Small-scale, waterside bell tent glamping, five miles from Winchester
Good things come to those who ‘bait’. That's the case at Avington Glamping at least. Beside crystal clear lakes and a stretch of chalk stream world renowned amongst anglers, this special glamping retreat is set on a popular trout fishery. Owner, Ben, has been running the place for 20 years and, inspired by its sheer tranquility, recently concluded it would make the ideal backdrop for bell tents. And, with fly fishing all part of the fun it means glampers enjoy the novel possibility of catching their very own dinner to cook alfresco on the campfire. A treat that's worth the wait indeed.
Conveniently located just five miles from Winchester, Avington Glamping is home to a clutch of fully furnished bell tents, right on the River Itchen, giving you all the comforts of home, including proper beds, rugs throws and, nearby, flushing ‘posh loos’, as Ben refers to them. To kick your day off, take a moment to enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sun’s rays reflecting off the lake, fringed with yellow iris and marsh marigolds – extra points if you can spot one of the famed brown trout at the water’s edge. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are paddle boards and kayaks you can hire for a couple of hours, ambling up river, first through the trees and then out into the wider countryside just east of the fishery.
Along with watersports, Ben has ensured there's always enough happening to keep you occupied. The site has a wonderfully relaxed feel, where you can move at your own pace and take a moment to breathe, recharge and appreciate the wildlife (a rare white tail eagle was recently sighted). For those wishing to take advantage of all that’s on offer, Victoria runs daily yoga sessions or you can take part in fishing and woodcraft lessons. Professional chef Joe, meanwhile, runs a superb pop-up restaurant here through summer, A La Mesa, where you’ll enjoy fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce. Sundays are a particular highlight, when there’s a special feasting menu.
After a day of activities visiting the likes of Winchester Cathedral or nearby Marwell Zoo, you can cool off with a wild swim in the river then grab a drink at another of the fishery's delights, The Fisherman’s Rest, a cosy on-site pub. There's a decent range of wines and beers available. Though, if you really want to keep it local, you can even go straight to the source. Burge’s Field Vineyard offers tours and tasting a 10-minute drive away and the Itchen Valley Brewery is less than 15 minutes by car too.
Winchester, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Ben H.Joined in March 2021
From the host
Set amongst the stunning lakes of the famous Avington Trout Fishery in a lovely pocket of Hampshire, join us on our maiden voyage for a glamping trip incorporating lakeside serenity, open water swimming, daily yoga classes, wellness sessions and topped with a touch of London restaurant catering to lighten your load. For the very first time the renowned Avington fishery- famed for its beauty and colossal trout, is opening its gates to create a truly unique experience. In conjunction with London’s A La Mesa Catering ltd we will be providing you with all your glamping needs whether you want to barbecue by your own tent, eat Neapolitan pizzas from our wood fired oven or choose one of the very trout that swim in the lakes you’re nestled against for the grill, we’ve got it covered. Did we mention we have our own little pub on-site too? With the clearwater lakes and the stunning crystal-clear chalk stream babbling alongside, come and relax and float away from the hustle and bustle of it all and reconnect with nature. For any keen anglers there will be fishing lessons available or simply hire a paddle board and while away the afternoons on the water. The 5m bell tents are luxurious and comforting, sleeping up to a family of four (or 5 inc. infant) or treat yourself and get a second pitch for your big kids at a reduced rate. Only an hour and forty minutes from London, and a mere half hour from Southampton (day trip to The Isle of Wight, anyone?) come and enjoy this summer of staycations with us and gently celebrate this English summer 2021 with a lack of lockdowns.
There's good local walking on the doorstep. Try the Three Castles Way, following the banks of the River Itchen and taking in the 12th-century church in Martyr Worthy, or cross the river and walk some of the Itchen Way east to the pub in Cheriton. The historic town of Winchester is a 15-minute drive away, home to an abundance of cafés, including the ever-popular Coffee Roasters (01962 883655) and, of course, it's famous cathedral (01962 857200). Southampton is a 30-minute drive or, if you're here with kids, you might fancy a trip to Marwell Zoo (01962 777407). For adults, meanwhile, it's just a 10-minute drive to The Burge's Field Vineyard on the Grange Estate for wine tasting and a tour. National Trust Hinton Ampner Estate (01962 771305) is also within 20 minutes' drive.
Food and drink
There's an on-site pub, The Fisherman's Rest, which serves daily food options curated by pop-up restaurant A La Mesa. On Friday night they cook wood-fired pizzas, on Sunday's there's a special feasting menu and there's a daily brunch menu. West Lea Farm Shop ( 01962 732476) is a 10-minute drive away and supplies local meat and fresh produce. The Plough (01962 779191) and The Bush Inn (01962 732764) are both within walking distance and serve gastropub food. The Itchen Valley Brewery (01962 735111) is a 12-minute drive and can supply you with local beer. The Long Barn Cafe and Party at The Mill (07403213588) in neighbouring village, Arlesford, are also popular cafe options for lighter bites.