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Browning Bros

UK England East Anglia Essex Colchester

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Wild events, weddings and glamping getaways in the Essex countryside
There’s something beautiful about the way Nat and Archie Browning's glampsite has grown. Borne out of the pair’s childhood escapades in the woods beyond their 15th-century farmhouse, the site offers not only luxury outdoor accommodation but also a real sense of fun and imagination. It was here that they once climbed trees, built dens or clambered down the riverbanks to try and leap across the water. Now it’s exactly the same carefree, outdoor antics that they want to inspire in other people – that is, after all, what camping is all about...

The accommodation itself is an eclectic mix. There are yurts and bell tents – all sleeping up to four people and each looking thoroughly at home in the setting – plus tall, North American tipis, erected in the hight of summer for use as atmospheric chill out areas. Inside each bell tent there’s a double bedstead with two mattresses either side, while carpets, rugs and throws create a snug feel. The two Mongolian yurts, meanwhile, have a little extra space with a fantastic central crown that pools in natural light by day and creates a stargazing port-hole by night. One of the two yurts is also positioned at the very far end of the site – the best for maximum privacy.

For couples there are two more luxurious options. An authentic shepherd’s hut that was bought by the brothers’ great grandfather sixty years ago and left dilapidated in the farmyard until its recent refurbishment. It now features a small wood burner and a snug double bed. The grain silo, however, is the most imaginative space. Tucked away in the woods at the back of the site, the round, pillar box-style building once stored the annual grain harvest at the end of each summer. Today it is perhaps the site’s most romantic option. There’s a double bed, bedside tables, furnishings, drapes and throws, while it’s skylight, in the centre of the high, sloping ceiling, allows you to fall asleep beneath the stars.

The partially wooded setting means you have a sense of privacy around your pitch, while the site still has a fantastically warm and welcoming feel. In the centre a communal fire pit brings families together, toasting marshmallows or hosting gargantuan BBQs, while through the summer guests can also hire out the entire site for glamping parties or outdoor ‘wild’ weddings.

Appropriately, though, it’s the more natural pleasures of the land that make the Browning Bros’ site so fantastic. Yes, they have great facilities, yes they have a covered outdoor kitchen, yes they have indoor games when the weather gets bad, but really this is the sort of place where there’s no harm in getting a little muddy. Two small rivers run either side of the site and converge just beyond the farm and there’s a small pond you can fish in, with rods available to hire. The woods just seem to draw children in, lost from the moment you arrive playing hide and seek among the trees, and the footpath into Great Tey is buzzing with wildlife, fledglings darting in and out of the hedgerows as you walk. It’s little wonder the Browning brothers spent all their time outside when they grew up. And what a joy that they now invite you to do the same.

Details

Facilities

There is a complete kitchen on site – including fridges, hobs, kettles, all crockery and cooking utensils and a sink – with an awning for dining under cover if the weather's bed and a communal BBQ. There are 3 showers, 3 flushing loos and electricity in the kitchen. In the undercover area they have a tennis table, football table and darts board. There are 2 communal campfire pits and each dwelling has its own small firepit. Car parking very close. Trolleys available for carrying bags. Livestock on the farm and fishing available.

Suitable For

Families, couples, (well behaved) dogs, large groups, outdoor weddings and events all welcome.

Nearby

It takes less than 15 minutes in the car to reach Colchester Zoo (01206 331292), a great family day out with over 260 rare species alongside a host of native animals. Just beyond, of course, is Colchester itself. Those looking for more rural treasures should try Ardleigh Reservoir – with an excellent walk or cycle ride around its perimeter, as well as fishing and sailing on the water. Frinton-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea are also a 40 minutes away, two of the most popular seaside resorts on the East Coast, or head to Abberton Reservoir (01206 738172) where there is excellent bird watching.

Food & Drink

It's a short walk to The Chequers (01206 210814), a quintessentially British pub with a small garden and range of English tipples. Also within walking range is the Barn Brasserie (01206 212345), one of the most well received restaurants in the area. Offering fine dining experience with a countryside charm, it's a popular spot, so you may want to book in advance. A short five minute drive will take you to The Swan pub and restaurant (01787 222353). With beautiful views, a diverse menu and their locally acclaimed pizza oven, The Swan is a BrowningBros. favourite! The nearest town, Marks Tey offers two small convenience stores, a butchers for all your BBQ needs, two take-aways and the Food Company (01206 214000). Just one junction north of Marks Tey on the A12 is a Sainsbury’s that offers just about everything else.

Opening Times

April – September.

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Location

Contact Browning Bros, Tey Brook Farm, Great Tey, Colchester, Essex CO6 1JE

Show Map

Getting There

If you are coming from the A120 then follow the signs to Great Tey. Your sat nav will either bring you to Tey Brook Farm or the Tey Brook Centre. Carry on past both of these and you will see the entrance to the site a few hundred metres further on on your left hand side. If you are coming from the the opposite way then you need to continue straight through Great Tey until you come past the Church on your right, follow the hill down for 300 metres and you will see the entrance clearly sign posted on your right. Trains run from Liverpool Street every hour and take 50 minutes. If you are coming by train then the nearest station is Marks Tey, a 5 minute drive away. The owners will normally be on the farm to pick you up so do get in touch before arrival.

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