Town Farm Camping

UK England South East England Bedfordshire

An ideal trial location for first-time campers, and Londoners not wanting to camp far from home

From the top of Ivinghoe Beacon walkers will find one of the most commanding views in the Chilterns and on particularly clear days can see as far as the North Downs, in far away Kent. The sweeping vistas of a rich agricultural landscape mark the place out as beautiful camping country and framed between golden wheat fields and sheep-dotted meadows, Town Farm, can be found. The resident Leach family has been tending the land beneath the beacon for near a century, but only recently unlatched their gates to would-be campers. Quickly becoming a firm family favourite, they’ve swapped lambs for prams, tractors for campervans and transformed old sheds into all you need for a weekend in the Chilterns.

The camping field is behind a barn and is vast. Tents can be pitched at the foot of the beacon, ready for a sharp morning walk to its summit and along the famous Ridgeway, or peg down on the campsite’s edge, with stunning views over the Vale of Aylesbury. Ignore the pylon wire that runs along the right of the site, and turn left towards the Chilterns, passing a new, hip washing block with dark-brown chalet-style wood exterior and minimal white chic interior.

The added ablutions block, accompanying the existing facilities in converted farm buildings, is just one of a few recent changes here. Owner Charles, followed loyally by two amiable golden retrievers, is quick to point out that the atmosphere remains much the same. A well-equipped playground has replaced the old trampoline, Wi-Fi is readily accessible and new tent renting options are available, but at its heart Town Farm is the same unpretentious rural campsite. In the evening time the crackle of campfires is the only background noise and in the morning it’s the peaceful chirp of birdsong, or at least until the children are back in charge.

Frazzled parents looking for activities to wear out their brood have plenty of choice, though, both on and off site. Along with the playground, there is a football goal and tennis court, plus a pick-your-own farm that opens to the public in summer, while beyond, the pleasures of the Chilterns await: Whipsnade Zoo, hot air ballooning, the Grand Union Canal, country parks, theme parks, skate parks, safari parks, and endless cycling, walking, and horse trails. Come night-time everyone will be sleeping soundly.

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