Vallis Veg, Egford, Frome, Somerset BA11 3JQ
Vallis Veg is like a camping version of The Good Life. Well, sort of. When you pitch your tent beneath the dappled shade of an ash tree, and explore the self-sufficient set up of this vegetable-growing, seed-sewing and life-bestowing campsite, you can’t help but envisage a haphazard Tom and Barbara strolling out to meet you. Thankfully, though, the farcical happenings of the classic sitcom are left to the realms of fiction. Life here may be good, but it’s also wonderfully easy.
Vallis Veg is a back-to-basics, tents-only campsite with rustic facilities. The individual woodland pitches are each surrounded by green and growing young trees and provide a sense of privacy. The leafy site sits on a slight slope but the camping spots have been carefully flattened out and have a light covering of woodchips to ensure some extra comfort.
The ethos of the place can’t help but suck you in. If you don’t like a little dirt beneath your fingernails, then it’s probably not the one for you, but even the most disinterested of gardeners can’t help but look on the stripes of the campsite’s vegetable patch with envy. Excess produce is occasionally sold on site – just ask what’s in season – and owner Cordelia is a wellspring of knowledge on where to go locally to stock up on wholesome, tasty goods.
Frome, for starters, is a pleasant walk away and full of independent food shops. On Cheap Street in the centre of town, Frome Wholefoods and Sagebury Cheese, are excellent and The Old Bakehouse is perfect for breads and cakes. But, if you follow the East Mendip Way along the river in the opposite direction, the walk to Mells (7km round trip) is particularly beautiful and similarly rewarding. Along with taking in the most beautiful stretches of the waterside, the route passes the remains of an ironworks just outside the village, a traditional settlement that’s home to an excellent café, a gastro pub and The Walled Garden, serving superb stone-baked pizzas.
The Owner Says
At Vallis Veg we love natural camping spots and we love campfires. These are what we aim to offer our campers. Our site is not a conventional site with lots of tents squeezed together in a flat field. We are a small farm and the camping is little bit wilder – we have levelled spaces among our young trees and we have more open field sites for people with larger tents.
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Really beautiful back to basics site
I camped here for a single night and just loved the quiet basic setting. A composting toilet and a sink are the only amenities you need, and although I could see two other tents from my site I felt secluded and it was very quiet. I would definitely book Woodland Site No. 2 again, or book a field pitch if I came with my family. The walk to Frome was quick and very pretty across the fields. The public parking lot at the bottom of the lane is the top of an absolutely stunning footpath leading to Great Elm and Mells, the latter being equipped with a gorgeous community run shop and cafe. The only thing missing was that I would have loved to join in on a communal campfire or social experience in the evening, but you can't have everything in life! I'll be back!