Into The Sticks The Greener Camping Club

UK Wales South Wales Pembrokeshire Letterston

Wonderfully back-to-basics tent camping in Pembrokeshire, hidden among the thicket and fauna at the end of a secluded lane

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more suited to running a campsite than Kate and Andy Fox. “We literally lived camping for four years”, they confess, referring to the nine months they lived in a bell tent while they built their own tiny wooden home on wheels. They subsequently set off on an impromptu tour of small farm campsites in West Wales, living from their crafted wooden hut, building up friendships in the area and keeping an eye out for the perfect piece of land. Only when they stumbled upon this semi-wild 22-acre smallholding – lost down a narrow country lane overgrown on either side – did they settle down. And now they’ve opened the place up to other campers, too. We couldn’t be happier that they have.

A patchwork of gorse, thicket, woodland, meadow and marsh, stitched along the banks of the Western Cleddau River, make Into the Sticks one of the most an aptly named campsites in Wales. It’s a wonderfully hidden spot where only tent campers are allowed – save for the lucky pair who nab a few nights in Kate and Andy’s innovative 'Tiny Home', which they now rent out to glampers. On most days campers play second fiddle to wildlife, with much of the campsite a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation. Otters have been spotted on forays from the river, wildflowers and orchids grow and tiny, native birds flitter between the bright yellow flowers of the thicket.

Despite the thoroughly natural scene though – aided by the primal smoke of campfires and rustic, handmade table and log benches provided at each pitch – the campsite is never too far from civilization. It’s a short stroll to a farm barn that has been converted into a warm communal space with sofas and games, while a covered ‘camp kitchen’ and washing up space adds further convenience. Hot showers are provided, a super-swanky eco-toilet too and, when the weather turns bad, Andy and Kate are quick to organise impromptu wet weather workshops for all ages – build a bird box or craft an artistic masterpiece out of flotsam, jetsam and drift wood from the Pembrokeshire beaches six miles away.

Yet while the village pub and playground are within walking distance and the coastal attractions of Pembrokeshire and the Preseli Mountains are just a short drive away, this campsite is so adept at getting you back to nature, you may well choose simply to stay put. The modern world is lost here to the sound of the stream and the crackle of the campsite. With nature trails to explore and dens to build in the adjacent ancient woodland, why would you go anywhere else?

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The campsite owner says

Into the Sticks campsite is the perfect campsite for a technology detox! Breathe the clean air and enjoy sharing acres of unspoilt natural space with the local wildlife. The campsite is situated at the end of a no through road in a secluded peaceful valley teeming with wildlife and just a few miles from Pembrokeshire’s famous coastline and wild beaches. There are no signs of the modern world, only the sounds of birdsong and running water. The campsite offers a level area to pitch your tents, and free dry wood for your campfires. Individual pitches are spread out over the meadow in a 14 acre private nature reserve and with only a handful of families on site everyone has a good degree of privacy. Each pitch has a rustic picnic table and benches and there is a covered camping kitchen/washing area  (eco friendly washing up liquid is provided by the campsite). They have a luxury dry toilet (twinned with a toilet in Cambodia) and free hot shower with eco-friendly soap and shampoo. If the typical Welsh weather is forecast during your stay there is an indoor space to cook and hang out in and there are opportunities to take part in guided workshops suitable for all ages including bushcraft skills and beach debris art.
Into The Sticks have a weekly barbecue or wood fired pizza night for all their guests and ensure that plenty of activities are available to choose from, for example Nature Trails, Den Building, Treasure Hunt, River Fishing, Wildlife Watching & Star gazing. There are reclaimed bikes available to use free of charge and if you fancy something more challenging you can visit Pembrokeshire Coast just 6 miles away and have a go at Surfing, Coasteering, Kayaking and Rock climbing or head off hill walking in the Preseli Mountains or on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Into The Sticks is a Greener Camping Club certified site so visitors must join the club to stay here, only £10 per year for the family. A proportion of the membership fee goes towards conservation projects and environmental enhancement on site.

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