Gemini Camp

UK England East Anglia Essex Stansted

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Contactless check in
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Individual toilets for glamping accommodation
  • Individual toilets per camping pitch
  • Adults Only
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
A single, super-spacious six-metre bell tent in a private nature reserve in Essex

A single bell tent among swaying grasses, a camp kitchen with a wood-burning stove and the sight of animals grazing in the distance… On a sunny, summer’s day there’s something of the safari about Gemini Camp. But this sole-occupation bell tent site within a six-acre nature reserve, is not too far a journey. In fact, it’s almost unbeatably well-connected. Within an hour of London and Cambridge, it’s located on the Essex-Hertfordshire border where the kind of campsites we like are in relatively short supply. It’s also only three miles from the runway at Stansted Airport. There’s no denying that the sound of aircraft can drift in on the wind but it can’t take away from what you’ll hear from other flying things: the song of the thrush, the hoot of the owl, the cry of the buzzard and the tap tap tapping of woodpeckers in the trees.

Once a neatly-shorn horse pasture, the land at Gemini Camp has been left to re-wild and is now a savannah-like grassland that’s grazed only by visiting roe and muntjac deer. The nature reserve was established five years ago; the brainchild of Olly Clanford whose parents own the land and live on site. When the pasture fell out of use, Olly, who has a background in conservation, saw an opportunity to give something back to nature. It was his idea to share it too – but only with a lucky few.

Wildlife is the priority here so it remains a private place – accessed only by the family, their guests (they also have two holiday cottages) and whoever is staying in the bell tent. It’s no dogs and no kids and, although the bell tent is a spacious six metres, it’s set up only for two. With a king-sized bed, comfy seating, bedding and towels it offers camping in total comfort for couples. Cooking, eating, and washing facilities are a few steps away in the field shelter. This little cabin, warmed by a log burner, is a great place to hang out on rainy days and cool evenings at camp and doubles up as a wildlife hide.

A weekend right here, surrounded by nature, might be enough of a getaway for some but there are also country walks, country inns and country houses to explore. The magnificent Audley End House and Gardens are 30 minutes’ drive away and the nearest country pub, less than 30-minutes’ walk. While many people fly away from this area on their holidays, thanks to this new off-grid getaway, we think eco-conscious Cool Campers will soon be flocking to it.

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Details

Facilities

There’s no need for more than the single eco-friendly composting toilet and hot gas-powered shower in the field shelter’s little bathroom. The shelter also has a kitchen sink with mains water, a gas stove, a log burner and all the pots, pans, plates, utensils and cutlery you’ll need for campsite cooking. Outdoor campfires are not allowed here as it is a grassland nature reserve but logs are provided for the little log burner in the field shelter. If you need more than the basket provided, it’s £5 per bag.

Suitable For

Glampers, adults – yes. Campers, campervans, caravans, groups, under 18s and dogs – no.

Nearby

Gemini Camp is set in a six-acre, private wildlife reserve so wildlife watching accounts for the on-site fun with deer, foxes, badgers and all manner of birds regularly sighted. There are also walks directly from site into the surrounding countryside. Golf World Stansted (01279 812865) is right next door with a nine-hole golf course, a driving range and a themed adventure golf course too. Mountfitchet Castle (01279 813237) is a living museum with a replica of a Norman castle and village, three miles from site. The entry ticket also allows you to visit the House on the Hill Toy Museum (01279 813237) which is just next door. Around five miles from site is the National Trust’s Hatfield Forest (01279 870678), an ancient royal hunting forest and now a popular place for walking, cycling, horseriding and boating on the lake (in the summer months). Audley End House and Gardens (01799 522842) is about 10 miles away and, with extensive grounds, exhibitions, and facilities, makes for a full day out.

Food & Drink

You can walk to local pub, The Crown, in Elsenham village in about 30 minutes (or drive there in five). It has a good reputation for food. A little further away is the recommended Cock Inn (01279 850347) in the little village of Henham, two miles away. For a smarter option try the Linden House Hotel restaurant, four miles away.

Opening Times

March–October.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

Gemini Camp is nestled in a private six-acre field which has been left to revert to nature, so you can have the wildlife-rich surroundings and fresh air all to yourself, perhaps as an extension of a holiday before or after a flight out of London Stansted Airport a five-minute drive away.

The off-grid stays at this hideaway are in a luxury bell tent with a king-size bed; a field shelter with a log burner, cooking and washing facilities – including an eco toilet and shower – are also to hand with views out across the greenery-filled former horse paddock whichever way you turn.

Settled in comfortably to watch planes swooping across the skies overhead then realised you’ve left something behind at home? The village of Elsenham with its local shop and pub is a 5-minute drive (or half an hour walk away) and the nine-hole course and gym at Golf World Stansted, a 10-minute walk away, has a bar in the clubhouse serving food and drink if it’s sustenance you’re after.

Other villages to visit in this rural area include Stansted Mountfitchet (15 minutes by car), home to historical hotspots like Mountfitchet Castle, a reconstructed Norman settlement and a toy museum, along with pretty Thaxted (also 15 minutes) and Finchingfield (25 minutes).

Back in Elsenham, a mainline railway station means you can also take a trip to the big cities thanks to direct services to Cambridge (half an hour) and London (55 minutes).

Accommodation

A single six-metre bell tent on the edge of a private nature reserve.

Bell Tent

Bell tent Sleeps 2
Single pitch, exclusive use glamping site set in a private nature reserve, with 1x6m bell tent and field shelter equipped with gas camping stove, compost toilet and gas powered shower.

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Location

Contact Gemini Camp, Woodlands, Elsenham Hall, Elsenham, Essex CM22 6DP

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Getting There

Exit the M11 at junction 8, then follow the A120 towards Colchester/Bishop’s Stortford/Stansted Airport. Stay on the A120 and, after two roundabouts, use the left two lanes to take the exit towards Stansted Airport. Then take the second exit onto Thremhall Avenue. Take the fourth exit at the next roundabout, then the first exit at the next one. Continue on to Hall Road until you reach a mini roundabout and signs for Golf World Stansted. Around 400m down the road, you'll see a grey sign on the left for Woodlands & Evie Rose Cottage. Turn in here and follow the gravel drive past a long house. You will soon be able to see the Gemini Camp bell tent in the field on your right.

The nearest train station is at Elsenham two miles away with Stansted Airport and Stansted Mountfitchet stations just a mile further. Taxis are readily available from Stansted Airport.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 2 reviews

★★★★★

Cosy, relaxing camp

We had a wonderful stay at Gemini Camp. On the first morning we woke to find a startled deer outside the tent - it was magical! We've done a fair bit of glamping over the years, but this was one of the most comfortable glamping experiences we've ever had - the tent was spacious and cosy, the bed was very comfortable, the shower was hot and powerful and the kitchen cabin was well-equipped, and a bit like a cosy bird-watching den!
Aug 27, 2020 by Jessica
★★★★★

Deer at dawn, butterflies at breakfast, red kites at lunch, woodpeckers at tea, and owls at dinner

A lovely base for walking or cycling and visiting the pretty local towns and villages - but you don't really need to leave your camp. Your three outdoor rooms are spacious, comfortable and a lot of fun, and the meadow and surrounding woods and fields are peaceful (apart from the birds and the odd plane) and buzzing with interesting life. There are footpaths straight out of the meadow, and Daisy May's farm animals and Elsenham church are just next door. Dee was a lovely, thoughtful and unobstrusive host, and offered advice, and recharging and a fridge (with wine) in a barn. Elsenham has a mini supermarket and the next village, Henham, is extremely pretty and has a nice community shop. The perfect antidote to urban lockdown and a great place to start a career in butterflyology!

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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