Thistledown Farm, Near Stroud

We’ve stayed at Thistledown Farm, an organic farm, twice now and will most definitely be going back again. We love so many things about this campsite, and think you will too!

Firstly, it is huge! 70 acres in fact, offering tons of choice of where to pitch whilst maintaining it’s wild vibe, with surrounding woodland and natural slopes throughout the site (where children love to run up and down, or roll?!), plus it’s own little elderflower Orchard as one of the pitch options. This attractive setting means you can spread out and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but still have plenty of other families nearby in their own space, should you (or the kids) wish to make new friends. I personally really like sites like this, where I can open the tent and let Poppy run wild without worrying too much that she is wandering into the tent right next door! Having said that we have always been during quiet times anyway, but with the size of this site I can’t imagine it ever feels cramped! There are several pastures to choose from when pitching, most of which you have to wheelbarrow your stuff to (down quite a steep slope!) but in the Orchard you can park by your pitch. Handy, but having stayed in both, we liked the proximity of the woodland in the other pasture and it felt more wild. Depending what you are looking for and the length of your stay the Orchard may feel more convenient, near the cafe and very pretty. But there are only showers, washing up and compost toilets on the pastures, just chemical toilets in the Orchard. We preferred the compost loos by a long way! The price of the Orchard compared to the pastures reflects these differences.

The on site cafe here really makes this campsite a lovely option for those wanting a bit more of a holiday treat or maybe not wanting to stress about taking your own food. You can go ‘out’ for lunch or dinner without even having to leave the site! It is open to the public too so is often busy. I will say that in the past we have had to wait a long time for food, though the cafe was quite new at the time and I hope things have improved since then. They do a variety of foods and can cater for dietary requirements too, a huge plus, and options have improved over the years. They hold special wood-fired sourdough pizza nights at the weekend, which means one less meal to worry about and who doesn’t love pizza?! The adjoining shop stocks local produce and I recall the cider being particularly good as we sat around the evening campfire!

On to environmental credentials…As well as the eco facilities, Thistledown is managed in a way that promotes habitat and biodiversity. Pitch spaces are mowed, keeping longer grass and wildflowers growing around them. You’ll see many insects, bats and butterflies and you might even be lucky enough to see glow worms in the early summer. Woodchester Mansion (within walking distance) has cameras set up in the roosts so that you can watch the bats. You might see, or hear, deer, badgers and plenty of species of bird. Thistledown is a wildlife receptor site, rehoming species that have been disturbed by development. They’ve re-homed thousands of slow worms as well as many snakes, although you’ll be lucky to spot any! You may see newts down at the ponds, take a torch at night for your best chance. There are also some farm animals on site and you can sometimes join in with feeding time, a hit with children and adults alike!

The surrounding woodland is a lovely place to explore. We went in May and there was an abundance of wild garlic! Ask for a walking map on arrival and you will find many paths straight from the campsite. By car you are just 12 minutes from Stroud, a lovely market town with plenty of cute cafes. A little further afield you have Cirencester, Gloucester and Bath, and plenty of other Cotswold beauty surrounding you.

We can’t wait to return to this site, and will try to explore more of the area next time, because with such a beautiful campsite it is to tempting to pitch up and not leave at all!

Check out more by visiting their WEBSITE or finding them on Facebook here. 

By |2020-08-07T13:55:09+00:00August 7th, 2020|Eco camping|Comments Off on Thistledown Farm, Near Stroud