The grand Elizabethan architecture of Longleat House vies for the public's attention with the exoticism and fun of the safari park behind. The first of its kind outside of Africa, the 500-species-strong park is kept slightly separate from the house, so those planning to admire the crystal clad ballroom won’t find monkeys on their bonnet, grasping at the windscreen wipers. On particularly still evenings, though, the roar of male lions can still be heard beyond the encolsure boundaries, carrying over the house to the surrounding Wiltshire countryside.
Beyond the range of the lions’ roars and the chattering of howler monkeys lies a small, new campsite with a top location. Three miles from Longleat and ideally situated for exploring the rest of the county, Botany Camping is a charmingly simple campsite that also boasts a colourful cluster of bell tents for those looking for a more effortless stay. Chose this glamping option and you needn’t bring much at all, other than your duvet and a devil-may-care attitude. Guests will find futon-style beds, eco-fuel heaters, cooking facilities, and all the utensils required, while campers and glampers alike still share the composting toilets and conventional flushing loos, along with four family shower rooms in a separate shelter.
Each pitch offers plenty of space and includes a firepit where campfires are not only allowed, but positively encouraged, with guests arriving to a thoughtful ‘starter pack’ including firelighters, wood, skewers and a hefty pack of marshmallows. The site also boasts a small shop at the entrance for buying essentials, while a supermarket in nearby Warminster is well placed for a larger shopping session.
The size of the campsite gives it a friendly, sociable atmosphere, but much of this is also down to the relaxed personality of Crispin, the ever-present, yet unobtrusive, manager, whose welcoming and helpful nature makes him a go-to man for queries of all kinds. It's no surprise then that such niceness has seen him charm his neighbours into offering 30% off Longleat tickets, very handy for family visitors.
Cycling, walking and fishing in the local countryside, along with Stonehenge, Bath and Salisbury, all 30 minutes away, makes Botany Camping a pleasant base for would-be explorers. And if you’re there on a clear night you can even use the North Star to guide you. With a proper rural setting and no light pollution, this is the perfect place for admiring the night sky.
The campsite owner says
Botany Campsite is set in the rolling Wiltshire countryside, an ancient landscape of beauty, with stone circles, white horses, and stunning Wessex scenery. Our campsite offers family friendly camping (pitch only) and eco glamping in 5 m bell tents ideal for a family of 4/5, furnished with all the goodies…..
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