Goren Glamping 2021
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The Agrimony at Goren Farm is Common, the St John’s Wort is Hairy and the Tormentil is Creeping. There’s also plenty of Fleabane, Cat’s Ear and Hoary Plantain. If that alarming-sounding list has put you off booking a stay at Goren Farm; go and look them up. It’ll give us, and those who know their wildflowers, just enough time to reserve a bell tent at this wildflower wonderland in East Devon. Opening for June only, this eight-tent site sits among 50 acres of ancient hay meadows with a heady mix of native species that also includes the sweeter-sounding Angelica, Cornflower, Buttercup, Cowslip and Field Forget-Me-Not.
The mix of wildflowers at Goren Farm is, in fact, so special that seeds are harvested and sold on to the likes of the National Trust every year. It’s nature’s work, lovingly protected by owner Julian who left a city career to tend the land. He’s invited the public to explore mown pathways round the meadows for years but 2021 will be the first time you can overnight in this magical place – and it’s for a limited time only. The flowers are at their best in June, before the harvest in July. It’s a four-week, early-summer window that’s being further celebrated with a pop-up restaurant by former River Cottage chef, Gideon Hitchin, which promises a seasonal six-course outdoor dining experience.
In these rustic but sophisticated, semi-natural surroundings, the bell tents are the perfect way to stay. Set up with beds and bedding, they are comfortable but not too fussy, outdoorsy but hassle-free, each with its own fire bowl outside. Cars are parked outside of the precious meadows and glampers are asked to stick to the mown pathways. You enter the camping field with your kit in a wheelbarrow. Tents are pitched around the meadow’s edges and reached via tracks radiating out from a central spot. Facilities are shared and simple; compost loos, washing up sinks and hot water showers.
It’s a 250-metre walk across the fields to the farm buildings where you’ll find a simple shop selling veg from the farms market garden, cider from his own press and a few other useful bits and bobs. The pop-up restaurant, open Thursday–Saturday, will be in the former tractor shed. If you’re here during the week and miss it, there are plenty of other eating options. This area of East Devon is a real foodie hotspot with a vineyard and two good pubs in walking distance, Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall’s River Cottage, and the restaurants of Axminster and Lyme Regis within an easy drive. It’s also within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the fossil-strewn beaches of the Jurassic Coast, just 10 miles away.
The site has one compost loo and two hot showers. Each of the eight bell tents is set up with a double bed and bedding with extra single airbeds available too. Each tent has a table and chairs as well as a box of cooking kit and a firebowl for campfires. There is a shared barbecue in the corner of the field too and wood and charcoal are available to buy from the farm shop which also sells cider from the farm and all basic supplies.
booking : AirBNB, direct call charlottee 007970196816