Wild Canvas Camping
The big music festivals may have been cancelled this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a campsite with a family festival atmosphere. Slap bang in the middle of the Mendip Hills, Wild Canvas have set about offering exactly that, with tipis from the organisers of the Tipi Field at Glastonbury Festival and a concoction of local food, family-friendly workshops and small-scale DJ sessions that can’t help but meet the appetite of starved festival goers. Think boutique festival camping but without drunken teenagers tripping over your guy ropes in the middle of the night and background beats keeping you awake at 4am. ‘Good vibes only’, as the kids would say.
Popping up for just 12 days on Somerset’s Fernhill Farm (about 30 minute’s north of the Glastonbury Festival site), Wild Canvas is brand new for 2020 and, though it aims to offer that festival feel, it’s still steering well clear of gathering festival crowds. Camping pitches are more than 15 metres apart, there’s a limit to the number of campers on the site and workshops – from yoga and thai chi to bushcraft and felting – are all organised in a socially distanced manner. Most take place in a beautifully re-purposed barn, where there's now a quirky café and a bar, with tunes from Wild Canvas' very own radio station mixed by their favourite DJs.
The setting itself also takes some beating. Farmers Jen and Andy are committed to regenerative agriculture and their 170 acres is managed using techniques that restore biodiversity and reverse species loss. Indeed, the camping area itself is a wildflower meadow that's left for the bees and bugs to enjoy for the other 353 days of the year. The resulting surroundings are green, luscious and ideal to explore on foot, with multiple public footpaths cutting their way across the farm, as well as the campsite’s very own guided farm tours. By car, meanwhile, it’s a 15-minute drive to foodie Cheddar – the drive taking in the beautiful, winding road that goes through the middle of Cheddar Gorge – and it’s 15 minutes, too, to the tiny ‘city’ of Wells.
The camping area is vehicle free and it takes less than five minutes to walk to your pitch (wheelbarrows available to borrow). Campfires permitted but must be raised off the grass (logs and charcoal can be pre-ordered or purchased on site and firepits are available to hire). Compost toilets and washing up stations in the main camping meadow, plus additional compost toilets and washing up stations in the tipi meadow. Hot showers just beyond the camping meadow (a 2-minute stroll). An old barn, 'Wild HQ', is home to a bar, café and chill-out area and is also where some workshops and activities take place (limited Wi-Fi is available here and there are phone-charing stations). Due to distancing measures, workshops will be by pre-registration only – in advance of your stay, Wild Canvas will send you a list of daily activities and workshops, which you can book in advance (if there's still availability, you can book on site too). Music and speakers are permitted, though these should be turned down after 9pm (and quit from 10pm).
Campers, glampers, families, small groups and chilled-out festival types – yes. Campervans, motorhomes, caravans and dogs – no.
For most people at Wild Canvas, the focus is about staying on the campsite, enjoying the workshops and activities and joining in the fun. Farm tours are a great place to start and may whet your appetite to get out for longer walks. There are heaps of options, with the Mendip Hills all around. Famous Wookey Hole (01749 672243) and Cheddar Gorge (01934 742343) caves are both are both around a 15-minute drive from the campsite, as is Wells, England's smallest city, home to magnificent Wells cathedral and the Bishops Palace (01749 988111). Further afield, it takes around 35 minutes to drive to the coast (near Weston-Super-Mare) or to Bristol and Bath.
Food & Drink
If Wild Canvas is about offering festival-style camping then, of course, that means plenty of festival food. In Wild HQ (the old barn) there's a café (where you can also order a picnic box option to take away) and a bar (Baa Rum Baa), where you can sample the local ales and ciders to the sounds of Wild Canvas Radio. For those staying in tipis, a breakfast hamper or meal boxes can be ordered at Wild HQ the night before, delivered direct to your tipi. There's also the excellent Fernhill Farm Shop, stocking good quality meat, dairy products and a range of organic local produce (as well as basic amenities, including ice, charcoal and toiletries). For bigger shops, the nearest supermarket is located six miles away in Cheddar.
Open for just 12 days this August.
The Owner Says
A pop-up camping experience with a family-friendly festive spirit, gorgeous, traditional Tipis, modern Tipi Tents, and generously-spaced pitches for regular campers.
We are very excited to announce a brand new, river side location for 2021 and can’t wait to welcome guests, old and new, for another wonderful few weeks of summer camping joy.
Wild Canvas is a place to experience the freedom of simple living, comfortable yet connected to the elements, a festival spirit, quality local food and drink, family-friendly workshops, a range of wellness activities and a very gentle summer soundtrack at Wild HQ. Our workshops and activities program will be revealed in due course.
Contact Wild Canvas Camping, Coppey Moor Cottage, Turvey, Bedfordshire, MK43 8EQ
The village of Turvey is located in Bedfordshire. If driving to the campsite input the postcode MK43 8EQ into your satnav.
The nearest, main line train station is Bedford (Thameslink) with regular trains from Kings Cross. From there you will be able to take busses (No.41) to the village of Turvey (direction Northampton).
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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews
a positive and memorable camping experience
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