A quintessentially English farm with family-friendly glamping and acres of land to explore and enjoy
Malting Farm should be on TV. Or at least in a well illustrated story book. It exudes such charm, colour and life that from the moment you arrive visitors can’t help but be enthralled. From its herd of Frisian dairy cows, to the wooden potting studio, it all has a typically English feel, while the stripy, painted front door screams ‘seaside’ even though you can’t quite see the sea. And, if it were on TV, Malting Farm would certainly be the antidote to The Only Way is Essex. Same county though it may be, this is a rural paradise so far from urban bustle that you could have flown a thousand miles. In short, it’s Essex at its very best.

It’s beyond the farmhouse, though, that the very best of it is found. Here glamping guests can amble through long grass into their rustic-chic, safari tent abodes. Aptly described as ‘Canvas Lodges’ the tents sit at the end of a long, green field surrounded by ginormous oaks that have clearly been around for years. Partly tucked beneath their bows but with their fronts sticking out into the open space, the tents are kitted out inside with everything you could need for a self-catered getaway. There’s a master room, twin bedroom and large open-plan kitchen and living area, while some of the tents have plush en-suite facilities and an outside cooker out front on the wide, covered veranda.

While these masterfully furnished lodges offer the highest spec of glamping, they’re still overshadowed by the joys of Malting Farm itself. Fourth generation owners Will and Sammy are friendly and helpful – providing a hands on tour of the farm where you can help move the cows and new-born calfs – and if you’d like to try your hand at pottery they’ll happily let you spin the wheel on courses they run in the studio. The real treasures, though, are the ones you find yourselves. Follow the clues dotted around that lead kids around the farms intriguing nature trail or borrow a net to try pond dipping, in a small, algae-speckled pool beyond the trees. If your luck dries up it’s just a couple of miles to the coast where you can try crabbing instead!

However you chose to while away the hours, retreating back into the agricultural escape of Malting Farm is the perfect end to every day. Stock up on the farm’s own pork and beef in their honesty shop, fresh to slap on the barbeque, and sit out in the sun sipping a bottle of Adnam’s finest ale. Malting got its name from supplying the local breweries and still grows barley today – so really, it would just be rude not to!

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