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Six Sussex stays accessible by train

From bustling Brighton and the rolling South Downs to iconic clifftops and sweeping sandy beaches, Sussex is the perfect destination for a Wild Weekend. Even better, it’s easily accessed via train, especially from London, thanks to its prime spot in the heart of the south coast. Leave the car behind, opt for a greener mode of transport and watch the scenery whizz by as you sip a coffee and get stuck into a good book (or provide a never-ending supply of snacks to excited kids). Once you’ve settled into your glamping pad, there’s plenty to do in the great outdoors without needing a car, and if you want to venture further afield, just hop back on public transport, or cycle. Stay on track and take a look at six Sussex stays accessible by train.

Downash Wood

Six luxurious cabins and treehouses nestle in the canopy at Downash Wood. Outdoor tubs and rural tranquillity in thirty-three acres of woods and farmland add up to a glamping fusion of sumptuous comfort and splendid isolation. That said, there’s plenty to do on and around the huge site, from wildlife watching, stargazing and outdoor cooking to miles of scenic walkways, an Aqua Park, wild swimming, sailing and laser tag at Bewl Water. Just across the A21, Bedgebury Pinetum has mountain bike trails, walking and GoApe. The nearest train stations are Stonegate (3.5 miles away) or Wadhurst (5 miles away), both of which have direct services from London that take just over an hour. From Wadhurst station you can catch the 254 bus to Tinkers Lane "Dale Hill" bus stop, then walk down the lane to Downash Wood. Or bring two wheels and cycle to the site so you can also enjoy a pedal along the scenic Bewl Water route during your stay.

The Wisp

A farmhouse style cabin in a Dark Sky reserve, the Wisp feels deceptively far from civilization, particularly when you’re cuddled up on the mezzanine sleep deck at night, drifting off to the sounds of barn owls hunting. BBQ in the private garden, stargaze from the wood-fired hot tub or fire up the projector and popcorn machine for a cosy movie night. If you can tear yourselves away from your little slice of paradise, you’re on the border of the South Downs National Park, with fantastic walking routes directly from The Wisp and maps provided by the owners. Haywards Heath train station is 20-30 minutes away and Shoreham-by-Sea train station is 15 minutes away. The owners can arrange a local taxi to come and collect you from the station or there's a bus stop in Partridge Green a twenty-minute walk away.

The Hoover Hut

We like a place with a quirky history at Canopy & Stars and the Hoover Hut definitely doesn’t suck when it comes to its origin story. It began life transporting vacuums all over the industrial railways before settling in its new off-grid spot on Beeches Place Farm between High Weald AONB, South Downs National Park and the Surrey Hills AONB. Owner Craig is an expert on local walking and cycling routes and he’ll also introduce you to some of the farm animals and let you feed the fish in the pond. Five minutes down the road, the Peacock Inn serves homemade food made with local sourced, seasonal ingredients. Travel from London Bridge to Uckfield Station which is a five-minute drive, or a short bike ride, from Beeches Place Farm. For a day out, there are buses into Uckfield from Brighton and Tunbridge Wells.

Walk Wood Wagon

In the speedy fifty minutes it takes to travel from London on the train, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to a more simple, rural era. Featured in The Sunday Times as a Top 20 glamping destination, idyllic Walk Wood Wagon is nestled in a clearing in ancient bluebell woods, surrounded by National Trust land. To add to the bucolic atmosphere, you might hear the occasional hoot of a steam train on the heritage railway in the distance. The wagon is immaculate and charming, with clever storage, an adjoining camp kitchen, flushing loo and Swedish outdoor tub. You’ll soon get into the soothing rhythm of slow outdoor living and if you get the urge to wander, neighbouring Sheffield Park has gardens and trails to explore, or you can head to Bluebell Vineyard Estates for a tour and tasting. The nearest station is in Haywards Heath, fifteen minutes away, with a direct train service from London Victoria.

Withyfield Cottage

Spend the train journey letting your excitement build about the incredible structure you’re about to arrive at. The exposed timber beams at Withyfield Cottage descend from the high, arched ceiling through a gallery bedroom and down into the kitchen worktops and floor to create an uplifting sense of light and grandeur. Located on a working dairy farm on the edge of the South Downs National Park, the cottage, which sleeps six, was sustainably built by local craftsmen (as seen on Channel 4’s Grand Designs) and is beautifully comfortable and well appointed. On the doorstep are the shops of Partridge Green as well as five pubs (count them) within a three-mile walk, the river Adur and the Downs Link National Trail. The nearest train stations are Horsham or Shoreham (both ten miles away). Owner Janice is happy to pick you up from nearby Partridge Green and can advise on buses from the station.

Glottenham Castle

Grab a cheery group of friends and family and travel by train to Robertsbridge station where you can walk in twenty minutes to Glottenham Castle – a friendly working farm that sleeps up to 16 in two quirky cabins and two geodomes. A lack of a car won’t hold you back here, with so much land to explore on the estate itself including 20 acres of woodland, a wetland and wildflower meadows. Book a local massage therapist through the owners and you can return from your rambles to a deeply relaxing treatment that will knead out any lingering aches and pains. Continue the mellow theme with a trip to one of the many local vineyards, making sure you pre-book a taxi home so you can throw yourselves into the tastings with unbridled enthusiasm.