Abbey Home Farm
One of the many joys of owning an immense organic farm is that you can put two campsites on it and neither of them need know of the other’s existence. The 1,500 acres of Soil Association-certified land, Abbey Home Farm is home to the main public Green Field campsite, a 4 Yurt Eco Camp and, a whole mile away, an amazing hideaway of a site, and more. The Magical Glade has space for about three small tents or two family-sized ones. Since the wood was only planted in 1991, the trees are still relatively small, giving campers the best of both worlds: sheltered seclusion and sunlight. To keep it secret and magical, the site has to be booked out in its entirety. The Special Occasion Campsite for family gatherings takes a maximum of 50 people and again is booked in its entirety along with the Shepherd's Hut.
The woodland yurt sites are quite magical and they camouflage perfectly into the surrounding landscape. If the kids do get lost in the greenery of it all, remind them to just look to the skyline and search for the brightly painted totem pole near by. And the signs for the composting loos. And the recycling station. And the sculpture in the tree.
In the Magical Glade a tractor wheel serves as a brazier, and bags of coppiced ash firewood are available to buy at the farm shop, although you are encouraged to scavenge your own (‘bring your own bow saw’). A discreet compost loo and a water tap complete the fixtures and fittings. From your base you are at liberty to roam the tracks and paths around the farm, taking in the nearby circle of standing stones (a modern creation, but none the poorer for it) or follow the signposted 30-minute farm walk. Just about the only thing you won’t want to do, given that the farm shop and café can cater for your every need and then some, is leave.
Abbey Home Farm is not just a beautiful place – it is a living expression of one family’s passion. There are quite definitely no food miles here. The organic label is far from being a gimmick or token gesture; this is a farm that has always been at the forefront of the organic farming movement. Organic living isn’t just a dream here; it has actually become a reality.
Due to popular demand, you'll need to book in advance for all camping and farm activities – particularly on sunny weekends and Bank Holidays. The fee for the Green Field site includes access to the farm trail. All enquiries including availability for the Magical Open Glade, the Private Campsite and the 4 Yurt Eco Camp should be made via Abbey Home Farm's website
There is a 4-yurt eco-camp (for groups of families and friends), a 5-minute walk from the farm shop and café. A single-yurt site, 20 minutes from the café. A green-field campsite by an old oak wood, 10 minutes walk from the café and the ‘magical glade’ site, also 10 minutes walk from the café. Finally, there is also Special Occasions Field for exclusive hire (see website for details). Yurts have mattresses to sling on the carpeted floor, wherever the mood takes you, and all the cooking equipment you need. The single yurt has a wood-burning stove and gas stove, but more fun is cooking on the open fire in the middle of the camp. Composting loos are tucked away in leafy clearings and timed water-taps let you wash your hands without waste. The recycling station is a work of art (literally). Run around the totem pole, hop on the back of the tractor-trailer for a farm-tour (when operating), or take part in a variety of courses available (see Abbey Home Farm’s website for full details).
You are in Roman-remains territory, so it’s mosaics-a-go-go: Chedworth Villa (01242 890256) is less than 10 minutes away by car and has some of the best examples. The Corinium Museum in Cirencester (01285 655611) – one of the nation’s largest collections of Romano-British bits and bobs in what was the empire’s second largest British town. It has been recently renovated, with interactive displays and the opportunity to dress up as a Roman soldier. You’re also on the edge of the Cotswolds, with Cheltenham and Stow-on-the-Wold within half an hour’s drive.
Food & Drink
You’ll regret bringing any food with you. Buy it here. The farm shop and café produce deliciousness: milk and meat, fruit and veg, cakes and even ready-meals. All organic, of course. There’s also a good selection of restaurants in Cirencester. The Hare and Hounds pub at Foss Cross (01285 720288), 4 miles away, has an upmarket dining room, where children’s meals aren’t your bog-standard deep-fried offerings.The Village Pub (free house), Barnsley (3 miles) – yes, the pub is actually called that; it’s very pretty and a swish gastro affair to boot (01285 740421).
The yurts are open Easter–October. Green Field camping available all year (book online or turn up in shop hours).
It's organic, free-range, homemade, raw, healthy camping on the farm. The place to come for a whole lot of natural goodness. You'll almost feel guilty for driving here the place is so green. Why not cycle? Walk? Or glide in a solar powered plane?
The Owner Says
If you find yourself needing a bit of luxury, The Organic Farm Shop and Cafe are just a 5 minute walk from the main campsite, (a longer walk across the fields from the Huts, Single Yurt and Magical Glade). And since we are a farm- we take food very seriously here. The shop sells 100% organic veg, soft fruit, dairy, bread and meat all produced on the farm, as well as everything else the conscientious shopper could ever need. The cafe is inspired daily by the large kitchen garden surrounding it, serving very seasonal food. It also happily caters for people with diverse food needs (vegan, gluten free etc). Why not join us for Lunch on Sunday when we have our farm-raised meat as a treat?
If you are interested in getting involved with some farming activities we have several ways in which the whole family can do that too! Kid's Farm Days (in the Easter and Summer holidays) are a chance for 8-12 year olds to learn about organic farming and food production whilst really getting their hands dirty on the farm. Or if you are after tailor made activities for the whole family, we can definitely come up with something interesting.
Here at Abbey Home Farm, we are committed to re-establishing the connections between nature, farming, and meeting human needs and believe that, as farmers and land stewards, we have a responsibility to efficiently produce food for the local community while protecting our soil and creating and maintaining biodiversity. We love to share what we do and hope to see you on the farm in the near future.
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Abbey Home Farm, The Organic Farm Shop, Burford Road, Cirencester GL7 5HF
Train station: Kemble (7 miles) – London to Gloucester line. Bus no. 855 runs from the station to Cirencester, stopping at Stow Lodge, from where it’s a 20-minute walk to the site.
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