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
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Glamping stays in a bell tent or cabin on a private six-acre nature reserve in Essex

Swaying grass, 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 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 field. It’s no dogs and no kids and, although the accommodation is spacious (a six-metre bell tent in summer; a double cabin bedroom from mid-September onward), it’s set up only for two. Whether you come in bell tent season or not, the accommodation includes a made-up bed, comfy seating, and towels: total comfort for couples. The cabin bedroom is part of the field shelter which, in the summer months, is still the place for cooking, eating, and washing. Warmed by a log burner, it's 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.

Our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Book with complete confidence at Gemini Camp with the Cool Camping Coronavirus Booking Guarantee. We guarantee the following clear policy for your booking:

  • A low deposit of 30% to secure your booking
  • Balance not due until 30 days before your holiday, in case of late changes to Coronavirus guidance
  • Complete flexibility to move bookings up to the end of 2021 in the event of Coronavirus restrictions
  • In the event of a lack of 2021 availability, switch your dates to 2022
  • Due to low deposit and late balance payment, no refunds are offered

Click here to read the full terms

Details

Facilities

In the summer, accommodation is in a six-metre bell tent (kitted out with a made-up king-sized bed). From September (or when the weather turns cooler) accommodation is inside the field cabins furnished and insulated double bedroom. As you have the space to yourselves, there’s no need for more than the single eco-friendly composting toilet and hot gas-powered shower in the field cabins little bathroom. The cabin 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 cabin. If you need more than the basket provided, it’s £5 per bag.

Suitable For

Glampers, adults – yes. Campers, campervans, caravans, groups, under 18s– no.
We may allow one well-behaved dog per booking.

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 850 347) in the little village of Henham, two miles away. For a smarter option try the Linden House Hotel restaurant, four miles away.

Open

March–October.

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • 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.

NEW FOR 2021: the field shelter has recently been extended and now also features a cosy double bedroom, perfect for those cooler spring and autumn evenings.

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 (10 minutes by car), home to historical hotspots like Mountfitchet Castle, a reconstructed Norman settlement and a toy museum, along with pretty Thaxted (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).

Offers & Deals

The best offer will automatically be applied to bookings on Cool Camping

Accommodation

A single six-metre bell tent or (from September) a cabin on the edge of a private nature reserve.

Gemini Camp

Bell tent Sleeps 4
A cabin with an additional double bedroom bell tent equipped with cooking facilities, shower room and eco toilet. Sleeps up to 4 people in two units.

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Location

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

Show Map

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 8 reviews

★★★★★

Nature's best

Booked Gemini Camp for a short break with son & daughter. Chose this as I wanted somewhere to go back to nature and chill for a few days, reminisce of when they were younger. The accommodation was extremely comfortable, my son had his own space in the room next to the kitchen, whilst the girls had the glamping space. Everything and more was provided, including games, books & eggs for breakfast. We loved watching the deer come out as we were settling down for dinner, and hearing the animals on the other side of the tent overnight. We stayed 3 nights and only really heard the planes on the last night, for some reason they seemed to be more? There are walks and helpful leaflets provided about the local area but we stayed close to the camp, enjoying its location. I wouldn't hesitate to go back or recommend to all. Thanks Dee and Olly!
Aug 21, 2021 by Clare Bowd Verified Review
★★★★★

An ideal place for a relaxing off grid short break

Stayed at Gemini Camp with sister & brother-in-law. We choose this site as we wanted somewhere to just chill for a few days , the accommodation was clean & comfortable everything we needed was provided & the horse box reading room was a good idea, it was great to have a whole field to ourselves , you can hear the buzz of planes drifting across from the airport nearby but we expected that before we went & it wouldn’t discourage us from returning in the future. It was still very peaceful & relaxing. We sat outside in the evening watching the deer as they wandered into the field. There are shops in the village which is within walking distance if needed, there are leaflets in the camp advertising places to visit in the local area we however choose to just enjoy the location. Olly & Dee were both charming , explaining the basics & they obviously care about what they are doing, we throughly enjoyed our stay
Aug 14, 2021 by Roger
★★★★★

Lovely peaceful weekend

We booked this site for our 10 year wedding anniversary and it was the perfect break. The site is peaceful and totally private. The tipi is very cosy and comfortable and the kitchen and living hut it great for cooking and watching the world go by.
★★★★★

Relaxing, beautiful and private!

I booked this visit as a surprise for my husband for a long weekend there. We only live 20minutes from the site but we needed a relaxing weekend away and this seemed perfect! We were met by both Olly and Dee who were very pleasant and happy to help. They talked us through the camp on how things worked and what was local then left us to it! The site is extremely private and we got the entire field to ourselves. You cant see the site from the road and if you didnt know it was there, you wouldnt walk through. We only saw 3 people the whole time we stayed and it was because they were staying in a cottage down the road that is also owned by Dee and Olly. There was an amazing bed in the large tent, a comfy sofa and some drawers as well as a bed in the cabin section. We decided to sleep in the tent both nights for the experience and even though there was no heating in the tent, we were supplied some very heavy blankets that we piled on. They also gave us a hot water bottle which made us roasting throughout the night! The cabin which is separate from the tent, has a lovely little kitchen with all the utensils you'll need, several chairs and a lovely little wood burner which gives off enough heat to keep the entire cabin warm even when we had rain pouring down the first night (which was amazing to sit and watch). Bathroom was clean and large also, toilet so simple to use. We saw a herd of deer the first night, 2 amazingly red foxes and countless ducks and geese! Honestly one of the best experiences we've ever had. It is also a 3 minute walk from Golf World which was perfect for us as my husband went over there for a round. We would 100% recommend it to anyone who would like to camp but is not wanting to go the whole way and sleep on the floor! Thank you so much Dee and Olly for such a memorable stay - we will be in contact soon to book again :D
★★★★★

Relaxing and resourcing stay

We had a lovely 2 nights stay at Gemini camp. If you want a retreat and see no one then it's for you! Everything was perfect from the tent, the cabin, the peace and all the wildlife. It's equipped carefully with lovely details that will make your trip feel like a little adventure whilst being equipped and comfortable. The log burner will keep you warm on evenings and many blankets are available for colder nights. We spotted many visitors from our cabin : deers, foxes, pheasants, geese, ducks and lots of birds. A public bridleway passes nearby giving access to walks trough the golf course and the educational farm.
★★★★★

Amazing weekend

This camp has everything you need... The host Dee is really friendly and helpful. The bell tent is beautiful, wildlife all around you with deers, fox and different birds. We loved sitting outside in the morning sun eating breakfast, it was just stunning.... We will definitely be coming back.
★★★★★

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?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • 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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