Escape to an enchanting new way of life and learn woodland crafts, in a luxury glamping & eco retreat nestled in ancient Sussex woodland.
A perfect place to unwind and immerse yourself in nature, this is far more than a traditional camping holiday. You're sure to feel inspired by your stay at Forest Garden, six beautiful acres of woodland and gardens set close to the ancient Ashdown Forest (the site was once part of John of Gaunt's hunting park).
The owners, Lisa and Charles, are passionate about self-sufficiency, reducing their carbon footprint and sustainability, and Forest Garden is their labour of love - an open woodland ecosystem bursting with lush plants, trees and shrubs, where principles of permaculture have been used to grow a variety of edible plants. Meanwhile, the deep pond on the edge of the site is a haven for wildlife, with rabbits and deer frequent visitors. If you're in the mood for relaxation, this is the place.
Choose your ideal accommodation from two spacious yurts and four cabins, all peacefully secluded with 50-80 metres between one another and individually styled. Kushti Yurt is a traditional Mongolian yurt that's ideal for couples, complete with warming wood burner and soft, colourful textiles set off by softly twinkling fairy lights.
Savannah Yurt, sleeping up to five people, was locally crafted from ash, hazel and chestnut, and is imbued with safari style that includes leopard-print throws and sheepskin rugs.
The four cabins, each sleeping up to four people on two levels, are exclusively available to guests taking one of the many unique woodland crafting courses on offer at the site, ranging from beekeeping to bowl carving.
Idaho Cabin is hand-crafted from timber, complete with open-air veranda. You'll find the characterful Anderida Cabin nestled at the furthest end of the woodland, amongst the springtime bluebells and primroses. Finally, Orinoco Cabin features invigorating pasture views, while Jacaranda Cabin is set amongst the ancient iron pits.
Wherever you decide to stay, you'll find generous facilities nearby, including the Forest Garden Café, a converted stable where you can feast on a home-cooked breakfast after a sound and refreshing night's sleep under the stars. While you're there, why not treat yourselves to a jar or two of tasty homemade jam, chutney or honey? You can also enjoy horse riding, cycling, willow weaving, horse-drawn carriage, yoga, or Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing). Therapies and treatments including massage and reiki can also be arranged in your chosen yurt/cabin, or outdoors in the magical woodland.
While nobody would blame you for simply relaxing and taking in all the natural delights of your immediate surroundings, there is plenty to see and do for those in the mood to travel a little. Ashurst Wood, one mile from the site, is home to local shops and a small pub - the ideal pit stop after a long walk!
You'll find more shops and pubs in Forest Row, slightly further afield, while the ancient market town of East Grinstead is chock-full of 14th century architecture. If you can, try to squeeze in a trip on the famous Bluebell Railway steam train.
Ashdown Forest, just four miles from the site and the original home of Winnie the Pooh, provides a wonderful setting for walks, as you immerse yourselves in breathtaking views across the Sussex countryside.
Give yourself permission to turn off your phone, power off your laptop, pack up your torch, and simply revel in all the beauty of nature with a stay in the endlessly magical Forest Garden.
Things to note
Minimum age for booking: 25 years. Bedding may be hired locally or pre-arranged in advance for £35 per set. No pets are permitted to stay. Breakfast may be pre-booked on Saturdays and Sundays only. Gift vouchers are available to purchase.
The owners have implemented a woodland management plan to start removing trees infected with ash dieback disease around the yurts & cabins. This will create glades around each accommodation that will feel more open and light compared with images shown in this listing.
Region: East Grinstead
Cost (from): £97 per night (Kushti Yurt)
Sleeps: Varies - 2-6
Bathrooms: Shared shower/WC Block
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 837
FacilitiesKushti sleeps 2 (+2), double futon, smaller double futon, small camp bed, wood burner, double ring camping stove, a BBQ and large open fire pit.
Savannah sleeps 4 (+1), 2 double futons, single futon, wood burner, double ring camping stove, outdoor deck, BBQ and large open fire pit.
Cabins sleeps 4, double mezzanine bed, double sofa bed, banquette, wood burner, double ring camping stove, a BBQ and large open fire pit. Idaho cabin sleeps 4 (+2).
Woodwork courses, craft courses, massage, Bluebell railway, Hever Castle, horse riding, cycling, walking, rock climbing, wild swimming, mills, boating.
At a glance
- Six-acre sustainable woodland eco-site in Shovelstrode, close to the ancient Ashdown Forest. Stay in one of two yurts, or take an onsite rural course to stay in one of four log cabins, with large group capacity for up to 27 guests.
- Car parking facilities are available, with wheelbarrows to transport your luggage to your accommodation.
- The yurts and cabins are privately situated close to generous kitchen and bathroom facilities. The onsite Forest Garden Café serves home-cooked breakfasts and drinks.
- Bring a torch, all-weather clothing, wellies and towels. Additional linen can be ordered from the site.
- Unique woodland courses offered on-site range from beekeeping to woodcrafting.
- Local shops and amenities are located within one mile of the site, with a range of towns and attractions close by.