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Glamping pods, Scandinavian lodges and first-class camping and caravanning in 25-acre's of Herefordshire countryside, covered by pockets of woodland

Who needs a playground when you’ve got a pond? That seems to be the attitude at Woodside Country Park, where the focus is more on camping’s natural pleasures than installing a raft of artificial flimflam. The result is a 25-acre space that’s covered by pockets of woodland and no fewer than nine different ponds. In the summer, the largest, Cider Mill Pool, is a central convening point for families as children hurl themselves from a small jetty and dabble like oversized ducks among its waters. It’s a scene more reminiscent of rural France than middle England.

Yet rural is certainly what Woodside Country Park is. Despite being just two miles from the amenities of Ledbury, this is a real countryside site with excellent views and a peaceful, partially ‘wild’ ambience. It really is a ‘country park’, home to over 500 native water plants, trees and shrubs, planted alongside swathes of wild flowers, giving colour and variety all year round. As well as swimming, kids will love dipping around in the smaller ponds for insects and bugs (you can even buy a net in reception) and looping trails among the trees provide great bird spotting opportunities.

Camping-wise the site has something for everyone. Weather worriers who want to travel light can pluck for one of their wooden camping pods or a bed in the large, bunkhouse. The former, nestled among tall pine trees, are simply furnished (bring your own bedding and camping gear) but are well insulated and spacious, featuring a heater, double plug socket and lighting. The bunkhouse, meanwhile, also features a dining and cooking area, with five different rooms each sleeping up to four people. They’re more functional than luxurious – cosy indoor options particularly popular during the winter months – but are a wonderfully handy option if you don’t fancy pitching a tent.

Out in the open, there are two different camping meadows, situated either side of a country lane that runs through the middle of the park. Near the pods, Orchard Field has room for just 15 pitches, well spread out and almost all with electricity, while over the road the larger camping meadow (near the swimming pond) is geared more towards tent campers, with space for 40 tents but only a dozen electrical hook ups. It creates a field coloured by canvas and campervans – a classic camping vibe, aided by views across the pond to rolling fields, climbing into the hills around Hereford 10 miles to the east.

The sheer size of the place means much of the day can be spent on site. In the woods the most gargantuan trees house fairies, with tiny doors to be discovered among the roots, and in a far corner of the site yet more pools are accompanied by picnic benches in a designated conservation area. Along the opposite perimeter of the park, meanwhile, the long distance Herefordshire Trail runs. It’s an excellent route that skirts the county and is just one of the reasons the site is so popular with walking groups – along with the nearby Malvern Hills. If you’re still in need of ideas the reception hut has a big stash of brochures, too. So there really is no excuse not to get out there!

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The campsite owner says

Tranquil 28 acre site for camping, caravaning, pods and bunkhouse, with 10 Scandinavian lodges also nestled within the site. An abundance of wildlife can be spotted around, with fishing and wild swimming also available. Despite being just two miles from the amenities of Ledbury, this is a real countryside site with excellent views and a peaceful, partially ‘wild’ ambience.

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