Town Farm Camping
Icknield Way, Ivinghoe, Bedfordshire LU7 9EL
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, wifi 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.
The Owner Says
Peaceful and Hospitable
I spent three weekdays at the campsite. The mood on the site was calm and tranquil. The facilities were very good; and I was pleasantly surprised by the reliability and quality of the Wifi connection—I camped directly behind the gain silos. It's clear that the owner Charles takes a lot of pleasure from the surrounding countryside and was happy to guide me with suggestions to make the most of my stay. The highlight of my stay was walking the paths in the nearby hills, here densely wooded sections open to views that stretch away to the distant horizon. It was also a treat to have a clear view of the sunset from my tent. It was reassuring to see that management was very hands-on, ensuring that the facilities are maintained and that guests enjoyed the site respectfully.
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
I am very sad to say I've had an extremely bad experience with this campsite. I arrived at 7.45pm on a pleasant sunny June evening. I hadn't booked in advance because I'd checked their website which indicated 'plenty of space'. On arrival I was met by a disgruntled and impatient owner...Charles... I assume... who was most annoyed that I hadn't pre-booked via internet in advance. He then said : "the office is closed, you can't just turn up and camp, you can't camp here, goodbye!" I was astonished by his harsh, rigid and unwelcoming attitude.
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
My wife and 2.5 year old son have just spent the weekend at Town Farm. Firstly and most importantly, the toilets and shower facilities are very good and clean. There is great play area which all the kids on site enjoyed. And to my surprise the campsite was very quiet come bedtime. Staff were very helpful and happy to help with BBQ needs. All in all we had a fab time and will be back again for more.
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
I know most people camp during the summer and as this is an excellent campsite it can be a bit busy during the good weather. We prefer to camp at Town Farm during the autumn and winter and just about get the whole place to ourselves. The ground is free draining so you won't be muddy underfoot and the fire pits and wood are excellent for keeping warm. Note: the wood they sell is top quality and CHEAPER per bag than at the local garden centre, plus you get free kindling and a firelighter with it. The only thing to watch out for in the weather forecast is strong winds - as the campsite is on top of a hill the winds will be worse and the site is unsheltered. The views are lovely with often spectacular sunsets and there are lots of good walks nearby (especially to the local pub!) Tring is worth a vist for the market, brewery and Tesco. The bathrooms, washing up facilities and laundry are heated and the wifi is FREE with v.good coverage. If you're an all season camper and like this place in summer you will love it in winter.
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.
We have just returned from our first visit to this site and my wife and I found it absolutely wonderful, fantastic views, relaxed atmosphere and plenty to see locally,toilets spotless and Charles (the owner) was extremely friendly,welcoming and helpful.Will definitely return to this lovely oasis.
Sat in my caravan looking across a fabulous view. Got a fire pit ready for the evening (wnot be long as its 20th Dec). If you want tarmac roads around the site with regimented layout go to Caravan Club. If you want a great location, very friendly and helpful owner; relaxed atmosphere, kids play area and London less than 1hr from the site and loads to do in the area then this is a gem. We will return
We have visited Town Farm on a number of occasions as we feel this is a little gem of a site. Situated just outside of Ivinghoe with it’s good pubs and only a short walk from the site, there is plenty to do in the local area and the views from the site are fantastic. The owner Charles could not me more helpful. Nothing is too much trouble. He is always around the site and can often be found chatting with campers and I think that his presence helps manage the no late night noise policy. Great when camping with the family. The toilets and showers have always been clean whenever we have been, both out of season and over Bank Holidays. The play equipment although adequate is being upgraded to enhance the entrainment factor for the younger campers, however, our children could quite easily spend time watching the on-site chickens. Can’t beat fresh eggs in the morning!
Fantastic location for walkers (as with our group) and families alike, with plenty to see and do. The campsite itself was well kept and toilet / shower block was always spotless. Great pub within easy walking distance which serves lovely food as promised by ever helpful owner Charles, always available and often popping round to see if he could help in anyway but without being intrusive. Quiet location and easy to find if you follow the directions. In short stayed two nights and would have no hesitation in returning with a group of walkers or the family. Congratulations Charles you have a little gem on your hands.
I have just got back fron a 2 night stay at Town Farm and I have to say it was awesome! Charles who runs the site is the friendliest guy ever, he can’t do enough for you and is always checking that all his customers are happy and do they need anything else. Great Guy! He even gave me a guided tour of the fields in his super fast buggy! Oh yeah and he kept our beers cold in his fridge! Awesome! I stayed here as a group of 5 adults, we had 4 tents between us and were given a really nice corner pitch with plenty of shelter from the surrounding hedges. We were here as a walking group and there were plenty of fantastic, easy accesable hikes from the entrance of the campsite. We did a great 14.5 mile walk on the Saturday and another 8 miles on the Sunday so needless to say we were a bit tired and in need of a good shower and nights sleep. The showers and toilet facilities were very clean, lovely hot water and never too busy. I do think a couple of extra mirrors would come in handy in the main shower cubicle area and maybe something to dry your hands on in the loos, but it’s a work in progress and these things didn’t exactley spoil our stay. It was a really busy weekend with a good mix of families and adult only groups and everyone was very pleasant and everyone we spoke to seemed to be having just as good as a time as we did. The nearby village of Ivinghoe had a beautiful pub, The Rose and Crown that Charles recommended. We ate there on the Friday night and the staff and food were brilliant. Sausage and mash is a must! Really good wine list and very welcoming atmosphere. We also stopped by there on Sunday afternoon on the way back from our walk and were welcomed in once again even in our muddy hiking boots! All in all Town Farm Camping is AWESOME!!!!! Highly recommeded and would stay there again in a flash! Thanks Charles....You rock!!!!
This is the closest open site we could find for one night where you can have a fire yet get there within an hour of North London. We (me and husband) went for one night our pop up and basic kit as we wanted to go walking. I had telephoned Charles (the owner) earlier in the week and he said to just give him a call once we arrived. We drove there after a nice easy drive up the M1 and we saw him in the farmer’s yard. We were taken to our pitch by a hedge, and set up really quickly so we could go walking. There were half a dozen or so caravans there across the field as that is where the hook-ups were. The site is a work in progress, Charles is a totally nice guy, and really keen to get feedback. He told us of the family history and how the farm came into their ownership, he spins a great yarn! Good bits: Lovely views, bit windy as it is an open site even with the hedge but just blissfully peaceful. We of course camped in March so I imagine it would be gorgeous in good weather. -great local walks, we hiked the Ridgeway, up a steep hill to the Ivinghoe Beacon (about an hour or so?) and then a crazy steep walk down (where they filmed the Dirty Dozen I understand.) -good loos and showers, plus a nice heated room to wash dishes. This area has a ramp so wheelchair accessible in part. -trampoline with a fence around to keep the kids in! goal for football and some baby swings, all in a play area away from campsite - chickens. Lots of ’em. As a consequence, had the fluffiest omelette ever so buy the eggs there. -pub, the Rose and Crown, tiny pub newly done up and owned by a kiwi apparently. This looks to be a nice place to eat and had one of the nicest barmaids ever. She made us so welcome even though all locals in there watching rugby (nice crowd though.) She directed us to a little snug by the fire where we found a pack of playing cards and had a nice glass of wine. The menu looks good, and there is a beer garden there so kids would be fine in summer with their chips. This is within a 15 min walk down the back of the field to a trail which leads you there (across one muddy field so be aware.) - local village, 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk. There is a Londis there incorporated into an old building, it sells all you need and incredibly cheap wine deals. Not so good bits: Well nothing other than no hand towels in the bathrooms (of which Charles was fully aware and planned to amend.) This is a nice site, gorgeous area and I will definitely go back there as it is quiet and he discourages noise and groups. It cost us £20 (£10 per adult per night) plus the hire of a firepit (£5) for the duration. We took our own wood but Charles has kindling and wood for sale (£5) and his wood burned better than ours! We had a great time, set up camp, walked up hill, walked down hill, went to pub and home for our annual bottle of champagne round a campfire in winter (romance isn’t dead.!)
Good points: - Location to Ivinghoe Beacon and local attractions Bad points: - Directly under Luton flight path. LOUD low-flying flights ALL night. - The site was very busy (>30 tents) probably because of half term so we were demoted to a sloping field next to the busy A-road. The main field is flatter and further from road - 2 toilets/1 shower per sex for >30 tents (though they were always impeccably clean) - Showers were cold/tepid at best Overall, the site would be okay on a quiet weekend if you’re used to living under a flight path but for us, afraid it was rather disappointing and wasn’t great value at £26 per night.