West Sussex camping barn, South Downs Way, England

Description of West Sussex camping barn, South Downs Way, England

Gumber Bothy is a converted traditional Sussex barn on the National Trust’s Slindon Estate, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. It provides simple overnight accommodation or camping for walkers, riders and cyclists, just off the South Downs Way. The bothy’s remote location is perfect for getting away from it all.

The bothy forms part of Gumber Farm, a working sheep farm, and in early April provides a ring side seat to watch the lambing take place. The farm is a 5 minute walk from Stane Street, the Roman Road that crosses the South Downs Way at Bignor Hill.

This pocket of the South Downs is an oasis of tranquility, with some pretty special picnic spots to soak up the panoramic views. The sensuous curves of the South Downs here were even eulogised by the writer and historian Hilaire Belloc. At night the site is a star gazing paradise and early morning be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the resident wildlife.

Rooms, food and facilities

Visitors can choose to sleep in the barn accommodation or to bring their own tent and camp in the field. All facilities are open to everyone, including:
Hot Showers
Kitchen with cookers, pots, pans, cutlery and crockery
Drying room
BBQ
Campfire circle
Lounge
Outside tap and hose

The barn accommodation has sleeping platforms with covered mattresses and is divided into three rooms. The first can sleep 16 and is ideal for larger groups, and the other two are more for small groups and families sleeping 4 and 5.

Sorry, but as we are a sheep farm we do not allow dogs and most definitely no cars.
There is secure storage for bikes and accommodation for horses can be arranged prior to arrival.

Map

Vouchers
Not Accepted

How to find us

You can use Ordnance Survey Explorer series Map 121.
From the South Downs Way the bothy is a 5 minute walk from Stane Street, the Roman Rd that crosses the South Downs Way at Bignor Hill.
By train: Amberley train station is 5 miles away along the South Downs Way, just follow the signs on the finger post west of Bignor car park. Arundel station is also 5 miles away and Chichester just 8 miles. The taxi fare from Arundel to Northwood Farm is approx £10, followed by a 2 mile country walk.
By bus: The National Express stop at Chichester using buses 84 and 85, stop at Fontwell and then it is a 3 mile walk to the bothy.
Please note there is no vehicle access to the site, you can park in Slindon village near Slindon college, for a 2.5 mile walk or cycle to the bothy.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: West Sussex camping barn, South Downs Way, England

Environment

Gumber Bothy is a converted traditional Sussex barn maintained by the National Trust. When the barn was converted into bunkhouse accommodation many years ago local craftsmen were used and the renovations were done so sympathetically. Many of the original features remain today including the old timber beams.

To preserve the peaceful environment of the bothy and surrounding Slindon Estate there is no vehicle access to the site. Walking, cycling and riding to the bothy is very much encouraged and thus visitors carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. Secure bicycle storage is provided, as is accommodation for horses by prior arrangement. Although at present there is no solar power or methods in place to reuse rain water (plans have been discussed for the future) the bothy impacts little on the environment. Due to the simplicity of the building, there are no power sockets just light switches; the energy used is kept to a minimum.

The Slindon Estate comprises of 1,400 hectares of woodland, downland, farmland and parkland spanning across the South Downs National Park. The National Trust strives to maintain land as an environment that supports a rich diversity of life and the Slindon Estate is no exception. Conservation projects are central to how the land and woodland is managed on the estate. One example of this is the hazel woodland being coppiced to provide a safe habitat for the thriving dormice population and other small wildlife. The estate is home to an abundance of wildlife and there are a number of badger sets in the vicinity. Swallows nest in the barns roof and you are more than likely to catch sight of all the other usual suspects; deer, rabbits, hares and stoat. On the estate there are 5 tenant farmers one of whom provides the pumpkins for one of Slindon's Autumn highlights.

Community

Gumber Bothy is managed by the National Trust and one of the three wardens is contactable at all times. Our enthusiasitic Volunteers work with the wardens throughout the year and without their hard work and commitment much of the vital work could not continue. All the money taken by the bothy and campsite goes back into the buildings running costs, general upkeep and any maintenance work that needs doing.

Visitors are encouraged to support the local community by making the most of the local pub and shop, fantastic not just because they are the closest to the bothy! The George in Eartham is around 2.5 miles walk from the bothy and offers great locally sourced food and a selection of ale from local breweries. The Forge is Slindon’s village shop and café and is 3 miles from the bothy. The Forge was opened in October 2012 after the community worked extremely hard to create their new village shop and café. The Forge is run by and for the community. The funding for the shop came from a mixture of sources however; the largest sum came from the community itself- with over 150 people buying ‘community shares’ in the venture. So when visiting Slindon or whilst staying at the bothy be sure to pop in and support The Forge, the cake is amazing!

Landscape

The converted 19th Century bothy is situated on the Slindon Estate in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The tranquil and remote location is ideal for getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The estate is bursting with a variety of wildlife, historic landscape features and the unspoilt village of Slindon, there is something for everyone here.

Whether you choose to explore the surrounding landscape by foot, bike or on horseback Slindon will leave you enchanted. In spring there are stunning woodland flower displays and in autumn the colour of the leafy woodland is magical. From Bignor Hill there are panoramic views out across the Weald, along the Downs and across the coastal plain to the sea. Keep your eyes peeled for deer in the woods and pyramidal orchids.

The South Downs Way stretches for 160km across the South Downs and the undulating route provides options for both interesting day trips and long distance challenges. You can choose to take the more leisurely approach by strolling around the village of Slindon or for a full days walking, stride out into the endless network of footpaths and bridleways that encompass the estate.

Alternatively there are plenty of places to visit close by including Arundel Castle which hosts an array of exquisite artworks, furniture and old fashioned suits of armour. Arundel town is also well worth exploring with its art galleries and restaurants. The National Trust properties Petworth House and Uppark House are also close by.

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