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Avon Riverside Glamping
There are no fewer than nine River Avon’s in the UK, so the one that sweeps through the Warwickshire countryside – past Warwick Castle, 16th-century Charlecote Park and through Stratford-Upon-Avon – is often referred to as Shakespeare’s Avon. It certainly provides the backdrop for poetic, literary scenes: On winter mornings, mist hangs over the water like a feather-light quilt, while, in spring, Swans royally idle along, pruning themselves in the sun. It’s all best observed from a secret hiding spot along the river; a place where you can cocoon yourself away in total comfort. Aptly named Avon Riverside Glamping is undoubtedly the spot to choose.
Set around 50 metres back from the riverside, this rural retreat has just three luxury shepherd’s huts, each in an earthy, traditional green, with a curved corrugated roof and an age-old design. Inside, however, they are kitted out to a thoroughly modern, 21st-century spec. There’s a tremendous amount of space – think double bed, wide seating area and a compact kitchen with hobs, an oven and a sink – and each hut is fully en suite, with a powerful shower and proper flushing loo. There’s WiFi, if you want to connect, and, outside, a campfire pit, if you want to disconnect and enjoy the real life twitter of the birds.
You can’t quite see the water from the fireside – bordering the flat glamping meadow, the river is dropped down just out of view – but you’re welcome to perch yourself for a picnic on the bank and, if you bring a fishing rod, see what you can catch. National Trust-owned Charlecote Park is just a couple of miles downstream and makes an enviable spot for a picnic, too, with fallow deer roaming in the open parkland.
Elsewhere, Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon is 15 minutes' away by car. It’s far more than just Shakespeare-centric (though seeing the sights and watching a play is recommended), with plenty of good independent shops to intrigue and canoes for hire on the river. Superbly preserved Warwick Castle is closer still (10 minutes) and hosts an array of family activities throughout school holidays, as well as being a mighty historical attraction in its own right. It’s all detailed in a handy welcome pack that amiable hosts Harry and Yvonne have out together, along with local walks and a selection of the best pubs. Everything’s taken care of at Avon Riverside Glamping. All you have to do is relax.
Inside, each of the 3 shepherd's huts has: A double bed with soft bedding and freshly laundered bed linen. An en-suite bathroom with hot running water, shower, lavatory, towels and a small selection of toiletries. A kitchen space, including an electric hob, fridge freezer, microwave, sink, toaster, kettle and all essential food preparation equipment. A seating space with a wood burner (except in the Lavender Lodge), a table and chars. The Lavender Lodge also has a television. Outside each hut there is a firepit and a seating area with a table and chairs. Fishing is permitted in the river but you'll need to bring your own tackle.
Glamping only. Dogs welcome (extra charge). No camping or caravans on site.
Each pod comes with a welcome pack detailing local shops, restaurants and activities. You can also have a good walk around the farm and venture into neighbouring Hampton wood. Warwick is 4 miles away and boasts one of the finest preserved castles in the country. Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle (01926 495421) hosts daily trebuchet firings, jousting tournaments and a range of lively attractions that bring the castle's rich history to life. Also in Warwick are Hill Close Gardens (01926 493339), a collection of restored Victorian Gardens and Grade II summerhouses. In the opposite direction, the National Trust-owned Charlecote Park (01789 470277) is only 2 mile away, surrounded by its own deer park, on the banks of the River Avon. Check out the underground World War II museum at nearby Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield (01789 842007) or, also in Wellesbourne, pop into 19th-century Chedhams Yard (01789 842770), an award winning preserved blacksmiths and wheelwright’s workshop crammed with tools, equipment and items made on site. Last, but my no means least, Shakespeare's birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon is 7 miles (a 15-minute drive) away and packed with not only Shakespeare related activities and buildings but also boating on the river and a host of god restaurants and independent shops.
Food & Drink
The nearest pub is a couple of miles downstream in Hampton Lucy. The Boar's Head (01789 840533) is nice but its worth the 5-minute-longer journey into Stratford-Upon-Avon for the full plethora of options. The Swan’s Nest Hotel, overlooking the river Avon, has a good French bistro (01789 264 804), while Lambs (01789 292 554), in one of the oldest buildings in town, is generally the locals' favourite. The Dirty Duck (01789 297 312) is our pick of the Stratford pubs.
All year (except January).
Leave the M40 at Junction 15 and, on the main junction roundabout, take the turning for Cirencester (A429). Go just ¼ of a mile down the A429 then take the first right hand turning you come across, which instantly forks, take the left on this fort, following signs to Sherbourne. Follow this narrow road (Fulbrook Lane) for 2 miles, then take the left hand turn (it's 50 metres or so after a stretch of woodland on your left and the turning has a T-junction sign). Follow this lane for ½-mile and Avon Riverside Glamping is signposted on your right.
It's 7 miles to Stratford-Upon-Avon Railway Station and 5 miles (though the same journey time by car) to Warwick Railway Station.
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