hayfever sufferer, come armed with antihistamines.
Knepp Safaris Camping, West Sussex
Pitch your own £15pppn