meadow's keeper cottage cabin exterior
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meadow's keeper cottage cabin outside
meadow's keeper cottage cabin shower
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meadow's keeper cottage cabin outside dining area
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meadow's keeper cottage cabin wildlife pond
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Meadow keeper's Cottage - Sussex, United Kingdom

Last cache: 13:49:26, Wednesday 28 June 2017

Swallowtail Hill

Suitable for children of all ages

Not suitable for pets

Kids are more than welcome at Swallowtail Hill, but pets cannot be accommodated

A crooked country cottage on wheels at Swallowtail Hill Farm... Feed the animals their breakfast, or just laze in the meadow and get up late

Meadow Keeper’s cottage is a one-off. Hand-built by a local joiner and craftsman, with timber sourced from local woods, the only way to describe it is ‘a higgledy piggeldy cottage on wheels’. It’s a roomy four person space done out with the same care and attention as the Swallowtail Hill Farm bell tents, with a double bed, two singles that double up as benches, a dining table between them, an indoor cooking area with sink, a small wardrobe and, for chilly evenings, a log burner.

Open the stable doors, and go down the steps to your own fire pit and outdoor dining area. Just to the side is your own Heath Robinson looking (but extremely effective) log fired shower, and opposite is a tranquil wildlife pond with a small row boat for you to enjoy. The Cottage sits between two wildflower meadows, and is invisible from anywhere else on the farm.

Our guests say...

In one word, idyllic! We had such an amazing time and our children (7 and 4) loved every second.



Idyllic. We've been to Swallowtail before and stayed in the Woodcutter's cottage, which was also beautiful. I hope we'll visit again in future.



It was absolutely magical. Hosts were extremely friendly and helpful. Gave a great welcome but then allowed us to have as much privacy as we wanted yet were on stand by if we needed anything-perfect combination. The cottage was amazing. Very clean and I didn't even see a spider the entire time I was there despite it being September. Making fires was really fun and the farm shop had everything you could want and was open 24hours. The boat was rickerty but what I expected and still really fun! I loved that there wasn't any electricity as it really helped you cut off from the world. The surrounding area was beautiful. It really was a little slice of paradise and I can't wait to return.


Mary Jo

Wonderful! A real escape. A beautiful location & wonderful cottage.



We had a lovely stay at Meadow Keepers Cottage after the madness of getting married. It was wonderful to get away from emails and calls, having no service at the cabin! Cooking on the bonfire was relaxing and we were ready for bed as soon as the owl began to hoot at dusk. We spent a lot of time in Rye which was 10 minutes away, rummaging in antique shops and having tea and cake. We also visited camber sands and collected shells on the beach and took a trip to Bodiam Castle which was great. we didn't want to leave the peace and quiet and come home.



Pretty place and lovely hosts. The weather (poured with rain for the whole stay) made it interesting... but the fires kept us cosy!



We had a lovely weekend at Swallowtail Hill Farm. The Meadow's Keeper Cottage is beautiful and very cosy. We also had fun feeding animals. All the food we ordered was very fresh and very tasty.



We absolutely loved this place - the peace and tranquillity you can find no where else. The kids loved the rowing boat on the pond and the adults enjoyed leaving the hustle and bustle behind and just enjoying the meadows and open space. The accommodation was fantastic - rustic charm and comfortable and cosy. We loved the fire pit to cook on and the shower; even the compost loo was manageable! Sarah was very friendly and cheerful - she clearly and rightly so is very proud of her farm and what it stands for - and the food was great. All in all a fantastic break and would love to come back again....



This stay was part of a series of surprises for my husbands 40th birthday. We arrived at the farm where we were met by Sarah, the owner. After explaining a few practicalities she drove us and our luggage down the hill on a winding track through fields and woodland into the valley where in the distance we suddently spotted the most magical looking little cottage nestled in the middle of the most beautiful meadows. My husband was over the moon with excitement as was I. Meadow Keepers Cottage is cute and practical. Everything we needed was there. On my husbands birthday I had arranged for Sarah to set up a surprise picnic on top of a nearby hill overlooking the surrounding area where we were joined by family members . It was magical, the food was homemade and very tasty and the setting was perfect. Later that evening after we returned fr a meal in nearby Rye Sarah and team had again prepared the hill top area for us with a fire pit, laterns, candles, torches, wine, cheese, nibbles and blankets to keep us warm. The stargazing was a perfect end to a wonderful day and an unforgettable stay at Swallowtail Hill/Meadow keepers Cottage.



Had a lovely 2 night stay. Great secluded spot by the pond. Cottage full of character. Didn't bother leaving as we were so relaxed!



Oh my goodness! What a truly beautiful place - total relaxation and seclusion. The cottage was so cute and very comfortable. I even managed to 'sail' myself around the little pond a few times much to my friends amusement. I'd rather nobody else ever stayed there is it could be all mine but that would be selfish! Absolutely recommend Meadow Keeper's Cottage to anyone with a love of the outdoors, quirky and beautiful things.



"The most idylic location which looks beautiful even in the cold! The children loved being outdoors and away from the concrete jungle of where they live. Remote yet not completely isolated so we didn't feel we couldn't get in touch with someone. The owners of the farm are by far the most fantastic hosts I've met, Sarah made my children feel welcome and they enjoyed their time with her and feeding the rescue animals"



"We had an amazing stay. This place allowed us to enjoy all the wonderful things about camping and none of the horrible things. A proper roof and beds, gas hob in case of rain but still the fun of an outdoor fire and cooking. Our kids loved feeding the animals with Sarah. An honesty shop for logs and foods supplies was much appreciated."



"We very much enjoyed our stay. From the first moment the Meadowkeeper's Cottage offered us a peaceful and tranquil environment in the middle of fields and woodland. Totally off grid, we were able to rest up over the weekend"



"We loved our stay at the Meadowkeepers Cottage at Swallowtail Hill Farm. The cottage was picture perfect and had everything we could wish for, room for our two lively boys to run about, a small idyllic lake with a little boat, daily feeding of the animals and completely secluded and relaxing allowing us a much needed rest and some quality family time without the distractions of modern life. The children loved it, and while they both enjoyed days at the beach and local attractions such as Bodiam Castle and the steam train, they were always thrilled to 'come home' to the 'wendy house' or the 'squash and a squeeze cottage' as my littlest called it. And for us exhausted adults, what could be more romantic than sitting by a roaring campfire on a beautiful summers evening, holding hands and looking at the stars. Our hosts were efficient, friendly and keen to ensure that our stay was as pleasant as possible. Swallowtail Hill is beautiful and we would definitely consider returning. We are keen to convince the rest of the family to join us in sharing the experience in the cabins."



"Enjoyed our  stay very much indeed.  Lovely and quiet.  Could see the stars extremely well.  Didn't see anybody whilst staying apart from hosts at beginning and end of stay.  Comfortable accommodation with enough facilities.  Loved it and would go again."



"Beautiful place. Very child friendly would go again!"



"We had a wonderful stay; we were looking for perfect isolation and we got it. Christopher and Sarah were on hand and made sure we were properly set up and knew how to use the facilities. We could have happily stayed for much longer."



"We loved it. The hosts were really kind and helpful. The cottage was magical and the kids loved feeding the animals."



"We had a wonderful time, the farm was beautiful, and Sarah and Christopher were really friendly and made us feel very welcome. I loved to see the wildflower meadows, ponds and woods and all of us loved the seclusion that Meadow Keepers Cottage gave us. We had lots of fun and will definitely go back."



"It exceeded our expectations. Sarah and Christopher were welcoming offering a great balance of support and privacy. The cottage and facilities were perfect and we couldn't have had a better time."



"We had such an amazing time. Sarah couldn't have been more welcoming or accommodating and really made our stay truly wonderful. The children declared it their 'best holiday EVER'; being able to help feed the animals in the morning and being allowed to run wild, make campfires and play in what they called the 'Squash and Squeeze' house (Meadow Keepers Cottage) really blew the winter cobwebs away. Don't get me wrong...the weather was freezing but there was so much fun stuff to do and to be able to crawl into a warm, comfortable bed after a long day and a few glasses of red by the fire (me, not the kids!) the weather was simply irrelevant! Great places nearby to visit too when a change of scenery was needed. Fantastic!"



"Utterly brilliant! Back to basics but in the most glampingly fantastic way! Meadowkeepers Cottage was imaginative and cosy, wonderfully inspiring break! Best: cosy cottage, setting, hosts and location. Worst: coming home."



"It was amazing,Sarah and Christopher were fantastic hosts. They were extremely friendly and were great with my 5 year old daughter and let her join in with feeding the animals and the meadow keepers cottage was fabulously quirky."



"Our stay was amazing, we can't wait to return for another weekend.  The owners were really friendly and helpful. The cabin was beautiful and contained everything we needed.  The compost loo & wood-burning stove made our stay really comfortable.  We would have been happy to move in permanently!"



"Had a fantastic time at Swallowtail Hill Farm, our children loved the Meadow keeper's Cottage with its pond, log fired shower and compost toilet - all new experiences for them.  The opportunity for our 3 year old to become a junior farmer and help out at animal feeding times was brilliant, he thoroughly enjoyed this."


Peter and Khiera

" Sarah and Christopher were absolutely lovely. My son Jack enjoyed feeding the animals but most of all riding in the back of the pick up! (I joined him on the trip back up the lane and also, like a 42 year old child, loved that bit too!)   The Meadowkeeper's Cottage was idyllic! Really, like something out of a fairy tale...we loved using the boat on the pond and lighting and cooking on the fire. The hot water system was a simple genius of physics which I think should be included in the National Curriculum! Wonderful! Just like living in a scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang....    A wonderful stay. We will return!"



"We all had a thoroughly brilliant time and the kids were very very sad to leave. The cottage was just perfect in an idyllic location and the kids loved feeding the animals. We also really appreciated the hospitality of Sarah and Christopher, it really made a big difference to our weekend."



"Absolutely loved the place. We both want to go back and had one the best holidays we have ever been on. Loved the animals and the eco-friendliness of the whole farm. We are telling all our friends about it."


Tim & Hannah

"We had a very magical stay at The Meadowkeepers Cottage at Swallowtail Hill. Sarah was ultra helpful before we arrived and we were left to our own devices once we had settled in or could pop up to the farmhouse at anytime if we needed to. The Cottage is well appointed and the outdoor shower is lovely to use listening to the birds singing nearby and the wind through the rushes. We had a torrential downpour on the Saturday night and even that didn't dampen our spirits! It was absolutely perfect and made all the more so because we got engaged on the Friday night in front of the Campfire!"



"The setting was beautiful and so peaceful. We felt away from everyone and everything completely. The care and attention put into building the cottage was first class. It was beautiful. I loved heating the water ourselves and really respected their eco-friendly approach. Sarah and Chris were such friendly hosts and so great with the children who loved feeding the animals - especially the great big pigs, with apples picked from trees in their orchard. We never go back to the same place - but are making a complete exception with this place. It's going to be our secret escape (although, thinking about it, we've already told loads of people)!"



"My daughter and I absolutely loved it. From the moment we arrived at Rye station we were met by Christopher, he had to do two journeys as we missed the connection at Ashford, but they didn't mind the slightest. As soon as we arrived, my daughter went straight to feeding the animals. We were then taken to the cottage which was in the most idyllic setting. It was well equipped and furnished. I was taught how to light the campfire and the woodburning eco water heater. The surprise element was the beautiful pond with the little row boat. Not only was it a relaxing trip but also an educational one, we learnt so much about what they're trying to achieve on their eco friendly farm. The Broadbents were friendly and welcoming and we've already planned our next visit."



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Book this place

Step 1: Select check-in date

2 night weekends from Fridays are possible in low season - please call 0117 204 7830 to enquire. During school holidays, bookings begin on Mondays and Fridays.


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Step 2: Select length of stay

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  • Cottage for 2

Step 3: Who's coming?

Any age

Not suitable for babies

Not suitable for pets

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(No charge the bench seating doubles as child singles)

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The important stuff

  • Check in time is from 4-7pm, late check-in possible by arrangement with Christopher & Sarah
  • Check out time is 11am
  • Children of all ages are welcome. The kids beds double as bench seating in the daytime. They are low to the ground, but do not have sides
  • Sorry, pets cannot be accommodated
  • No power!
  • You swim in the ponds at your own risk
  • No smoking in the cottage!
  • The nearest grocery shop is Jempsons of Peasmarsh (2 miles)
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • 1 double bed and 2 bench seats which double as kids single beds.

Extra space available

Space for 2 children no charge. the bench seating doubles as child singles

Kids & Pets

Kids are more than welcome at Swallowtail Hill, but pets cannot be accommodated


  • Two gas hob with grill
  • Whistling kettle
  • Crockery, cutlery and glasses for four
  • Cooking equipment - pots and pans etc
  • Fire pit and dining area
  • Bon-Fire kitchen set
  • Cool box


  • The Meadow Keeper’s Cottage has its own private loo (30 sec walk) and shower (next to cottage).
  • The shower is wood-fired and guests will get a quick tutorial when they arrive!
  • Eco toiletries only please (provided).

Heating, lighting & bedding

  • Pillows
  • Duvets
  • All bedlinen provided
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Hot water bottles
  • No power!


  • Books
  • Playing cards
  • Board games
  • Wind up radio
  • Battery-powered lanterns
  • Solar Sun Jar
  • Help feed the animals - be a Swallowtail Hill Junior Farmer


On the farm

Swallowtail Hill’s most popular activity is the animal feeding. Kids (and kids-at-heart) can help out giving the farm animals their breakfast or dinner. You'll find the feeding time chalked up on the farm blackboard.

Animal Feeding

The rule here is that if you’ve got a name, then you’re safe!  So Buttons and George the donkeys, Smiler, Percy and Sue the pigs;  Sid and Nancy the big goats; Margot, Jerry, Bilbo, Frodo and Pippin the pygmy goats;  Molly, Peter, Alice, Celia, Mary, Dinky, Victoria, Rose, Ivy, Frank, Arnold, Myrtle and Darcy the sheep; and even the chickens and rabbits, are all pets, and (comparatively) tame.  We know from experience that children especially really love feeding time, and the chance to pat a pig or stroke a sheep. And some adults do too!  We try to offer a feeding session as often as we can, it is also weather dependent though and if there’s too much mud we have to cancel.  Keep an eye on the farm blackboard – if we can offer a feeding session we’ll write the time on the blackboard so if you’re around and want to join in, just turn up at the gate to the farmhouse garden at the allotted time and we’ll include you!  You just need to be sure to wear your wellies. Price – included in your stay

Nature Walks

 If you’d like us to take you and your family on a guided walk around the farm to talk about the conservation work we do and enjoy some pond dipping or minibeast hunting then let us know*. Cost:  £10 per family / per group *Subject to availability and bookable in advance.

The Hill Top Tent

(May to mid-September only)

During the late spring and summer we have our fabulous Hill Top Tent available.  It’s a really special space that sits on the hillside and offers wonderful views across the farm.    It’s the perfect place for any of the following and can accommodate four people comfortably:


If you’d like a yoga lesson then – subject to our teacher Victoria being available – we can organise this for you.  Cost £40 for one lesson for up to four people. Subject to availability and must be booked at least a week in advance.


If you’d like a pilates lesson then – subject to our teacher Sarah being available – we can organise this for you.  Cost £40 for one lesson for up to four people. Subject to availability and must be booked at least a week in advance.


Hayley is our lovely local massage therapist – so if you want to completely relax on your break at Swallowtail Hill then why not book either a Back & Shoulder massage for £30 or a Full Body Massage for £50. Subject to availability and must be booked at least a week in advance.

Outdoor & active

The Sussex Border Footpath cuts across Swallowtail Hill Farm. Or you can choose to explore the region by bike. Hire shops can be found in the centre of Rye.

The Rye Nature Reserve boasts a variety of habitats with a wealth of wildlife. Only 9 miles away, more than 279 species of bird have been recorded at the reserve of which over 70 have nested. Visitors can walk a network of paths to discover the flora and fauna. Entry is free.

Visitors are often surprised at just how many vineyards are hidden away in this corner of the country. Amongst them are some of the best organic growers in the UK. Methersham Vineyard is just at the end of the same lane as Swallowtail Hill and Neil and Wendy Holcombe will welcome you to visit and taste! Chapel Down Winery is at Small Hythe near Tenterden and Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard and Carr Taylor Wines at Westfield are all just twenty minutes' drive away.

Rye Watersports boasts the only large coastal water lake with sea location in the South East of England. Lessons in kitesurfing, windsurfing and sailing are available.

Three miles from the farm is the village of Newenden from where guests can take a ferry boat trip to Bodiam Castle. Rowing boat hire is also available via Bodiam Boating Station.

The next door farm is a fishing lake open to the paying public but it is only for experienced anglers. You can hire kit but you need to be of a decent standard and able to just go for it!

Heron Lea also offer well-managed pond fishing with carp and trout, and well established fishing platforms. Please bring your own rods and tackle.  Bookable well in advance – please ask Sarah for contact details. Price - £30 per person per session

The Rye Tennis and Squash Club welcomes day visitors.

Grove Farm Riding School is in the nearby village of Iden and offers lessons for adults and children, or if you’d prefer something less structured – you can join a hack through the local countryside.  Booking in advance is essential. Price – approximately £30 per person

Places to visit

The Kent and East Sussex Railway 

Buy a hop-on, hop-off ticket and enjoy the full 10½ miles of railway stopping off to enjoy the sights along the way.  Set off from Northiam and chuff your way to Rolvenden and look around the loco yard, or go in the opposite direction and visit the castle at Bodium.  The railway regularly holds Thomas The Tank Engine theme days – with plenty of activities to keep children amused. On three of the five daily train services there are also on board catering services, so you can enjoy a cream tea on board – but only if you pre-book! Price – adults £17, children (3-15 years inc.) £11.50, family ticket £49.50

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is Kent's mainline in miniature. First opened to traffic in 1927 as the "World's Smallest Public Railway" and now covering a distance of 13.5 miles from the picturesque Cinque Port of Hythe near the Channel Tunnel to the fisherman's cottages and lighthouse at Dungeness.

Rye Castle Museum has two sites in The Ypres Tower and East Street. Ypres Tower, built in 1250, is the oldest building open to the public in Rye. It was built as part of the town's defences and has had a chequered history as revealed by its interior. From the Tower's balcony there is a magnificent view over the harbour.

The maritime Cinque Ports town of Rye sits high on a hill overlooking the River Rother and the Romney Marsh. Wander around Rye’s cobbled streets and explore the local landmarks including the Ypres Tower (the castle) and Landgate Arch. Take a walk along Mermaid Street – peppered with ancient buildings with very strange names.

Tenterden is another of the Cinque Ports and declares itself the Jewel of the Weald. Keeping guard over the town is the pinnacled tower of St Mildred’s Church from where once the signal beacon warned of the approach of the Spanish Armada.

One of the most famous and evocative castles in Britain, Bodiam Castle was built in 1385, as both a defence and a comfortable home. There are spiral staircases and battlements to explore, and wonderful views of the Rother Valley from the top of the towers.

Camber Sands: The famous curved beach with its wide bay and large dune system is only ten miles away.  It is a site of geographical interest and nature conservation as it is the only existing dune system in East Sussex.  Popular with families, dog walkers, horseriders, kite surfers and kite boarders (at different times of the day and in different zones!) it’s big enough for everyone and the perfect place for a paddle and a picnic.

The ancient town of Winchelsea is a beautiful Sussex village built on the bones of a medieval town. It is a picturesque and peaceful village with a beach, medieval wine cellars and views of Rye bay.

Hastings Old Town: Follow in the tracks of Inspector Foyle and wander the charming winding hillside streets of Hastings Old Town, then stop for lunch  - the fish and chips at the Blue Dolphin are quite simply the best, and you can’t beat some silly fun playing crazy golf on the seafront.

Festivals & events

Rye boasts a thriving community of artists, writers and potters. The annual Rye Festival, now in its 40th year, takes place mid-September and is the culmination of the town’s commitment to the arts. From classical music and jazz to contemporary music, literature, comedy, painting and sculpture – the full spectrum of the arts is represented.

Courses & classes

Not just for kids!

The opportunity to join in with animal feeding is included as part of your holiday at Swallowtail Hill. You'll find the feeding time chalked up on the farm blackboard. You can also choose to go on a guided wildlife walk around the farm.

Many of the ancient manual woodland crafts are, sadly, being lost as industrial processes take over. But Swallowtail Hill does its best to keep them alive with occasional courses on offer from them and a few other knowledgeable locals.

Wild Woodland Club

Sarah is a fully qualified Forest School Leader and Swallowtail Hill has become home to the Wild Woodland Club – for all Wild Things aged 6-11 years.  The club is run in conjunction with the Sussex Wildlife Trust.  Our young Wild Things all meet in the barnyard and walk to the camp in the woods and each session has as theme around which our activities are organised.  We might build dens, make things using woodland tools, build campfires and do some cooking, learn woodland crafts or play games, but whatever we do we always have fun!  Sessions take place on the last Saturday of most months and there are additional sessions during school holidays.  Check our website for the dates of the next session and if your child would like to join in while you’re on holiday here they can.  Costs vary.

Woodland Activities - Kids

If your stay doesn’t coincide with a Wild Woodland Club session but your children like the sound of the woodland activities that the club enjoys and would like to experience them too, then we can offer additional sessions subject to availability.  There need to be at least 4 children for a two hour session to go ahead so why not talk to other families staying here and see if their kids would like to join in too. Cost: £15 per child (four children minimum)

Basic Bushcraft / Whittling - Adults

And not forgetting the grown-ups…. We can offer a basic bushcraft / traditional skills session in the woods focusing on fire lighting and whittling.  Sessions are subject to availability and there need to be at least four adults for a two hour session to go ahead. Cost:  £15 per adult (four adults minimum)

Food & Drink

At Swallowtail Hill

Sarah and Christopher offer a range of grocery boxes and picnic lunches stuffed full of locally sourced produce.

The produce in the area is quite simply exceptional – and there's no shortage of farmers markets. Rye has a wonderful butchers, greengrocers and deli in the High Street and in Peasmarsh (the next village) there's a family owned supermarket called Jempsons.

Rye Farmers Market – Wednesday – 10am to 1pm, Strand Quay

Rolvenden Farmers Market – Thursday 10am to noon, Church & Church Hall

 Brede / Broad Oak Farmers Market – Friday 10am to noon, Church Hall

Hill Top Tent Sundowner Sessions

The Hill Top Tent is a really comfy place and the views are amazing - enjoy the exclusive space for chill-out time as the sun goes down. The tent has comfy steamer chairs to relax in outside – surrounded by lanterns, fairy lights and bunting. There’s a fire ready to light in the fire saucer if it gets chilly.  Inside there are giant beanbags, board games and a wireless speaker for you to connect to and play your own music.  Choose from the following hampers to make it the perfect occasion:

Sundowner Session with beer & nibbles *Cost: £40

Sundowner Session with wine & nibbles *Cost: £40

Sundowner Session with Chapel Down Sparkling Wine & Nibbles *Cost: £50

*Packages are priced for two people – but more can be catered for at additional cost – just ask for a quote.

Hill Top Tent Stargazing Sessions

Or wait until after dark and enjoy a night-cap at the Hill Top tent and sit outside on the deck in the steamer chairs  with a cosy rug around you and a glowing fire in the fire-saucer and plenty of clear-sky above you for some star-gazing.  There’s even a telescope you can use.  If it’s too chilly to stay outside – retreat into the tent and lounge on the giant bean bags and play some board games, or listen to some music.

Stargazing Session with beer & nibbles *Cost: £40

Stargazing Session with wine & nibbles *Cost: £40

Stargazing Session with Chapel Down Sparkling Wine & Nibbles *Cost: £50

*Packages are priced for two people – but more can be catered for at additional cost – just ask for a quote.

Hill Top Tent Picnics & Teas

If you want a special place to take afternoon tea, or you’d like to have a picnic but stay right here on the farm then the Hill Top Tent is the perfect place to do it.  

A feast of a picnic for two taken at the Hill Top Tent will cost £47*

A delicious afternoon tea for two taken at the Hill Top Tent will cost £50*

(Picnics and teas can also be arranged to take at your cabin or cottage or to take with you on your day out).

*Packages are priced for two people – but more can be catered for at additional cost – just ask for a quote.

Hill Top Tent Romantic Campfire Supper

Or if you want a really special treat – book the Hill Top Tent for a romantic meal for two.  Our chef Chloe will create a feast for you and we’ll deliver it ready to serve! 

A romantic three course meal for two with wine at the Hill Top Tent will cost £90*

(Special meals can also be arranged to take at your cabin or cottage).

*Packages are priced for two people – but more can be catered for at additional cost – just ask for a quote.

Pubs & restaurants

The White Hart, Newenden (3.5 miles). A 16th Century characterful free house with traditional pub food and fine cask ales.

The Cock Inn, Peasmarsh (2 miles). A 17th Century village pub with an enclosed adventure playground.

The Rose and Crown, Beckley (2 miles). Landlady Alice will give you an even warmer than usual welcome if she knows you're staying at Swallowtail Hill.

The Tuscan Kitchen, Rye (6 miles). Quite simply the best little Italian restaurant this side of Tuscany. Run by Jen and Franco the food is cooked to order with passion and care.

The Globe Inn, Rye (6 miles). Famous for its garden, is a traditional Sussex weatherboarded inn originally built in 1839.

The Ship Inn, Rye (4.5 miles). It was built in 1592, originally as a warehouse to store contraband seized from smugglers. It is now a popular countryside pub with old beams, wooden floors and open fires.

The Ypres Castle, Rye (6 miles). Pronounced, 'wipers' by the locals, the restaurant is next to the Ypres Tower (the actual castle - keep up) and specialises in fish dishes, with a garden overlooking the salt flats.

The George, Rye (6 miles). A traditional coaching inn on Rye’s high street with very good food.

Meet your hosts

Swallowtail Hill Farm is sandwiched between the medieval market town of Tenterden in Kent and the ancient fortified hill-top seaport of Rye in this picturesque corner of East Sussex.

It is the feeling of being far removed from city life that brought the owners, Christopher and Sarah, here in the first place. Their search for a rural lifestyle coupled with a passion for nature and all things sustainable found them here at Swallowtail Hill’s 40 acres of land. Their land is actively managed for biodiversity and has qualified for the Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme. It is now a patchwork of flower meadows, traditionally managed woodland, ponds and reedbeds, and hedge-lined green lanes to stroll along. This wildlife haven is a carbon neutral operation and Christopher and Sarah are constantly on the lookout for new ideas to reduce their carbon footprint even further.

An important part of the conservation work done on the farm is its education programme. Schools and special interest groups regularly visit to discover how a landscape managed in this way encourages flora and fauna. The Forest School at Swallowtail Hill is the newest part of the plan – some schools have already benefitted from this unique experience and more are set to follow in 2012. Swallowtail Hill is proud to hold the Learning Outside the Classroom accreditation and the farm is also part of the Countryside and Education Visits Accreditation Scheme.

East Sussex is a much visited but surprisingly uncrowded tourist destination and there is tons of stuff to do in the surrounding area if chilling out in farmland heaven is not quite enough for you. To keep the family entertained there is a steam railway ride, horse riding, great country pub lunches and strolls around the old town of ‘Foyle’s war’- Hastings or medieval Rye.

Guests can choose to stay in one of two cabins, Wood or Penfold, the Meadowkeeper's Cottage or the Woodcutter's Cottage. Comfortable double beds mean that you can have a relaxed lie-in whilst listening to the birds singing in the surrounding fields.

Getting there

Swallowtail Hill Farm, Hobbs Lane, Beckley, East Sussex TN31 6TT

By Car

Exit M25 at junction 5 – get in lane for Sevenoaks/Tonbridge A21. Join the A21 and head for Hastings. You will pass exits for Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, Pembury and Tunbridge Wells. Keep going straight! You will automatically join a stretch of bypass (which avoids Lamberhurst) heading for Hastings. Keep going until you get to the Flimwell crossroads/traffic lights. Turn left – marked for Rye/Camber/Hawkhurst (A268). Keep on this road for around 10 miles.

You will pass straight through the villages of Hawkhurst, Sandhurst and Newenden. When you get to Newenden you’ll pass a village cricket green to your left and then go over a stone bridge across the river. A little after that you’ll drive over a level crossing (this is the local steam railway). You’ll then see a big restaurant on the left called The Mill. Take the next left after the pub – the A268 to Rye. You are now in Whitebread Lane – it’s a very twisty, turny road. Follow this for approx 3 miles

There’s a sign on the left saying Beckley. Slow down. Take the next (sharp) left onto Hobbs Lane. (This turning is immediately before the mini roundabout -if you reach the mini roundabout you’ve gone too far!). Continue down Hobbs Lane for EXACTLY (and we mean EXACTLY!) half a mile. Swallowtail Hill Farm is on the left hand side, at the top of the hill, slightly hidden by a hedge. There is a sign just by the gate.The farm entrance is just a couple of metres further down the lane on the left.

By Train

Rye is the nearest train station. Local taxis can be booked in advance or called on arrival at reasonable rates. 

From London, high speed from St Pancras (38 mins), or normal speed from Charing Cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge to Ashford International (1 hour 15 mins). Cross to Platform one for hourly cross-marsh train to Rye (20 mins)

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 We're sorry for any inconvenience, but payments can only be made by credit and debit cards. A 2% surcharge will be applied to credit cards. We do not accept American Express, cheques or cash.


1.4 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.


1.5 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.


1.6 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.