A few hundred metres from the sailing-boat-dotted salt waters of the Blackwater Estuary in Essex there’s a farm that can do no wrong. It’s home to some of the best fly-fishing in England, has a Michelin-recommended restaurant and an award-winning fine salmon smokehouse – plus a tea room and deli in an old barn space that will charm your socks off. The latest addition to this prime waterside spot? A camping and glamping site, of course.
Set among Chigborough Farm’s 130 acres, the campsite is actually divided into a collection of different areas. There’s a small tent and caravan meadow, a trio of beautiful pre-pitched bell tents and an individual safari tent in a clearing, reached (with a wheelbarrow full of your belongings) on foot. Separately, there’s also a floating cabin, out on one of the farm’s many sparkling lakes (accessed by row boat) and, for all guests, the likes of a games room, a playground and a dining and kitchen space to use.
Nudging the camping meadow, the pre-pitched bell tents have access to all the same facilities – including modern, wet-room-style showers – and are furnished inside with a proper double bed, soft furnishing and all the bedding and towels you need. In summer you can roll straight from your mattress, peel back the creamy canvas of the tent and step out onto the farm, sheltered by hedges on three sites, with views of open farmland and The Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve to the north.
It’s an easy wander to the seaside – part river, part coast really, but very much with a nautical feel – where maritime images adorn the local pub, 400 metres down the road. Walk along the sea wall to find other watering holes or drive the five minutes to the likes of Heybridge and the old market town of Maldon just beyond. Not that you need travel far for fun. By day, pedalos and boats can be hired for tom-foolery on the farm’s lakes and bikes are also available for off-site exploring. Then there’s the deli, the gift shop and that award-winning fishing to try. Why leave to visit anywhere else?
The Owner SaysJust under an hour from London, but feeling like a million miles away, Chigborough Farm is a tranquil and picturesque rural oasis on the North of the River Blackwater estuary near Maldon in Essex. The camping and glamping area is nestled in amongst 130 acres of arable land and fishing lakes, there are permissive footpaths throughout. It is just a short walk from the sea wall and the local coastal village of Heybridge Basin where there are pubs and a Wilkins and Sons tearoom. On site we have toilets, showers, games room, communal dining area with brick pizza oven, log cabin style fishing lodge over looking the lake, Rubino's restaurant, The barn at Chigborough Smoke house shop and deli, pottery painting studio, Terajola furniture and gift shop, yoga and pilates and complimentary therapies. The bell tents are fully furnished and bedding and towels are fully provided.
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