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Reviews of Bodiam Boating Station

Campsite Search > UK > England > South East > East Sussex > Rye > Bodiam Boating Station Reviews

Bodiam Boating Station
Station Road
East Sussex   (Browse area)
TN31 6FE
Tel: 01797 253838  or  07834772468
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This site has an availability calendar. You can check for availability here

Pitches: 25
Open: 01/04/2021 to 31/10/2021

Rating: Average Review Score: 8/10 from 19 Reviews
                8/10 from 19 Reviews

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 Tent Pitches   Caravan Pitches   Motorhome Pitches   No Glamping Units 
 No Statics for Hire   No Statics on Sale   No Seasonal Pitches   No Caravan Storage 
 Electric Hookups   No Hardstandings   Fully Serviced Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Families Welcome   Not Members Only   No Rallies   Not Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome   Motorbikers Welcome 
 Toilet Facilities   Hot Showers   Washing Up   No Bathroom 
 Baby Changing Facilities   No Laundry   Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 Chemical Disposal   No Battery Charging   No Gas Exchange   Recycling Facilities 
 No Kitchen Facilities   Freezer / Fridge   No Motorhome Point 
 Shop On Site   Bar On Site   Restaurant On Site   Wifi Access 
 No Playground   No TV Room   No Games Room   Evening Entertainment 
 Fishing On Site   Wild Swimming On Site   No Indoor Pool   No Outdoor Pool 
 No Horse Riding   Cycle Hire <1 mile   No Golf   Tennis <1 mile 
 Beach <10 miles   Watersports On Site   Boat Launch / Mooring On Site 
Other Features
 No Sea Views   Not Working Farm   Campfires Allowed   Not Open All Year 
 Riverside Pitches   Public Transport <1 mile  Offroad Dog Walk On Site or Direct Access 

Reviews:  19 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: July 2020 Unit:  Tent
Nights stayed: 1 Travelling as:  Family with older children
Reviewer: TimCESmith 44 reviews from this member

 Our fourth visit here was a post-lockdown one-nighter on 4th July. We were told we could pitch up at 10am and had the pristine, unused field to ourselves for a few hours.

Vanessa had drafted in huge numbers of staff to facilitate her Covid-19 security measures, which included frequent deep cleans of the facilities and lads disinfecting the picnic tables as soon as they were vacated, plus track and trace measures which will no doubt become familiar. I had a pint, from an actual draught tap! Amazing.

The pitches filled up over the afternoon, with families playing in the pleasant open space in the middle of the field. The café and garden bar were very well used despite the drizzle and strong winds.

All the staff were very pleasant and helpful, despite having to pick up lots of new processes on the fly. The happy atmosphere I've mentioned in previous reviews was definitely in evidence, but all our fellow campers behaved beautifully and all was silence after 10:30 pm.

We were allowed to stay late on the Sunday too, so after a wonderful takeaway breakfast from the on site café, we rounded all off with a leisurely pack up and a surprisingly easy journey back to London.

Highly recommend this site: we've never had a duff experience. 

Date of Visit: September 2019 Unit:  Tent
Nights stayed: 2 Travelling as:  Family with young children
Reviewer: TimCESmith 44 reviews from this member

 Our third visit to this wonderful site. It's one of very few which has EHU and allows campfires, and like many sites allowing campfires it enjoys something of a party atmosphere.

It won't be for everyone, and indeed it's unlike most other sites we visit. It's part of a wider, family run concern which offers boat, canoe and SUP hire on the river Rother, which runs past it, ferry trips to Bodiam castle and cruises down the river, and has a rather good, informal café right on site.

The neighbouring business can be quite noisy on working days apparently, but we generally use this site for weekenders - it's reasonably close to home. The washing up sinks are few but very good.

There are enough loos - two unisex and one disabled are shared with the café and are excellent, and more (unlit) which are just for campers, along with a row of shower cubicles.

Hot water is plentiful and at good pressure. There is a blindingly bright LED floodlight on a PIR over the pot-wash which kills your night vision when you're sat on your pitch admiring the night sky. I wish they'd angle it down a bit.

There are some nice innovations here: they deliver a fire pit, two bags of logs and kindling to your pitch (for a fee), along with a plastic crate for your recycling. In the days before the café opened they used to deliver breakfast and coffee to your tent in the morning - not sure whether that's still offered.

For me, the biggest selling points are the brilliant service and the wonderful atmosphere. It's a superb site for first time campers because the family that runs it live on site and are both helpful and knowledgeable - if anything goes wrong, you'll be in good hands.

It's also very easy to use: you can get all the food and drink you need without leaving site, and there are good supermarkets within an easy drive. Add to that the proximity of Rye, Camber Sands, Herstmonceux observatory, the local steam railway and a zillion other things to do, and Bodiam is hard to beat.

I don't dole out tens very often, and this site is not perfect, but we've never had a negative experience here - quite the reverse: we've been surprised and delighted by it each visit. 

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: --chris-- 1 review from this member

 My 11yr old son and I sneaked in a couple of nights towards the end of the school holidays and found the following:-

The site is located on the Kent/Sussex border and has 27 pitches, 16 of which have electrical hook-ups.

Most of these are situated along the fence that separates the site from its neighbour, a garden supplies business which took deliveries from around 7:30 in the morning from noisy banging trucks.

The noise seemed to abate after about an hour, and it might not be an issue for you if you are in a caravan or if you are up and about that early anyway. Personally, I didn't appreciate the disturbance which, even from the far side of the site, was akin to someone banging a metal lid on an old dustbin.

There is probably little that can be done about this and, if you're camping at a weekend, it won't apply to you so you might want to take this with a pinch of salt.

I'm a relative novice at camping, but to my mind, the pitches are just a little too close to each other. When we arrived we only had neighbours on one side, but the next day the pitch on the other side was taken too as were almost all of the others and we felt a little hemmed in.

There is a small play area next to the cafe, and a large kickabout area with small goals in the middle of the main camping area. In an update to previous reviews, the pitches are all marked and people can use the spaces to park alongside their tent/unit.

We paid £20 per night plus £5 for the fire pit for the duration of the stay. Although the owner asked a staff member to drop one down to us, this never materialised and neither did the promised marshmallows. When we asked the chap delivering wood to the tents from the back of a truck, we were told to just find one for ourselves from elsewhere on the site. Reasonably unimpressed at this attitude.

There is a fresh water supply, 3 pretty new combined toilets / showers and a washing area which are part of the very nice cafe building plus further loos and a sink in the first camping field. I'm not aware of any provision for freezer blocks.

Not that this would matter if you quite like being catered for whilst using your own accommodation. The cafe which doubles up as the reception opens nice and early and serves up some excellent coffee and fresh juice along with some great breakfast options (from croissants to the full English) and stays open until 6 in the evening with a wide menu as well as fabulous looking cakes.

After dark, your options include the White Hart which is a few minutes walk away and serves very nice pub food indeed as well as Harveys Best and Rother Valley Level Best. Good pub garden, children made to feel welcome too. There is also a burger/ chicken/ kebab/ chip van parked almost opposite the entrance and a bit further away an Indian restaurant.

The village has a church but there are no shops and nowhere on site to grab a pint of milk. A Tesco Metro can be found 5 miles away in Hawkhurst or an independent general store about 2. 5 miles away in Sandhurst (next to the petrol station)

In addition to the camping and the cafe, the business also offers direct access to the river, and kayak lessons & boat hire are available and there is a 45 minute boat trip to nearby Bodiam Castle a few times per day.

The village also has its own stop on the Kent & East Sussex Railway which runs a heritage service to Bodiam from Tenterden. 

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Team Eagles 13 reviews from this member

 Our first visit to Bodiam Boating Camping, were well impressed. The owners Alex and Vanessa in four years have a thriving little business, their passion for life being passed to everyone who ventures through the gates whether for hiring a boat and messing around on the river, enjoying the camping or eating and drinking at Lime Wharf Café of which has been open since Easter 2015. A book of their journey since taking over in 2012 can usually be found in the café, well worth a read.

They have 30 camping pitches spread over a couple of areas, the fields are not very flat and most of the pitches you need to pitch around the lumps and bumps! A few of the pitches have electric although not sure what amp, would guess around 16amp by what we had on in our tent and going on previous sites when we have known.

There are six loos, 3 of them outdoors in the camping area the others on the side of the café along with the 3 showers. Two campers sinks one with hot and cold water the other just cold and this is collected at the end of the block of outside loos.

Nothing is too much trouble for the owners and you always see them around chatting to people. A nice touch is they offer a morning delivery service to your pitch of newspapers and hot croissants/pain au Chocolat, tea and coffee. They encourage camp fires and hire out the fire pits, wood etc; they were coming around in the evening with a wheelbarrow of wood and kindling.

They are hoping to have their on site café open on a Friday and Saturday evening so would be worth asking when booking as the food is lovely. Café opens at 0830 each morning and you can get a lovely choice of breakfasts, tea coffee, amazing cakes, lunch etc throughout the day. They are licensed as well. The deck area looks out over the campsite and the fields beyond. They offer table service; this is used by campers, people using the boats and anyone passing by so can get busy.

There is a road that you can see from the site and you do hear noise but in no way intrusive especially at night. It is lovely to hear and see the steam train throughout the day.

One major issue is that you need to really like your neighbours as you are extremely close to them and other campers we spoke to they felt the same. If there were a few less pitches and you had more room it would be really good.

The showers/ loos don’t appear to get cleaned very often and during the day they are also used by the boating people. The worse thing is the mop bucket, the water was so brown it was not surprising that no one actually mopped the floor after showering.

It’s a little rough and ready round the edges but a lovely site in a stunning part of Kent, the owners and staff are all lovely and more than willing to help, we are looking forward to returning next year. 

Date of Visit: September 2014 Unit:  Tent
Nights stayed: 2 Travelling as:  Family with young children
Reviewer: TimCESmith 44 reviews from this member

 This is a wonderful site. It's evidently really important to the owners that you have a delightful time, because everything they do is geared to ensuring that you do. The lavatories, showers and washing up facilities are basic, but they're not the reason for coming here.

BBS offers enough activities to occupy a family for days, even before you wander further afield to Rye, Winchelsea or Camber. Rowing and kayaking on the river, swimming (accidentally or not) and taking the Dannie Lee to Bodiam Castle are great entertainment in a beautiful setting - and there are kingfishers.

The White Hart is 100 yards away and offers hearty food and well kept real ale. It's a busy but friendly local and obviously important to the community. A good fortnight's worth of other attractions are listed on BBS's website.

We were struck by how helpful the owners are - they lent me an airbed when mine died, managed to find my car keys before I'd realised I'd lost them, etc, etc - and how welcome children are.

Toasting marshmallows round a firepit on a starry night in the High Weald takes a lot of beating, especially when the site is run so efficiently and yet with such a relaxed atmosphere. With coffee and croissants delivered to the tent in the am, it really is something of a paradise. 


Date of Visit: August 2014 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Rabwearer 5 reviews from this member

 It is obvious that owners have put a great deal of effort in making people feel at home, a welcoming reception, complimentary marshmallows, £15 per night tent and 2 adults v reasonable. Hire of fire pit £5 per night a bit expensive But hey ho its one of the reasons we went. Yes its next to a yard and lorries loading etc but there is nothing that can be done about this we were out most of the day so not too affected by this. Its close to bodiam castle about 10 min drive and a nice quick drive into rye. Steam train nearby and of course river next door so ultimately you wont be on site during day anyway. Nice clean facilities, yes It was a pleasant night away. 

Date of Visit: August 2014 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Freckles63 59 reviews from this member

 Stayed mon - frid here mainly to try out our new inflatable kayak. £18 with electric. You have to park your car in the carpark after setting up as it really is a small site.

Alex the owner is very nice helpful chap and the young lads who assist at the river side make life easier when getting in and out of the water.

The site is very noisy and sleep was very broken due to the A28 road that the site sits on and the early 7. 15 start of the lorries in the yard right behind pitches 4 - 8 which are the electric pitches. We felt that this run of pitches was very tight and would of accommodated 4 pitches better than 5! This is also the side that looses the sun the earliest.

Even though we took our own firepit and wood/coal we felt that the daily £5 charge for the hire of their firepits was expensive, we've stayed at sites before where it is a one off £5 and then you buy the wood at £5.

Facilities are 50p for showers which we didn't use as we have our own in caravan but heard from others that they weren't great with temperature or time. Toilets which we did use were 2 garden sheds with 1 loo in each, they blocked up for a good part of a day whilst we were there, we used our own more so after this.

Now we've spent time along this river which really doesn't have anything along it's banks for miles (4. 5 to Bodium Castle), we wouldn't return. Lots of activity on the water with the hire of boats.

Very good site for tents and families on short stays but we didn't think it was ideal for caravans as too small.

1 pub, 1 indian restaurant, 1 river, 1 steam train station, 1 very busy road, 1 noisy dusty yard, nice walks. 

Date of Visit: July 2014 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Lynda133 4 reviews from this member

 We were a large group of family campers in our fifth year of camping and can honestly say the kids and adults loved the campsite, with all of us swimming in the river, some taking their own dinghy's and plenty of us having fun hiring the kayaks. Vanessa, Alex and their two children are so welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them. The cafe serves lovely food, drinks and ice creams and we were really interested to hear of their future plans for the campsite and cafe.

The camping field itself is a small field of 15 pitches and the kids still had plenty of room to play. There is a cricket pitch literally around the corner from the campsite for bigger games if necessary and lovely walks along the river. There are 2 toilets and 2 showers, together with a washing up station in the camping field and another toilet by the cafe, which were perfectly adequate. These are due to be revamped in the near future. Again as with previous reviews there is some noise from the road and the garden centre next door, but not at the weekend and only from 7am in the week, which did not bother us and would not put us off from returning again. Rye harbour is great for crabbing nearby which the kids loved and winchelsea beach is lovely too. We will definitely return as soon as possible and had a fantastic time. 

Date of Visit: May 2014 Unit:  Tent
Reviewer: Lovecampinghere 2 reviews from this member

 This was our fourth trip to bbs. Each time we return the owners have made something better. A warm welcomevwhen we arrived, vanessa handed us our breakfast order form and gave us info on boat trips etc. The site is small with 3 toilets and 2 showers, plenty for the 14 or so pitches. The showers take 20p a go but last a long time and are hot and fast! The cafe has an amazing range of drinks and cakes etc and is open to campers from 8. 30ish am although you can have coffee and croissant delivered to your tent. Lovely friendly campsite in good location with lots to do locally, boat trips, , kayakes, walks, pub and camber/rye 20 mins away. 

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Other
Reviewer: Vicpls 2 reviews from this member

 Work in progress !

Lovely little site, however when full the facilities just don’t/can’t cope. We had 1 fully working toilet over our stay and not a huge amount of room for the kids to play ball or cycle. The owners are set to revamp over winter/next year but for now it’s basic. There is a road close by which can be heard throughout the night (didn’t bother me) and the garden place next door start up at 7am. If you want peace it’s not ideal but do visit for the boats. Owners were very friendly and helpful. 

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Common Questions

Is Bodiam Boating Station child friendly?  YES, it accepts children  View all facilities

Where is the nearest shop to Bodiam Boating Station?  There is a shop on site  View all facilities

Is Bodiam Boating Station dog friendly?  YES  View all facilities

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