Part of the hugely successful Feather Down Farms concept, Lipley 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.
One of the great perks to Lipley Farm is you're invited to have a go at milking one of the site's cows – a somewhat unusual and surreal experience for urban folk. Owner Steve will also amaze you with his uncanny knowledge of the farm animals' identities. Should you decide to stir yourself from the soporific slumber induced by the surroundings, then the charms of Shrewsbury, the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, and great biking on the Shropshire Way all beckon within half an hour. If you and your children are Narnia fans, then a visit to Hawkstone Historic Park, the setting for the films, is a must.
Our favourite spotGlampers, dogs – yes. Caravans, campervans, tents – no. Large groups welcome by special arrangement.
The local area
With the New Forest practically on your doorstep, there's any number of great days out to be had. If a spot of angling takes your fancy, Dandy's Ford Fishery and Tea Rooms (01794 324599) is less than 5 minutes drive away in Sherfield English. Gambledown is also just 15 minutes drive from Paultons Park (023 8081 4442) – a popular amusement park with a couple of decent rollercoasters and splash-tastic rides. Nearby Mottisfont Abbey (01794 340757) is a beautiful old medieval priory with a museum and enchanting, walled rose garden. Romsey itself is a vibrant Hampshire market town, noted for its historic architecture including the Romsey Abbey and King John's House. Visit in early September for the annual Romsey Show.
Best local places to eat and drink
Guests have the option when booking of including a delightful breakfast hamper, packed with local and the farms own produce and a 'farmers soup' hamper with all the ingredients you need for a great meal. There is an honesty shop onsite for buying the farm's goods and there are also some cracking butchers in the area including Stares Butchers at Manor Farm (01794 324938) in Sherfield English – the go-to place for all your steaks, sausages and other delicious locally sourced meat. Kimbridge Farm Shop (01794 341681), sells wonderful local produce (including smoked trout and trout pate) in a gorgeous setting on the historic river Test. The tearoom here is perfect for a lazy lunch. Gilberts Nursery (01794 322566) in Sherfield English does delicious cream teas and has an award-winning Dahlia field – drop by in August for a true explosion of colours. The Hatchett Inn (01794 322487) in Sherfield English serves honest pub food and has an outdoor play area for children. The Boot (01794 388310) in Houghton boasts a lovely outdoor area and a stream at the bottom of the garden.
Why stay with us?
Canvas lodges are exceptionally well furnished featuring the likes of a wood burning stove, kitchen area with sink and all the utensils and crockery you'll need, flushing toilets and an amazing 'cupboard bed' the children will love. Canvas lodges have a toilet inside and a short walk to the showers outside, while the Frills lodges feature a fully en-suite toilet and shower room. There is firewood for sale by the sack load, fresh farm eggs and vegetables in season and herbs (mint, oregano, thyme) from the vegetable patch. BBQs and firepits are allowed on site and there is also a proper pizza oven – Richard and Tamara can provide help if you want to make the perfect pizza. Farm tours are an offer not to be missed!
5 canvas lodges (safari tent style) sleeping up to 5 people each. 2 options, the top spec Canvas Frills Lodge or a regular Canvas Lodge.
PricePrices from £265 for 4 nights.
Tamara can collect/drop-off at Romsey Railway Station for £5 fee if made by prior arrangement.
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