Staying in a tent…up in the trees!

Month/Year: May 2017

Website: http://www.shepherdhutholidays.co.uk/

Cost: £25 per person

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So I’ve seen pics of this, however never actually found anywhere that did it.

I thought id arrange for me and Ang to go away, so as a surprise I found this place.

I love camping, however I have never stayed in a tent that s canopied in the trees. It had to be done.

 

Banbury and the “Ride a Cock Horse”

So we started the day off visiting the town of Banbury. This place is where the song “Ride a Cock Horse” came from, with the following lyrics:

“Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes”

I had never heard this tune before, however Ang could not stop singing it so obviously had to take her to see the statue.

We then found a nice boozer called “The Reindeer” that had many “reindeer” attributes about the place, and it was a nice oldy worldy pub which I like. I had a Reindeer burger (ironic).

Banbury is quite a cool town with lots of vintage looking shops and alleyways. . not as many as say York, but still quite a few. Bellys full it was now time for me to take Ang to her next surprise.. I had found her a castle.. that was a pub!

 

The Castle at Edgehill 

This place is about 20 mins outside of Banbury. I had seen it on the NET by mistake (searching for castles). I have been to many castles, however never been to a castle that’s a pub!

We arrived in this small town of Edgehill that is quite high up.. as we came over the hill into the village this castle revealed itself.. and wow it was amazing.

This castle had a tall tower, a drawbridge style entrance and  a beautiful garden,

We had an ale in here. The manager even made a seat available for us so we could sit next to the window.. and WOW the view was amazing. ]

 

We then chose to sit in the garden outside (although rainy) and admire the view..

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This view was quite impressive. It was where the battle happened and was great to read up about it on the plaque in the garden. It also featured coat hooks inside in the shapes of Cutlery!

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Admiring done, ale drank.. it was time to go onto what we had been waiting for.. FOOD… I mean THE HAMMOCK STYLE TENT!!

 

TENT IN THE TREES

We arrived on the farm to be greeted by the owners friend. She was lovely and introduced us to the horses n pigs on the farm then showed us to the tent (that I had completely drove past)

She took us to the forest area of the farm where we had our own large private forest area with Porta loo and  there it was.. it was like a spaceship in the trees, hovering over a table.

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I looked at it and asked her “how do you get in it”. She said “from underneath”. There was a table that had been placed underneath it, that had stairs built into it. You walked up the stairs and there was an opening under the tent . You opened it and kinda stood up inside it and put your bum on the side and lift your legs up. The bottom bit was like a trampoline material.

This was surprisingly big. It could sleep 3-4 people. Looking inside that had also supplied us with 3 sleeping bags which was nice..now there was one problem we had straight away.. WASPS could get in! Ang made me aware there were 3 wasps inside already. I had to go on a covert operation to get in there with 2 saucers to try to capture them. I managed to do this and get them all out, however we noticed that each of the 3 corners had openings, so this is how they were getting in. We decided to use the 3 sleeping bags supplied as “plugs” to shove into the corner so nothing else could get in. This actually worked and kept us safe from the little pricks!

Now the tent also had a little feature.. a panoramic view. You cold open up the one side of the tent so that it had views of the field. It still had a net on the inside so nothing could get in. It was quite awesome.  It also featured fairy lights along the base that were solar-powered, so we looked forward to seeing them when dark later on.  The tent itself was held up by 3 strong straps that were strapped to 3 trees. It acted like a trampoline really and was very strong!

 

Plugs sealed, we decided to look at the other stuff they had given us. They had given us fire wood, lighters, matches, newspaper, cereal, cups, tea bags, coffee , there was all sorts here. I didn’t expect any of this. It was all nicely presented in a plastic container too.

We also had our own Bench with candles on it that we later used for drinking on. The area of land we got to ourself was great. I mean we even had our own loo. We had the option of using the farms toilet and shower that I must say was sooo nice and clean. The views onto the field were great too!

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A few beers later we decided to walk to the nearest boozer that was called the Griffin. We armed ourselves with walking beers and off we trotted!

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Took us about 20 mins to walk it, but the walk was nice as it was through corn fields that overlooked other fields so views all around were pretty.  As we got into the Chipping Warden village we noticed the pretty thatched houses etc. The pub  is more of a family pub. Not my normal kinda pub i like, however it was local and served red wine so all good!

A few drinks later, we decided to walk back. Since it was dark and we were merry, we decided to act like scarecrows amongst the corn!

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Now when we arrived to the tent it was lit up via solar fairy lights (a nice touch) It looked quite romantic.

 

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It had started to rain quite heavily, however we were that sheltered by the big trees above, we hardly felt anything. .  plus we could stand underneath our tent as it acted like a roof.. was quite surreal!

We decided to light candles and sing kum by aww around the camp fire that Ang had impressively made in their fire pit.

We got to bed and Ang suggested leaving the view flap up so that we would wake up to a nice view. I trusted her with this and went to bed… HOWEVER this proved not to be a good idea as such as I literally woke up every hour as i  was so cold.  I got up at 5am properly as had the shites and was so cold, so I decided to not use the Porta Loo and to use the nice loo in the farm-yard. This toilet was amazing, it was actually in the stables. You wouldn’t expect it to look as new as it did. Once I had done me business, and since it was so damn early I was the first one up (yes even before the farmers), and I noticed the amazing view I had over the field as there was morning mist. I decided to get some photos of this cool site!

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I then decided to get more layers on. In the end I had a t-shirt, my bear coat, a fleece, a rain jacket , a russian hat and a scarf. I then went back to bed and actually managed to sleep for a good few hours after as was no longer cold. Woke up about 9am and sure enough, having that side of the tent up was actually worth it as views were amazing as the sun hit them..oh and although it was tipping it down all night, the tent is amazingly waterproof as its double layered. It really took a hammering with the wind and rain, however we didn’t move or get wet at all!

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Now this place has a butchers van that comes in the morning so you can buy sausages etc off him to cook, however we got up too late so missed him, but Ang had bought some icebuns with her so we scoffed them instead.

Now the added bonus of staying here is that there are walks you can do. We decided to do the river walk that took you around the grounds of houses that were featured in “Pride and Prejudice”. We then walked in the gardens and the fields.

At one point, Ang got scared crossing the bridge, so instead of helping her I decided to take a pic.. Afterall she is walking the plank!

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We said our goodbyes to the little farmers dogs and the owners and we made our way back to good old Dudley.

Conclusion

I would deffo recommend this place to everyone.  It would be great if they could put up another tent in the trees there to allow more larger groups however for it really is a gem as it is. The fact that they gave you all the firewood, cereal, etc for free was great. I’ve never known a place do that for this price. Whilst on our walk we had a chance to look at the Shepherds huts they rent on site, and they were really nice as they had bbqs you could use. so I think we may go back but this time in a shepherd’s hut. It was a great experience being up in the trees. It was great to be able to hear the sound of the rain hitting the trees and tent, but not feel any of it as it was soooo waterproof! Ive been on many camping trips, however none quite like this. Although I was cold this is natures fault not the farmyard, so I really CANNOT fault this place. It is amazing and well worth the money and the fact that the owners are really happy / nice welcoming people it tops it all off!

5 star!

 

 

 

 

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