Where: Nettwood Farm, East Harptree, Nr Chew Magna Lake, North Somerset, BS40 6DA.
How much: £12 per night for tents. £15 per night for caravans with EHU.
Wood: Not sold but the wood can be collected in the adjacent woodland. Bring kindling and own wood if it has been wet.
Fires: There are a number of cut down oil drums that can be used as fire pits or bring a spade and dig your own pit ( replace turf afterwards).
Types of camping: Tents, campervans and caravans. No hardstanding.
Facilities: One shower and two toilets each for men and women in a clean but utilitarian block. A small cute summer-house houses a large fridge freezer plus a few barbeques available to use free of charge, also a couple of comfy chairs to sit and enjoy the pretty rural views from among the trees.
The review: This was out first camp of 2013, a one nighter in April – our earliest ever camp! This area of Somerset is very pretty with its reddish, stone houses and two lovely lakes, Blagdon and Chew Magna, providing pretty views, walks and watersports. As we pulled into the long driveway of Netwood Farm I was immediately impressed by the views. The farm is 900ft up in the Mendip Hills and there are some stunning views down to Chew Valley Lake.
The camping field itself is relatively small, roughly triangular in shape, surrounded by woodland and a small pasture. The campsite is newly opened and also includes a static caravan in the woods and a refurbished WWII cabin with lovely views.
The kids were excited to see a wooden climbing frame with swings – most campsites we visit don’t have playgrounds. However, they ended up spending most of their time playing in the woodland, collecting sticks and making fairy houses.
Having set up camp we started to dig our firepit. We love this kind of thing, it makes us feel all Ray Mears and we were looking forward to trying out our new campfire grill. The kids and I were able to find plenty of good stones in the woodland to edge the pit. Perfect.
Our visit was early in the season and there was only one other pitch taken. However, I liked the overall feel of the site. The owners wanted to create a campsite without signs and rules. It feels relaxed and incredibly tranquil. There was not even a hint of passing traffic although I did see the farm’s tractor once or twice, Nettwood is a working farm.
The views are pleasantly rural from the camping field, a short walk towards the farm house or down to the nearby public footpath reveals gorgeous views down a wide valley towards the sprawl of Chew Valley lake. The owner did confide that the trees that restrict this lovely view from the camping field are sadly dying and might be removed, if they are this site would be even better.
The campsite backs into a pretty, mature woodland area, not large enough for walking but lovely for collecting wood for both fires and fairy house construction. The owner said there will be some forest school activities taking place in the woodland over the summer which would be wonderful.
The public footpath which can be accessed right at the bottom of the camping field took us across a few fields of pasture with lovely views and onto a track that passes through a beautiful, bluebell strewn copse of woodland and on into further fields and copses. We didn’t manage to go too far as the kids where tired and dinner time beckoned. An ordinance survey map would have been handy!
There is no shop of any kind on the site; the owners are unobtrisve though very friendly when I went up to the farm house to pay. The nearest shop is in West Harptree a small, attractive village with a well supplied village shop.
For us Nettwood Farm was a perfect, tranquil one night camp. But it could equally be a good base for exploring the area and enjoying the Mendip Hills. As a campsite local to us we really look forward to seeing how it develops!