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Since the dawn of (Champing™) time we have hosted over five thousand happy champers in our hallowed havens.
Their enthusiastic messages are left in visitor books up and down the land. Here are just a few:
We stayed here for one night in mid September. This was our first experience of champing and we loved it. It was very peaceful and we slept well. We’d brought sleeping bags and extra blankets so we were very cosy and warm. All the basics needed to make a hot drink are provided – just remember to bring milk. Aldwincle is a lovely village and there are interesting walks around the nearby nature reserve. We recommend champing and we’re already looking forward to our next time at a different venue.
We had an absolutely fantastic
We had an absolutely fantastic time at St Katherine’s! Really loved all the thoughtful touches from the ChampBots such as comfy chairs, warm blankets and wine glasses. A beautiful little church and an amazing experience. We were cozy on the cute balcony, illuminated by the sweet electric candles provided. Can’t wait for our next champing experience, we just need to decide on the church! Thank you so much from Lucy & Roze.
Charming little church. Key for
Charming little church. Key for entry was difficult to find.
Not clear, that you can park on the terrain of the neighbouring farmer. Also, that the toilet was located there. But altogehter a nice stay in a quiet atmosphere.
Stayed in St Cuthberts Holme
Stayed in St Cuthberts Holme Lacey and loved every minute of it. I’ve been evangelical ever since boring people about it! The church and surrounds are beautiful and I coped with the toilet ok! My fellow champer was delighted to find a working organ to play!
I hadn’t expected electricity so that was a pleasant surprise meaning we had a little more light than i was expecting. I was warm enough in my sleeping bag but we did stay in june. I imagine a few extra layers would be welcome at start or end of the season. I would definitely champ again !
Lovely experience; all brilliantly managed!!
Lovely experience; all brilliantly managed!! Genius idea!!
The church is absolutely beautiful
The church is absolutely beautiful ! I’m happy that someone is taking care of it. And I’m happy that I could have a part in that. God bless.
We have had an amazing stay champing in this beautiful church
Exquisite windows, beautifully unusual church, the bats added to the experience. We have had an amazing stay champing in this beautiful church.
We very much enjoyed our
We very much enjoyed our night at St Michael the Archangel in Booton – what an amazing place to spend the night. It’s cathedral-like, inside and out, and by far the largest ‘hotel room’ I’d ever stayed in. The Champbots did a fabulous job preparing it beautifully for our arrival – we were amazed to see it all set up and ready to go from early in the day. It had everything my partner, her daughter and I would need for a fun evening and night; we were surprised just how much was provided, too many convenient supplies even to mention here. We even got to have a go on the church organ during our stay, although not particularly tunefully. Reepham was a short drive away and Diane’s Pantry is recommended as a small friendly café/deli, and a perfectly suitable daytime alternative to Dial House. We enhanced our experience at Booton by taking in a small PA and pumping out a church-themed playlist including tunes from the likes of Duran Duran, Hozier and Madonna (without any fear of annoying the neighbours 😉 Our disco lights illuminated the ancient walls as darkness fell. Emma made a den on the rug while Lisa and I enjoyed a glass of wine, soaking up the atmosphere. The outside toilet was super clean and no problem to use, even when visited in the dark and spooky small hours. It was cold – there was no getting away from it – but we took a good number of duvets and made full use of the six hot water bottles provided. It was a pleasure to wake up on a beautiful blue-sky Norfolk morning having been watched over by the angels. And the best bit…? While we were enjoying the late evening calm of the church, illuminated only by a single lantern, I asked my gorgeous lady Lisa to be my wife – and she said yes! Our Champing Engagement! 🙂
I stayed at St Andrews
I stayed at St Andrews at Wroxeter over the August bank holiday weekend. We had a wonderful weekend – it was great to be able to spend so much time on our own in such a special place. It was peaceful and beautiful and we were able to appreciate the church and its character and history so much more from spending a longer period of time there. I especially loved seeing the church gradually lighting up in the early morning sunshine and that the patterns the sunlight made through the stained glass onto the walls Our stay was comfortable and there was lots and lots to do in the Wroxeter area. We would definitely champ again – it was a wonderful experience.
A most pleasing experience. I
A most pleasing experience. I learned to love waking up at the crack of dawn (no curtains) and re-learning the joys of simply sitting and contemplating (no internet).
Dear Champing, This is my
This is my second year champing. What I love about this adventure is that it’s the anti-tourist experience of England. Instead of scurrying from one site to another (elbowing other tourists out of the way), this provides a chance to just sit, and take in a wealth of history in an intimate setting. I have a hard time leaving those sites, consequently.
I’m telling all my friends about this experience, including the English who are completely unaware, yet interested in this wonderful option in their country. (I’m from the US.)
Our ChampBot, Kay, provided a wonderful “tell-everyone-back-home-about-it” breakfast and great conversation. It made our stay. Kay’s hospitality is especially worth promoting on the site. Also, her dogs were fantastic.
It would be worth communicating that although the site is accessible via bus, the country roads aren’t quite conducive to travellers arriving on foot. The steady stream of large farm equipment dodged us easily on the roads without shoulders. However, if someone didn’t check the Google Maps street view ahead of time (especially if they’re unfamiliar with English roads), they may be in for a shock, especially if they try to pack in rolling suitcases instead of backpacks.
There also seemed to be a communication gap between our host and the Champing organisation. She was expecting us to arrive via car. We stumbled upon each other by mistake. It worked out, but there were a few moments of panic on the traveler end, looking for an absent picnic basket of food, unsure of where to get the food.
Also, for the sake of polite travellers who aren’t used to Champing, it would be useful to unfurl the the sleeping bags on the cots, instead of leaving them in a duffle bag. If I hadn’t Champed before, and knew that I should forage around for the supplies, I wouldn’t have touched the duffle bag, thinking it was someone’s private property.
Thank you for a lovely stay! I’ll do this again.
Best, Amy Neises
We arrived at St Mary’s
We arrived at St Mary’s Stansted Mountfichet last Saturday, to glorious sunshine. This was my Christmas present to my husband, Simon and although I was really excited he wasn’t sure what to expect. The church is set in what was once a beautiful estate – the main house is now a separate enterprise and can be glimpsed through the trees. The church and graveyard were so beautiful and peaceful. We let ourselves in and spent an hour just wandering amongst the wonderful tombs (we picked this church as it still has a lot of features inside it!) and reading the many inscriptions. The local village has a little bistro, which we walked to and enjoyed some live music and a glass of wine. We didn’t feel that we could sit on the churchyard bench in the sunshine and partake of a glass, as two ladies were tending a grave and it felt a little odd to be drinking, however later in the evening we returned and spent a very cosy night reading stories to each other with torches and enjoying the silence.
It was a brilliant experience, very well organised and a memory to treasure. No phones, television or distractions.
Wonderful night in a church
Wonderful night in a church which I’ve often passed but never visited – so quiet, peaceful and atmospheric.
Lovely time overall
Lovely time overall at St Michael the Archangel – wine and family games in the nave, very comfortable camping beds as well – shame the organ wasn’t working as that would have been fun to have a play with!
Only quibble (which is entirely out of your control) was the dead bat we found in the morning over near the font.
Might be useful to add a blurb to the documentation around where to park as we were a bit confused and ended up parking on the gravel lay-by across the street from the main entrance. Wasn’t sure if we could use the driveway of the old rectory or not.
My friend, my dog and
My friend, my dog and I spent three night at St Andrew’s, Rolleston. It was a wonderful experience to sleep in front of the altar and to enjoy the peace and beauty of this small ancient church. Apologies to anyone we scared as we navigated the grave yard at 2am to visit the eco-loo! My elderly dog took to the experience immediately. It is an experience and one I would warmly recommend.
Wow! We didn’t know
Wow! We didn’t know what to expect but this was such a fantastic experience we will definitely visit again. Both of us had a peaceful and refreshing sleep. The church is beautiful and the hospitality of the lady who greeted us was great. Highly recommended.
I booked a Champing experience
I booked a Champing experience in Fordwich (the smallest town in England) as a birthday surprise for my wife after seeing it on the BBC travel show as the date got closer I was a little concerned, on the day my concerns came to nothing after the shocked look on her face she loved it I loved it more because she loved it great little pub next door which closed that night at 7 but we took our own drink and sat out in the graveyard drinking wine (communal of course) it was a great experience and we are looking at doing another location either later this year or def next year
I would recommend Fordwich as its a great little town set on a river (boat trips are available) Canterbury less than 5 miles Hern bay (seaside less than 10 miles)
I champed at St. Mary’s
I champed at St. Mary’s with my son and nephew. We paid to have sleeping gear and it was nicely set out and arranged when we arrived. We had no issues getting the key or getting in. We slept great and had fun exploring the church and church grounds. It was too spooky for my son to play much hide and seek. It was awesome to wake up to the colored sunlight streaming through the ancient stain-glass windows. This was an awesome experience and I’m so glad I did it.
We stayed at Booton for
We stayed at Booton for a night and the children couldn’t believe the space and that it was all ours! The champbots had left a good selection of hot drinks for us and plenty of cushions and blankets. The usually coloured windows shining white at dawn were amazing. In the morning some tourists wandered in as we were packing the car, so we told them about champing while tidying up. Overall the experience was unique.
We spent 1 night as
We spent 1 night as a family of 4,including 2 very young children (under 5) in a beautiful but cold church. I am not complaining about the cold, but please be aware that it gets very cold and you need warm clothes! It was a beautiful experience and not even the cold could dampen our spirits! The little ones played the organ every time we where inside, run around and explored every little corner. Certainly an experience that needs to be lived!