The Lakeside Cabin

Ditchling, Sussex, United Kingdom Book from Book from £345 per night

An idyllic cabin on a private lake in the South Downs National Park, with a large wraparound deck and water craft to borrow (sleeps 2-4)
We couldn't believe our luck when we saw The Lakeside Cabin for the first time through the trees. It's a cleverly designed A-frame holiday home set on a large deck on a private lake, with a pontoon for easy water access, and a beach house vibe. Inside-outside living is the go, with big bi-fold glass doors for maximising the lake views, and a huge dining table, barbecue and hot tub by the water's edge. Step inside into a cosy open-plan living space, with a well-stocked galley kitchen and a cluster of comfy armchairs around the wood-burning stove. The master bedroom upstairs has an enormous double bed and a roll-top bath big enough for two positioned by the picture windows – perfect for romantic stays. The house is brilliant if you're with family and friends too: there are bunk beds in the living room, a fire pit in the garden (marshmallows and sticks are provided), and two boats, a paddle board and kayak are moored alongside.

We felt utterly immersed in nature – you're surrounded by woodland with no other buildings in sight – and there is no greater pleasure than jumping into your private lake after a ramble on the Downs. The nearby village of Ditchling has cute independent shops, a museum, some great pubs and wineries to visit. This is a true find – grab it if you can!
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • This is an utterly delightful waterside retreat, completely secluded on a private lake, with no other neighbours nearby
  • Its location in the heart of Sussex makes for wonderful walking, nature reserves, wineries; Brighton is just over the Downs for a day trip beside the sea
  • There's everything you need for back-to-nature luxury: boats and wetsuits, wood for the burner and hot tub, board games, a wine fridge, a fire pit and barbecue
  • The dynamic owners also have a gorgeous eco-house with tennis court and swimming pool nearby; book both if you're a bigger family party

Lows

  • You'll need to park the car at the top of the lane and take your gear down a track to the cabin (about a 5-minute walk). There's an electric off-road vehicle to assist on arrival and departure only, so you may want to bring groceries with you
  • The bunk beds, while adult-sized and comfy, are inside an alcove in the living room
  • The only shower, while nice and warm, is outdoor; there's a bathtub in the master bedroom
  • Not recommended for families with small kids, as the deck is unfenced
  • Popular. You'll need to book ahead

Best time to go

The Cabin is at its best in the summer to make the most of the lake and to enjoy its inside-outside vibe. All seasons are worthwhile here though: autumns are beautiful with glorious walks through colourful woods; cosy up in winter beside the wood burning stove; the South Downs in spring are delightful with leaves, blossom and birdsong bursting forth.

Our top tips

Bring swimming costumes to swim in the lake, and a torch and wellies if you're coming in the winter, as you're quite isolated and the path up to the car can get slippery if damp.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Lakeside cabin
  • 2 bedrooms
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome except toddlers
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kayak, paddle board, boats
Room:

Rooms

The cabin has a most appealing shabby-chic vibe with decor and design deliberately reminiscent of a beach house. Its A-frame layout allows for a large open-plan living/dining/kitchen on the ground floor, with wooden floors and white-washed planking on three walls, rustic timbers vertically positioned on the rear in contrast. There's a comfy sofa and some vintage velvet armchairs for cosying up around the wood-burning stove. A retro sideboard, antique fishing nets and open shelving with board games and books complete the lovely, lived-in look.

Up the open-sided stairs is the light-filled master bedroom which has an emperor-sized bed, a sink, and a cool double-ended roll-top bath overlooking the lake through triangular picture windows. The loo is tucked under the stairs, and there is also a hot outdoor shower for sluicing off after a lake swim.

If you're a larger group of friends or family, you can bring and pitch a small tent in the garden for up to two people on request.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Books and board games
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Digital radio
  • Dishwasher
  • Firepit
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Jacuzzi
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • WiFi
  • Wood-burning stove (logs provided)

Eating

As you'd expect the kitchen is set up for convivial cooking. The hand-built units and open shelves, Belfast sink, fridge and cooker are along the west wall of cabin, with a table for eight demarcating the kitchen-diner side of the open-plan living room. It's all here: coffee machine, fetching mismatched crockery, pots and pans, a small dishwasher, a microwave. Teas, coffee pods, hot chocolate and salt and pepper are supplied.

Outside on the deck by the water's edge is a lovely weathered table and benches, which seat up to 12 in comfort. We loved sitting here with sundowners drinking in the views of the lake beside us. In keeping with the inside-outside vibe there's a gas barbecue (fuel supplied) and a BBQ kitchen cleverly sited in a cupboard on the side of the house, as well as a fire pit in the garden for toasting marshmallows.

The nearest large supermarkets are in Burgess Hill with express supermarkets in Hassocks (both are about 2 miles away). We suggest making the most of the excellent local produce hereabouts including eggs from Mac's in Ditchling. For eating out the owners recommend the Bull and White Horse in Ditchling, the Ginger Fox in Albourne, and the Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The lake is brilliant for wild swimming (wetsuits are supplied or bring your own), and there's a rowing boat, raft, kayak and paddle board to try not falling in from, pleasingly the cabin has a hot outdoor shower to enhance that post-lake glow
  • You're in the heart of The South Downs National Park which has wonderful walks and is great for cycling and horse riding too; the owners have a useful list of local activities including fishing
  • The Downs consist of a rich mosaic of habitats including chalk streams which support a great array of wildlife and plant species from rare butterflies to otters to skylarks and brown trout
  • Enjoy a day trip to Brighton's beach, eateries and shopping in Brighton
  • There are vineyards to visit in Ditchling or Albourne
  • Ditchling has a fascinating Museum of Art + Craft, a homage to the artists and craftspeople of the early 20th-century who put the village on the map creatively
  • Stargaze after dinner on the deck

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is a glorious lakeside retreat for families with children who love wild swimming and trying out watersports. There are water craft and wetsuits to borrow. We don't recommend the cabin for those with toddlers or small children who can't swim as the deck gives right onto the lake and is not fenced.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The bunk beds are in a cupboard-like compartment in the open plan living room. If you're a larger family party you can bring your own tent and bedding, and pitch it in the garden for an additional charge.

Baby equipment:

  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Wild swimming in the lake
  • Rowing boat, raft, kayak and paddle board to try out
  • Board games, books, toys, cards to play with

Families Should Know:

The deck is unfenced and is right by the lake.

Distances:

  • Airport: 35 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Lakeside Cabin is in the heart of the South Downs National Park in East Sussex. The nearest small town is Hassocks, and the nearest village Ditchling; it's about 25 minutes' drive from Brighton.

By Car:
You'll most likely have a car to get out and about. If you want to hire a car, see our recommendations. There's parking at the top of the path for 2 cars. Note you will have to bring your gear down the path (5 minutes) to the cabin.

By Train:
The nearest railway station, Hassocks, is on the main London-Brighton line and is a 10-minute drive. You can get a taxi from the station.

By Air:
London Gatwick (35 minutes' drive) is the closest; otherwise try London Heathrow (an hour).

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • London Gatwick 40.0 km LGW
  • London Heathrow Airport 98.0 km LHR

Other:

  • Beach 13.0 km
  • Shops 2.6 km
  • Restaurant 2.6 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for The Lakeside Cabin

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