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Embers Stowe Embers Camping

UK England

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Good walks nearby
A peaceful, unspoiled and rustic campsite set next to National Trust gardens
Stowe is a great site for number crunchers. There’s a grade 1 listed building, 2 months worth of camping, 3 different lakes and 40 monuments and temples, all of which range from 18th-century to 19th-century with careful 20th-century restorations set in 250 acres of idyllic gardens and parkland, plus, if you’re popping in for a visit, some 21st-century technology to help out. It seems too strange a coincidence, then, that some of the UK’s leading mathematical minds lived nearby during World War II, helping to famously decipher the enigma code. Numbers seem to be the local trend.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s so special about Embers Stowe, though. Pull up to The New Inn, now a visitor centre and entrance to the National Trust's gardens and parkland, and you’ll find the subtly added camping area in full summery swing. There’s nothing overly exciting about the place – it’s peaceful, unspoiled and rustic – but it’s this casual camping arrangement that makes for a lovely site.

As the name suggests, campfires are a real focal point here. There’s a fire pit at every pitch and wood for sale onsite, so you can spend nights toasting marshmallows and snoozing off the day's activities, while the tents-only rule gives everything a very back-to-basics, simple feel. Pitches aren’t designated in any specific way, instead the meadow is scattered with small family groups and solo campers, and there are no electrical hook-ups. Not that it’s all at the expense of comfort. For starters the New Inn has a beautiful teashop, perfect for a morning cuppa or cooked breakfast with good views of the Corinthian Arch, and secondly the spacious and eco-friendly facilities mean you can still have a piping hot shower when you need to.

From the campsite it’s an easy stroll into the grounds of the great estate. There are temples, arches, obelisks and statues, all linked together via various trails. Free maps can be found in the New Inn, including one of a cycle trail that leads around the main perimeter of the parkland with the best views enjoyed beneath Wolfe’s Obelisk. During July it’s also worth dipping your toes in 11 Acre Lake. It’s shimmering summer waters create a perfect picnic spot and, on most days, you can try stand up paddle boarding, with boards available from a group that offer tuition and rental.

With such a vast space on the doorstep and enough artifacts and gardens to occupy an entire weekend, Embers Camping really is the kind of place where you’ll never need the car. And when you do muster the courage to leave the Stowe grounds it’s only to head to the local boozer, a ten-minute walk away. Other than that you can forget the outside world and loose yourself in the flames of the campfire and the darkness of the night sky.

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Details

Facilities

The campsite is just beyond the New Inn where a reception building is found. The site is tents-only but equipment can be hired if you don't have it already; choose from an Outwell tent (sleeps up to 5) or safari tents (sleeps up to 6, with the option of two inner rooms). Eco-friendly facilities include a clean and spacious sanitary block with proper flushing loos, sinks and good showers. Fire pits are provided at every pitch and logs and kindling are available for sale.

Suitable For

Tent campers, groups – yes. Caravans/campervans/motorhomes, dogs – no.

Nearby

Wander into the Stowe Estate (01280 817156) to explore the gardens, mysterious temples and lakes. The expansive grounds beyond can be explored on foot, though to take it all in it's best to pedal the marked trails by bike. For children, try the 40 monument explorer trail or head down to the lake for some stand up paddle boarding. From July this year you can walk to the 11 acre lake from the campsite where sessions take place with expert instructors from WakeMK. Elsewhere one of the most popular nearby attractions is Bletchly Park (25 minutes by car; 01908 640404), famously the home of code breakers during the Second World War. It was here that Alan Turing and his team broke the enigma code, recently acted out in film The Immitation Game. Much of the site and story was kept secret for decades after the war and only more recently de-classified and opened up to the public.

Food & Drink

At the entrance to the campsite, the New Inn Visitor Centre (01280 817156) serves delicious fresh food, coffee and breakfasts in its light airy café. Pub-wise, though, it's a 10–15 minute walk to The Queens Head (01280 813004), a quintessential English pub, next door to an old, thatched cottage and clad in hanging baskets of flowers during summer.

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Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 3 reviews

★★★★★

Fantastic Family Weekend

We've just returned from a fantastic weekend with Embers Camping at Stowe.

The site manager Alex was really helpful and friendly and the camping grounds were perfect.  For us, the provision of a fire pit made it all the more magical.  The kids loved being able to toast marshmallows when the sun went down.

The grounds and house at Stowe are breathtaking and we would recommend visiting both.

We are now looking forward to exploring one of the other Embers sites.

Aug 24, 2015 by Gabrielle Flint
★★★★★

AHutchinson

We stayed for two nights and had a brilliant time. The campsite was great. Not too big and loads of room for kids to run around. Being able to use the National Trust bathrooms was a a lovely touch. The guy who runs the site couldn't be more helpful or friendly. Having access to the gardens ensured we had loads to do in the day. Ask to use hire the golf buggies, they're the perfect way to see the enormous grounds with small kids. We'd definitely stay again. 

Aug 17, 2015 by AHutch
★★★★★

A great weekend

I took my two oldest kids (4 & 6) here last weekend and had an incredible time. Lovely location, incredibly helpful & friendly site manager Alex and great facilities. We had a fantastic time together, the firepit was amazing, lots of other kids for ours to run around with and the amazing Stowe to explore during the day. Not the cheapest campsite but thoroughly worth it.

Aug 17, 2015 by Lee Jackson

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