Manor Farm (Feather Down Farm)
Manor Farm, West Worldham, Alton, Hants GU34 3BD
It could be said that Manor Farm owns a place in camping history. It was the farm that introduced the world to the Feather Down experience, which has now grown into a 30-farm strong mini empire. The farm's trademark safari-style tents have brought a new level of opulence to UK camping, and its luxurious dwellings are as likely to be seen in the pages of a fashion magazine as they are to be found in Phil from Finance's family album.
Manor is a traditional mixed farm of crops, pasture and woodland, situated between Alton and Selborne on the edge of the South Downs, England's newest National Park. It's around an hour from London, so it's no surprise that this is one of the most popular Feather Down campsites.
The land has been farmed by the Brock family for over 120 years. Its current owners, Anna and Will Brock, were responsible for transforming this slice of Hampshire into a camping haven, loved by families throughout the land. And what a job they've done.
The five safari-style tents are in the old farm orchard, under trees or backed into hedgerows, and all look out over rolling countryside. Each tent has its own campfire – hire the stewpot for hearty Autumnal meals, or simply toast marshmallows as the night falls around you. Since this is part of the Feather Down Farms franchise, expect a luxurious camping experience. There are wood-burning stoves to keep campers toasty through the chilly months, real beds with thick, fluffy duvets, and a flushing loo. Long gone are the days of making a midnight dash back from the toilet block to hop into an icy sleeping bag.
But it's not just a great place to rest your head, Manor Farm is a real foodie's delight. The farm is famous locally for its beef and sausages and Anna's award-winning ready meals are sold locally or available to purchase in the farm shop. You can pick up a range of meat and home-grown produce here too – their marinated butterflied leg of lamb is a long-standing favourite. In the morning, find fresh bread and warm, buttery croissants waiting to be devoured.
So as the original birth place of the Feather Down Farms concept in the UK, Manor Farm is the place all camping cynics should be sent. Once they've woken up cocooned in a fluffy duvet, with their favourite paper waiting on the doorstep, they may never stay in a swanky Mayfair hotel again.