Campsite Review: South Penquite Farm, Bodmin, Cornwall.

Where: South Penquite Farm, Bodmin, North Cornwall.

How Much: Fri and Sat nights: Adults £8, Kids £4. Other nights: Adults £7.50, Kids £3.50. Kids under 5 always free

Campfires: Yes, fire pits. Or wherever, it seemed.

Wood: Wood and kindling available at the farmhouse. We brought our own so not sure how much it was. People next to us collected loads of wood on the moor.

Types of camping: No caravans. Tents and campervans ok.

Facilities: Showers, toilets, laundry facilities, games/toy room, games barn, kids play area, mobile phone recharging lockers.

The Review: Continue reading

Campsites I want to visit!


This weekend  we did not go camping.  Phew, I think we needed a break. Plus of course, it gave me a chance to research some more campsites I want to visit.  I have a spreadsheet that I add campsites to as I find them (is that very sad?), so I thought I would share them with you. Perhaps some of you have visited them and can tell me if my hankerings are with or without reason.  Also do let me know of any campsites you recommend!

All these sites allow campfires. Continue reading

Campsite Review: Debden House (2), Epping Forest, London!

Debden House

Where: Debden House. Epping Forest, Borough of Newham

How much: £10 per adult and £4 per child (this was quoted to me on an e-mail from Debden in April 2013 but pricing does seem changeable)

Campfires: Only in Fire Fields 5 and 6. Big fire pits.

Wood:  Large piles of wood of all sorts left at the entrance to the fire fields, including pallets, tree stumps, old doors etc. Bring an axe.

Types of camping:  All kinds! Group, individuals, families,  tents, vans, caravans, schools, brownies, teenage groups, etc

Facilities: Two toilet blocks, one with showers.

The review:  Continue reading

Campsite Review: Abbey Home Farm, near Cirencester

Where: Abbey Home Farm, nr Cirencester, Cotswolds.

How much: £3 each for adults, £2 for kids.  No other charges.

Campfires: In braziers only, bring your own or hire one for £5

Wood: sack of soft wood £4, sacks of ash £5. Kindling £1. Do not collect your own

Types of camping: Campervans, carlesss camping or camp with car

Facilities: Composting toilets, bush showers

The review: Continue reading

Campsite review: Leeford Farm, Doone Valley, Exmoor.

Way down to the little river beach.

Way down to the little river beach.

Where: Leeford Farm, Exmoor

How much: £6 each for adults, £3 for children under 5

Campfires:  On the floor, no official fire pits,  just make a fire.

Wood: £4 for a ‘small’bag and £5 for a large bag of very nice Ash.  Very good value! No kindling sold.

Types of camping: Tents, campervans, motor homes, anything really. Electrical Hook up available but no hard standing.

Facilities: Unisex toilet and shower block.

The review: Continue reading

Campsite Review Updated – Beeches Farm, Chepstow, Forest of Dean.

 A slope. Every campsite should have one.

Where: Beeches Farm, Nr Chepstow, Forest of Dean

How much: £6 per adult, £4 per child, under 3’s free.  £2 per dog per visit!

Campfires:  In stone fire pits or very strurdy braziers, free.

Wood: Sold at reception

Types of camping: Tents, campervans, caravans, motorhomes.  Electric Hook up available.

Facilties: Toilet and shower block with indoor and outdoor washing up facilities.

The Review: Continue reading

Campsite Review: Eweleaze Farm, nr Weymouth, Dorset


Where: Eweleaze Farm, Nr Weymouth, Dorset – ONLY OPEN in AUGUST

How much: It’s a bit complicated, you will need to check the website, but one weekend night for two adults and two young children cost us £38, it is cheaper on weekdays.

Campfires: Yes, anywhere you like (in accordance with safety regulations)

Wood: Yes, sold in the farmyard £5 per bag.

Types of Camping: Tents and small campervans only.  Bell tents can also be hired, set up and ready to go from Honeybells.

Facilities: Mostly composting toilets, a few flushable toilets, solar heated showers, very basic outdoor washing up areas, shop, bakery, wood fired pizzas, coffees etc.  Animals to pet, hay bale kids fun, puppies to walk, ponies to ride!

The Review:   Continue reading

Campsite Review: Wo-Wo (Wasbourne Manor) Campsite, Sussex

Camping with friends at Wo Wo.

Ok, lets get the negatives over with the toilets and showers in the central reception area are in portacabins and up quite steep steps.  A bit tatty and not very many of them.  There are also composting toilets and portaloos dotted around, usually in a reasonable state. It took us a little while to discover these different toilets as there where none in our field. But that aside, lets move on to the good stuff!  Continue reading

Campsite Review: Thistledown Farm, Gloucestershire

No1 in this year’s editon of ‘Cool Camping’ and with very good reason. Campfires, check. Loads of fire pits and deliveries of wood . Ropeswings, check. Stream and ponds for the kids to splash around in, check. But Thistledown farm has even more to offer. Set in 70 acres of pasture and woodlands, the site was designed as an eco-education centre. As a result there are nicely made paths, woodland trails, friendly educational signs, loads and loads of space and an overall emphasis on eco friendliness. The main part of the campsite is in a valley of undulating pastureland, the grass is lush and green, the composting toliets and heated showers are in attractive wooden structures with lovely touches like sinks carved out of wood. The whole area is car free, campers must park their cars near the top of the valley and heave their gear down the hill in wheel barrows. The owners do offer lifts (for a fee) in their small all terrain vehicle if they are not too busy. The thought of this may be off putting to some, however, the tranquility of the camping area is a fair reward for the extra hassle.

Carless camping area – spaaace!

No really, a LOT of space!

No really, a LOT of space!

A fabulous attraction  is the stream, small lake and a few ropeswings dotted around the woods.  In my experience these simple pleasures can proved hours of entertainment – the kids enjoy it too… This is a great spot for making and sailing some ‘Mini Rafts’.

The amusements...

The amusements…

An area called the ‘Elderflower Orchard’ is reserved for small campervans and those who choose not to lug their stuff down the hill. This area has portaloos and a standing tap and is a couple of degrees less idyllic than the carless camping area. However, even this is substancially better than many other campsites. The toilets are very well looked after and even the standing pipe, providing UV filtered water, has been thoughtfully designed with a proper soakaway to prevent the area under the tap from becoming a mud bath.  Campers in this area have full access to all other areas of the site. And as an added bonus it is slightly cheaper.

Fire pits and small trees, resided over by large wind turbine and again lots of space!

Thistledown Farm

Campfire fun!

Perhaps the best feature of Thistledown is the size and number of pitches. Pitches, based on fire pits, are very widely and randomly spaced, absolutely no straight lines or tripping over your neighbours guy ropes here. Unless you want to, as groups are permitted and can easily camp together.

The area is beautiful, leading directly from the farm is a deciduous woodland with lakes and streams,  teeming with wild flowers and wildlife and an interesting manor house (  Nearby can be found neolithic barrows, panaramic viewpoints and the foodie haven of Nailsworth. A little further afield lies the National Arboretum of Westonbirt and within an hours drive the Georgian World Heritage city of Bath.  An area very much worth exploring.

Thistledown Farm

Wild garlic in the beautiful woodland of Woodchester Park NT directly behind the campsite.

Beautiful old boathouse on the lake in Woodchester Park NT.

In addition to the great lay out, facilities and area, the owners are friendly, helpful, non-intrusive and so obviously full of enthusiasm.  It takes real passion to create and maintain a project like this and the ideas are still flowing.

If you love camping with a campfire have a look at these:

Portable Fire Braziers’.

Debden House, Borough of Newham, London

What an unusual place. Yes, officially in London, but surrounded by Epping Forest, not an area I had visited before. Epping Forest is massive (as I discovered when I got lost in it, but that’s another story). The campsite itself is pretty huge with several different fields. We stayed in the ‘Campfire Field’ (surprise!). We were camping with a large group of friends and for this purpose Debden house was very good. The pitches are absolutely enourmous, we had about 4 tents, 2 campervans plus day tents and gazebos galore and they all fit in one pitch. Each pitch has a large fire pit and backs onto the open forest. So far, so good! The forest is an amazing place to explore, just keep your wits about you almost everyone seems to have a lost in the forest story there!

However, there are down sides. It was rumoured that there was free firewood at the gates of the field but in reality it was a scraggy great heap of left over builders rubbish. Very little of it suitable for burning and really ruined the look of the place. The site is run by the council and the staff were, pretty disorganised and at times unhelpful. You are close to metropolitan London and you can tell. The rubbish both on the site and in the forest was a sad sight to see, people left pitches in a poor state, there was glass and metal on our fire pit. The toilets are far from most of the fields so many people used the woods.

A real shame because it offers a brilliant facility for those poor coutryside starved Londoners and Epping Forest really is magnificent. Because of this and because of its astoundingly large pitches and fire pits it is a good place to meet up with a group of friends – just watch out for booking confusion, be ready to stand your ground.