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The important stuff

  • Check in is from 3pm
  • Check out is before 10am
  • PARENTS: There is a deep pond on site so please make sure that children are supervised at all times
  • Please respect the peace and tranquility of the woodland - you are asked to turn down the volume on any music after 10pm, and to make sure you take away your own rubbish when you leave.
  • Children and young adults under 25 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Any under 25s not accompanied by an adult may have their booking cancelled.
  • Whether you're an expert fire starter or a complete novice, you'll automatically be enrolled on a free, mandatory "Basic Fire Starting" course which will be given on arrival. However, if you wish to book on any of the other courses on offer at Forest Garden Shovelstrode, please call the team on 0117 204 7830 for more information or call Lisa after having made your booking.
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • 2 double futons and one single

Extra space available

Space for 1 adult from £35 per adult per night Please bring own sleeping bags or hire linen for £20 after booking. Also suitable for children.

Space for 1 baby no charge. Please bring own travel cot (a squeeze with 5 adults too!)

Kids & Pets

Children welcome. Sorry no pets. Children and young adults under 25 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Any under 25s not accompanied by an adult may have their booking cancelled.


  • Double ring gas cooker (it's a good idea to bring some spare matches or a lighter)
  • Plates, bowls, cups, glasses, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, cutlery, storage boxes, tea pot, kettle, table cloth and mats all provided
  • Weber barbecue (locally sourced charcoal can be purchased on site from at £6.50/bag)
  • Icebox/Esky


  • Shared shower block 50m from yurt, with electric heated water, sustainably run on £1 coins! (Lisa will be happy to be help if you've run out of change)
  • One shared flushing loo (wheelchair accessible)
  • Butlers sink with hot water in shower block

Heating, lighting & bedding

  • Solar fairy lights and candles
  • Bedding and blankets provided for main double bed. Please bring your own towels
  • Extra guests can bring own sleeping bags or hire extra bedding: Duvet, Pillows & Linen @ £20 per person - payable to owner on arrival
  • Log burner in yurt. Wood can be purchased at £7 per box. Kindling can also be bought for £7 or can be collected from the ground free of charge. Wood needs to be ordered in advance. Alternatively you can bring your own as long as it has come from a sustainable source and is in no way toxic
  • Remember to bring your own torch!


  • Cards, backgammon, ludo, snakes and ladders
  • There is a plug socket in the shower block (for phone chargers only)


At Forest Garden

Lisa and Charles can run bespoke courses for a morning or an afternoon for you, covering skills such as spatula making, pole-lathe turning, willow weaving or making products with beeswax

i-phone 29 012

As part of your package at Forest Garden you will automatically be enrolled on a free ‘Basic Fire Starting’ course. However, if you wish to book on any of the other courses on offer at Forest Garden Shovelstrode – please call the team on 0117 204 7830 for more information.

Traditional tea parties: (min 6 people) - They can also provide a traditional tea party for groups of minimum 6 people at £15 per head

When it's open, have a browse of Forest Garden's little shop, which sells a miscellany of interesting things collected by Lisa and Charles, as well as some of Forest Garden's own produce

Places to Visit

Forest Row (5 mins' drive) – visit the market on the first Saturday of the month

Brighton (45 mins)

Hever Castle (30 mins) - Childhood home of Anne Boleyn

Sheffield Park (20 mins) - National Trust garden

Bluebell Railway - Goes from East Grinstead (5 mins by car) through to Sheffield Park

Tunbridge Wells (20 mins)

Lewes (30 mins)

Outdoor & Active

Weir Wood reservoir (10 mins) – Sailing/Boating/Fishing

Llama Park, Ashdown Forest (10 mins)

Wild swimming or boating in the river Ouse at Barcombe Mills (30 mins)

Walking on Ashdown Forest (10 mins)

Pooh Bridge at Hartfield (20 mins) - Home of the famous writer AA Milne, of Winnie the Pooh fame.

Rock Climbing at Eridge Green (30 mins)

Local walks – Ordnance survey maps can be bought from Bishops in Forest Row or ordered online here

Food & Drink

At Forest Garden

A large container of drinking water as well as tea and sugar is provided. You're welcome to purchase Forest Garden's very own honey and eggs when available.

Lisa can provide a full English or vegetarian breakfast for you (with advanced notice) for £12 per head. **Please note that breakfast will not be available for February stays, as the café is closed.**

For the basics, there is a general store a mile up the road in Ashurstwood, as well as a highly recommended butcher. If you want more choice, there is a Tesco Express, Co-op, Seasons Organic Vegetables in Forest Row (2 miles), with a biodynamic farm shop at Tablehurst Farm just outside. Or East Grinstead (2.5 miles) has Sainsburys, Waitrose and Aldi supermarkets. Alternatively, if you want to order groceries online for your arrival day, Lisa and Charles will be happy to take the delivery and put it directly into your yurt ready and waiting for you!

Pubs & Restaurants

The Hatch at Colemans Hatch (15 mins' drive) - Excellent food for lunch and dinner and child friendly. Lovely outside areas to sit in and great views of Ashdown Forest. 

The George and Dragon at Speldhurst (15 mins) - Very good value for money. A great place to go for that special occasion.

Gravetye Manor (20 mins) - For that very special occasion, Gravetye is a beautiful place to visit and their food is possibly the best in the area. But it is pricey!

The Fountain at Cowden (10 mins) - A lovely little pub in a very pretty village called Cowden.  Good food, child friendly and a nice outside area to eat in.

The Red Lion, Chelwood Gate (15 mins) - Very good for a lunch after a walk in Ashdown Forest

Java and Jazz, Forest Row (5 mins) - The best pizzas around!

Prezzo, East Grinstead (10 mins) - Although a chain, this restaurant has kept up its standards and does excellent Italian food

Meet your hosts

The property has been Lisa’s family home since 1971. Charles and Lisa created Forest Garden Shovelstrode in 2011 as a place where people could come and stay in a beautiful woodland retreat as well as take part in a wide range of courses in traditional craft. Charles and Lisa share a passion for living a more sustainable lifestyle and showing people various ways of lowering their own carbon footprint.

Situated three miles away from the Ashdown Forest, Forest Garden Shovelstrode is set in 6 acres of land, 3.5 acres of which is ancient woodland. Historically it formed part of John of Gaunt’s hunting park and was originally known as Anderida Forest. The yurts and cabin are nestled in the magical woodland, where there is evidence of ancient iron pits. On an old disused paddock a ‘Forest Garden’ is being created. This is based on the oldest form of permaculture, planting within seven layers of the canopy, from lower root zone to upper tree canopy to produce perennial vegetables, fruit, nuts, oils and resins. The project is well underway and, after two years of soil preparation with nitrogen fixing and mineral accumulating plants, the third ‘shrub’ layer is expected to be planted during the spring of 2014. The Forest Garden is built on the edge of a large, deep wildlife pond which backs on to the edge of the ancient woodland.

Wildlife & Environment

The wildlife pond has encouraged a plethora of dragonflies, frogs and newts to thrive. There are also two beehives on site for the ‘Introduction to beekeeping’ courses. Guests have frequently seen deer and rabbits in the wood and are able to enjoy the sound of birds including owls, buzzards and woodpeckers from morning to night. A large heron frequently visits the pond.

The woodland is rich with wildflowers including bluebells, orchids and wild garlic to name a few. In the autumn a plethora of mushrooms can be found and guests can enrol on a ‘Mushroom foraging’ course in October which also includes a site visit to Ashdown Forest.

There are several SSSI sites within a few miles of Forest Garden Shovelstrode.

The yurts and cabin are lit by solar powered fairy lights and tea lights and a roaring open pit fire outside complete the idyllic setting. A cosy woodburner inside keeps guests toasty warm on chilly evenings. 

Getting there

Forest Garden Shovelstrode, Shovelstrode Lane, Ashurstwood, Sussex, RH19 3PH

By train

The nearest station is East Grinstead, 2.5 miles away. Taxis to Forest Garden are readily available from here.

By bus

The nearest bus stop is in Ashurstwood, about 1 mile away.

By car

From the M25 take the A22 to East Grinstead. On arrival into East Grinstead, take the A264 to Tunbridge Wells, passing the Queen Victoria Hospital on your left. After about 1/2 mile, the road opens and straightens out, showing the national speed limit sign, and after another 400m take the next right hand turning into Shovelstrode Lane, signposted to Ashurtwood/Forest Row. Forest Garden is about 1/2 mile down this road on the left hand side. There is a post and rail fence with a large carved wooden sign ‘Forest Garden Shovelstrode’. Please park in the car park as you enter and collect a wheelbarrow beside the clay oven. Please close the gate behind you and keep it shut at all times.

Take the A22 through to Forest Row. About 500m after leaving Forest Row, take a right hand fork signposted to Ashurstwood which goes up Wall Hill Rd. After 1/3 mile take a sharp right at the small War Memorial and then the next left hand turning (approx 50m) down Maypole Lane. Drive down through the village and continue for ½ mile, following the road round the sharp right hand bend where the road sign reads ‘Shovelstrode Lane’. The road then straightens out for 300m and you Forest Garden Shovelstrode will be on your right hand side, marked by a post and rail fence and a large carved wooden sign. Please park in the car park as you enter and collect a wheelbarrow beside the clay oven. Please close the gate behind you and keep it shut at all times.

Booking Terms

Canopy & Stars low price promise
Book with us in confidence knowing you won’t find that place cheaper elsewhere. All of the prices we display are set and matched by our Owners. (In this world of foreign currency, we do have to say 'subject to exchange rates' for some of our European places.)

What does ‘from price’ mean?
Our ‘from price’ is based on a four night stay in low season and designed to help you to compare different prices across our collection. Some of our Owners vary their nightly rates and check in days throughout the year, so it may differ from the rate quoted below the calendar. It is quite common (although by no means universal) for places to charge a little more in peak season or for shorter stays, to cover changeover costs. Consider booking longer stays during the cooler months if you’re looking for the lowest nightly rates.

Agency Terms & Conditions

Except where otherwise specified, we Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd Company No 09088366 of Merchants House, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW act only as an Agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf. Sawday’s Canopy & Stars is part of the Alastair Sawday’s Group of Companies. We accept no liability in relation to any contract you enter into or for any services or arrangements you purchase (“Booking(s)”) or for the acts or omissions of any supplier(s) or other person(s) or party(ies) connected with any Booking. For all Bookings, your contract will be with the supplier of the Booking in question, and in most cases this will be the owner of the property you’ll be staying at (“Owner(s)”). When making your Booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the Owner of the Booking. Your Booking with us is subject to these Agency Terms & Conditions and any specific booking conditions of the relevant Owner(s) you contract with. The Owner’s booking conditions may limit and/or exclude the Owner’s liability to you.

You may decide to make more than one Booking with us at the same time. The price charged in total for more than one Booking will always equal the prices charged separately for each individual Booking. All Bookings are available to be purchased separately at the same price as they are when more than one Booking is made. This means that any multiple Bookings do not constitute a package as defined in the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

By making a booking, you agree that:-

  1. you have read these Agency Terms & Conditions and agree to be bound by them;
  2. you consent to our use of your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy;


  1. you are over 18 years of age and where there may be age restrictions in place, you declare that you and all members of your party are of the appropriate age.


The Canopy & Stars online booking system enables Guests to make Bookings 24 hours a day. A Booking is confirmed on receipt of a 25% non-refundable deposit for all Bookings with check in dates of more than 10 weeks away. For all Bookings that have a check in date of less than 10 weeks before check in, payment for the Booking will be required in full and the entire Booking will be non-refundable. The Canopy & Stars telephone booking line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. When using the online enquiry form, for those Properties without online booking, please allow 24 working hours for us to contact you by telephone to confirm the Booking. If we are unable to reach you by phone we will attempt to contact you by email. We will contact you during Canopy & Stars working hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm). Online or email enquiries will be dealt with in the order they are received, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee reservation of your selected dates until the receipt of suitable payment. Therefore, if possible, we do recommend that you book on the Canopy & Stars website using the online booking system.


1. Booking and payments


1.1 In order to confirm your chosen Booking, you must pay a non-refundable deposit as required by the Owner of the Booking in question (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of the date of your check-in).


1.2 Your Booking is confirmed and a contract between you and the Owner will exist when we receive payment of the deposit and send you a booking confirmation on the Owner’s behalf. This booking confirmation will normally be sent out within 24 hours in the case of email and seven working days in the case of post, and will contain the details of your Booking and of payments made and due. If you have not received your booking confirmation within the specified time, please notify us as soon as possible by email ( Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately. As we act only as booking Agent, we have no responsibility for any errors in any documentation except where an error is made by us.


1.3 Where a deposit has been paid, full balance payment will be due 10 weeks in advance of your check in date and a reminder will be sent to you two weeks prior to this date, where applicable, by email. We automatically take the balance payment using the same card as used to make the deposit payment. It is your reponsibility to advise us if we should use a different card and to contact us by telephone (0117 204 7830) to arrange for alternative payment method. If the balance payment does not successfully go through as there is a problem with your card, such as it expiring, then we will contact you to try and take alternative payment. If we have been unable to take payment after two weeks of the balance due date, then with regret, we will notify the Owner who may cancel your Booking.


1.4 Except where otherwise advised or stated in the booking conditions of the Owner concerned, all monies you pay to us for a Booking will be held on behalf of the Owner(s) concerned.


1.5 Credit Card payments are processed via Alastair Sawday’s Publishing Co. Ltd who provide merchants services facilities to Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd.


2. Cancellation and Amendment by You


2.1 Any cancellation or amendment request must be sent to us by email ( and will be considered and responded to within one working day of receipt. You are also advised to confirm all changes to our Customer Services Department by calling 0117 204 7830. Please ensure that you have received written confirmation of any changes to your Booking prior to travel. Whilst we will always try to help, we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met.


2.2 Amendments and cancellations can only be accepted in accordance with the booking conditions of the Owner of your Arrangements. The Owner may charge the cancellation or amendment charges shown in their booking conditions (which may be as much as 100% of the cost of the Arrangements and will normally increase closer to the date of departure). The Owner may charge cancellation or amendment charges in accordance with its own booking conditions, however for the sake of convenience only, we have outlined the Owner’s charges at clause 2.3 and 2.4 below. Please note that these are the Owner’s own cancellation and amendments charges, not Canopy & Stars’, and therefore the Owner may vary their charges as they wish, without notice to us. The correct charges will be notified to you at the time of your cancellation or amendments.  


2.3 Owner’s General Cancellation Charges:

2.3.1 Cancellation by you at any time will result in your deposit being forfeited, as all deposits are non-refundable.


2.3.2 All monies paid for a holiday (deposit and balance) are non-refundable within 10 weeks before check in date.


2.3.3 Cancellation of any holiday after it has been paid in full and at a date 10 weeks or more in advance of your check in date, will result in forfeiture of your deposit (or an amount equivalent where one was not paid as the holiday was paid in full) and the balance being returned to you. 


2.3.4  Cancellation insurance is available but will be a third party arrangement and not involve Canopy & Stars or the Owner in any way.


2.4 Owner’s General Amendment Charges:

2.4.1 Alterations to your Booking can only be made more than 10 weeks prior to the check in date, after which time alterations will be treated as cancellation. All alterations are subject to availability and may incur a £30 adminstration fee.


2.4.2 Differences in the total amount payable resulting from alterations will be refunded to you in the case of a decrease in price and paid by you in the case of increases in price.


Special note: Generally Owners will charge the above cancellation and amendment charges, however we must stress that these are a guide only and charges may differ from those shown here depending on the Owner. The exact charges will be notified to you by the Owner at the time of cancellation and/or can be found in the Owner’s own booking conditions which are available from the Owner on request.


3. Changes and Cancellations by the Owner

We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the Owner needs to make a significant change to your confirmed Arrangements or to cancel them. We will also liaise between you and the Owner in relation to any alternative Booking offered by the Owner but we will have no further liability to you.


4. Complaints

Because the contract for your Booking is between you and the Owner, any queries or concerns should be addressed to them. In the event that you have any complaint about your stay, please notify the Owner as soon as possible. If you don’t follow this procedure there will be less opportunity for the Owner to investigate and resolve your complaint and so make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Delays may also mean that amount of compensation you may be entitled to may be reduced. Whether or not your complaint is dealt with satisfactorily, please also contact us as we appreciate all feedback. It’s important to us and the Owner to know that you’ve enjoyed your stay or if anything could have been improved.


5. Pricing

Canopy & Stars reserve the right to amend advertised prices at any time on behalf of the Owner. We also reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices.Special note: changes and errors sometimes occur.


6. Information & Accuracy

The information and prices shown on this website are varied from time to time and may change between the time you first view a property and make a Booking. You should check that all the details are as you expect prior to making a Booking. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the properties (including the features and extras available) may be incorrectly described and/or priced. If we discover this is the case after you have made a Booking, we reserve the right to contact you with details of the correct information and/or pricing and will give you the option to:

(1) proceed with the Booking based on the correct information and/or pricing, which may require the payment of an additional amount by you;


(2) subject to availability, change your booking dates to dates when the pricing can be honoured ad so no additional charge to you. In the event that a lower price can be offered for alternative dates then the difference would be refunded;


(3) cancel the Booking. If we do not receive your instructions within 5 days of contacting you, we reserve the right to cancel your Booking without liability to you.


7. Our Responsibility for your Booking

Your contract is with the Owner and its booking conditions apply. As Agent, we accept no responsibility for the actual provision of the Booking. Our responsibilities are limited to making the Booking in accordance with your instructions and acting properly in accordance with our legal duties as an Agent. We accept no responsibility for any information about the Booking that we pass on to you in good faith. However, in the event that we are found liable to you on any basis whatsoever, our maximum liability to you is limited to twice the cost of your Booking (or the appropriate proportion of this if not everyone on the Booking is affected). We do not exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury that arises as a result of our negligence or that of any of our employees whilst acting in the course of their employment.


8. Pets

Not all properties accept pets. If you wish to take your pet on holiday, please advise us before booking and we can check whether pets are accepted at the property. You must obtain the prior consent of the Owner before taking any pets to the property. A nightly charge may be made by the Owner for each pet and additional terms may apply.


9. VAT

Many of the Owners of properties in the Canopy & Stars portfolio are not registered for VAT in which case no tax is payable. Where VAT is payable, the tax is included in the advertised holiday rental price.


10. Visa, passport and health requirements.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we assume that all members of your party are British citizens who hold or will hold full British passports valid for the entire duration of the Arrangements you chose to purchase. Information on visa, passport and health requirements, where given and applicable, is so given on this basis. Requirements may change and you are therefore strongly recommended to check the up to date position with the Owner of the Booking, Passport Office, appropriate embassy or consulate or your doctor as applicable in good time before the commencement of your holiday.


11. Insurance

You are strongly recommended to take out personal travel insurance for all members of your party. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and appropriate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details and take them with you on holiday.


12. Special requests

If you have any special requests (for example dietary requirements, cots or room location), please let us know at the time of booking. We will pass on all such requests to the Owner, but unfortunately, we can't guarantee that they will be met and we will have no liability to you if they are not.


13. Group Bookings

Not all Owners accept Bookings for a single sex group (for example, a stag or hen party). Guests wanting to make such a Booking should check with us beforehand to enable us to check whether the Owner is prepared to accept the Booking. We will then advise you accordingly. In event that an Owner does not accept this type of Booking then it is with regret, that the Booking may be cancelled and cancellation fees may apply. It is the Guest’s responsibility to enquire with Canopy & Stars and/or check on our website beforehand to make sure that this type of booking is permitted.


14. Maximum Numbers

Please note that except by prior arrangement confirmed in writing, only the number of persons specified on a booking confirmation may occupy  a property. Most owners reserve the right to refuse admittance or revoke a booking if this condition is not observed and you are unlikely to receive any refund.


15. Your Responsibilities

Please note that you have a contract with the Owner of the property. As such you are under a responsibility to behave in a proper, appropriate and legal manner whilst staying at the property with due respect to the Owner, the Property and other guests and their property. You are responsible for informing the Owner of any losses or damage to the property as soon as possible. Please note that you will be liable to pay the Owner for any losses or damage to the property caused by you or a member of your party (except reasonable wear and tear). Some Owners will also require damage deposits. You must also leave the property by the check-out time specified on your booking. If any guest behaves inappropriately or improperly (of which the Owner will be the final judge on their Property), or illegally, the Owner reserves the right to ask the guest and their party (at their discretion) to leave the Property before the end of the holiday period and/or refuse any future bookings from you.  Any refund for so doing will be at the entire discretion of the Owner. In addition, the Owner reserves the right to sue the guest for any loss, damage or injury caused to the Owner, the Property or to other guests and/or their property. As agent, we will have no liability to you in these circumstances. 


16. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions have been drafted in accordance with and are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any and all disputes arising out of these Agency Terms & Conditions.


17. Discrepancies

In case of a discrepancy between these Agency Terms & Conditions and any other Canopy & Stars literature, these Agency Terms & Conditions shall prevail.


18. Validity clause

In the event that a court finds that a condition in these Agency Terms & Conditions is illegal or void, the illegal or void provision will be severed from the remainder of the Agency Terms & Conditions, which will continue to be valid and have full force and effect.