Blog post

Swallowtail Hill – Luxury Glamping in Rural Sussex

September 8, 2019

Swallowtail Hill sits amongst glorious countryside on the outskirts of the historic town of Rye in East Sussex. Tucked away down Hobbs Lane the farm offers incredible views across the surrounding landscape down to the coast.

Owners Christopher and Sarah Broadbent have run the farm as a conservation site for over 25 years adding the glamping element of the business about 9 years ago. The 40 acre farm incorporates traditional wildflower meadow, ancient woodland, hedgerows and free range livestock creating a truly unique place for guests to explore and enjoy during their stay.

We visited Swallowtail Hill during the August Summer holidays being blessed with fantastic weather for the duration of our stay. We spent our days enjoying the sandy beach at nearby Camber, heading back to Swallowtail in the evenings to bask in the idyllic surroundings on the farm. Almost too good to be true!

There are a number of luxury glamping options available at Swallowtail Hill but we decided to stay in one of their newest additions: Long View, a beautiful, custom built Shepherd Hut style cabin.

Having parked our car near the main farmhouse we hopped aboard one of the farm’s 4×4 buggies along with our luggage to reach our accommodation. Once on site cars are pretty redundant allowing a safe environment for children to explore and a true sense of being amongst nature.

All the glamping options are well spread out with plenty of seclusion and privacy. Long View sits at the far end of one of the farm’s larger meadows offering a panoramic vista right from the king size bed thanks to a set of large, retracting bi-fold doors. Waking up and being able to watch the sun rise from behind the hedgerows without even leaving my bed was certainly one of the highlights of our stay.

We love Shepherd’s Huts but find they rarely accommodate families. However, the clever team at Plankbridge Shepherd Huts have ensured that Long View appeals to both families and couples. The hut has a cute set of bunk beds which can be folded away allowing the interior to easily adapt from family accommodation to a spacious lounge should the additional bedding not be required.

As a family of four we found Long View suited our needs really well. The snug bunk beds were a huge hit with our little two with the layout screening the double bed creating a sense of privacy for the adults.

The facilities in Long View are excellent. The kitchen comes with an under counter fridge, dual gas hob and microwave. A good range of cooking utensils and kitchen essentials such as tea and coffee are also provided. There’s also a small honesty shop on site for anything you might have forgotten…or if you just fancy trying some of the local produce.

With guests being free to choose whether they wish to get the full camping experience by cooking over an open fire…or keep things simple by cooking in their own fully kitted kitchen, everyone’s happy! And for those who really don’t enjoy cooking of any description there’s the option of having glampsite chef Chloe provide a selection of cooked meals, picnics or afternoon teas.

The bathroom facilities are just as good with a shower, basin and toilet all fitting neatly into the rear of the hut. Fresh white dressing robes and plenty of towels are provided as well as a range of Wild & Precious wash products. This is luxurious even as glamping goes.

Living space at Long View is by no means confined to the hut itself. There is an extensive outdoor space attached to the hut including a covered dining area, wood fired hot tub, fire pit and of course…the incredible views of Long View Meadow.

For us the highlight was definitely the Naked Flame wood fuelled hot tub. Use of the hot tub costs an additional cost of £30 but well worth the money. A little forward planning is required as the wood burner takes about 1.5-2 hours to get the water to a really toasty temperature. Once the work’s done the reward is an evening spent under the stars soaking in a warm tub until bedtime. In my opinion family time doesn’t get much better!

Swallowtail Hill Farm promote their own Kids Off Grid movement encouraging children to make the most of time away from technology during their stay. Outdoor adventures of any kind are welcomed from den building to walking the country trails around the farm. If it’s outdoors, you’re in the club! We were thrilled to be invited to meet the farm animals as part of our Off Grid experience one morning during our stay. Sue the Kune Kune Pig was particularly popular as well as Sid the goat and George & Buttons the rescue donkeys.

In addition to Long View Swallowtail Hill offers a number of unique glamping options. The Roundhouse is another new addition, this time just for couples, offering luxurious woodland retreats. The Meadow Keepers Cottage is a fairytale style cottage on wheels as is The Woodcutters Cottage, both perfect for families. Finally there’s Wood and Penfold – situated in their own enclosed paddock this pair of cabins are perfect for younger families or larger get togethers.

Images courtesy of Swallowtail Hill Glamping.

Whichever glamping option you decide to go for, you’re guaranteed a dose of true escapism during your time at Swallowtail Hill. Our experience here ticked so many boxes: a sense of luxury, a touch of adventure, a little bit of fun and a whole lot of reconnecting with each and nature.

With thanks to Sarah and Christopher for hosting our stay. If you’d like to find out more about Swallowtail Hill Glamping please visit their website here.


  • Jan (@chimptrips)

    May 15, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Wow, what I beautiful place! And, I was thinking that before I even got to the photo of the hot tub. It’s so beautifully furnished. I am sure my kids would love it too.

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