Skoolie Stays Sustainable glamping

Digital Detox Breaks

Digital Detox Breaks in Sussex

“My brain has too many tabs open!”

Let our digital detox breaks help you take a nourishing short break from screens, apps and gadgets. Reconnect with nature, slower living, the people you love and yourself.

get off-grid with us

Swap absent-minded scrolling, online shopping and chores for a good book, a cosy spot in front of the fire, lie-ins and coffee in a comfy bed, stomps in the countryside and, most importantly, quality time talking and laughing with the person or people you care about.


Sound good? Then get yourself booked in to Skoolie Stays – the ultimate in luxurious, off-grid breaks. 


Here’s how we can help you unwind, and we make it extra easy with a great offer for working weekday breaks too:

3-day digital mindfulness breaks

Whether you choose to full-on detox and lock your phone up, or to simply practice using your devices more purposefully, this is your opportunity to spend three nights living in an off-grid cabin with a difference.


Everything is provided for you – linen, towels, a full kitchen, hot shower and a compost loo. There is wood for the log burner, a firepit outside should weather allow, a manual full of local hikes and some classic board games to wile away the hours. 


Reconnect with yourself, your interests, your family and friends and the natural world that surrounds you.

how to break away from your phone habits

the detox treats that await you -

picture window bed cabin glamping

The go-slow

Whilst it may take us a while to slow down, when we do we can appreciate how much we needed it. This is your chance to step away from your screen and put things back into perspective.

So, go slow.

Enjoy lying in bed listening to the birds; watch the sun go down or even come up out on the sun deck (if you can bear to drag yourself from your cosy sleep!); swing in the hammock and stare up at the trees or simply curl up on the sofa and read a book.

how to break away from your phone habits

get back to nature

Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are usually happier in life. Their mental health improves, they have improved concentration and sleep better.

So what better way to embrace nature than going off-grid for a three-night break?

One thing nature-lovers must fit in is a good old stomp through the countryside. We’ll leave you lots of details of hikes you can take so that all you need to do is breathe in deep and fill your lungs, enjoy the details of the trees, the leaves, the smells and the sounds.

shop local when on holiday

a hamper full of delicious local produce

We work with the Village Larder to provide delicious hampers for our guests. You can choose a breakfast hamper full of everything you need to create the perfect fry-up, or a welcome cheese and nibbles hamper that is full of local loveliness. 


Hampers are delivered to the bus before you get there and are even put in the fridge for you. The tough part is deciding which hamper you like the sound of best. Still not sure? You could always order both!


Order as an extra at when you choose your dates and checkout.

White Lion pub thakeham rooms

the very best local pub

We have a wonderful local – The White Lion Inn in Thakeham. You can even walk there through Little Thakeham Farm – a sometimes muddy stomp down the Old Drove Road. But hey – that’s what being in the countryside is all about! 


The pub itself is an original 16th Century coaching inn, so it ticks all the boxes of a quintessential English pub: fires, beams and merry folk at the bar. The owners are lovely and they have produced a great modern menu. Enjoy!

Wine tasting West Sussex

fine wine, fine food, fine company

Keen for a longer walk with a half-way break? Within walking distance of the Skoolie (we will leave you a map), or just a short drive in the car, Kinsbrook Vineyard offers 90 minute public tours and tastings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am from May to October.


They include a tasting of three wines and you get a guaranteed table at the end if you fancy staying for food. Or you could just lunch and a quick look around the farm shop – it’s all jolly lovely!

vineyards with rooms sussex

wine tasting breaks

If you tried Kinsbrook and rather liked the idea of turning your stay into a wine-tasting break, why stop there? We are lucky enough to have numerous award-winning vineyards on our doorstep. Many of them offer tours and tastings year-round and have restaurants with beautiful views of the vines. Perhaps start with Nutbourne Vineyard and Nyetimber – less than a mile apart.


Or you could read our blog on vineyards and fine-tune your wine-tasting experience – we have multiple vinyeards within 10 miles of the bus.

cooking over the fire

Relaxing in front of a crackling fire is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a cold winter evening. According to researchers, it’s actually good for us too – the multisensory experience of flickering flames, heat and taste of the food absorbs our attention and slows us down, reducing blood pressure and making us calm.


Our ancestors must have known a thing or two – after all, we’ve been sitting around fires gazing, chatting and eating since prehistoric times.


We are lucky to have a whole field at our disposal, complete with a big firepit and a kindling splitter. We can help you with menu cards and cooking pots so that you can create your own meal over the flames. There is simply nothing like eating outdoors – it tastes so much better!

face the music and dance

Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.


You don’t have to lock up your phone completely – just practice some digital mindfulness. Download some playlists before you go and take the time to listen to complete albums. Play your favourite tunes from the decades and dance  like nobody is watching – they aren’t, you are in a field on your own!

digital detox book
An eye-opening book. Find it on our shelf during your Skoolie Stays digital detox stay!
Skoolie Stays

Wine Tasting Breaks in West Sussex

Wine tasting breaks in West Sussex

Tours and tastings at internationally acclaimed vineyards close to the Skoolie

Tours and tastings at internationally acclaimed vineyards​

Wine tasting and tour Sussex

Exploring the Sussex Wine Region

You may well have heard of Nyetimber and Bolney Wine, after all, they have put Sussex on the international wine map. But when it some to wine tasting in West Sussex but there are also several other vineyards in the area worth talking about. 



Skoolie Stays has several incredible vineyards within 5-10 miles of the site at Little Thakeham Farm. The majority are open year-round for visitors interested in tours and tastings, and there are often dining experiences too. 


Fine wine, fine food and fine company sounds like the perfect way to spend a day, so why not make your Skoolie Stay a full on Wine Tasting Break. 

West Sussex Wine Tasting success – the recipe

The secret behind their success of Sussex’s wine is the terroir and climate. it is incredibly similar to the Champagne region and the vines thrive on the diverse mix of clay, sand and limestone. They also benefit from the relatively mild weather and low rainfall – the proximity to the sea means temperatures are kept even. No extremes. Grapes ripen slowly and absorb all those minerals to develop the most exceptional flavours.


Just as in Champagne, many vintners opt to produce grape varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier as these make for fabulous sparkling wine. Some also create their own stills too and it’s been such a successful story that Sussex now has several vineyards of international acclaim with wine that rivals that of the French.


Sussex Modern writes in more detail about each vineyard and even lets you know who needs help with the picking, but if it’s just the sampling you are after, take a look at our list of favourite vineyards. Each one offers the opportunity to learn how the wine is created and aged, how to pair wines,  how to grow vines  – they offer a fascinating, informative (and delicious!) day out. 

Wine Tasting Map West Sussex - courtesy of Wine Cellar Door
Wine Tasting Map West Sussex - courtesy of Wine Cellar Door

Our favourite local vineyards​

stay near kinsbrook vineyard west sussex

Kinsbrook Vineyard - 2.5 miles

Within walking distance of the Skoolie, or just a short drive, Kinsbrook offers 90 minute public tours and tastings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am from May to October They include a tasting of three wines and you get a guaranteed table at the end if you fancy staying for food. They can also arrange private tours and tastings outside of those times - just get in touch. Read more about Kinsbrook in our Sussex Vineyard Accommodation blog post.

Nutbourne Vinyard

Nutbourne Vineyards - 3.5 miles

Nutbourne welcomes visitors to the vineyard and cellar door all year round. In Winter you can wander through the vines along the vineyard trail, take in the views from the windmill balcony, enjoy a selection of their wines with a cheese platter and pick up a bottle or two to take away. From Easter to Harvest in September, they offer wine by the glass, picnics, guided tours and events.

Nyetimber Vinyard

Nyetimber Vineyards - 3.5 miles

Nyetimber is is regarded as England's finest sparkling wine. It's less than a mile from Nutbourne - proof of some good soil! You can sign up to an open day to sample the famed Nyetimber wines, or even enjoy one of their dining experiences.

wine tasting sussex

Ambriel Vineyard - 4.5 miles

Ambriel is a family-run boutique vineyard that sits on sunny south-facing slopes overlooking the South Downs National Park. They can arrange a bespoke private tour for you, which includes a wine tasting They even focus on areas that you are particularly interested in - just let them know. Alternatively you can sign up to their open days and join a larger group.

Wiston Estate

West Sussex Wine Tasting at Wiston Wine Estate! - 5 miles

Wiston Estate is a family-owned estate that produces exceptional sparkling wines - for which they have received critical acclaim and several awards. They offer a range of tours and tastings, as well as special events. They also have Chalk restaurant, which is an experience in itself.

Stopham Vineyard

Stopham Vineyards - 6 miles

Stopham vineyard is based in an spot of outstanding natural beauty in West Sussex and forms part of the South Downs National Park. They offer wine tasting tours with the winemaker on the majority of Saturdays at 11am or 2pm between April and September. You can also choose to add lunch by the river. They are closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

Upperton Vineyard

Upperton Vineyards - 11 miles

Upperton is a family-run vineyard set in the heart of the South Downs, with spectacular views. They offer private tours around the vineyard tour with the owner, which include a wine tasting. They also have a terrace bar, open from April until the end of the season.

Bolney Wine Estate

Bolney Wine Estate - 15 miles

We had to include Bolney's award-winning wines! The Vineyard Shop is open daily from 9am to 5pm and they offer a variety of tours and tasting experiences where you can learn about the methodology as well as how to pair wine with cheese etc. They also have a restaurant and cafe onsite, so there is plenty to keep you busy!

Skoolie Stays

Discover West Sussex

Discover West Sussex

Find out more about the fun activities and day trips close to Skoolie Stays at Little Thakeham Farm

Typing in a skoolie

By Ruth

There is a wealth of things to discover in West Sussex. Think fairy tale castles, glorious stately homes, wineries and vineyards and then, of course, the rolling downs. 


Nestled into a private meadow right in the heart of rural West Sussex, Skoolie Stays is perfectly placed for you to explore the best the county has to offer, all within 30 minutes of our site.

Discover : castles and stately homes

Arundel Castle
Image courtesy of Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle & Cathedral - 30 minutes

Just a 30-minutes from the Skoolie Stays site and you are in picturesque Arundel. It’s lovely to wander in its own right, but as we are in a section dedicated to heritage, let’s focus on the two major draws: the Castle and the Cathedral, both of which dominate the Arundel skyline.

Home of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors, the Castle has been in occupation since 1067. It has stunning furniture, paintings, armour, tapestries and everything else you’d expect from a castle, as well as incredible views from the Keep. We love the gardens – they run regular re-enactments, which are always fun to watch, but  in April they are also full of glorious tulips. You can check their events page to see what they have going on. 

It is also worth visiting the gothic Cathedral. It is beautiful on the inside and out, but for a real wow factor it is worth coinciding your visit with their world famous Carpet of Flowers exhibition, which comes out just after Easter. Beautiful!


Both the Castle and the Cathedral are involved in Augusts’ Festival of the Arts. 

Parham House and Gardens - 10 minutes

A 10 minute drive away and you reach the beautiful Parham House and Gardens. This Elizabethan mansion was built in 1557 and is still lived in by the descendants of the original family.

The house has been sensitively restored so that guests can enjoy the beautiful furniture, paintings, books, textiles and clocks. The garden is also open to the public so that they can enjoy the deer park, mature trees, four-acre walled garden with herbaceous borders, and seven acres of landscaped pleasure grounds.  It really is a very beautiful spot. 

Petworth House - 27 minutes

Managed by the National Trust, this 17th century mansioninspired by the Baroque mansions of Europe, has one of the finest art collections in the care of the National Trust. It was also the setting for several scenes in Netflix’s Bridgerton.


While the house is very lovely, our favourite activity at Petworth is walking and picnicking in the grounds. The house is set in a 700-acre deer park, designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, and include the Ionic Rotunda erected in about 1765. 

Discover: archaeological sites and museums

Cissbury ring
Cissbury Ring - Image courtesy of National Trust

Amberley Museum - 15 minutes

Amberley Museum is dedicated to preserving the South East’s industrial heritage and it’s a fun day out, particularly for smaller kids.

There are 36 acres to explore and over 40 exhibits to visit, including a working print shop, traditional crafts people demonstrations, lime kilns and other ancient monuments that date back to when the site was a working chalk quarry. It also has a ‘connected Earth’ telecommunications hall (so that you can show the kids a life before mobile phones!) and an industrial narrow gauge railway.

Bignor Roman Villa - 25 minutes

A farmer discovered these famous Roman mosaics whilst he was ploughing the fields in 1811!  The family still farm the land but they leave this part for the visitors to enjoy. And it is quite a sight. 

The  mosaics themselves are some of the most complete and intricate in the country. Everything is explained and there are lots of interactive elements. Fascinating stuff! Of course if your children get bored, as children have a tendency to do at historic exhibits, they also have other things going on. At the time of writing, a stunning sunflower maze was open and a pumpkin patch was due to launch for October.   

Cissbury Ring - 14 minutes

Cissbury Ring is the largest hill fort in Sussex, and the second largest in the country. The 60 acre site is owned by the National Trust and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, its fortificatons built around the beginning of the Middle Iron-Age, possibly around 250 BC.

The site has some spectacular views and butterfly-lovers will enjoy spotting the chalkhill blues, marbled whites and Adonnis that live here. 

Chanctonbury Ring - 19 minutes

Chanctonbury Ring is another Iron Age hill fort, later used as a Roman religious site.  It is easily visible from various locations in Sussex due to its distinguishable crown of beech trees.



Again, the site has lovely views and is ideal for picnics as it’s a relatively short 30 minute walk up to the top.  We love the lower part of the walk as there are some fabulous trees with their roots exposed due to chalk erosion. It’s the perfect spot for a game of hide and seek!  

Discover: places to wander and watch wildlife

Pulborough Brooks
RSPB Pulborough Brooks: courtesy of the RSPB

Arundel Wetlands Centre - 30 minutes

A 30-minute drive away, this 65-acre nature reserve run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust provides a protected habitat for swans, geese, ducks, and other beautiful wetland birds. It has lovely walkways and play areas – it’s very kid-friendly.


There are always a host of activities taking place, from pond dipping to wood carving to boat safaris, and they also run seasonal events – check their calendar for details.  There’s also a rather lovely pub next door – The Black Rabbit…. just saying!

Knepp Castle Estate - 16 minutes

16 minutes drive away and you reach the 3,500 acre Knepp Estate,  owned by the Burrell family for over 220 years. In 2001 they embarked on a ‘rewilding’ project, using grazing animals and restoring natural water courses in order to increase wildlife in the area. It’s triggered a return of rare species, including nightingales, peregrine falcons, turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies.



There are lots of footpaths that weave through 16 miles of the Knepp Estate, allowing you to see the effects of the rewilding project up close. Kids (and adults!) will also enjoy the five tree-viewing platforms which give fabulous,  panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve - 12 minutes

Just four miles away, the RSPB site at Pulborough Brooks offers the chance to explore grasslands, pools, wildflower meadows and newly restored heathland.


The visitor centre is open year-round and there are some wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities – check out their seasonal calendar to find out what you might spot.


Warren Hill Park - 6 minutes

Warren Hill Park , 6 minutes drive away, is a recreational green space owned by the National Trust. A classic small forestry estate, you can still recognise small plantations of softwoods, hazel and sweet chestnut coppice, and beautiful straight oaks as well as semi-natural woodland. 


There are plenty of broad paths, grassy glades and a small pocket of heathland and kids will love hunting for wildlife while you picnic under the trees.

Discover: hiking and biking in the South Downs

South Downs Way - from 10 minutes

Biking South Downs
Biking South Downs

The 100 miles (160 Km) long South Downs Way is a National Trail that follows the old routes and droveways along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs. Every section of it offers something different and the 48 mile stretch through West Sussex, and the areas closest to Skoolie Stays, are no exception.



Upwaltham (27 minutes drive) to Amberley is a 6.5 mile hike, taking you over Burton Down, Westburton and Bury Hill before dropping down to the River Arun. This is one of the two places where the muddy waters of the Weald have cut their way through the chalky mass of the South Downs and are a haven for wildlife.



It’s a tough climb out of Amberley as you head on the 6 mile hike towards Washington. From there it’s a 7.5 mile hike towards Washington – a hike that gives you the chance to spot the hill fort at Chanctonbury (see above).

West Sussex biking - from 10 minutes

There are some great options for mountain biking in West Sussex: the wide chalky trails of the South Downs Way, the woodland areas of Houghton or the Steyning Downland Scheme, a number of trails with varying degrees of difficulty, carefully planned, built and maintained by local volunteers and riders.



For serious mountain bikers, there are plenty of longer rides. A favourite of ours is Mountain Biking magazine’s: South Downs (MBUK 315) which takes you past Cissbury Ring. Stunning views!  For other ideas you can check out Trailforks or Outdoor Active West Sussex suggestions.

Discover: vineyards, wineries, and breweries

Image courtesy of Wiston Estate

Wiston Estate - 11 minutes

Wiston Estate has been farmed by the Goring family since 1743. The ancient chalk downland produces exceptional fruit and their cuvées, both Vintage and Non-Vintage, are delicious.


They offer a variety of tours from the winery, where guests can learn about the wine production, taste the award-winning wines or enjoy the Landscape and Nature tours which take in the wider estate. There is also a lovely eatery: The Chalk Restaurant. It serves up seasonal and locally sourced dishes in a  refurbished barn.

Nutbourne Vineyards - 11 minutes

Nutbourne is a family run, boutique vineyard and winery with a range of award winning still and sparkling wines. They focus on biodiversity, carbon neutral in the vineyard and reduced footprint from production and distribution.


It is a lovely place to visit, with wildflower meadows, alpacas, lakes, places to picnic and stunning views along the vineyard trail. In the Summer they run guided tours and tastings


Kinsbrook Vineyard - 7 minutes

Kinsbrook Vineyard is a relatively new vineyard that was founded in 2014 by the Beckett family. It describes itself as young and progressive and they have worked hard to create an inclusive space to teach about minimal-interventionalist, regenerative practices.


They have a KIN Cafe Bar, where you can try a glass of their wine, or pick up a bottle (or more!) to take away. There is also supper clubs, Sunday afternoon events (summer only) and a farm shop and eatery.

Arundel Brewery - 30 minutes

Arundel Brewery creates award-winning beers and their Brewhouse Project is the perfect place to try beers from the brewery alongside delicious homemade food.

They also hold regular events here such as Jazz Thursdays, DJ Friday nights and regular invite street food pop ups to share the site.

Hepworth Brewery - 13 minutes


Hepworth brews a range of lagers, bitters, pale ales, and stouts. They offer tours to groups and also have a Tap Room selling their beers, as well as others, local wines, gin and ciders.