The Coppice Woodland – near Cambridge, Hertfordshire
- Camp for 4
1 double in the camper, 2 small kids beds in the front of the camper, 1 double in the bell tent. 2 more guests can camp in their own tents. Maximum capacity (including camper, bell tent and own tent) of 4 adults 4 kids. Prices shown are for 4, extra guests £10 per person per night. Please call to enquire.
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.
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.
- Children welcome
Kids are most welcome but pets cannot be accommodated
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Special Offer: Bubbles everywhere! - Book a midweek stay in May and get a free bottle of champagne so you can soak in and soak up the bubbly
Valid from 26/02/2013 till 31/05/2013
Price discounts have been automatically applied unless otherwise stated
Everything you need to know about The Coppice Woodland
The important stuff
- Check in time is from Midday
- Check out time is 10:30am
- There is no power at the site
- VW Camper vans are cosy - for clarity, the main double bed is 195cm x 145cm
- The childrens' bed in the VW camper van (where the driver and passenger seats would have been) is 145cm long x 122cm widest point – this is NOT an appropriate bed for children over 4ft tall, and you must decide if this space is wide enough for two children or one, this is your decision as the mattress curves (from 112cm wide at corners) fit the 'round' drivers seat (we have taken the seats out!) end of the van.
Sleeping arrangements1 double in the camper, 2 small kids beds in the front of the camper, 1 double in the bell tent. 2 more guests can camp in their own tents. Maximum capacity (including camper, bell tent and own tent) of 4 adults 4 kids. Prices shown are for 4, extra guests £10 per person per night. Please call to enquire.
Kids & PetsKids are most welcome but pets cannot be accommodated
SurchargesRates displayed are for 4 guests. Extra guests may be accommodated at £10 per person per night. Please call to enquire.
- Campfire cooking (wood provided for sensible usage)
- Camping gas stove under cover if required
- Twig powered Rocket stove for a quick brew!
- Lebanese cedar dining table and oak benches
- Undercover kitchen area with butler sink
- Pots, pans, utensils, cloths provided
- Cool box for the essentials and a fridge 100m away.
- Wood burning hot tub (wood provided for sensible usage), solar shower
- Beautiful compost toilet – design as per 'Grand Designs' design. Please sit down to use, both ladies and gents!
- A sink in a covered area for washing up or washing hands.
Heating, lighting & bedding
- No heating other than the camp fire and hot water bottles!!
- Lighting - Candle lanterns and torches. There is no electric power at the camp site
- All bed linen provided
- Solar and wind up torches
- Playing cards and board games
- Football goal and kick-around area
- Two hole par three golf course!
- Vintage wind-up record player for 78s
- Some bikes to borrow
Guilden Gate, 86 North End, Bassingbourn, Royston, Herts, SG8 5PD
By public transport (35 minutes on the train from London)
The nearest bus and train station are both in Royston (4 miles). Simon or Jacqueline are happy to pick up guests from Royston bus or train station. There is no charge for this.
By car - Sat Nav with SG8 5PD will get you to within viewing distance of the wind turbine!
Arriving via the A1198 you will see couple of mini roundabouts in Kneesworth. If you are coming from Royston you need to turn left at the second mini roundabout, if you are coming from Wimpole it is right at the first mini roundabout.
You then go up a gentle rise and down the other side into the main part of the village of Bassingbourn. You will pass a shop on your right and then come to a war memorial on your right. At the war memorial turn right into North End. You will then pass the parish church on your right and the Pear Tree pub (closed) on your left. Once past the pub start to look to your right and you should see the 12 metre tall domestic wind turbine. As the houses stop and you have fields on either side, slow down and look for our black weatherboard cottage with terracotta clay roof tiles which is set back from the road on your right. At a street lamp and a small 30mph sign you need to turn right into the drive. There is a parking space next to the postbox. Guilden Gate is number 86.
Parking is about 100m from the camper and there are wheelbarrows on hand for luggage transportation.
Eating & drinking
For basic supplies
The village shop, post office, hairdressers, small cafe and bakery are a 10 minute walk away in Bassingbourn.
For a fancy night in there are two local chefs available for hire to cook for you in the woodland.
The surrounding villages have endless pubs to explore and there are lots of restaurants and cafes in Royston – 4 miles
The Hoops – in Bassingbourn 10 mins walk
Pig & Abbott – Abington Piggots –1.8 miles (easy bike ride, nice energetic walk)
Yuva – Really good Indian restaurant in village 20 min walk (1.2 miles)
The Bushel and Strike - Ashwell- 6.2 miles
The Willow Tree – Bourn - 9.8 miles
Huge number of restaurants etc in Cambridge – 14 miles
Things to do
At Guilden Gate
An opportunity to see a working organic smallholding where guests are welcome to take part in and ask us about any areas of our work; vegetable and fruit growing, chicken and bee keeping, meadow upkeep and orchard and woodland management. Simon and Jacqueline are also happy to answer any questions you may have about their ecologically sound self built house, domestic wind turbine, rain water harvesting, reed bed water recycling, solar panels and bore well water supply.
All within 20 mins drive
South Cambs has 105 villages all brim filled with pubs and some great walks – there is an ever expanding file of village walk/tour information for your use.
Wimpole Hall – wonderful national trust property with magnificent garden walks – really good day out 5 minutes drive. A working estate still guided by the seasons, with an impressive mansion and Home Farm.
Bassingbourn Airfield Museum – a walk away and small but interesting.
Duxford – Imperial War Museum – international important aircraft museum - WM Duxford is set within the spacious grounds of the famous former First and Second World War airfield. Lose yourself for a whole day wandering under and around some of the most iconic aircraft in the world and get hands-on with award-winning interactive exhibitions. IWM Duxford is home to an impressive collection of over two hundred aircraft as well as tanks, military vehicles and boats.
Cambridge – an amazing array of wonderful days out – everything from world class museums and punting along the college backs to strolls through the dreaming spires of the university and colleges. Also regional shopping centre and fine dining. There is an ever expanding file of information about things to explore in Cambridge (14 miles).
Good swimming pool in Royston (4 miles) which is also home to the nearest butchers, bakers, supermarkets and a range of other shops.
Within 40 mins drive
Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill – Really wonderful!
Shuttleworth Collection - A unique flying collection showcasing the first one hundred years of flight.
Hatfield house - proud to be one of the Treasure Houses of England, ten of the most magnificent palaces, houses and castles in England.
Knebworth House – A fine Stately home, Knebworth House is famous worldwide for its rock concerts and as the home of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton - author of the words "The pen is mightier than the sword" - a beautiful gothic mansion
Or swing through the woodlands at Go Ape! Woburn Safari Park!
Meet your hosts
Simon and Jacqueline Saggers are the current generation of the Saggers family who have lived and worked in Bassingbourn since the 1600s.
Having drawn up various plans and thrown numerous ideas around the real hard work began in October 1998 when Simon and Jacqueline bought two hectares (five and a half acres) of farmland and embarked on the lifelong task of creating Guilden Gate.
Their vision is to create an integrated, sustainable smallholding. To achieve this they have created a mixed mosaic of native hedging, wild flower meadows, coppice woodland, vegetable fields and fruit orchard that yield organic vegetables, herbs and fruit. They planted a vineyard in 2012 and hope to be producing wine by 2014. The object is not to produce a huge yield of one crop but to create a rich, diverse and interconnected smallholding 'eco-system'.
Their design plan for Guilden Gate has sustainability as its guiding principle and aims to close as many resource cycles as possible. The cottage they have built is at the 'heart' of both the smallholding and the sustainable design.
The smallholding meets its water requirements through rainwater harvest and a borehole. They have also installed a complete recycling system for grey-water. This comprises of straw and bark filters, vertical and horizontal flow reed beds as well as a solar pond and a willow trench soak-away. The Saggers are not on mains sewerage as they have a dry twin vault compost toilet.
Guilden Gate independently generates its own net energy needs from renewable resources. The sun, when it shines, heats the water and the wind turbine meets electricity requirements. The woodland, planted in 1999, will provide all wood for heating, but please use carefully! The energy conservation when combined with the provision of their own energy, means, Guilden Gate is a net zero C02 emissions site.
The holding aims to keep external inputs to a minimum and minimise the creation of waste. The family re-use and recycle as much as possible on site.
The two acre woodland at Guilden Gate was planted 14 years ago and is a haven for wildlife. The arrival of the first swallows has been noted since 1998.
During your stay, you'll probably hear owls hooting and foxes barking as well as see badgers, rabbits, munjac, pheasants and many types of insects, birds & butterflies. The smallholding has been designed to encourage bio-diversity.