Nature's Spectacular

UK England South West England Somerset Bristol

  • Campfires Allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
Tipi encampments in the woods with campfires and a festival spirit on the edge of Somerset's Chew Valley Lake

Nature’s Spectacular is the new campsite from Arcadia. If you know, you know — and you can head straight to the booking page. And if you don’t know, the word Arcadia might still be familiar, but perhaps you can’t quite put your finger on why. It might be that you simply know it as another word for Eden, a pastoral paradise. Or it might be that once, late at night at Glastonbury Festival, you stumbled into Arcadia; an otherworldly sound, light, and fire show. The creative team behind this experiential show were left without a festival space to create this year and, instead, put their energy into something altogether calmer: an off-grid campsite in Somerset’s Chew Valley.

The result is just as immersive and no less spectacular but here it’s nature that’s the star of the show. The Arcadia team has taken over 35 wooded acres on the edge of Chew Valley Lake and set up encampments for people to escape to. There’s a disparate mix of accommodation styles that lend the place an organic, bohemian vibe: a showman’s wagon here, a cabin over there, and a smattering of tipis across the place. It’s these that we’re interested in.

You can choose to book a single tipi with views across the lake (Beech View or Hawk’s View) or come with friends and camp out in the woods. Wise Oak, Woodland Camp, and Fire Circle are the group pitches with ever-increasing numbers (from two tents together up to four). Each tent sleeps three on low futon-style mattresses, you just bring the bedding. Importantly and unsurprisingly fire plays its part. Each encampment has a fire pit outside with a provided supply of firewood and more to buy on site.

With the campsite’s origins in the festival scene, it’s not surprising that there’s an area for people to come together if they want to. There’s a communal fire pit, a covered kitchen and dining area, and a state-of-the-art sound system which means you can listen to music without disturbing other campers. There’s also a touch of magic in the woods which are lit up with coloured lights at night. Apart from the views and the immediate surroundings, the fact that all this is in a beautiful part of Somerset is almost incidental. It’s the very top of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with great walks, not least around that lake. Cheddar Gorge is 10 miles south but the trip festival fans might want to make is the 17-mile one to Glastonbury for a poke around its quirky shops and to the famous tor. For the festival and Arcadia’s next spectacular gathering space you’ll have to wait another year but, for now, Nature’s Spectacular will more than do.

Details

Facilities

There are compost loos and washing-up facilities near each camp as well as centrally-located ‘posh wash’ showers. There's also a communal area with a fire pit and kitchen where you'll find a hob, fridge, and washing-up facilities. Tipis are furnished with rugs, futon-style mattresses, low-level tables, and solar lighting. There's a single plug in each tent for campers to charge phones if wanted (though going off-grid is encouraged). Campers should bring their own bedding and towels. Campfires and barbecues are allowed and there's a fire pit outside each tipi encampment, but campers are advised to bring their own grill if they want to cook on the campfire. Logs are provided at each fire pit area and more are available to buy on site. The communal area also has undercover seating, a communal fire pit, a barbecue (campers are asked to clean this after use), and a state-of-the-art Minirigs sound system which all guests are welcome to use up until 11 pm. This is specially designed to allow guests to enjoy music without sound travelling across the site.

Suitable For

Glampers only: individuals, couples, families, groups – yes. Campers with their own tents, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, dogs – no.

Nearby

On top of the on-site fun (and relaxation) there are great walks, birdwatching, and angling at Chew Valley Lake one of the largest reservoirs in the UK which is visible from the site and just a short distance away. The lake and the campsite lie within the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a landscape of steep slopes and undulating plateaus punctuated by spectacular gorges and rocky outcrops that are great for walking, cycling, caving, and climbing. Perhaps one of the most spectacular areas is Cheddar Gorge, 10 miles away on the southern side of the Mendips. The village is also home to Cheddar Car Boot on Sunday mornings, one of the South West's best flea markets which also hosts fruit and veg sellers. Quirky Glastonbury town, close to the festival site, is 17 miles from the site and worth a visit for its independent shops and ancient sites including Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury Abbey (01458 832267), and Glastonbury Tribunal.

Food & Drink

There are no shops or cafes on-site, but you can pre-order BBQ or breakfast boxes for delivery from Meatbox. The Stoke Inn (01275 332 120) is an easy walk, less than half a mile from the site, in Chew Stoke village serving food and takeaways. There's also Chew Valley Raj Indian restaurant (01275 333 917) and a visiting pizza van, Pizza Adorare (07580 761459), on Friday evenings. Salt & Malt (01275 333345) is a lakeside fish and chip restaurant and takeaway less than a mile from the site. A little further away in Chew Magna, there's The Bear and Swan (01275 331100) and in Harptree (three miles from site) The Blue Bowl (01761 221269​), both are traditional country pubs.

Open

Summer only.

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The Owner Says

Our seasonal campsite is located on 35 acres of enclosed land with total privacy. Covered in thick native broadleaf woodland, bursting with undisturbed wildlife. Spellbinding views where the rolling valleys and endless skies dance together in perpetual motion, reflected by the giant lake below. Our camps are surrounded by lovely illuminated woodland which guests are welcome to explore. At night, paths between camps become illuminated with coloured lights creating an enchanted lit woodland to wander through.

Guests can enjoy a change of scenery and the opportunity to socialise with other like-minded people in our new area with picnic benches and fire pits. There is also a kitchen which everyone on site is welcome to use, or you can pick up food from the pub a short walk away.

Accommodation

Eleven tipis, two living trucks, a cabin and a yurt.

Beech View

Tipi Sleeps 4
Peaceful private camp with a great view looking out across the lake and right by beautiful woodland to explore.

Hawks View

Tipi Sleeps 4
Peaceful private camp with a great view looking out across the lake and right by beautiful woodland to explore.

Wise Oak Camp

Tipi Sleeps 6
A secluded hidden camp in the woods with a designated fire pit and your own slice of the night sky. Ideal for groups wanting to get immersed into nature.

Woodland Camp

Tipi Sleeps 9
A secluded hidden camp in the woods with a designated fire pit and your own slice of the night sky. Ideal for groups wanting to get immersed into nature.

Fire Circle Camp

Tipi Sleeps 12
A secluded hidden camp in the woods with a designated fire pit and your own slice of the night sky. Ideal for groups wanting to get immersed into nature.

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Location

Contact Nature's Spectacular, Woodford Lane Chew Stoke, Chew Stoke, Somerset BS40 8XR

Show Map

Getting There

The exact details of how to find the site are only revealed after booking, but it is on edge of the village of Chew Stoke which is eight miles south of Bristol, reached via the A370 and 16 miles west of Bath (via the A368) and five miles east of Bristol Airport (via the B3130).

The closest airport is Bristol Airport, only five miles away. The closest main train station is Bristol Temple Meads, eight miles away. Uber operates in and around Bristol, and if you contact site directly they will provide you with detailed information about local taxi firms.

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Why book with Cool Camping?

  • 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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