Earlier this month, we became entirely bewitched by a cabin on a private lake. It's called Ditchling Cabin, in Hassocks, Sussex, and is listed with Canopy & Stars. We had never stayed in a cabin before, nor on a lake either. I thought I preferred coastal water but boy, was I wrong. We completely and entirely fell in love with the cabin, and the lake life that came with it.
The lake is completely private with no neighbours at all. That in itself felt totally luxurious! We ate delicious vegan food cooked on the Big Green Egg barbecue, slept in the most enormous bed you have ever seen, bathed in the bathtub of dreams. There were pink and purple sunsets reflected in the water, trout jumping and splashing back down, creating ripples all over the lake. Mature trees gently swishing and swaying at all times, constant birdsong and buzzing. The sounds alone were wonderful.
We ate in swimming costumes on the deck, had afternoon swims, and family boat paddles. There was fishing, journalling, reading and fire pit lounging.
We were there for 3 days, after a really busy month, and it was so desperately needed. It had such a magical affect on my mood. When I returned I realised how much more relaxed I felt. I wasn't holding tension in my shoulders and chest and felt generally calmer. The difference was amazing, actually! I felt like I really and truly exhaled in those 3 days by the lake.
Let me show you around.
A tour of the cabin, downstairs:
Firstly, inside downstairs. A large open plan kitchen lounge room with a genius hidden in-built bunk bed cupboard! There is also a toilet and down here too. There is an outside hot shower round the back of the cabin (totally private). Everything you'd need is provided, as well as tons of board games, squishy sofa's and chairs and fishing equipment.
A tour of the cabin upstairs:
And here is the upstairs. It is one large room with a colossal bed in the middle and the most breathtaking view of the mature trees and beautiful greeny water. There is a freestanding roll top bath tub near the window, and a sink against the other wall. The doors up here open which we did in the evenings when Auden was asleep downstairs. Look at that view!
Outside the cabin:
I had never used a paddle board before but once I got the hang of it I loved the feeling of speeding through the water. We swam too, although it was cold! There is a large outside table and benches, as well as 2 sun loungers on the front deck. By the side of the cabin, on a lawned area, is a fire pit and more benches. From here you can access the jetties and walk all around the side of the lake too. Boats and wetsuits are provided, and all the logs you need for the firepit.
I mean, just look at it!
I brought my journal with me and was able to get a couple of hours, total, over the 3 days. One morning I had time before everyone else woke up which literally never ever happens! It felt so lovely to sit and write in such beautiful surroundings. I always find my journalling is richer and more revealing when I am relaxed and on holiday too. It felt really good to take stock of how I was feeling.
Everything has been so thoughtfully put together, from the bed to the table and chairs. Plates, pans, cups, glasses, (very good) knives, cutlery etc is all provided. The quality of the cookwear, knives and bbq suggest the owners are big foodies! The bed really is colossal and so comfortable. There is a Nespresso machine, a bluetooth speaker, soft white robes, White bath towels and lake towels too. You get to use the big Green Egg barbecue and all the accessories. Dave loved cooking on this! Wetsuits, fishing gear, boats and paddle boards are also provided.
Taking kids to Ditchling Cabin.
This place is just a dream location for kids. Frankie absolutely loved the cabin. She had an initial freakout about the water, but once she got used to it, she really enjoyed being on the boat and paddle board, having her own bunk beds, and the fire pit. She really tried to swim but once the cold water got to her stomach she couldn't go any further! The process of trying to get in amused her (and us) a great deal though. Thankfully there were no neighbours to hear her shrieking! I did a fair amount of shrieking too, to be fair. She is really careful generally and can also just about swim so I wasn't worried about her around the water. She wore a life vest when she was out in the boat.
I had so so many messages from people about how we handled Auden and the water. I did worry about it, but we knew about the water when we booked so we just adjusted our expectations. A holiday with kids isn't ever really that relaxing anyway! We took turns following him around the deck. He showed a natural caution of the water and didn't really even go close. He still has 1-2 naps a day too which gave us time to just sit and relax. It was honestly manageable. In the house, there are open stairs and open low shelving. However the glasses are plastic and we just distracted him away from the bowls and plates. Again, it was manageable! We never spent one full day at the cabin. We might have found it a bit more exhausting constantly monitoring him, if we had. A travel cot was provided which we put in the lounge next to Frankie. We spent our evenings outside on the deck mostly, or upstairs. He really loved exploring the nature around the cabin, and enjoyed just boddling about on the deck and the lawn. I think the cabin is better suited to older kids but we had an absolutely brilliant time with out 6 and 1 year old.
So that was the cabin. What an incredible treat it was to stay there for 3 nights. I (clearly!) recommend this place for a memorable getaway.
Our stay at the cabin was payment-in-kind in return for styled professional photos of the cabin.