Secluded bell tent glamping in the Wensum Valley, less than 10 miles from Norwich
Duncan Smith was born with a love of camping. It was passed down to him from his parents. “It doesn’t matter if you come out of a five-star hotel or a tent, so long as you have slept warm, dry and comfortable”, his father, Brian, used to say. At Hengrave Meadow Glamping, however, he's cannily combined the best of both, with proper beds and mattresses that ensure hotel-quality sleep but the peace and quiet of an ancient two-acre meadow, so you still get the joy of camping in the great outdoors.
Hengrave Meadow Glamping is a quiet, rural site with just three luxury bell tents, kitted out with proper beds and soft furnishings. Outside, guests have their own cooking area, complete with a picnic bench, camping gas cooker and barbecue, all covered by a shady canopy perfect for sunny summer days. The most striking thing about the place, though, is the general peace of the meadow. Grass is left long and wild in many places – ideal for the bumble bees and dragonflies – and the meadow itself is accompanied by two small ponds and sheltered by thick hedges and mature trees. It was previously used for grazing ponies and sheep but it's now home to an abundance of wildlife, and is essentially an extension to Duncan's garden – the family live on site in the Gardener's Cottage, always on hand to help enhance your stay in whatever way they can.
There's clever use of the space here. An old stable is home to electric points, a communal fridge-freezer and necessities like bread, milk and other fresh items to buy – if you’re lucky you might also manage to get a few eggs from the flock of ex-battery hens that live in Duncan’s garden. The private toilet and shower facilities, meanwhile, are inside a converted shepherd's hut and it's all just a short stroll from your tent.
The quiet local lanes and footpaths are great for walkers and cyclists, with routes starting from the site’s doorstep, including a path beside an impressive 300-year-old yew hedge belonging to the neighbours. Hengrave Meadow is on the edge of the village of Swannington, a pretty and rural hamlet with a village green, Medieval church and a calm stream running through it. You can explore the market town of Reepham or hop on a bike and cycle the car-free Marriotts Way into Norwich for a day exploring the lanes. And, when you return, you can enjoy kicking back in the quiet meadow, appreciating the novelty of simply doing nothing at all.
Norfolk Nr9 5 Ns, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Duncan S.Joined in December 2020
1 Ratings · 1 review
August 7, 2021
Iris Luxury Bell Tent
We had a really lovely time staying at Hengrave Meadow Glamping. The site is gorgeous, peaceful and beautifully kept. Duncan was so friendly and there is lots to do not far from the area. We stayed in the ‘Iris’ tent, which was impeccably furnished with a very comfortable low wooden bed, it felt so tranquil. We cooked breakfast on the outdoor stove in our little woodland kitchen which was just lovely. We have come home feeling refreshed and will definitely be revisiting in the future. We highly recommend Hengrave Meadow Glamping!
From the host
Hengrave Meadow Glamping is a quiet adult only retreat with just three luxury bell tents on a two acre meadow, giving our guests private space to breath and relax, the perfect Norfolk get-away.
Our Bell tents are individually furnished with coir matting, rug's, real wooden double beds, chairs and bedside tables. Single air beds are available for up to two additional adult guests. Outside you have your own under canvas cooking area with a picnic bench, camping gas stove and barbecue along with kitchen essentials. You will have your own lockable loo and shower in a converted shepherds hut by the old stables, just a short walk from your tent. Also by the old stables there is an undercover pot wash area with communal fridge / freezer facilities along with plug points for charging phones and using your hair dryer, there will always be a selection of books and games on the shelf along with some spare eggs from our small group of ex-battery hens that live in our garden. Our two acre meadow has been used by us for ponies and then sheep before lying empty for a few years. It wasn't until we started preparing it for our daughters festival style wedding reception venue that it was something really special that we could share. Gently undulating with two ponds, thick hedging with mature trees it can be a haven for wildlife. We live opposite in the Gardeners Cottage, so will be on hand to help make your stay safe and happy.
Hengrave Meadow is on the edge of the village of Swannington, which is a pretty and rural hamlet with a village green, thatched pumps stream running through and a lovely church. There are lots of great footpaths for walkers, starting on the doorstep going past the magnificent 300 year old yew hedge belonging to our neighbours at The Manor. Swannington Farm to Fork is an award winning butchers / farm shop just a 30 minute stroll from Hengrave Meadow and sells a range of meat and dairy produce. If you enjoy gardening the Romantic Garden Nursery is closer still and has beautiful topiary and olive trees for sale amongst others.There is easy access to the Marriots way heritage trail which is a 25 mile path on the former Norwich to Aylsham railway line. The market town of Reepham with shops and pubs is under 4 miles, a little further afield is the National Trust Blickling Hall just 20 minutes in the car. Whilst the traditional seaside resort of Cromer is just over 30 minutes in the car.
Some of the closest attractions are Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure (four miles; 01603 876310), llama trekking at Norfolk Llamas (four miles; 07910 155535) and the market town of Reepham (three miles) but historic Norwich city itself is only 10 miles away (a 20-minute drive) and is a compact, very walkable city, with a magnificent cathedral (01603 218300) and the castle museum – a good option for rainier days. On sunny ones, drive the 15 minutes to Aylsham and the National Trust's Blickling Estate (01263 738030). Choose from three recommended walk routes, exploring the parkland where the path slopes gently through the woods and open land taking in points like the tower, brickyard, the lake and the mausoleum. A railway line that used to run from here to Norwich has now been converted into a pleasant greenway – the Marriotts Way – a 25-mile path in total. It's great for walking and cycling alike. At the closest point it's just three miles from Hengrave Meadow and at the former Whitwell & Reepham Station (01603 871694) you can also see old trains and vintage vehicles that might once have negotiated the route.
Food and drink
Heydon Tea Rooms (01263 587211) is a 15-minute drive away, serving traditional cream teas and a full afternoon tea option (with scones that will make you more than glad you aren’t on a swimsuit holiday). Swannington Farm to Fork (01603 754437) is an award-winning butchery and farm shop a 30-minute walk from Hengrave Meadow, selling a range of meat and dairy products. In Reepham, try The King's Arms (01603 870345) dating back to 1667 and maintaining a lot of its original features, they serve great draught beer alongside local food and gins.