Where? Ardingly, West Sussex
Sleeps? Various accommodation options – From 2 – 25 people
How much? From £135 / night
I’ve written about glampsites for over 5 years now, and only every now and then do I stumble across an absolute gem of a location capable of transporting mind and soul away from everyday stresses. Enchanted Glade is one of these very special places. Having moved to a new location for their second season, owners Maria and Lillo have created a space that allows guests to fully immerse in the natural sounds, sensations and beauty of the surrounding Sussex woodland. The site offers a range of unique accommodation in one of their converted wagons or luxury bell tents, but what really makes Enchanted Glade stand out is their on site Wild Spa. We visited the new site at the start of May on a gloriously sunny Saturday to experience wagon and wild spa living for ourselves. Needless to say, it’s a way of life I could easily get used to!
Enchanted Glade is tucked away in a very rural area of West Sussex close to Ardingly and Haywards Heath. The Bluebell Railway runs close by meaning you can hear the steam trains chugging and whistling throughout the day. The site itself is located off a winding lane with very little traffic passing by. Other than the odd steam train the only sounds you’ll hear are the local wildlife and fellow campers. The rear of the site leads to acres of ancient woodland filled with bluebells, wild garlic and a pretty babbling stream. The perfect spot for Forest Bathing, foraging or a forest ramble.
There’s accommodation to suit everyone from couples to families, you can even hire the entire site for your wedding or event. There are currently four uniquely quirky wagons available for hire – The Gypsy Wagon, The Quirky Wagon, The Wooden Wagon and Maggie the Wagon. Each is converted to accommodate comfortable living whilst offering guests a memorable experience thanks to cosy, hidden beds, one-of-a-kind decking areas and custom designed interiors.
In addition to their range of Wagons guests visiting Enchanted Glade can also choose to stay in one of three Bell Tents in the Canvas Village. Again, each tent is unique in it’s style and décor allowing you to choose the camping experience that suits you with a choice of Shabby Chic, Ethnic and Organic.
Maria and Lillo welcome bookings from large groups or those wanting to hold events with their whole site facilities being able to sleep up to 25 people as well as use of the Wild Spa and woodland.
The Wild Spa is what really makes Enchanted Glade stand out. Sitting in the hot tub with the sun beaming through the trees, listening to the birds chatter and water trickle I felt more like I was in Bali than Sussex. Maria and Lillo have created a magical oasis here – I mean, just look at the place!
Guests staying on the site can book Wild Spa treatments and experiences as part of their stay. The spa includes a wood fuelled hot tub, a sauna and a Wim Hoff cold barrel for anyone brave enough to take the plunge. As a fully trained massage therapist Lillo is also able to offer massage treatments including Deep Tissue Massage and Traditional Thai Yoga.
We spent a really relaxing couple of hours escaping from the sun in the shade of the spa. The kids really enjoyed splashing about in the hot tub and were made to feel equally as welcome as the adults. You can’t help but slow down and relax here. Once we were done with the spa we hung out in the hammock and under the canopies keeping cool. Logan enjoyed exploring some of the instruments laid out for Sacred Song evenings. We all embraced the zen like state that this woodland glade bestows, feeling all the better for it.
As with other forward thinking site, Enchanted Glade offers a wide range of activities to explore during your stay. Children can take part in forest school sessions, archery and paintball or story telling around the campfire. Alternatively spend time together as family on a wildlife and ecology walk or foraging for wild delicacies. It’s best to enquire about these activities when you book to allow Maria and Lillo prepare to accommodate your wishes.
I visited Enchanted Glade on my own with 2 children (ages 6 and 12). We stayed in Maggie the Wagon which is a cute converted horse box. Maggie is kitted out with everything you need for a short stay including kitchen utensils and bedding. One of the highlights of the space for me was the balcony at the back where I sat and watched the sunset in the evening, then sipped my coffee in the morning listening to the birds. Lush. This wagon sleeps 3 with space for a double above the drivers cab and a single on the sofa in the living space. We were very comfortable and cosy in our wagon for the night and loved sweet touches like the USB powered fairy lights making the interior feel incredibly snug at bedtime. Maggie also has a shower on board which is a real bonus, we used the site shared loo which was a short walk across the camping field.
We were made to feel incredibly welcome by Maria and Lillo throughout our stay. Enchanted Glade is one of those places that welcomes you with open arms like an old friend rather than a customer. We spent most of time either relaxing in the spa or exploring the surrounding woodlands and paddling in the stream. There were a few other children around the site which provided the children with opportunities to play and make friends. We cooked sausages over our little fire pit for dinner then giggled around the camp fire until dark. It was one of the easiest trips I’ve done on my own with the kids, largely because the children were made to feel so welcome that I didn’t have to worry if they were bothering anyone with their chaos!
I love this place. The welcome, the ethos, the simplicity. These are things you can’t fake or recreate, they come from a feeling you get when you visit somewhere really special. Maria and Lillo are wholesome, earthly, accommodating hosts who are keen to celebrate and share the wonder of the space they’ve created. It’s contagious and inspiring. The range in accommodation means that a wide range of requirements can be met depending on guest needs.. and the Wild Spa really is hard to beat. There’s not many glamping sites that offer this range of activities, although it’s definitely something I’m starting to see more of. Enchanted Glade really is enchanting and I highly recommend you surrender to its charms…
Please visit Enchanted Glade’s website for up to date details on accommodation and Wild Spa options.