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Town Farm Camping
From the top of Ivinghoe Beacon walkers will find one of the most commanding views in the Chilterns and on particularly clear days can see as far as the North Downs, in far away Kent. The sweeping vistas of a rich agricultural landscape mark the place out as beautiful camping country and framed between golden wheat fields and sheep-dotted meadows, Town Farm, can be found. The resident Leach family has been tending the land beneath the beacon for near a century, but only recently unlatched their gates to would-be campers. Quickly becoming a firm family favourite, they’ve swapped lambs for prams, tractors for campervans and transformed old sheds into all you need for a weekend in the Chilterns.
The camping field is behind a barn and is vast. Tents can be pitched at the foot of the beacon, ready for a sharp morning walk to its summit and along the famous Ridgeway, or peg down on the campsite’s edge, with stunning views over the Vale of Aylesbury. Ignore the pylon wire that runs along the right of the site, and turn left towards the Chilterns, passing a new, hip washing block with dark-brown chalet-style wood exterior and minimal white chic interior.
The added ablutions block, accompanying the existing facilities in converted farm buildings, is just one of a few recent changes here. Owner Charles, followed loyally by two amiable golden retrievers, is quick to point out that the atmosphere remains much the same. A well-equipped playground has replaced the old trampoline, Wi-Fi is readily accessible and new tent renting options are available, but at its heart Town Farm is the same unpretentious rural campsite. In the evening time the crackle of campfires is the only background noise and in the morning it’s the peaceful chirp of birdsong, or at least until the children are back in charge.
Frazzled parents looking for activities to wear out their brood have plenty of choice, though, both on and off site. Along with the playground, there is a football goal and tennis court, plus a pick-your-own farm that opens to the public in summer, while beyond, the pleasures of the Chilterns await: Whipsnade Zoo, hot air ballooning, the Grand Union Canal, country parks, theme parks, skate parks, safari parks, and endless cycling, walking, and horse trails. Come night-time everyone will be sleeping soundly.
FacilitiesCampfires allowed in fire pits provided (£6 for duration of stay; wood bundle £7) and BBQs raised off the ground. Facility blocks have hot showers, disabled toilet and shower, washing up sinks, a washing machine (£3.50), tumble-dryer (50p/8mins). Camp kitchen with large communal fridges and freezer, kettle and microwave. Wi-Fi and electricity points. Chemical waste disposal point. Wooden playground with swings, slides and climbing frames. Games room where you can borrow bats and balls for table tennis or play table football. Access to the farm's tennis court. The whole site is regularly tended by Charles and his family, humming around in a farm buggy checking campers are happy – ever present yet unobtrusive. There is a distant murmur of local traffic.
Suitable ForTents, campervans, caravans, dogs (obedient ones that won’t bother the sheep), groups – yes. Noisy groups – no.
Whipsnade Zoo (01582 872171) is 10 miles away and the elephants and tigers at Woburn Safari Park (01525 290407) half an hour. The Chiltern Cycleway (01494 771250) details 170 miles of routes in the area, while walkers inevitably head straight from Town Farm up to the top of Ivinghoe Beacon, stunning views and the start point for the famous Ridgeway.
Food & DrinkEat local goods fresh from the Mead's Farm Shop (01442 828478) at Wilstone or head to Leighton Buzzard farmers’ market, which takes place every third Saturday.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 27 reviews
Family-friendly campsite with nice views
Peaceful and Hospitable
This is, I think, was the best campsite we have ever stayed at (and we've stayed at a few).
We were at the campsite when it was fully booked but there was so much room on the campsite and it didn't feel crowded at all, lots of space for ball games, kite flying etc.
The toilets and showers were spotless.
The staff were so friendly and really happy to help and eager to please. They seemed genuinely that they wanted you to have a lovely time.
The surrounding area was lovely, a pleasure to explore with a young family; such a wide variety in the very local (5 - 10 mins drive), we have a day in the forest, one by the canals/ res, and one on the hill with wild flower meadows.
Would really recommend and we will certainly be back
We stayed in the top field and the views were amazing. We watched the sun set each night with our marshmallows toasting over the fire, while to sheep bleated next door. The playground in the bottom field was fabulous for the children. People camp round the edges of the fields, which means there is buckets of space for games in the middle. The owner is so friendly and helpful. The showers were continually cleaned all day - spotless! The nesting birds above the washing up area were an absolute delight to watch. 10 out of 10 I would say!
A nice campsite nestled near the foot of Ivinghoe Beacon, some great walking to be had on the nearby Ridgeway path or a short walk to the Pick Your Own farm for all manner of fruit and veg. Great play area for children, under cover/open air washing-up area with nesting swallows overhead in the rafters, clean loos/showers but best of all fire-pits available to hire and logs to buy. Could do with a rudimentary shop selling basics, eggs, milk, bread, bacon etc. Nice to see a smattering of classic bay campers when I visited last weekend, link with fotos here - http://vespamore-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/town-farm-camping.html
unwelcoming horrible owner
His large camping field had ONE tent in it... so there was plenty of space!!! I've camped at many campsites across UK, and Charles has got to be the most unreasonable, unfriendly owner I've met! A thoroughly horrible experience. I notice there are lots of positive reviews here; they certainly don't match my dreadful experience.
A wonderful stay
We've just returned from a weekend here, our first visit and were thoroughly impressed. Watching the nesting swallows was a real treat in the farm barns and they flit around your head when you're washing up.
I didn't find the airport noise intrusive. The facilities were some of the nicest and cleanest I've ever seen. Sadly you can't walk to the Pick Your Own Farm as it says on the website although it is only 5 mins drive away.
I've written a full review here http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/town-farm-camp-site-peaceful-family.html
Amazing views! Amazing campsite.
I stayed at Town Farm in a campervan this April and, though it was a little chilly the night I was there, it was well worth it for the amazing views you get at this open spot in the countryside. The views are amazing and in the morning the valley below was covered in cloud like a thick white blanket. Other bonus of easter time was the lambs in all the fields around! I had a campfire, super nice Charles provided logs, firelighters and campfire pit and nice walk up to the beacon really close by. Maybe 25 minute walk from campsite to top of the beacon. Top site.
Great Family Campsite
This is by far the most child friendly campsite i have been to. My 2 young kids had plenty to keep them busy, with a play park, swings and tennis court on site. On the other side of the campsite there are lots of sheeps. The views were amazing and when it rained, there is an indoor play centre about 15 minutes away. There is also a PYO farm 5 minutes away. Showers and toilets were kept incredibly clean. Only downside are the passing cars but i would still like to go back again.
Excellent for winter camping
What a beautiful place!
We're a couple of townies who haven't camped since school, and wanted something easy and relaxing for a couple of nights away. Town Farm was PERFECT - so close to London, but felt a million miles away! The site is extremely beautiful - there are loads of public bye-ways leading to hills, wild flower meadows and woodland. The nearby villages nice are picturesque (try CuriosiTEA Rooms in Ivinghoe for delicious cakes!), and the staff at the site are friendly and helpful. The bathroom block was spotlessly clean, and the showers lovely and hot. I'm sure we'll be back!
Went here because it was fairly local to where we live and from the positive reviews I had read. We were not disappointed. Fantastic location with amazing views from either side of the site. Pitch sizes were massive (we were a group of 8 pitches plus 2 gazebos) and well spaced out. This site is great for families and groups. Lovely safe play area, clean toilets and showers. And the owners and staff were very friendly and could not do enough to make your stay enjoyable and make you feel welcome. They drive around in the evening checking that everyone is ok and that you have enough firewood if you have hired a firepit (we were thankful of this in may half term). If tyou enjoy walking, running and cycling this is a great base for many routes. Will def return in the future.
Over the moon on my first visit!
I think I am the world's hardest camper to please. I want a view, a good pitch, peace and quiet of the countryside with all of the amenities of the town.
Town Farm campsite is perfect!!!!!!!!!!
I bought a Colemans Event shelter and altered it at home to use it as canopy that hangs off the back of my new Chevrolet Orlando (with plush mattresses in the back of the SUV to sleep on). I had booked for Sat and Sunday nights to try this out as a test run for a trip I am doing to Italy in a few weeks.
I paid £10 per night on my own.
When I arrived there were a few people around but very well spread out across the massive field with children kept to one end. EXCELLENT DECISION #1.
The sun was shining and I was greeted by a really nice young chap who used the super charged quad to take me around the site adding 'just point if you want to go somewhere else'. EXCELLENT DECISION #2.
I got set up in a very brisk wind on the edge of the field but found this meant I heard nothing from anyone. EXCELLENT DECISION #3.
I slept as planned and again heard nothing from anyone else or from any passing traffic etc. as the road is a good distance away.
I managed to tear my own tent canopy so decided having had a great night that I would come home of sunday rather than the Monday.
As I was packing up in the sunshine I heard the quad coming across the fields. EXCELLENT DECISION #4. You can hear the quad coming but it isn't in any way intrusive. This really lets you know if you need help there are people around without having to hunt them down or them always being in your face.
Charles was really friendly and we had a good chat. He had come over because he realised that I had paid for 2 nights and only stayed 1 (which I explained). He was really helpful and offered my his tent if I wanted to stay! I was very grateful but said I had tested my tent canopy as planned and would head home. He would take no for an answer when he insisted he returned the second nights £10. EXCELLENT DECISION #5. Unlike other sites where you may be dilly dallying on a Sunday packing up to leave after their departure time (and assume and insist you need to pay for another day) there was none of this just a quick 'are you abandoning? Because I know you paid for 2 nights'!
Everyone I dealt with whether the lady on email, the 2 younger guys on Saturday afternoon or evening and Charles on Sunday did everything in a way I found really refreshing and professional and I have found a place not too far from South London where I can really let my hair down without being bothered and with genuinely lovely people just across the field.
If every stay was like this I may see a lot less of my own home.
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT.
A 'Greater London' gem
We have just returned from a fantastic weekend here and I challenge anyone to find a better site within an hours drive of London. Friendly and helpful staff, a jovial and welcoming host in Charles, a flat sheltered field (where we were) - although some of the other areas are more exposed and sloped, great walks and pubs nearby, a playground and roped off field for the kids to play cricket/football/whatever in. They can provide fire-pits and grills if required and are always coming around to check whether everyone is okay and have everything they need. I've read a comment about aircraft noise but we didn't notice anything - just clear skies with amazing constellations!!
As the title suggests this was our first go and camping with four children and we couldn't have chosen better! We were given a pitch by the play area, so the children made themselves happy whilst I set up? The site was clean and welcoming, toilet facilities great, fridges, sinks etc! The kids loved the fire pit, worth booking! We'll be back! View amazing too!
Great views, facilities and playground, the Beacon is a lovely walk ...and lovely villages and pubs within 15-20 mins drive, but the selling point for me is that it is so near Whipsnade Zoo (which also now has an unbelievable "leave the kids and come back in three hours" playground in the centre). In the other direction Tring and it's Natural History Museum are another half a day. Great location.
Charles is a fantastic chap – really friendly and accommodating. The site is beautiful and handy for Tring and the fantastic Natural History Museum there. Didn't try the pub but Charles' other recommendations for what to do in the area were spot on. Great for kids with a superb playground. Showers and toilets were very clean and only got busy when 50 or so Duke of Edinburgh campers turned up. Would easily get 5 stars if not more, but for the wind, which when we visited was Easterly and therefore pretty chilly even in June. I know the owners can't do much about that but chatting to Charles I think it would be possible to put up some sort of natural windbreaks with some clever planting. That's said, we coped OK by putting up our beach windbreaks. All-in-all though this is a very good and well-run site.
What a fabulous site.. Welcomed by Charles and shown to our pitch away from families and groups.. Almost instantly we relaxed into our weekend under canvas. Spotless shower and wc block, with lots of hot water..! Great walk over Ivinghoe Beacon and cycle trips along a lovely canal path with a pitstop at a lovely pub.. We shall definitely return.. !! Highly recommended :))
Town Farm - Easter weekend 2013
Have just come back from spending the long Easter weekend at Town Farm campsite.
After meandering through Wendover and Tring, visiting the Chiltern and Tring Breweries on the way, we pulled up at the farm with ease. The route from home was simple, and the site is set back from the road a little. We spent a little time looking around for the reception, but as it was so cold we just called Charles and within 1 minute he was driving up to our van to greet us.
We were shown to the electric hook-up area of the main field, and directions of the nearest pub were given! The walk across the field to the pub only takes about 15 minutes, and the walk is pleasant at this time of year with the lambs running around.
The toilet/shower blocks were constantly warm and clean throughout day and night, and there appeared to be never-ending warm water for both the showers and the dish washing area.
I would imagine that during the warmer months this place would get a fair number of visitors, but during the Spring it only seemed to be the mad campervanners which took advantage of the electric hook-up points. During the summer months I imagine that a walk up to the beacon would be nice, and the views from there would be spectacular. Not that the views from the campsite itself aren't nice, as they are already spectacular with being so high up.
Definitely well worth a visit. The owner's could not do enough to help.