The ultimate in glamping

The cosy interior of a Feather Down tent

We visit Battle Vineyard Collection, the newest location for Feather Down, whose glamping sites offer a unique mix of luxury and back-to-nature charm

Feather Down have reinvented glamping in the last few years. The concept is simple: luxury glamping with a back-to-basics ethos. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, it really isn’t: the luxury comes in the form of safari-style tents you can actually stand up and walk around in, equipped with comfortable beds, well-stocked kitchens, hot tubs and en-suite bathrooms (no more traipsing across muddy fields for your morning shower).

What’s surprising is despite the luxury, Feather Down is a strictly low-tech affair. There’s no electricity – light comes from oil lamps and candles – and cooking is done on the rustic wood-fired stove. This encourages a back-to-nature feel that might remind you of rose-tinted camping holidays of your childhood.

Glamping sites are set in picturesque rural surroundings

The back-to-nature feel extends to the locations: most of the sites are set on farms, meaning you might enjoy fresh eggs from the hens for breakfast in the morning, and the kids can make friends with the farm animals.

It’s a winning formula, and it’s no surprise that Feather Down now have 24 locations across the country. We visited their newest offering, Battle Vineyard Collection in East Sussex, which opened this summer.

What’s unique about this site is that it is a working artisanal vineyard, specialising in sparkling wine. The owners, Alison and Neil, are friendly and attentive, and can organise vineyard tours and tastings: there are at least ten local vineyards within 15 miles, making this an ideal base for a wine-tasting break.

Feather Down Canvas Frills lodges come with stylish en-suite bathrooms

The site itself, in a field next to the vineyard, holds just three well-spaced tents and is wonderfully tranquil, backed by woodland. Days can be spent exploring: there’s plenty to do in the local area. The site is in the heart of 1066 Country, within a few minutes’ drive of historic Battle Abbey, site of the Battle of Hastings. The castles of Bodiam and Herstmonceux are within easy reach, and there are also broad sandy beaches just a short drive away.

Herstmonceux Castle. Credit: Roman Grac from Pixabay

In the evening, it’s time to sit on your deck with a glass of the local sparkling wine, light the candles and fire up the barbeque, settling down to stargaze as the night deepens.

It’s clear to see why families return to Feather Down year after year; this charming new location is sure to win many fans of its own.