Hello! We have just returned from an amazing holiday! The sun has shone, the sky stayed blue and nights were warm and clear for stargazing opportunities. We're a bit grubby and tired, but so very happy.
Back in February I was looking on the Cool Camping website trying to find something a bit off the beaten track, a little different from the usual family campsites. I'd planned on going to Norfolk for quite some time as I had a list of places I wanted to visit. I stumbled across the small site of Ling's Meadow, an eco campsite based on farmland and located near Thetford. Kath, the owner, lives in the farmhouse with her husband and three kids, and are extremely welcoming and excellent hosts. The farm has been in the family since 1930 and they grow wheat, barley and sugar beet. The farm ethos has always been to tread lightly on the land, and they are doing the same with the campsite. The pitches are set in amongst the four acre natural meadow. Each tent sits on a circle cut into the meadow and has it's own winding path to the communal camp kitchen, the (immaculately clean) composting toilets and the solar powered shower. There is no electricity on site, but at night everything is lit by solar powered fairy lights, providing a blissfully chilled out atmosphere. The meadow is alive in July, the grasses at their highest and we were surrounded by butterflies, dragonflies, swallows, bees and rabbits. Oh and there are the farmyard chickens providing campers with fresh eggs in the morning.
Although we have our own family tent, I decided to book one of the two bell tents that are lovingly furnished with vintage pieces from the farmhouse. Each has a double futon and two single futons to sleep on as well as a solid wooden floor. There are crochet throws on all the beds, solar fairy lights winding up the central pole and a hot water bottle each in case it gets a bit nippy at bedtime. I was so glad I booked the bell tent as we had a hellish journey, the majority of delays just trying to get out of Leeds! So it was perfect arriving at Ling's Meadow to find everything all ready for us. All we needed to do was open the bottle of wine and have our dinner sitting by the campfire. Perfection. There are two permanent bell tents erected at the campsite, ours 'Sloe' the other 'Damson'. Each sleeps up to five people. The campsite has a few pitches for others bringing their own tent and each has loads of space to claim as it's own. You can hardly see some of the tents too as the grass in the meadow is so high. It's pretty quiet and very friendly as the site only holds twenty people! There is a communal camp kitchen with stove, pots and pans and crockery, although you can cook on your own pitch too. There is also a communal camp fire and we listened to one girl sing beautifully around it on Saturday night. Kath has filled each communal area with lovely touches, fresh flowers from her garden in vintage pots, books on wildflowers and birds in the cupboard and an A board that lists all the creatures spotted on the meadow.
We cooked each night on the little portable stove, simple one pot meals like pasta genovese (we brought our own homemade pesto) and a vegetable stir-fry. Veggie sausage sandwiches and a fresh cup of coffee made in the Aeropress were the best kind of breakfast. Local beer was enjoyed as was the amazing bottle of homemade sloe gin left by Kath in our bell tent. It was seriously delicious and really warms the throat!
The only downside to camping at Ling's Meadow was having to leave. We did go exploring in Suffolk and North Norfolk and I'll share those adventures soon. But hand on heart if I'd just stayed in the campsite the entire time we were there I wouldn't have been disappointed.
Part of me wants to keep Ling's Meadow all to myself, the other wants to shout from the rooftops to tell you how amazing it is and I've chosen to shout! Do go visit them and check out the website. We'll definitely be rebooking for next year. x