Gemini Camp

UK England East Anglia Essex Stansted

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Contactless check in
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Individual toilets for glamping accommodation
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
Glamping stays in a bell tent or cabin on a private six-acre nature reserve in Essex

Swaying grass, a camp kitchen with a wood-burning stove and the sight of animals grazing in the distance… On a sunny, summer’s day there’s something of the safari about Gemini Camp. But this sole-occupation site within a six-acre nature reserve, is not too far a journey. In fact, it’s almost unbeatably well-connected. Within an hour of London and Cambridge, it’s located on the Essex-Hertfordshire border where the kind of campsites we like are in relatively short supply. It’s also only three miles from the runway at Stansted Airport. There’s no denying that the sound of aircraft can drift in on the wind but it can’t take away from what you’ll hear from other flying things: the song of the thrush, the hoot of the owl, the cry of the buzzard and the tap tap tapping of woodpeckers in the trees.

Once a neatly-shorn horse pasture, the land at Gemini Camp has been left to re-wild and is now a savannah-like grassland that’s grazed only by visiting roe and muntjac deer. The nature reserve was established five years ago; the brainchild of Olly Clanford whose parents own the land and live on site. When the pasture fell out of use, Olly, who has a background in conservation, saw an opportunity to give something back to nature. It was his idea to share it too – but only with a lucky few.

Wildlife is the priority here so it remains a private place – accessed only by the family, their guests (they also have two holiday cottages) and whoever is staying in the field. It’s no dogs and no kids and, although the accommodation is spacious (a six-metre bell tent in summer; a double cabin bedroom from mid-September onward), it’s set up only for two. Whether you come in bell tent season or not, the accommodation includes a made-up bed, comfy seating, and towels: total comfort for couples. The cabin bedroom is part of the field shelter which, in the summer months, is still the place for cooking, eating, and washing. Warmed by a log burner, it's a great place to hang out on rainy days and cool evenings at camp and doubles up as a wildlife hide.

A weekend right here, surrounded by nature, might be enough of a getaway for some but there are also country walks, country inns and country houses to explore. The magnificent Audley End House and Gardens are 30 minutes’ drive away and the nearest country pub, less than 30-minutes’ walk. While many people fly away from this area on their holidays, thanks to this new off-grid getaway, we think eco-conscious Cool Campers will soon be flocking to it.



In the summer, accommodation is in a six-metre bell tent (kitted out with a made-up king-sized bed). From September (or when the weather turns cooler) accommodation is inside the field cabins furnished and insulated double bedroom. As you have the space to yourselves, there’s no need for more than the single eco-friendly composting toilet and hot gas-powered shower in the field cabins little bathroom. The cabin also has a kitchen sink with mains water, a gas stove, a log burner and all the pots, pans, plates, utensils and cutlery you’ll need for campsite cooking. Outdoor campfires are not allowed here as it is a grassland nature reserve but logs are provided for the little log burner in the cabin. If you need more than the basket provided, it’s £5 per bag.


Gemini Camp is set in a six-acre, private wildlife reserve so wildlife watching accounts for the on-site fun with deer, foxes, badgers and all manner of birds regularly sighted. There are also walks directly from site into the surrounding countryside. Golf World Stansted (01279 812865) is right next door with a nine-hole golf course, a driving range and a themed adventure golf course too. Mountfitchet Castle (01279 813237) is a living museum with a replica of a Norman castle and village, three miles from site. The entry ticket also allows you to visit the House on the Hill Toy Museum (01279 813237) which is just next door. Around five miles from site is the National Trust’s Hatfield Forest (01279 870678), an ancient royal hunting forest and now a popular place for walking, cycling, horseriding and boating on the lake (in the summer months). Audley End House and Gardens (01799 522842) is about 10 miles away and, with extensive grounds, exhibitions, and facilities, makes for a full day out.

Food & Drink

You can walk to local pub, The Crown, in Elsenham village in about 30 minutes (or drive there in five). It has a good reputation for food. A little further away is the recommended Cock Inn (01279 850 347) in the little village of Henham, two miles away. For a smarter option try the Linden House Hotel restaurant, four miles away.



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The Owner Says

Gemini Camp is nestled in a private six-acre field which has been left to revert to nature, so you can have the wildlife-rich surroundings and fresh air all to yourself, perhaps as an extension of a holiday before or after a flight out of London Stansted Airport a five-minute drive away.

The off-grid stays at this hideaway are in a luxury bell tent with a king-size bed; a field shelter with a log burner, cooking and washing facilities – including an eco toilet and shower – are also to hand with views out across the greenery-filled former horse paddock whichever way you turn.

NEW FOR 2021: the field shelter has recently been extended and now also features a cosy double bedroom, perfect for those cooler spring and autumn evenings.

Settled in comfortably to watch planes swooping across the skies overhead then realised you’ve left something behind at home? The village of Elsenham with its local shop and pub is a 5-minute drive (or half an hour walk away) and the nine-hole course and gym at Golf World Stansted, a 10-minute walk away, has a bar in the clubhouse serving food and drink if it’s sustenance you’re after.

Other villages to visit in this rural area include Stansted Mountfitchet (10 minutes by car), home to historical hotspots like Mountfitchet Castle, a reconstructed Norman settlement and a toy museum, along with pretty Thaxted (15 minutes) and Finchingfield (25 minutes).

Back in Elsenham, a mainline railway station means you can also take a trip to the big cities thanks to direct services to Cambridge (half an hour) and London (55 minutes).

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A single six-metre bell tent or (from September) a cabin on the edge of a private nature reserve.

Gemini Camp

Bell tent Sleeps 4
A cabin with an additional double bedroom bell tent equipped with cooking facilities, shower room and eco toilet. Sleeps up to 4 people in two units.

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Contact Gemini Camp, Woodlands, Elsenham Hall, Elsenham, Essex CM22 6DP

Show Map

Getting There

Exit the M11 at junction 8, then follow the A120 towards Colchester/Bishop’s Stortford/Stansted Airport. Stay on the A120 and, after two roundabouts, use the left two lanes to take the exit towards Stansted Airport. Then take the second exit onto Thremhall Avenue. Take the fourth exit at the next roundabout, then the first exit at the next one. Continue on to Hall Road until you reach a mini roundabout and signs for Golf World Stansted. Around 400m down the road, you'll see a grey sign on the left for Woodlands & Evie Rose Cottage. Turn in here and follow the gravel drive past a long house. You will soon be able to see the Gemini Camp bell tent in the field on your right.

The nearest train station is at Elsenham two miles away with Stansted Airport and Stansted Mountfitchet stations just a mile further. Taxis are readily available from Stansted Airport.


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Why book with I Love This Campsite?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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