Back to nature at Swallowtail Hill

What better way to relax and unwind than a weekend wearing rain-boots, burning fires and roasting marshmallows! At the beginning of February we went to a wonderful conservation area in Sussex countryside which we discovered through a site called canopy and stars. We had a weekend of glamping and explored the nearby seaside town, Hastings.

We set off right after work on Friday and after escaping several hours of traffic in the city, we arrived and were greeted by Sarah at Swallowtail Hill. We were taken in a buggy over to the ‘Long View’ where we stayed for the weekend. I was particularly grateful for the ride as it was pouring rain and the path to the Long View was very muddy! Once there, we started our fire so we could sleep well.

In the morning we braved the mud back to the main farm on our own and made our way into Hastings, another seaside town that I really enjoyed. The farm is also very near (in fact closer to) Rye, which I had visited a previous weekend with some girlfriends so we decided to check-out Hastings instead. After exploring several cute shops with homewares, plants and so on, we went for a pub lunch at First in Last Out (the ‘Filo’). Apparently this building dates back to the 1500s! Inside was a large roaring fire which for me is always a sign of a good pub.

We made our way back to the Long View for the evening where we started light the fire to the hot tub and got the outdoor fire pit burning for our bbq! Lots of patience required on my side as the wind/breeze kept blowing out my lighters. We had a tasty dinner on the open fire and even made some marshmallows (unfortunately no s’mores as graham crackers do not exist in England!).

The next morning we made a quick visit to Rye for breakfast and walked the high street as the sun was out. I went back to my favourite breakfast spot there called The Fig. Another favourite homeware store in the area is Pale & Interesting, however it was unfortunately closed. Instead we checked out some antique shops. Last but not least, a trip to Rye is not complete without a glimpse of Mermaid Street. From here, we headed straight back to London feeling rested, smelling of fire and with our fix of countryside. I look forward to visiting Swallowtail Hill again, perhaps in summer with some friends at on of their log cabins.

Where is your favourite spot in the countryside? Back home in Canada, I love driving to Port Perry with my family for Hank’s bakery breakfast – nothing beats their $3 breakfast.

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