Camping trips for most are about getting away from the minor pressures of every day life to unwind and recharge. Manor Farm makes this ridiculously easy. Set in beautiful countryside between Bath and Bristol, both cities are within easy reach yet the farm has that quintessential rural England feel. It is a working farm with a Butchers, Farm shop and Cafè on-site and sits on the edge of Upton Cheyney.
The camp site is a small field on a gently sloping hill with 2 glamping bell tents at the top and additional space for 5 – 10 tents. The bathroom facilities are situated within the farm yard at the top of stairs and consists out of 2 toilets + sink and 2 lovely, glass enclosed hot showers, each within its own small bathroom. There is no dedicated washing up facilities.
Price: £7.50 per adult per night, £3 per person for under 12s. No charge for tents (only the per person charge), £10 per night for camper vans, no caravans admitted.
£240/3 nights for the Bell Tents or Yurt.
Paid Extras: None, facilities included free of charge.
About Manor Farm
“David Hawking and his family are the owners of this ancient farm with traditional farm buildings steeped in history dating back to the 1600’s. The main farm is organic, busying itself with pork and beef production. The philosophy is ‘Home Bred, Home Fed’ which basically means that Dave rears the animals using the feed that he grows in his own fields.
As stated the farm is old, and combined with its commanding position perched up high on the side of the Cotswolds escarpment, it is the perfect place for visitors from all walks of life. Families are very welcome – with a area put aside for rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, rare breed pigs (including William and Kate our Kune Kune’s), ducks, and geese. Free range chickens wonder around the farm with the occasional escape of a piglet or goat creating lots of fun.”
- Target audience: All, including large groups
- Layout: Single camping field is set adjacent to Manor Farm Shop, Cafè (serves light meals) and Butchers shop.
- Target age range: All ages
- Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral, with technically segregated male/female toilets (there’s a sign up but they’re identical, centrally accessed and used interchangeably by guests).
- Season: Open 4pm on Friday until 4pm on Sunday in the summer months.
Environment & People
A highly cost-effective choice for camping. As there is no charge for tents, its ideal for large groups with multiple small tents that give everyone more privacy as well as small families. We paid £18 per night for the three of us, which is one of the lowest cost sites we have stayed at.
Opening hours: Friday – Sunday.
Travel season: May – October. Closed winter months.
Accommodation: 2 Bell tents for hire, grass non-electric pitches (e.g. empty field) for tents or campervans
Location: Manor Farm, Upton Cheyney, Bristol
On-line booking: Book via email, text or call.
Check-in: After 4 p.m. Fridays, anytime (by arrange after 5 p.m.) on Saturdays
Check-out: 4 p.m.
There is no formal on-site entertainment, no game room, in-door pool, children’s play park or pamphlets handed out with trails and puzzles when you check-in. Manor Farm has something better. On arrival we were immediately invited to have a close look at the chicken raising some ducklings in the farm yard next to the goat. We spent a good while guessing which of the Kune Kune pigs were William and which was Kate because children and city people can’t tell the difference. Ruby, the very friendly farm dog was delighted to make new friends and we spent the afternoon pitching a tent whilst playing “Stick” and “Chase.”
I have to interject that this is our idea of perfection, however for those not interested in farm animals, do not have a child to entertain or are allergic to dogs, don’t let the above be a deterrent. We sought out the animals, my daughter practically stole the dog and the animal pens are not set out as a rowdy tourist attraction with squealing toddlers chasing after geese with a bucket of food they bought for a £1. This is just a farm. A real farm. A down-to-earth place where the word rustic was born without the uncouth or unsophisticated bit. It’s unpretentiously welcoming to everyone.
The many attractions of Bristol and Bath are within easy reach. Don’t miss the Lansdown Car Boot just up the road that opens at 6 a.m. and usually have an eclectic mix of sellers, including a large selection of plants, fresh produce and on our last visit, antique telescopes, high quality musical instruments and original paintings.
Mobility requirement to access shower block at the top of a set of stairs.
From the moment we left the A road and turned onto Brewery Hill, one of many almost entirely overgrown small country lanes that lead to the farm, I felt like all the worries in the world didn’t matter any more. The farm itself hasn’t changed much in the decade since I had last seen it and from the moment we arrived, we felt welcomed by the friendly atmosphere the owners have created by sharing their way of life with others.
On a quiet night, it is a tranquil location with some minor noise and light pollution from the nearby cities, however we had a celebratory party in the Bell Tents on Saturday night who returned loudly in the early morning hours and were partying until sunrise, which was disappointingly disruptive to our peace and tranquility. Next time, I will pack ear plugs, just in case. We still had a great stay and watching the sunrise and the mist clear in the valley below whilst brewing the first cup of coffee of the day, was a memorable experience.
The review is based on a one night stay at Manor Farm in May 2016. Click to read more about our eco icons, access icons and feature icons used in this review. This article was first published on 16 June 2016.