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Brakes Coppice Park, Forewood Lane, Crowhurst, Battle, East Sussex
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Brakes Coppice Park, Forewood Lane, Crowhurst, Battle, East SussexBack in the days of knights and armour the little village of Battle was but a blip on the map. Then came that fateful day in 1066, when a bunch of French fellas dragged their boats on to English shores to wage war on the Saxons. After one king's-eye of an arrow shot, the Norman Conquest was complete and Battle became one of the most historically significant towns in England.

The modern-day town exudes a deep sense of history, probably because its main draw, the 11th-century abbey, is built on the very ground upon which the conflict took place. It's flanked by pretty wood-timbered tea houses, a central street awash with bric-a-brac shops, and surrounded by countryside Americans in sneakers would die for.

A short drive away is Brakes Coppice, an immaculate campsite with plenty of room to pitch in the skirts of its deep coppice woods. The facilities are basic, but the spot is lovely. There's a shaded adults-only area in a little glade and two other areas for families. Admittedly there are a few caravans lurking like sheep in an allocated area, but generally this is a camper's campsite.

Brakes Coppice Park, Forewood Lane, Crowhurst, Battle, East Sussex


COOL FACTOR Close to historic Battle, not far from the sea, and set in spacious, shielded woodland and pasture.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs, young groups (only if adult-supervised) - yes.

ON SITE Thirty pitches over 4 acres; kids' play area; toilets and showers with laundry facilities. Reception sells milk and bread, but you're better off going to Battle to stock up. There's a fishing lake at the bottom. No campfires.

OFF SITE Battle Abbey has a great exhibition and film all about the Battle of Hastings. Bexhill's De La Warr Pavilion (01424 229111) is a stunning 1930s modernist building with an impressively large art gallery and a cafe roof terrace.

FOOD AND DRINK De La Warr Pavilion's restaurant serves up fresh, tasty, food with a sea view to match. Try the period-charm-oozing Pilgrims Rest (01424 772314) in Battle.

GETTING THERE Head to Battle on the A21 thenA2100. Continue along the High Street and on towards Hastings for 2 miles, then turn right on to Telham Lane (towards Crowhurst). Continue on to Forewood Lane and the site is on the left.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Train to Crowhurst, then walk: along the path by the southbound platform to Forewood Lane.

OPEN 1 April-early September.

THE DAMAGE Tent plus 2 adults £14-£18; child £2.



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