Fully restored 1930’s Showman’s Wagon, with a countryside setting and a deep-rooted connection with all things local
The folks who founded The Goods Shed, one of the South East’s most renowned indoor markets, certainly know a thing or two about breathing life back into old spaces. Since it opened back in 2002, the “draughty old railway goods shed”, as The Guardian once described it, with its high ceiling and “vast Victorian windows” has been the talk of Canterbury town and is now home not only to a famous array of artisan food producers, procurers and proliferators, but also a multi-award winning restaurant. It’s no surprise, then, to learn that their first foray into the world of glamping offers quality and history in equal measure. No surprise, either, that it’s set for similarly great success.
Set around 10 miles from Canterbury, on the edge of the Kent Downs, The Goods Shed Showman’s Wagon is a wonderfully preserved and restored 1930’s travellers dwelling. Inside it still features original gaslight fittings and a log-fuelled range, while the dark wooden finish and patterned windows cement its 30’s era feel. An old-style kettle waits to be boiled on the hot plate, a simple pleasure that invites you to cocoon yourself away for hours here in winter months, while during summer, it’s the gorgeous setting that excites. Apple trees shade the outside water tap, chickens cluck along the edge of the nearby hedgerow and, from your perch sitting in the Wagon doorway, glampers have a beautiful view across the meadow, shared with six grazing Southdown sheep. Poor weather pastimes here are one of the pleasures of this cosy heritage abode. Kicking back on the antique patterned sofa with a good book, stoking the toasty fire or lying in the double bed listing to raindrops on the roof are all a joy, while a drive to Faversham (four miles) reveals a slew of antiques shops you can dip in and out of with Canterbury’s famous cathedral not too far beyond. On fair weather days, punting is one of Canterbury’s great highlights – tours are available as well as hiring your own punt to test your skills – while romping across the local footpaths from the Showman’s Wagon is an easier outdoor option. Directly opposite a small dairy farm, the open, agricultural surroundings offer excellent footpaths and wonderful access to the best of the Kent Downs. It’s a Showman’s dwelling with a doorstep onto the best of Kent and a place where the county’s ‘Garden of England’ title makes total sense.
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Amazing get away
Our stay in the Wagon could not have been better. We stayed early July 2018, everything was perfect. The Wagon is secluded from the farm and the house making it feel really intimate. Ivon had thought of everything, there were fresh fruit, juice, eggs and milk form the dairy when we arrived. Really cannot put in to words how lovely it was, the pictures don't do it justice. Would recommend to anyone :)
Perfect weekend away in beautiful setting
My boyfriend and I stayed in this gorgeous wagon for the weekend and we can not recommend it enough. The wagon itself was stunning inside and out. We loved the welcoming touches that our host, Ivon had made to make our weekend special- the vases of fresh flowers, local strawberries and cherries and bottle of delicious Kentish apple juice. We spent a spent a sunny day BBQing, playing badminton, exploring the beautiful countryside, and sitting by the fire and toasting the marshmallows that Ivon had thoughtfully left us. It rained on one of the evenings, but it was super cosy sitting in he wagon and playing scrabble and drinking hot chocolate. Rain or shine, this place is wonderful.
As many others have mentioned, it was the outdoor space that had us hooked; we tried the fire for breakfast, the BBq for dinner; the night walk to the bathroom on the dewy grass by the light of the moon (and the helpful lighting arranged by the host) was memorable. As a couple of digital nomads combining work and family commitments, it was such a refreshing change from a hotel. We experienced a Kent heatwave and hope to be back in the winter!! All the little extras were much appreciated, the cherries , fudge etc. Thanks so much. Wish there were more like Showman's; have to say it beats some other Glamps into a cocked hat.
Glamping with a twist
My 6 year old son and I stayed for 2 nights in the The Goods Shed Showman’s Wagon. Completely exceeded expectations - was wonderful. The Wagon site itself was great with barbecue, lovely outdoor furnishings, campfire area and badminton along with a wonderful country outlook to a field with sheep and a horse. The wagon was tastefully and extensively refurbished included everything you could wish for - books, games, toys, all cooking utensils, marshmallows to toast on the fire, tea and coffee, along with fruit juice, fresh milk, cherries and strawberries on arrival. The shower in a horse box was unique and fun. The country location was perfect and relaxing, but it was very easy to drive and visit local areas - we travelled to Whitstable, Minnas Bay, to the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate and to Canterbury where we also visited The Goods Shed for breakfast which was great. Ivan was a perfect host and explained everything helpfully, then left us alone to enjoy the break - but was available to answer any questions if needed.
Gorgeous location - quirky and comfortable - a perfect get away!
The service here is perfect - milk, eggs, fresh fruit, firewood and bbq coals provided - facilities explained and then you are left to enjoy it! The shower and toilet were quirky - in a horse box just a few steps away... True glamping, in my opinion... camping with class and a comfy bed! We visited Canterbury and Faversham - both really worth a visit. Thank you - a lovely few days.
The whole experience is fantastic. The surroundings are perfect for relaxing. The wagon has been reported perfectly with working stove, gas lamps and electricity if you really want it. The little touches made the stay. Fresh milk, eggs, strawberrys and cherries all waiting for us when we arrived. The converted horse box made for a great rustic bathroom.
Great setting - all the details thought out
Really enjoyed the stay. Ivon was a fantastic host. Loved the wagon and the way that everything had been thought about. Good area for walking (after that breakfast with fresh ingredients)
Don't tell everyone...
...this place is absolutely amazing. The personal touches - from the decor, the fresh flowers and the books to the marshmallows for toasting on the fire, freshly laid eggs and milk from the dairy next door - Ivon goes to great lengths to ensure that your stay is one to remember. The wagon itself is delightful and sympathetic restoration of a 1930s showman's wagon. The setting is idyllic - on private land (overlooking a field of sheep and a horse), with tables and chairs, a badminton court, a BBQ and a fire pit - that you'll easily want to stay for longer. We were lucky to have beautiful blue skies whilst we stayed albeit with an almighty storm one evening. The wagon was perfect in the hot weather but, we also think it would be great in colder weather too as it would be cosy with the range burning. Our only reservation is that all the good reviews may mean that it's hard to get a booking next time!!
Cosy & Enchanting
We absolutely recommend The Goods Shed Showman’s Wagon for a perfect rustic getaway; it is beautiful, comfortable and gave us a true taste of the Kent countryside. We adored the 1930’s aesthetic and could really see the care taken in restoration. Even though we stayed on one of the coldest nights of the year, we were kept warm and toasty by the wood burning stove and heaters throughout. The bed is very cosy indeed and waking up to a view of the countryside was magical! The Goods Shed restaurant is also well worth a visit. Thanks to our host, Ivon, for a fantastic stay!
Everything about my experience in the Showman's Wagon was utterly charming. From the wagon itself, to the stunning surroundings and the lovely host, every aspect was beautiful and I really couldn't recommend it any more. The wagon is the perfect combination of character and functionality. The stove and gas lights make it incredibly cosy, with the added convenience of electricity which somehow doesn't take away from the experience in the slightest. It really is a unique experience, and one I think everyone could do with. I count the days until I can visit again. Thank you.
Utterly lovely. We stayed for one (cold/clear) night and it was absolutely wonderful. The wagon was very well looked after and extremely comfortable, and with the many heaters, fires and blankets on offer, very warm. Ivon was a delightful and helpful host and we are so grateful that he has let us stay in his authentic and self restored wagon. With a shower and loo with hot running water metres away there was very little to fault. We were a few minutes walk from a lovely pub aswell as a few scenic country walks. Overall, our stay completely exceeded expectations and we are already looking forward to returning. 100% recommend! :)
Wow! Magic, magic and more magic. Thank you so much
Where to start. Breathtaking from the moment we arrived. Clucking chickens, horses & Southdown sheep were our first acquaintances - and how welcoming they were! Followed by a very warm welcome from the owners and a show round. We dipped under the apple trees and into the enclosed paddock where before us, the most beautiful wagon - a place we were delighted to call home for a couple of nights. Stretched before the wagon, our own enclosed space overlooking the farm and fields beyond but with the privacy we required for our romantic/family get away (celebrating our first wedding anniversary with toddler in tow...!). A campfire laid out with plenty of kindling and wood, a sweet outdoor dining space and benches to huddle on in the evening. Loo and delicious hot shower just a few meters away - what a treat to shower outdoors and in a converted horse box too! Magic at every turn. Inside the wagon, there is everything you could need. Blankets for getting cosy, speaker for some Radio 6 evening wind down/slow morning sounds and a range ready to be cooked upon. We toasted marshmallows on the campfire and cooked a BBQ, before moving indoors to drink wine and play cards by gas light... just perfect. The nipper loved being amongst the fields and the animals, roaming to his hearts content - an amazing experience for him also. We can't wait to come back again - as soon as possible! Utter bliss from start to finish. Easy going, stress free relaxation in the most beautiful setting. Thank you!!
The perfect cozy place to relax with nature
We stayed a night at the wagon and felt welcomed by the lovely scented candles, biscuits & everything that had been carefully thought out for our arrival. The wagon itself is beautiful and clean. It has a lovely cozy bed and the owner had made sure you had everything you'd need for a romantic stay (cooking utensils, bottle opener, candles… ) The shower was incredible. I took a hot shower overlooking the fields and watching the horse. Really quirky but well done. We went for a nice walk to the local pub where the staff were very friendly. I honestly couldn't have wished for a better romantic and relaxing mini break to reconnect with nature and spend time huddled away with my boyfriend. I would love to return.