Tipi Adventure

UK England West Midlands Herefordshire Hereford

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
Canoeing to and from your tipi on the beautiful River Wye

There’s an air of the great North American wilderness about this particular camping experience. You clamber aboard an Old Town open canoe and paddle downriver to your destination – a Native American-style tipi sitting majestically on the banks of a river. Except the Mississippi this ain’t – you’re on the River Wye in stunning Herefordshire country.

This is a professional set-up. It has to be, as you need a health and safety chat before you can go on the river. The Tipi Adventure team is a friendly and relaxed bunch and happy to help with anything you may have forgotten (a fully charged mobile phone is a compulsory accessory for such eventualities, and for arranging to be picked up).

After wriggling into your lifejacket you and your picnic are put into a canoe, then on to the water at an agreed spot (some people want to canoe all day, others for only a couple of hours), while any luggage is driven to the tipi to await your arrival. All very civilised. You then take your time paddling downstream, stopping at the river’s edge for lunch – and trying to avoid the (extremely serious) fishermen posted randomly along the riverbank. It’s great fun cutting through the water at whatever pace you want to set, quacking at ducks and learning from other canoeists’ mistakes (the odd capsizing or two have been known to happen). And just when you think you can’t possibly paddle any further, the poles of a tipi will be peaking out behind the bend in the river. Perfect. It’s exciting to bale out of the canoe, clamber up the bank, and run across the field to your tipi and your belongings waiting inside. Time to light a fire and hang any soggy clothing off the guy ropes. Then flop, cook, explore the riverbank, or quench that thirst you’ve built up.

The joy of these tipis is their location: remote and secret. There’s barely any light pollution, so stargazing on a clear night is the main attraction, as well as listening to the crackling of the campfire (and fellow tipi-dwellers doing exactly the same). Oh, and you’ll be glad you stocked up on marshmallows at basecamp. Nothing like a chargrilled bit of stickiness to keep the blood sugar levels up for the next day’s activity. Waking up to the sound of river-bird song, or a fish leaping out of the water, is wonderful. It really is that rural here. And eating bacon that you’ve just fried over the fire pit is a great way to get your energy up for the day’s adventure. Before you leap back into the canoe pack up all your belongings, which you’ll be reunited with later on back at basecamp.

It’s such a serene way to start the day, once again paddling through the clear water…Forget that – time to get competitive and catch up with your neighbours from the night before, to see who can get to the New Harp Inn at Hoarwithy for lunch first. At some stage you’ll meet the Tipi Adventure driver at a pre-arranged place to load your canoe on to the trailer before clambering into the minibus, smelling of bonfire smoke. And, taking one last glance back at that stunning river, you’ll wish you’d paddled that bit further.



Campfires allowed inside and out of the tipis, which are pitched in clusters of 2 or 3 on the banks of the river. Each tipi is fully equipped with all the bedding and cooking equipment that you’ll need (for up to 7 people), including futons that convert into sofas, indoor gas stove, open fire pit, BBQ, firewood, and charcoal. All you need to bring is food. At basecamp you’re issued with a cool box and ice blocks and there’s a tuck shop here for stocking up on treats including marshmallows. There are shared portaloos behind the tipis, with integrated washbasins. There are no proper showering facilities, which is disappointing. A handpump shower is provided, but there is no privacy to use this – it can’t be used inside the tipi because of the matting and there’s no shower screen outside. If you’re really hot you could just take a dip in the river.

Suitable For

Groups – yes. Dogs – no.


Because of the nature of the adventure (canoeing down the beautiful River Wye to your remotely located tipi) everyone tends to stay on site, whether they’re on a 1-, 2-, or even-more-day adventure. But you’re in cider country, so a visit to the Hereford Cider Museum or Westons Cider at Much Marcle is a good way of quenching that canoeing thirst at the end of the adventure. For something unexpected why not learn Indian cookery in a stunning old stone farmhouse at nearby Mordiford in Rayeesa’s Kitchen. And to keep up the adventure theme, owners of Tipi Adventure, Forest Adventure (01594 861666), can organise virtually all things outdoorsy, including caving, orienteering, and archery, all of which take place in the Forest of Dean.

Food & Drink

You’ll need to stock up on ingredients for all your meals for your adventure before you reach basecamp. The village of Fownhope, ½ mile away, has an excellent butcher and convenience shop. Some canoeists get put into the water in Hereford right next to a big Asda – handy for last-minute buys. When you’re briefed, the team will show you where good en-route pubs and refreshment stops are on the map. If you want lunch before you check in at basecamp, the Bunch of Carrots at (01432 870237) Hampton Bishop serves good food. While en route, the New Harp Inn (01432 840900) at Hoarwithy serves excellent gastropub food. The <a href"="http://www.lucksallpark.co.uk&quot;" target="_blank">Lucksall campsite (01432 870213) sells ice creams and has a coffee shop, and the Hope and Anchor (01989 563003) at Ross-on-Wye is a favourite with people at the end of their adventure.




Tipi (sleeping up to 7) £150–230 per night (depending on season), plus £45 per canoe (room for 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children).


Tipi Adventure, Whitehall Farm, Hampton Bishop, Hereford HR1 4LD

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Getting There

Basecamp is on the B4224 between Hereford and Mordiford. The end of the track is located between Church Lane and Whitehall Road, on the opposite side. There is a small tipi sign on the fence. Follow the track for 1 mile through a farmyard until you reach the riverbank. Train or bus to Hereford and for a small fee you can be collected. Bus no. 453 from Hereford also passes the end of the farm track.


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