Family camping with campfires on an organic farm, set alongside the beautiful River Chater
There’s no better name for this small organic farm, set alongside the River Chater and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The local birdlife, further encouraged by nearby Rutland Water Nature Reserve, sings a terrific morning alarm clock. Kingfishers can sometimes be seen in the lower branches of an ash tree that overhangs the river and cuckoos arrive here to officially welcome spring. It’s as if their call is the signal to open the campsite, which promptly welcomes campers from the middle of April each year. Cuck-ooo, Cuck-ooo, they call. The camping season has arrived.
Set in an open, very slightly sloping meadow, Cuckoo Farm Campsite has space for around 50 camping pitches, with a laid back, pitch-where-you-like attitude (though 20 specific spots are provided with electrical hook-ups). Campfires are permitted in the firepits provided and farm-owners Roland and Rebecca are thoroughly encouraging of campfire cooking, with grills, tripods and metal kettles you can use. The real treat is the on-site farm shop, where you can buy their fresh organic produce. Paired with bread and other goods from the farmers market in Stamford, a 10-minute drive away, it’s as wholesome as you could wish for.
For six months of the year the grassland of the campsite is grazed by the farm’s gorgeous black nosed Valais sheep, who move into the neighbouring meadows come camping season. Before being shorn, they look like a cross between sheep, shaggy Highland cows and giant teddy bears. Campers are welcome to book tours of the farm, which may involve the chance to feed lambs in spring and to collect fresh eggs from the chickens for your breakfast. There are pigs and turkeys too and Rebecca and Rowland give some great insight in to organic farming.
For families, the seclusion of the farm is particularly special. It’s over half a mile back to the main road, while the river, which curls its way directly past the campsite, is shallow enough for sploshing, splashing and building dams with sticks and rocks. Rutland Water, meanwhile, is a seven-minute drive away, with a sailing school, fishing lodge and boat hire. You can also rent bikes next to the car park to cycle the family-friendly, 23-mile route around the entire reservoir – great to do with a picnic. When the sun’s out, the place is the very picture of summer.
20 electrical hook-ups, 7 showers, 7 toilets and a brand new disable toilet and shower room. Washing-up sinks and a communal freezer for ice-pack freezing. Onsite farm shop. Firepits to rent, along with a range of campfire cooking equipment including kettles, pans, grills and tripods. This is a small organic farm and is home to sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens and a small heard of fallow deer. Farm walks and tours available, so you can meet the animals, including the resident Black Nosed Valais sheep (the cutest sheep in the world!). Collect your own eggs. River Chater runs alongside the campsite.
Tents, campervans, large groups (contact in advance for separate field), dogs – yes. Caravans and large motorhomes – no.
It’s 4 miles to Rutland Water Reservoir and Nature Reserve, a great place to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s cycling the 23-mile circumference of the reservoir – nipping in and out of the woods as you go on tarmacked, car-free trails – or on foot. Cycle hire is available there if you haven’t brought your own. It’s a scenic spot to go for a picnic and you can also get out on the water sailing or in canoes. Bring binoculars to see the birds and, if you’re a real twitcher, pop into the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre (01572 770651) and Rutland Water Visitors Centre (01780 686800) for more info. It’s 6¾ miles to Burghley House (01780 752451), a Tudor stately home and gardens, including sculpture gardens and the gardens of surprises (take a change of clothes and shoes as the kids will get wet). Guided tours of the house are available, complete with costumed guides to uncover the house's history and the people who have lived there. It’s also 15 miles to Grimsthorpe Castle Park and Gardens (01778 591205), 9 miles to Oakham Castle (01572 757578), 10 miles to Rockingham Castle and 9 miles to Barnsdale Gardens (01572 813200). The local market towns of Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford all vie for your attention with history, independent shops and good eateries in abundance. The latter has an excellent farmers market on Fridays and is also home to the excellent Stamford Arts Centre (01780 763203) – a good option for rainy days.
Food & Drink
A range a farm produce is available on site including organic eggs, chicken, lamb, venison, pork, sausages and burgers. As well as firepits you can hire a range of campfire cooking equipment so you can enjoy the full campfire cook out experience (equipment is limited, so book in advance). For something elsewhere, you can cycle (10 minutes) or walk (20–25 minutes) across public footpaths and quite country roads to the pretty Rutland village of Ketton for a drink at The Railway Inn (01780 721050), which is the last purely wet pub in Rutland. Or try a bite to eat at The Northwick Arms (01780 720238). It's also a short drive to the beautiful Georgian market town of Stamford, which has broad range of place to eat and drink.
Cuckoo Farm Campsite, Cuckoo Farm Campsite, Stamford Rd, Ketton, Rutland PE93UU
From the South on the A1: Take the A47 exit towards Leicester. At the roundabout, take the third exit right onto the A47 towards Leicester. At the next roundabout (5½ miles), take the second exit and stay on A47. Take the first right (1 mile) on to Barrowden Road – signposted ‘Tixover House & Grange’. After 1½ miles you will see a signpost for Cuckoo Campsite. Turn Left on to un-adopted Road and, after ¼ mile take the track on the right down to the farm and follow signs to the campsite ground.
From the North on the A1: Take the A6121 exit signposted ‘Stamford’. At the top of the road turn right Signposted Ketton, Tinwell A6121. After 2¾ miles turn Left on to Church Road, following sign towards Collyweston and Wansford (just before red the telephone box on the right). Continue over the river and follow the road round to the right. Take the first right immediately after the railway crossing on to Barrowden Road. After 1 mile you will see a signpost for Cuckoo Campsite.
From the West on the A47: After passing through the village of Morcott stay on the A47 and drive for 3½ miles. Turn Left on to Barrowden Road – signposted ‘Tixover House & Grange’. After 1½ miles you will see a signpost for Cuckoo Campsite.
From the A43: At the roundabout with the A47, take the exit signposted ‘Leicester A47’. Take the first right (1 miles) on to Barrowden Road – signposted ‘Tixover House & Grange’. After 1½ miles you will see a signpost for Cuckoo Campsite.
Stamford (4¾ miles) is the nearest train station with services running to Birmingham, Stansted, Cambridge and Peterborough.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 22 reviews
Beautiful location,good clean facilities
A quick one night stay with my five year old,her friend and mother. A small but beautiful site. Toilets and showers very clean and staff very helpful. . Order food before you get there,as all was frozen so had to go to a local post office for rubbish sausages! Shame,as the freezer was stocked full of amazing looking meat.
Nice weekend Staub with family and friends
Nice, smaller campsite. Clean and warm facilities. We stayed hooked up to electricity due to cold night weather but would prefer different pitch if there were electricity there. Small stream next to the camp side kept the younger part of the group occupied for hours despite of cold and rain. Close to the Rutland water reservoir make it good place to stay while wanting to enjoy bike ride there. Campsite fire allowed with warden making logs and pots available at charge. We had our own and that was OK. We also pitched huge gazebo in between our tents and it wasn't a problem at all.
Lovely location great facilities
Visited towards the end of the summer. It’s a new good campsite in a good location for local nature trails and facilities . Very clean and good service here too from the owner. Highly recommended
Great site with clean facilities and plenty of room
We turned up fairly late but this was not a problem, the shop was stocked with lots of interesting meats from the farm and the facilities were clean and modern. Fires were allowed and there was plenty of space so that you didn't feel like you were too close to your neighboring campers. Highly recommended
Great campsite, everything you could want.
We camped at Cuckoo Farm on a scorching hot Aug Bank holiday. The campsite its self has everything you could want, plenty of hot & clean (free) showers, taps for water everywhere on the site, a river for the dog to play in, a great farm shop (with the usual organic farm shop pricing, but it was so worth it!) and generally clean and tidy throughout (despite the best efforts of some of the other campers to leave their rubbish around). The only downside of the whole stay was a few of the other people on site who were a bit loud for our tastes (I mean who takes a projector camping and sets up to watch angry birds outside at 10.30pm???) and seemed to just be there to drink EXTREME amounts all day and have a party. We'll definitely be returning at some point when it's a bit quieter
A few lovely days
Just back from a lovely short stay at Cuckoo Farm. We loved: the fact there was lots of space, we could have a fire, we could play in the steam, catch wild brown trout and that the facilities were spotless. We did think: £7:50 for 7 logs was rather steep, although they were good and dry and a good size. Perhaps because we live in a rural area anyway, we found the constant trundle of the nearby train slightly irritating at bedtime although it did stop at about midnight. It would have been nice to know where the basic campers could fill water containers too. We used the taps in the washing up room. Will we come back? - almost certainly.
Fantastic weekend getaway
We were a party of 5 adults and 6 kids and we had a fantastic time at Cuckoo Farm. The campsite is in a lovely secluded spot and the welcome email gave great directions. It felt very safe with small children although we had to keep them away from the river! We had to set up tents in the pouring rain on the Friday and the owners came to check we were all ok which was a nice touch. The facilities are plenty and spotless. 3 (or four?) hot showers, 3 toilets and 3 sinks in the ladies’ block. Never had to queue to use the facilities. Good washing up facilities and a freezer for ice-blocks. We didn’t need to use the shop but it looked well stocked. We also missed the farm tour (11am on Sunday) as we had an activity booked on the lake but will go for that next time. The lake is very close by (10min drive?) and there is lots to do there. The nearby towns of Stamford and Oakham are also lovely and good for a rainy afternoon. The only negatives would be a slight slope for pitching our tent (although this is clearly stated on the website) and it was quite windy which made cooking in the open quite a challenge! All in all we had a fantastic stay and will be returning again next year.
Clean and fresh - could be better though
A good clean campsite, a good way to escape. We were camping up the hill slightly and managed to escape the wind. Improvements would have been a warmer welcome and point out of the facilities, as well as better water pressure or flow in the men's bathroom. With it being a working farm there were sheep and goats in the next field. At about 4am our tent was been eaten by goats... Not want you want to wake up too, but atleast we stopped them before they caused any damage. Being able to have a fire was good. Would be a 3.5 if I could.
Response from Cuckoo Farm Campsite
Thank you for the feedback and I’m sorry Gertie and Griselda disturbed your sleep! We have since stepped up goat security and after further 2 breakouts have moved them to a maximum security facility elsewhere on the farm. Don’t worry if you are a fan of the goats as they will be back next year when the new secure fencing is in place. As for the taps in the gents we are working on a solution and hope to have full flow back very soon.
great campsite wild enough and comfortable enough
Great space in a very big field surrounded by sheep and deer. River runs by the field and the kids had great fun playing in it. Water's shallow and there's some nice climbable overhanging trees. Campsite is a little exposed on 2 sides with no trees there to break up the wind. But plenty of level space and great facilities.
A Perfect Campsite
Cuckoo Farm is as good as they get. A stream for the kids to play in, plenty of room to pitch your tent so you are not close to others, a shop selling the most amazing meat, most of it reared and butchered at the farm and spotless wash rooms. We are visited everyday to check that everything was ok. We will definitely be going back before too long.
Tranquil and relaxing and not commercialised
It’s perfect to explore the Rutland area. Very friendly and accommodating owner Roland. Facilities are all new and kept clean. What I loved the most was that you can sit and chill with a glass of your favourite tipple and afire pit and completely relax with no one coming round saying you can’t do this or that. 10 out of 10 Roland. Thank you
The ideal site
Camped here with friends, very comfortable, good clean facilities and host Roland very amiable and keen to ensure we had what we needed. The site is peaceful, family friendly and the use of fire pits a brilliant idea.. limited to tents and small campers only it felt like a proper campsite.. with countryside all round and a sense of peace.
Beautiful peaceful retreat lacking a human touch.
The site is beautiful and very quiet (there were hardly any other guests there when we were) with a stream and gorgeous wildflowers. The toilet and washing facilities are great - clean, with lots of hot water. However, it must be very different when it is busy. The welcome was non-existent during the two days we visited. The shop wasn't open. We would have appreciated a single visit while we were there to check everything was ok, tell us what was on offer in terms of fresh produce from the farm, suggests a couple of walks etc. But if you want peace and quiet, and to be left alone, then during term time this is the place to go.
We've just got back from a wonderful weekend with friends at Cuckoo Farm. We pitched up near the stream which was a lovely sound to wake up to. The children spent half of their time playing in the stream and had so much fun. Roland was really helpful and friendly, the toilet and shower block was lovely and clean, washing up facilities, a freezer for re freezing the freezer blocks and a short farm tour on the Sunday morning, we couldn't have asked for a better time here! We even had some sausages and eggs produced on the farm, yum. The site was lovely and quiet, even though it was busy, it was mostly families so quiet from 11pm ish. Lots of space too, not crammed in, space for the children (and adults) to play. One of our party members also did some fishing and caught 3 small fish. We would really recommend staying at this site.
Beautiful farm campsite – great weekend in the sun
Lovely campsite that feels really hidden – gravel track to get there and a long way from any main roads. Lambs in the neighbouring field. Great little farm shop. Facilities all seemed brand new and I saw there was a sign up for farm tours, which I imagine is loved by families. Campfires a necessity for me, so very pleased with this and nice being by the river (though the river is not a central part of the campsite, it's only very small). Loads of space. Owner was super friendly. We spent the day cycling at Rutland Water (5 min drive), which I highly recommend and playing games at the campsite. Very family-orientated site. We were a group of 7 adults and it was made clear to us that we couldn't be noisy/up all night boozing, which was fine and I imagine would be reassuring for families with young'uns to know.
Beautiful little place
Fantastic and friendly family run campsite, with stunning views and great amenities. Loads of places for the kids to explore and get back to nature. Close to Rutland water which has some beautiful walks and lots for the whole family to do. Can't wait to return!
Lovely family site
We spent a Saturday night here for a quick break. Weather was pretty shocking but the site made up for it. Very good facilities, well maintained pitches and a warm welcome from Roland and his family for whom nothing is too much trouble. A lovely stay and we will definitely return.
Great little campsite
Lovely little spot by a river. Friendly, laid back ownership, incredibly clean and clearly brand new facilities. No extra charges for showers etc. If you walk to the pub, don't follow Google Maps - it takes you on a busy road with no path past the golf club. There is a better via the road not yet on Google. Only criticism was clearly lots of other people read the good reviews - we had hoped to get the place to ourselves!
Best camping weekend ever!!
Absolute idyllic campsite. One of the finest sites our family has camped at. Such a pretty setting with a stream running through which the kids loved playing in. The new shower and washing block is the best we’ve used and we’ve done a lot of camping. Owners have obviously put a lot of effort in setting up new site as caters for all of your camping needs. Highlights were delivery of firewood and fire pits, farm tours, and lovely organic farm shop selling farm produce and delicious ice cream. Our family enjoyed staying at campsite and didn’t want to leave.
FANTASTIC! Best yet, away from everything.....
The friendliest of people, very helpful, provided home cured bacon and eggs (for a very reasonable fee), we will return with out a shadow of doubt. Roland was extremely personable and is undoubtedly devoted to making this camp site and farm work. I'd say good luck - they won't need it though. Showers, toilets, washing up all good, even somewhere to sit in the shower. Roland mate, my one and only consideration for you is hooks on the back of the toilet doors - that's it. Otherwise don't spoil it, apart from perhaps a micro brewery to go with the butchery! Brilliant. Thank you, see you again - James and Claire.
Amazing place to have some family time, plenty of places to visit around the camping site, or if you’d like to hang around there are beautiful animals to see.
Beautiful & peaceful
We booked a last minute camping trip due to the good weather and they were very helpful and accommodating. Brand new facilities kept very clean and tidy. Lovely little farm shop to buy their own meat products and a small selection of other things. Lovely quiet setting away from the road and you can see when the trees are more established it will be fabulous. Loved it, will definitely return