Swallowtail Hill farm is a conservation project with self-catering cabins and cottages, plus ancient woodland and a nearby vineyard
On a hill, next to a meadow, is a crooked cottage with gingham curtains. There, adventurers weary from hiking through the apple orchard and the bracken and hay can rest in the glow of the woodburner, drifting off to sleep to the hoot of a neighbouring owl. Such a picturesque scene might sound like it is has been lifted from the pages of an Enid Blyton book, but it is a description of a stay at Swallowtail Hill, a sustainability minded camping site in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty in East Sussex – an area so idyllic it could be rebranded “English Pastoral: the theme park”.
For the past 25 years, owners Sarah and Christopher Broadbent have been running the 16-hectare (40 acre) site as a conservation project to protect its wildflower meadow and ancient woodland, adding the element of six self-catering units – from cottages to huts and cabins – 10 years ago. I am staying in Meadow Keeper’s Cottage, a cabin on wheels in between two of their meadows, which comes with private access to a small pond (boat supplied), and a decking area for dining.