East Shilvinghampton Farm

UK England

East Shilvinghampton Farm, Portesham Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4HN
A working farm with rustic decor and outdoor living but with comfy bedding and all mod cons thrown in

Part of the hugely successful Feather Down Farms concept, this working farm is camping for those who like their creature comforts – rustic decor and outdoor living but with comfy bedding and all mod cons thrown in including a hob, wood burner and coffee grinder. Feather Down takes pride in the details, making sure you always get a jaw-dropping view, the eggs are always ready to be collected from the chicken coop; and fresh bacon and milk is only a larder trip away. This leaves you more time to concentrate on enjoying yourself and making the most of your surroundings. You don't need a tent, as they come pre-erected, fully furnished and look somewhat close to a rural pop up palace. Feather Down use redundant land from farmers, build the tents, and then let the (more authentic) farmers look after you.

In a lovely valley, a few miles from Weymouth, the tents here have solid wood floors, comfy beds, and a wood-burning stove – they even have a toilet and running water – so you certainly won’t be roughing it. The front of the tents open up fully, so that on a summer night you can be virtually sleeping outside, while on colder evenings, you can seal them up securely and cosy up around the wood burner. In the evening you can gather round a communal bonfire to tell a tale or two and order pizzas from the on site bread oven. Since it’s a working farm, there’s no shortage of animals to pet, including horses, chickens, rabbits and ducks, and there’s a farm larder selling local produce from the farm itself and local suppliers (including great Dorset ales). There are some lovely rural walks nearby, including a great steep climb to the Hardy Monument, or you can drive to nearby Weymouth for its long sandy beach.

The Owner Says

 

Our favourite spot

Dogs (on leads and booked in advance) – Yes. Big groups, single-sex groups – By arrangement only, please call 01420 80804 to discuss your requirements.

The local area

The Jubilee Trail is close by – we'd recommend taking a circular route out along the South Dorset Ridgeway, which takes in the Hardy Monument and the Hell Stone burial chamber.

Weymouth is just 5 miles away and still has all the charm of an old-fashioned seaside resort. Its lovely crescent-shaped beach is great for kids and you can hop on a mackerel-fishing trip straight from the harbour. Weymouth is at the heart of the Jurassic Coast – the beaches along this stretch are great for fossil hunting, particularly those around Lyme Regis. You can easily get to Chesil Beach, a 17-mile stretch of coastline, renamed ‘Dead Man’s Cove’ by Thomas Hardy as so many ships were lost here.

The very pretty village of Abbotsbury is just four miles from the farm and boasts a 600-swan strong Swannery (01305 871858), where lucky visitors can see cygnets hatching during May and June. The village also has a fantastic Subtropical Gardens (01305 871387), and a children's farm (01305 871817) which has a soft play area.

The historic market town of Dorchester is another highlight and is home to numerous museums including the Dorset County Museum (01305 262735); Tutankhamen Exhibition (01305 269571); Dinosaur Museum (01305 269880) and the Keep Military Museum (01305 264066).

Best local places to eat and drink

The King's Arms (01305 871342) in the village of Portesham is a traditional boozer, with an expansive garden to the rear. For something a little more indulgent, satisfy your sweet tooth with a cream tea at Abbotsbury Tea Rooms (01305 871143), which has a beautiful garden behind the 16th-century thatched cottage.

The award-winning Hive Beach Cafe (01308 897070), in Burton Bradstock, serves up some of the best seafood in the area, and guests can enjoy spectacular views across Lyme bay.

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