The Coppice Woodland
Guilden Gate – near Cambridge
Camp for 4 from £65 per night
1 double in camper, bed for 2 small children in camper, double in bell tent.
Suitable for children of all ages
Not suitable for pets
Kids are most welcome but pets cannot be accommodated
The Coppice Woodland is a rural apartment spread over four "rooms" dotted in the trees and bushes. The VW camper van is, if you choose, the main bedroom and has a kids bed at what used to be the driver's end. There's an oak-framed cob hut that houses the compost loo and the covered kitchen area; the dining room is cut into an alcove of trees, with handcrafted oak and beech outdoor furniture. The bell tent acts as either your lounge or guest bedroom. The latest addition is a cedar shingle canopy that curves up from the forest floor to create a sheltered area that houses seating and a hammock, so you can sleep in the woods for real!
And then there's the hot tub. This great, wok-like bowl sits six adults comfortably and is surrounded by a woven hazel and willow screen. You may well find you need it after a day at Coppice Woodland. There's a two hole "golf course", rustic football goals, boule and games spaces all scattered around the property, and best of all you have the woodland space all to yourselves.
The rest of Guilden Gate smallholding is the loving and painstaking creation of Jacqueline & Simon Saggers. They have taken every step to preserve and nurture their patch of countryside just south of Cambridge. The idea was to create, through encouraging diversity and tending of the land, almost a mini eco-system, which sustains itself and them.
Only 35 minutes on the train from London, The Coppice Woodland makes a perfect weekend escape or even a base for forays into the city. If you're keeping it rural during your stay there are plenty of walks in the surrounding countryside, including many that take in local village pubs. You can also quiz Jacqueline and Simon for tips on their sustainable endeavours from wind power to greywater recycling or even join in on the smallholding.
***WINTER GUESTS*** Please be aware that the camp, while furnished with blankets and other cosy things, is not heated. It is open all year round, but will get pretty chilly in the depths of winter. If you do decide to come, bring some woolly jumpers!