East Shilvinghampton Farm Feather Down Farms

UK England South West England Dorset Weymouth

  • Extra toilets/showers
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • "We're Good To Go" accredited
  • Dogs welcome
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Beaches
  • Walking
Safari tent glamping on a working farm in Dorset within walking distance of Chesil Beach

There are a lot of names to learn when you go glamping at East Shilvinghampton Farm. There’s Martin, the farmer who’ll show you around and Joby, his wife, who cooks dinners on site. There’s Trit-Trot, the goat, Chase and Pippin, the ponies and Fred, Alan and Owen, the alpacas. Those aren’t all the names you’ll hear at this Dorset farm but we’d better leave it there. After all, you’ll be needing some room to remember the names of the new best friends your kids are likely to make.

East Shilvinghampton is a sociable site with nine roomy safari-style tents in a huge field which offers panoramic countryside views, just a walk away from the nearest beach. It’s part of the Feather Down farm collection; a mini-chain of boutique glamping sites which champion off-grid farm stays in safari tents (which they describe as "tented cottages"). Lit only by candles and oil lamps, the rustic but homely accommodation, provided by Feather Down, is invariably lovely – with well-stocked kitchens, log burners and cute kids’ cupboard bedrooms as particular highlights. And while the accommodation varies little, the farm experience is authentic and unique as day-to-day site management is left in the hands of partner farmers, like Martin and co, who host Feather Down tents and guests.

It’s very much a family affair at East Shilvinghampton Farm; both in terms of who’s running the place and who’s staying at it. The Bartletts have been here for 70 years and three generations currently help keep everything in good order, from the cows in the fields to the shelves of the campsite honesty shop. The pre-pitched tents and made-up beds make this a fantastically easy option for families – but there’s more: high chairs and cots to hire, home-cooked meals by farm mum, Joby, to order and alpaca walks with son, Henry, to join.

With farm animals and campsite friends a toddle away, kids would be happy here all day but the on-site fun is only half the attraction. This is glorious Dorset and the farm is located between its two greatest treasures: the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the World Heritage-listed Jurassic Coast. You can take a long walk to unusual Chesil Beach, or drive 15 minutes to family-friendly Weymouth. Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Lyme Regis and Charmouth are not much further and all day trips you’ll want to make. In fact, from your well-placed base, walking, swimming, fossil hunting and visiting family attractions are as easy as the glamping at East Shilvinghampton Farm.



Each safari tent has three rooms: a double bedroom, a bunk room and the main living space within which is a cute cupboard bed which is suitable for younger children. The living space also has a fully-equipped kitchen, a wood-burning stove, dining area and a sofa. There is running cold water to both the hand basin and the kitchen sink. Outside each tent there is a sheltered veranda with two deck chairs, a picnic table and outdoor cooking area with a barbecue and a fire pit. Showers are shared and a short walk away. The site also has a pizza oven and a shared undercover seating area, space for games and play equipment. East Shilvinghampton Farm has a B&B and a small camping and caravan site, which must be booked directly, if you are visiting with anyone who doesn't fancy glamping.

Suitable For

Glampers – yes. Big groups and single-sex groups – by arrangement only. Campers, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, dogs – no.


The site is on the edge of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just a few miles from the Jurassic Coast. The closest are Chesil Beach (five miles from site) and family-friendly Weymouth (seven miles). This seaside resort has a lovely crescent-shaped beach is great for kids and you can hop on a mackerel-fishing trip straight from the harbour. There's also West Bay, famous as the home of the Broadchurch TV series, Charmouth and Lyme Regis which are great for fossil hunting, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove to name but a few (all within 22 miles of site). For walking, try The Jubilee Trail or the South Dorset Ridgeway, which takes in the Hardy Monument and the Hell Stone burial chamber. The very pretty village of Abbotsbury is just four miles from the farm and boasts a 600-swan strong Swannery (01305 871858), where lucky visitors can see cygnets hatching during May and June. The village also has fantastic Subtropical Gardens (01305 871387). Eight miles from site in Dorchester there are enough museums for many rainy days: the Dorset County Museum (01305 262735), Tutankhamen Exhibition (01305 269571), Dinosaur Museum (01305 269880) and the Keep Military Museum (01305 264066).

Food & Drink

There are a range of home-cooked meals and cakes from the farm kitchen available to book in advance as well as meat for the barbecue fresh from the farm. There's also an on-site honesty shop where you can pick up basic supplies including milk and, on certain days, fresh bread. The King's Arms (01305 871342), two miles from site, in the village of Portesham is a traditional boozer, with an expansive garden to the rear. For something a little more indulgent, head a little further to satisfy your sweet tooth with a cream tea at Abbotsbury Tea Rooms (01305 871143) which has a beautiful garden behind a 16th-century thatched cottage. The award-winning Hive Beach Cafe (01308 897070), 10 miles away in Burton Bradstock, is recommended for seafood and spectacular views across Lyme Bay.



The Owner Says

One of the highlights of a Dorset family holiday at East Shilvinghampton farm is seeing all the animals that there are for you and your children to meet.  Why not get to know to beef suckler cows and calves (calving starts each year in March) and pedigree Limousin cows.  Some real personalities include Labradors Honey and her mum Lizzie,  pet goat Trit-Trot and her friends,  the baby goats,  Leonard the farm cat (who loves visiting tents),  the ducks Pit,  Pat and Paddle who live with our Bantam chickens,  Henry’s pigs,  Chase the horse,  and Pippin the pony belonging to Martin and Joby’s daughters Georgina and Annabel.  Also making their homes nearby are deer,  hares and owls,  so keep a close eye out for them.  We are lucky enough to have many footpaths surrounding us that you can walk,  but also why not try a stroll down our “Drovers trail”, and see if you can find a bear!  There’s always something going on at East Shilvinghampton!

What’s more, you can enjoy a soak in a jacuzzi!  It can be booked for private hire,  and is sure to make your already relaxing holiday even more restorative.  It features hydrotherapy jets,  beloved by athletes,  which massage aching muscles and soothe body and mind.  The private jacuzzi is where you can forget the outside world and be carried off to a place of true relaxation.  Please note: the jacuzzi will hopefully be bookable this season (2021).

Previous guests have loved the setting of the tents as the children can play and roam freely and safely within sight and earshot of parents.  A great place to explore is the Drovers trail,  which has a small copse for den building at the far end.  We have started to clear another wooded area for children to play in.

The farm larder will sustain the whole family, being well stocked with lots of local produce and the farm’s own beef (steaks, burgers etc) and pork (sausages and bacon).  There’s also a wide range of tantalising home-cooked goodies available to order directly from the farmers wife on this perfect Dorset farm holiday.

Social Distancing Measures

We will be opening a selection of our farms to our guests for a much anticipated holiday. We are customer-focused, the safety of our guests has always been our top priority during these uncertain times. We would like to reassure our guests that we are taking extra measures to protect the health and safety of our farmers and guests.

Our sites are placed in unique and remote locations far from the crowd and the city. You also benefit from dedicated accommodation that is fairly spaced out from other accommodations.

All accommodations will have private facilities – a flushing toilet in all of our lodges and a private shower. If you opt for the outdoor or ensuite shower, this is already a private shower that is located next to your tent and inside your tent, respectively. If you are staying in our lodge with a farmhouse shower, each lodge will have a designated shower block. Our tents will be carefully cleaned, disinfected, and ventilated for you prior to your arrival.


Contact East Shilvinghampton Farm, East Shilvinghampton Farm, Portesham Weymouth, Dorset DT3 4HN

Show Map

Getting There

From Dorchester, take the A35 towards Bridport and Yeovil, at the first roundabout take first left towards Martinstown. At the T-junction, turn left towards Upway (B3159) for four miles, then turn right on to Friar Waddon Road. Continue for two miles, then bear left to Coryates for one mile. On a very sharp right bend, go straight up the lane through post and rail fencing. Follow the signs at the top of the lane to the car park.

The closest railway station is at Upwey, five miles from site. From there a taxi would be necessary to reach East Shilvinghampton Farm and should be booked in advance as there is no taxi rank.


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