Now that Sussex has been given Champagne-style status in recognition of the quality of its wines, there’s no need to cross the channel for world-class fizz. This beautiful county accounts for a whopping quarter of the UK’s total wine production and with over fifty vineyards, there’s usually a unique Canopy & Stars place to stay in close proximity to the award-winning grapes. Glamping and wine tasting pair perfectly – the magic spell cast by rolling vineyards and sweeping countryside views will remain unbroken as you roll back to your secluded retreat for a last glass on the deck in the setting sun. As an added bonus, all that glorious fresh air will help you shake off any lingering headaches the next day. Take a look at our glamping places in Sussex near vineyards.
On the edge of the South Downs AONB, the poetically-named Galloping Balloons is tucked away in ancient parkland dotted with oak trees. You've got exclusive use of two sleek adjoining cabins here -- one with a king size bed, kitchenette and living space and the other a shrine to bathroom luxury that boasts a freestanding tub with idyllic views. The large comfortable deck is just waiting for corks to be popped on it and family-run Court Garden vineyard is the perfect place to pick up a bottle. Eleven minutes away by car, this small, boutique vineyard is set on a beautiful south-facing slope and produces multiple award-winning sparkling wines as well as two still whites, a red and rosé. They offer guided wine tastings and self-guided wine tours on Saturdays. When you're not sampling the latest vintages, go for long walks in the rewilded woodlands or explore the lanes and eateries of nearby Brighton.
When it comes to achingly cool style credentials, few geodomes can compete with De Etchyngham on the Glottenham Castle estate. It wins the prize for being the most quirky and remote space on the huge site which can sleep up to sixteen if you also book the yurt and two cabins. Your camera roll will fill up quickly with arty shots of the Ercol studio couch, G-Plan 'Astro' coffee table, Franco Albini wicker Ottomans and retro Orla Kiely fabrics. The estate is large and rambling, with wildflower meadows and woodland to explore, and there are two shared outdoor showers with hot water (but the dome has its own private toilet). During your stay, treat yourselves to a visit to England's oldest organic vineyard, Sedlescombe Organic, just over ten minutes' drive away. They offer tours and tastings, even in the winter, and the vineyard has an atmospheric Cellar Door Bar, a gorgeous café and kitchen - complete with sun drenched patio - and wine shop.
You might associate Dumbledore with butterbeers in Harry Potter, or honey if you know the old British word for a bumblebee (a pub quiz win awaits), but Dumbledore in Sussex is known for its proximity to Beacon Down vineyard. A visit to sample the sun-soaked still and sparkling wines is a must, particularly as you also get incredible views over to Eastbourne and the South Downs. You can book tours and tastings in advance and even add in the option of a picnic to enjoy afterwards, with a range of locally produced cheeses, salads, sausage rolls and accompaniments. Once you've dragged yourselves away from the vineyard shop and returned (clinking) to stunning, handcrafted Dumbledore treehouse, it's time to crack open a bottle to enjoy on the deck in blissful tranquillity as you gaze out over Wilderness Woods. Down below, there are trails to wander, a 'big kids' swing to soar on and a community hub with activities from green woodworking and foraging walks to meditation and forest school.
A playful palace for young and old, the Oakey Koakey treehouse is pure escapism, a world away from the stresses of daily life. Kids will love the quirky bunk bed room that looks like a mini treehouse while grown-ups will be seduced by the chic Scandi style, BBQ, firepit and convenient access to the delights of Oastbrook Vineyard -- a mere fifteen-minute drive away. The incredible estate is as dedicated to creating good times as it is to producing fantastic wine and it's worth checking out their programme of events which include fine dining and wine evenings and a summer party. The charismatic owners arrange fun, interactive tours perfect for connoisseurs and novices alike, and they even offer a children's tour (with no alcohol involved!) so the junior division can tag along too. After such a great day out, you'll be doing the 'oakey koakey' all the way back to your secluded perch overlooking the meadows.
A passion for the land is the thread that connects Treehouse at Beneath the Branches and the Winston Estate vineyard, a fifteen-minute drive away. The Treehouse is tucked away in a quiet corner on Adam and Imogen's farm -- a rustic labour of love where you're likely to find freshly-picked garden flowers awaiting your arrival. Winston Estate is another family affair and owners Henry and Pip, their son and his wife are passionate stewards of the land and its communities. The vineyard offers a range of experiences that celebrate the Sussex surroundings as much as the grapes, including sundowner safaris, an off-road bike tour and lunch, and landscape and nature tours. Book the stylish Chalk restaurant for a special meal out and a chance to sample fresh local produce including ingredients from the estate and the award-winning wines. When you return to Beneath the Branches you'll be ready to relax on the sofa with a good book, soak in the outdoor tub or head out on a refreshing country stomp.
What makes a party? Thirty close friends, a 'silent disco' caravan, freestyle meadow dancing, a hot tub and a tasting tour at a vineyard? If this comes close to your list of perfect ingredients, you've hit the jackpot at Burning Heart River Camp -- a magical collection of spaces in your own private four-acre estate. There's a sound system, fairy lights, table tennis and, of course, a river to leap into the next day to reinvigorate yourselves ready for your next adventure. Hopefully, that'll involve fine wines at nearby Henner's Vineyard who offer tours and tastings at weekends and pre-booked groups of six or more on Fridays. Make sure you include food options when you book, so you don't miss out on delicious, local farmhouse cheese & charcuterie boards. With so much fun to be had in Sussex, the only job remaining is to decide what you're celebrating.