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The Gypsy Camp

Bouncers Farm – Essex

Where the cluck is it?

Hmm, it’s gone!

The Gypsy Camp isn’t on Canopy & Stars right now.

Why not take a look at our Inspire Me collections, other places in Essex or Browse all our places to find others instead?


The important stuff

  • Check in is at 4pm - please ring to confirm your arrival time.
  • Check out is at 10am
  • The Gypsy Camp is a family site and is not suitable for groups of adults or celebrations. Please call 0117 204 7830 with any questions on suitability. 
  • A starter pack of firewood, gas and candles is included, but refills will be charged
  • The free range chickens are really very free. Expect to find them everywhere!
  • Apart from the shower and common room, the house and it’s garden are off limits to guests
  • If you’re going to be late for check in, please let Ann know and if you’re early, you’ll be able to leave your things on site
  • The beds are 3ft and 3ft 6” inches
  • Please be aware there is a £100 damage deposit payable directly to Ann the owner after booking. This does not go through Canopy & Stars.
  • Sleeping arrangements
  • 1 small double in each wagon

Extra space available

Space for 2 children no charge. One child's bed in each of the two wagons

Space for 1 baby no charge.

Kids & Pets

Children of all ages are welcome at The Gypsy Camp


  • BBQ
  • Camp fire tripod
  • Queenie stove (just for warmth but can heat a kettle)
  • Fridge in lounge area
  • All pots and pans including a traditional heavy skillet


  • There is a private loo and wet-room for Gypsy camp guests in a small annex attached to the house
  • Laundry and even ironing can be arranged for The Gypsy Camp guests

Heating, lighting & bedding

  • All provided except towels


  • Assorted board games
  • Cards


Things to do at Bouncers Farm

Bouncers Farm is part of the Maldon Art Trail - a cultural tour of the area including the chance to see art and talks in the orchard. This usually takes place in September each year.

Ann can also organise 'country explorer days' with herself and a local guide where you can try out everything from jam making to den building and 'mini beast hunt'. You'll need to let her know a bit in advance but it's well worth it for a fun day in the orchard.

Outdoors & active

There are a few lovely beach day trips around Bouncers Farm including the great stretches of sand at Frinton and Clacton, the classic seaside town of Walton on the Naze and, with a little local knowledge, a wealth of secret beaches just waiting to be discovered.

If Bouncers Farm somehow isn't wild enough for you, try Colchester Zoo with over 260 rare species, many of which are part of important breeding programmes.

Places to visit

Layer Marney Towers is an old Tudor house with a range of seasonal activities and beautiful gardens.
Cressing Barn Temples is a set of tithe barns that were built for the Knights Templar and are now home to St George's Day jousting among other things.

The medieval theme continues at Hedingham and Colchester castles but the church of St Peter-on-the-wall goes back much further. Its one of the earliest known places of Christian worship in the British Isles and right out on the beautiful Dengie peninsula.

Festivals & events

The Opera in the Orchard in July is the big event of the Bouncers Farm year. Book the Gypsy Camp for a front row seat.

Food & Drink

Eating & drinking at Bouncers Farm

Ann can deliver you a hamper of fruit, vegetables and meat from a network of small growers and farmers nearby, but she'll also cook for you, given enough warning. Come home to a slow-cooked stew or a basket of fresh produce ready for you to cook. The eggs are fresh and free range from her own chickens and the lamb comes from her own farm. She also makes just about everything that can be made out of apples; chutneys, jams, jellies and cordials to name but four. Even a cooked breakfast can be arranged (not entirely made of apples) and Ann's homemade quiches and cakes make great picnic food.

There's almost too much local produce to mention at Bouncers. Ask Ann about bacon from round the corner, fresh fruit and juice, the local bakery and even the Chigborough fish smokery.


Pubs & restaurants

The Ducane, Great Braxted (2.5 miles). A fabulous gastro pub. Chef Jonathan Brown has worked under many famous names including Raymond Blanc at the world-famous Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The Company Shed, Mersea Island (16 miles). A truly unusual seafood eatery. They serve only the freshest fish and fabulous oysters, but the word restaurant is banned and for good reason. The décor isn't fancy, there's no cutlery and when they say 'only seafood' they mean it. If you want wine, bread or anything else, you'd better bring it with you.

Crofters Wine Bar, Witham (2.6 miles). The chef at Crofters was voted the best in Essex for 2009. The food is delicious and reasonably priced.

Blue Strawberry Bistro, Hatfield (4 miles). Recommended by Ann and there are many pubs in Maldon serving good quality, locally sourced food.

Meet your hosts

bluebell wood

Ann Bishop's family have been on the land at Bouncers Farm since her grandfather built the house in 1935, but Ann knows a fair bit about the nomadic life. She once made an eight-week pony and carriage pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostela, camping every night. This love of life on the road and other connections to Gypsy culture, have led her to set up the camp in all its authentic glory. Other things at Bouncers Farm

though, didn't happen with quite so much planning. Ann was given three of the Kune Kune pigs (the name means 'round and fat' in Maori) as gifts and before she knew it there were twelve. They live happily alongside Shetland Soay sheep, which will come and eat out of your hand.

Environmental policy 

All the animals at the farm feed naturally wherever possible and the Gypsy Camp itself is off-grid. Her hot water is solar powered (she's had panels for 30 years) and she composts and recycles all waste. For all her wonderful cooking, she uses only produce from within a four mile radius of the farm and her own wherever possible.

bouncers sheep


There are of course the sheep, the pigs and the horses of Ann's own, but also Kingfishers that can often be seen on river walks from the camp and all sorts of wading birds on the large sweeps of tidal beach nearby.

The beautiful 300-year-old copse gives a wonderful show of bluebells with wild orchids and bee orchids growing in the nearby paddocks. There are resident owls that can be heard late in the evening and of course plenty of other birdlife, including both kinds of woodpeckers although these are very shy and so not easy to spot. If you are early the occasional fox or badger might still be out on the prowl.

Getting there

Bouncers Farm, Wickham Hall Lane, Wickham Bishops, Essex CM8 3JJ

By car

Come off the A12 onto the B1018, follow it past the golf course and over the river. Bouncers Farm is on Wickham Hall Lane, you can turn left off the B1018 onto Station Road and turn right onto Wickham Hall Lane at the T Junction or miss Station Road and turn left onto Wickham Hall Lane a bit further on. Either way, the farm is well signposted from the road.

By train and then horse and cart

Ann can arrange to pick you up in her pony and carriage from Wickham Bishops, a short bus ride from Witham station.

By cycle

Bouncers Farm is connected to central London by the National Cycle Network, so you can even ride all the way there from 'town'.

Booking Terms

Canopy & Stars low price promise
Book with us in confidence knowing you won’t find that place cheaper elsewhere. All of the prices we display are set and matched by our Owners. (In this world of foreign currency, we do have to say 'subject to exchange rates' for some of our European places.)

What does ‘from price’ mean?
Our ‘from price’ is based on a four night stay in low season and designed to help you to compare different prices across our collection. Some of our Owners vary their nightly rates and check in days throughout the year, so it may differ from the rate quoted below the calendar. It is quite common (although by no means universal) for places to charge a little more in peak season or for shorter stays, to cover changeover costs. Consider booking longer stays during the cooler months if you’re looking for the lowest nightly rates.

Agency Terms & Conditions

Except where otherwise specified, we Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd Company No 09088366 of Merchants House, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW act only as an Agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf. Sawday’s Canopy & Stars is part of the Alastair Sawday’s Group of Companies. We accept no liability in relation to any contract you enter into or for any services or arrangements you purchase (“Booking(s)”) or for the acts or omissions of any supplier(s) or other person(s) or party(ies) connected with any Booking. For all Bookings, your contract will be with the supplier of the Booking in question, and in most cases this will be the owner of the property you’ll be staying at (“Owner(s)”). When making your Booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the Owner of the Booking. Your Booking with us is subject to these Agency Terms & Conditions and any specific booking conditions of the relevant Owner(s) you contract with. The Owner’s booking conditions may limit and/or exclude the Owner’s liability to you.

You may decide to make more than one Booking with us at the same time. The price charged in total for more than one Booking will always equal the prices charged separately for each individual Booking. All Bookings are available to be purchased separately at the same price as they are when more than one Booking is made. This means that any multiple Bookings do not constitute a package as defined in the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

By making a booking, you agree that:-

  1. you have read these Agency Terms & Conditions and agree to be bound by them;
  2. you consent to our use of your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy;


  1. you are over 18 years of age and where there may be age restrictions in place, you declare that you and all members of your party are of the appropriate age.


The Canopy & Stars online booking system enables Guests to make Bookings 24 hours a day. A Booking is confirmed on receipt of a 25% non-refundable deposit for all Bookings with check in dates of more than 10 weeks away. For all Bookings that have a check in date of less than 10 weeks before check in, payment for the Booking will be required in full and the entire Booking will be non-refundable. The Canopy & Stars telephone booking line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. When using the online enquiry form, for those Properties without online booking, please allow 24 working hours for us to contact you by telephone to confirm the Booking. If we are unable to reach you by phone we will attempt to contact you by email. We will contact you during Canopy & Stars working hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm). Online or email enquiries will be dealt with in the order they are received, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee reservation of your selected dates until the receipt of suitable payment. Therefore, if possible, we do recommend that you book on the Canopy & Stars website using the online booking system.


1. Booking and payments


1.1 In order to confirm your chosen Booking, you must pay a non-refundable deposit as required by the Owner of the Booking in question (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of the date of your check-in).


1.2 Your Booking is confirmed and a contract between you and the Owner will exist when we receive payment of the deposit and send you a booking confirmation on the Owner’s behalf. This booking confirmation will normally be sent out within 24 hours in the case of email and seven working days in the case of post, and will contain the details of your Booking and of payments made and due. If you have not received your booking confirmation within the specified time, please notify us as soon as possible by email ( Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to us immediately. As we act only as booking Agent, we have no responsibility for any errors in any documentation except where an error is made by us.


1.3 We're sorry for any inconvenience, but payments can only be made by credit and debit cards. A 2% surcharge will be applied to credit cards. We do not accept American Express, cheques or cash.


1.4 Where a deposit has been paid, full balance payment will be due 10 weeks in advance of your check in date and a reminder will be sent to you two weeks prior to this date, where applicable, by email. We automatically take the balance payment using the same card as used to make the deposit payment. It is your reponsibility to advise us if we should use a different card and to contact us by telephone (0117 204 7830) to arrange for alternative payment method. If the balance payment does not successfully go through as there is a problem with your card, such as it expiring, then we will contact you to try and take alternative payment. If we have been unable to take payment after two weeks of the balance due date, then with regret, we will notify the Owner who may cancel your Booking.


1.5 Except where otherwise advised or stated in the booking conditions of the Owner concerned, all monies you pay to us for a Booking will be held on behalf of the Owner(s) concerned.


1.6 Credit Card payments are processed via Alastair Sawday’s Publishing Co. Ltd who provide merchants services facilities to Sawday’s Canopy & Stars Ltd.


2. Cancellation and Amendment by You


2.1 Any cancellation or amendment request must be sent to us by email ( and will be considered and responded to within one working day of receipt. You are also advised to confirm all changes to our Customer Services Department by calling 0117 204 7830. Please ensure that you have received written confirmation of any changes to your Booking prior to travel. Whilst we will always try to help, we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met.


2.2 Amendments and cancellations can only be accepted in accordance with the booking conditions of the Owner of your Arrangements. The Owner may charge the cancellation or amendment charges shown in their booking conditions (which may be as much as 100% of the cost of the Arrangements and will normally increase closer to the date of departure). The Owner may charge cancellation or amendment charges in accordance with its own booking conditions, however for the sake of convenience only, we have outlined the Owner’s charges at clause 2.3 and 2.4 below. Please note that these are the Owner’s own cancellation and amendments charges, not Canopy & Stars’, and therefore the Owner may vary their charges as they wish, without notice to us. The correct charges will be notified to you at the time of your cancellation or amendments.  


2.3 Owner’s General Cancellation Charges:

2.3.1 Cancellation by you at any time will result in your deposit being forfeited, as all deposits are non-refundable.


2.3.2 All monies paid for a holiday (deposit and balance) are non-refundable within 10 weeks before check in date.


2.3.3 Cancellation of any holiday after it has been paid in full and at a date 10 weeks or more in advance of your check in date, will result in forfeiture of your deposit (or an amount equivalent where one was not paid as the holiday was paid in full) and the balance being returned to you. 


2.3.4  Cancellation insurance is available but will be a third party arrangement and not involve Canopy & Stars or the Owner in any way.


2.4 Owner’s General Amendment Charges:

2.4.1 Alterations to your Booking can only be made more than 10 weeks prior to the check in date, after which time alterations will be treated as cancellation. All alterations are subject to availability and may incur a £30 adminstration fee.


2.4.2 Differences in the total amount payable resulting from alterations will be refunded to you in the case of a decrease in price and paid by you in the case of increases in price.


Special note: Generally Owners will charge the above cancellation and amendment charges, however we must stress that these are a guide only and charges may differ from those shown here depending on the Owner. The exact charges will be notified to you by the Owner at the time of cancellation and/or can be found in the Owner’s own booking conditions which are available from the Owner on request.


3. Changes and Cancellations by the Owner

We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the Owner needs to make a significant change to your confirmed Arrangements or to cancel them. We will also liaise between you and the Owner in relation to any alternative Booking offered by the Owner but we will have no further liability to you.


4. Complaints

Because the contract for your Booking is between you and the Owner, any queries or concerns should be addressed to them. In the event that you have any complaint about your stay, please notify the Owner as soon as possible. If you don’t follow this procedure there will be less opportunity for the Owner to investigate and resolve your complaint and so make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Delays may also mean that amount of compensation you may be entitled to may be reduced. Whether or not your complaint is dealt with satisfactorily, please also contact us as we appreciate all feedback. It’s important to us and the Owner to know that you’ve enjoyed your stay or if anything could have been improved.


5. Pricing

Canopy & Stars reserve the right to amend advertised prices at any time on behalf of the Owner. We also reserve the right to correct errors in both advertised and confirmed prices.Special note: changes and errors sometimes occur.


6. Information & Accuracy

The information and prices shown on this website are varied from time to time and may change between the time you first view a property and make a Booking. You should check that all the details are as you expect prior to making a Booking. It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the properties (including the features and extras available) may be incorrectly described and/or priced. If we discover this is the case after you have made a Booking, we reserve the right to contact you with details of the correct information and/or pricing and will give you the option to:

(1) proceed with the Booking based on the correct information and/or pricing, which may require the payment of an additional amount by you;


(2) subject to availability, change your booking dates to dates when the pricing can be honoured ad so no additional charge to you. In the event that a lower price can be offered for alternative dates then the difference would be refunded;


(3) cancel the Booking. If we do not receive your instructions within 5 days of contacting you, we reserve the right to cancel your Booking without liability to you.


7. Our Responsibility for your Booking

Your contract is with the Owner and its booking conditions apply. As Agent, we accept no responsibility for the actual provision of the Booking. Our responsibilities are limited to making the Booking in accordance with your instructions and acting properly in accordance with our legal duties as an Agent. We accept no responsibility for any information about the Booking that we pass on to you in good faith. However, in the event that we are found liable to you on any basis whatsoever, our maximum liability to you is limited to twice the cost of your Booking (or the appropriate proportion of this if not everyone on the Booking is affected). We do not exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury that arises as a result of our negligence or that of any of our employees whilst acting in the course of their employment.


8. Pets

Not all properties accept pets. If you wish to take your pet on holiday, please advise us before booking and we can check whether pets are accepted at the property. You must obtain the prior consent of the Owner before taking any pets to the property. A nightly charge may be made by the Owner for each pet and additional terms may apply.


9. VAT

Many of the Owners of properties in the Canopy & Stars portfolio are not registered for VAT in which case no tax is payable. Where VAT is payable, the tax is included in the advertised holiday rental price.


10. Visa, passport and health requirements.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we assume that all members of your party are British citizens who hold or will hold full British passports valid for the entire duration of the Arrangements you chose to purchase. Information on visa, passport and health requirements, where given and applicable, is so given on this basis. Requirements may change and you are therefore strongly recommended to check the up to date position with the Owner of the Booking, Passport Office, appropriate embassy or consulate or your doctor as applicable in good time before the commencement of your holiday.


11. Insurance

You are strongly recommended to take out personal travel insurance for all members of your party. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and appropriate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details and take them with you on holiday.


12. Special requests

If you have any special requests (for example dietary requirements, cots or room location), please let us know at the time of booking. We will pass on all such requests to the Owner, but unfortunately, we can't guarantee that they will be met and we will have no liability to you if they are not.


13. Group Bookings

Not all Owners accept Bookings for a single sex group (for example, a stag or hen party). Guests wanting to make such a Booking should check with us beforehand to enable us to check whether the Owner is prepared to accept the Booking. We will then advise you accordingly. In event that an Owner does not accept this type of Booking then it is with regret, that the Booking may be cancelled and cancellation fees may apply. It is the Guest’s responsibility to enquire with Canopy & Stars and/or check on our website beforehand to make sure that this type of booking is permitted.


14. Maximum Numbers

Please note that except by prior arrangement confirmed in writing, only the number of persons specified on a booking confirmation may occupy  a property. Most owners reserve the right to refuse admittance or revoke a booking if this condition is not observed and you are unlikely to receive any refund.


15. Your Responsibilities

Please note that you have a contract with the Owner of the property. As such you are under a responsibility to behave in a proper, appropriate and legal manner whilst staying at the property with due respect to the Owner, the Property and other guests and their property. You are responsible for informing the Owner of any losses or damage to the property as soon as possible. Please note that you will be liable to pay the Owner for any losses or damage to the property caused by you or a member of your party (except reasonable wear and tear). Some Owners will also require damage deposits. You must also leave the property by the check-out time specified on your booking. If any guest behaves inappropriately or improperly (of which the Owner will be the final judge on their Property), or illegally, the Owner reserves the right to ask the guest and their party (at their discretion) to leave the Property before the end of the holiday period and/or refuse any future bookings from you.  Any refund for so doing will be at the entire discretion of the Owner. In addition, the Owner reserves the right to sue the guest for any loss, damage or injury caused to the Owner, the Property or to other guests and/or their property. As agent, we will have no liability to you in these circumstances. 


16. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These terms and conditions have been drafted in accordance with and are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any and all disputes arising out of these Agency Terms & Conditions.


17. Discrepancies

In case of a discrepancy between these Agency Terms & Conditions and any other Canopy & Stars literature, these Agency Terms & Conditions shall prevail.


18. Validity clause

In the event that a court finds that a condition in these Agency Terms & Conditions is illegal or void, the illegal or void provision will be severed from the remainder of the Agency Terms & Conditions, which will continue to be valid and have full force and effect.