Tilbury Farm Glamping
There's nothing quite like staying on a proper farm, especially if you spend most of your time in a city, so we were pleased to come across Tilbury Farm – home to Matt and Jenny Ambler and their three children. Together they tend to the farm’s animals – sheep, pigs, ponies and chickens – along with some rather special self-catering cottages and a trio of beautiful shepherd’s huts. Occupying 45 acres of prime Somerset farmland, with breathtaking views over the Blackdown Hills and the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it's a fabulous place to stay by any standards, and for so many reasons.
First the huts themselves, which are locally built and are furnished Somerset woollen blankets and sheepskin throws, along with everything else you might possibly need. The comfortable double bed disappears into the wall by day, revealing a dining area where you can enjoy your complimentary breakfast hamper, while, at the other end, there’s a plush en-suite shower room where even the water is local – drawn straight from the farm’s own bore-hole. There’s a wood-burner for cooler evenings and a compact kitchenette, with a sink, fridge, hobs and plenty of storage. Outside, a wooden deck has chairs and a fire pit for al fresco summer evenings.
The other thing we love about Tilbury Farm is that you can come here for a week and not set foot inside your car. There's a great local pub with food within easy walking distance (The Rising Sun) and a good farm shop and butchers in the village. Morning papers can be delivered to your door (best mulled over beside the remains of last night’s campfire) and footpaths and bike tracks galore unfurl before you into the heart of the Quantock Hills. It’s a short stroll to the top of the hill above the farm, where whitethroats, willow warblers, yellowhammers and kestrels attract local birdwatchers (there are bird books and guides in the shepherd’s huts). From here you can follow the spine of the hill and continue up to Wills Neck, the highest point in the Quantocks, and enjoy views north to the Bristol Channel. Just next door there’s a trekking stables that can take you out into the hills on horseback if you prefer. The nearest village – Bishops Lydeard – is just a short drive away, and from there the West Somerset Steam Railway trundles down to the coast, plus you're also within easy distance of Exmoor and Dunster Castle and the National Trust gardens of Fyne Court. The farm was also once part of the Cothelstone Estate, whose beautiful parkland lies immediately below. Could wistful city-dwellers pitch up up anywhere better?
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The Owner Says
Our favourite spotGlamping only. Dogs not permitted. No camping.
The local area
For walkers and mountain bikers, Tilbury Farm is a boon. The farm has secure bike storage and a hose-down area and can also help arrange bike hire if you haven't brought your own. Some of the best trails in the Quantock Hills are right on your doorstep, taking you east towards Hawkridge Reservoir or north-west towards Wills Neck, the highest summit in the Quantocks and one of the highest points in Somerset. On a clear day it is possible to see Exmoor, the Mendips and Blackdown Hills and even as far as the Brecon Beacons across the Bristol Channel. It's about a 3 mile walk (6 miles there and back) from the farm. If you don't fancy doing the work yourself, pony trekking is available at the neighbouring trekking stables (07595 446252) or hop on a train: The West Somerset Steam Railway (01643-704996) has a station at Bishops Lydeard (10 minute's drive; 3 miles away), where you can take trips out to the coast at Watchet and Minehead. Kilve Beach is the closest (great for fossil hunting and walking), with a good tea room (Chantry Tea Rooms; 01278 741457) on the waterfront.
Best local places to eat and drink
A complimentary breakfast hamper is provided on your arrival. This includes a loaf of bread, eggs, bacon, sausages, juice, milk, biscuits and butter (let the owners know of any dietary requirements upon booking). It's a 10-minute walk down the lane to The Rising Sun (01823 432575) a homely, "smart with a heart" country inn, with a slate floor in the bar, hefty wooden beams and a warm but light feel. It has a good local buzz in the bar, while a restaurant, on the other side of a wood panel, has it's own chic character, away from the drinkers. Booking recommended on the weekend (children and dogs welcome, cards accepted).There's a farmshop, a butchers, a small Co-operative and a Post Office in Bishops Lydeard, 3 miles away.
Why stay with us?
Shepherd's huts have a hidden, fold-down double bed and a separate day bed (1½ metres long) for a child (all bed linen and towels provided). Fully-equipped kitchenette with a butler sink, two-ring hob, fridge, a wood burner (which provides a small oven in which to heat a lasagne, casserole or bake potatoes) and all the pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and utensils you need. Barbecue grill outside and breakfast hamper provided (see Food & Drink). Private, en-suite shower room with basin, shower and a flushing toilet. Electric lighting and plug sockets in the hut. Lots of little extras – cards, board games, dominos, book, maps, record player, records and a radio, wildlife guide books and more – plus free WiFi. Complimentary newspaper (inform the owners of your preference upon booking). Secure storage for bikes and washing facilities. Tilbury Farm has a washing machine and dryer for your clothes.
Accommodation3 luxury shepherd's huts – a pair sleep 2 adults and 1 (young) child, the other has room for 2 adults and up to 3 children. Check Availability
PriceShepherd's huts from £95 per night.
Opening TimesAll year.
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