We visited a small organic campsite in Gloucestershire and local attractions and attractions not long after we picked our van up in January. We called her Patchouli but Chewie for short) and sent her directly to the mechanics for a thorough check over. As soon Chewie returned home we were eager to take her out for a weekend. We searched the internet for a relatively close site just in case anything went wrong. That way we were not too far from home. Finding a site called West End Farm near Arlingham in Gloucestershire we booked our pitch. £10 for Friday night on a hard standing pitch and £4 extra if you wanted electric hook up.
We packed some food that we had in the house so that we didn’t have to buy any. A chilli and a pasta that we had in the freezer coupled up as freezer blocks to keep the rest of our goods cool. (That’s when we remembered we now have a fridge – a new luxury!). Singing tunes on the radio, we set off in the sunshine down the M5 for a few junctions and then took a country lane for a couple of miles until we reached the farm. On arrival there was a sign to say that due to them being a small site there was no reception but just to ring if we needed anything. Our start to Gloucestershire campsite and attractions was going well as the site was very clean and welcoming.
We had a look around and found they had a couple of grass pitches with electric hook ups. There was a new wooden structure with toilets, showers and a washing up area. Very nice and clean!
The site is part of an organic farm and we saw this sign in the toilet block. Turns out we were sharing our fresh water with the cows. The cows had priority too! West end farm is home to plenty of wildlife but cattle is their main priority. Although you can hear some noise from the machinery nearby it isn’t enough to cause an issue.
River Severn and the Severn Way.
This was a great spot when taking Gloucestershire campsite and attractions into consideration. The location itself is part of an attraction! The Severn Way. It is a long network of paths following the River Severn from it’s origin high on Plynlimon, in the uplands of Mid-Wales. The RIver Severn is the longest river in the UK measuring 220 miles long. It passes through Powys, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire before reaching the Severn Estuary.
The Long Distance Walkers Association gives the Severn Way’s length as 360.3 km (223.9 mi).
The campsite is located on a horseshoe bend on the River Severn and therefore has direct access to lots of lovely walks including access to the Severn Way.
The Severn Bore is a tidal bore seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in south western England. It is formed when the rising tide moves into the funnel-shaped Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary and the surging water forces its way upstream in a series of waves, as far as Gloucester and beyond. Surfers love to take advantage of the waves as they surf up the river on the bore. Make sure you do your research and try to witness this event when the spring tide is at its highest!
Driving to the campsite you drive through the quaint village. It isn’t very big, in fact the 2011 census recorded just 459 inhabitants in 176 households. Arlingham has the River surrounding it on 3 sides and a canal on the 4th. Even with so much water surrounding it, Arlingham does not have a high flood risk. The village is full of character and remains very rural with 10 working farms with Dairy and beef herds.
The church of St Mary the Virgin’s registry dates back to 1539 and has lots of very old but well preserved tombs and headstones. Although it was closed when we visited you can tell from care taken in the grounds that this little church is very important to it’s parish.
We took a walk around the exterior and the winter sun was low in the sky. The light reflected off of the rear double door to display a golden shimmer as though it had been covered in gold leaf.
Meet the locals – at your own risk!
The graveyard isn’t a scary place to be, not once you have met the locals of course.
I mean to say that some of the residents are a little unsure of visitors. Perhaps a little territorial even! No I don’t mean the humans, I mean the pheasants! A cock greeted us as we began our walk home and at first he seemed a little shy. The pheasant started to follow us down the road a little. We even thought he was cute! We even stopped to take a photo of this encounter… It was then things took a disastrous turn for the worst!
Out of nowhere, the little swine decided to take a pot shot at Louise! (See video here). He jumped up and kicked her with both his feet and tried to take a bite of her! Once safely back to the van we snuggled up for dinner and had an early night.
Saturday morning we woke up to a bit of a damp day but we were happy. It didn’t matter to us. We had a really good night’s sleep, our first night in Chewy, felt relaxed and refreshed. In fact, once we went to sleep we both had a really deep sleep and woke up around midnight feeling as though we had slept all night long!
Robinswood Hill – Gloucester
A hearty frankfurter omelette breakfast (nicer than it sounds) set us up for the day. We didn’t want to spend any money so decided to head to Robinswood Hill in Gloucester. 250 acres of open countryside with nature trails marked out for you. At the summit you can see views of the Severn Bridge to the South, the Malvern Hills to the North and the Black Mountains to the West. This attractions was only 20 miles from the Gloucestershire campsite
Car parking is free, even for the motorhome, no height restrictions and luckily the car park was flat or we may have had to drive on! The van is quite heavy and we need to build trust in the handbrake… which was at that point ‘selective’ on her ability to hold!
We donned our wet weather gear and polished off a sarnie before our walk. It didn’t look too bad from the bottom but boy are looks deceiving! Louise decided the path was too boring and dragged me up through the trees forging our own path… Never again! I swear I thought I was going to pass out at several points. I was going up a bank on my hands and knees grabbing on to tree roots to pull myself up, all the while slipping and sliding – making very little progress! Once up that bit I decided that we were going to follow the path!
Up Up and Away!
Incline after incline we inched our way. Throwing a strop every 5 minute I was encouraged on even though I was really hating it at that point. Although I climbed the Sugar Loaf last year this is the first major climb I had done since my foot injury and I am glad to report it held up well!
All of a sudden the summit appeared a few hundred metres above us. One last hurrah and we made it to the top. Another trig point achieved! It is also a beacon point. From the top of Robins Wood Hill we couldn’t see too much as the visibility was poor. Did I mention it was raining and windy? Looking down from our position we could see parts of the county briefly, before more rain clouds hampered our visibility but the M5 services we easy to spot!
It was really windy up there so after a short break we slowly edged back to the car park. We knew we had done it and being able to get into our converted van, have a brew, some soup and get changed makes all the difference in this weather. The heating went on to warm us up and we reflected on how much better we felt now the cobwebs had been blown away. Despite my reluctance and grumpy demeanour I did actually enjoy it – when it was over.
When taking Gloucestershire campsite and attractions into account, sometimes a meal cooked for you is a real treat. Not far from Robinswood Hill is iGrill, an amazing burger/pizza/grill restaurant on Metz Way, Gloucester.
There is free parking available and all the food is cooked fresh for you. I have never had a burger like the ones they cook there. It is a minced sirloin of lean beef with no artificial flavours or additives. They mince it and make it into a patty so its succulent and juicy. They even make their own signature sauce as an optional extra. As it’s cooked fresh you can even request it to be cooked a certain way.
They also do pizzas, kebabs on skewers, Vegetarian menus, smoothies and milkshakes. They are on the Just Eat app so will deliver too! We went there for some proper food on our way home and boy did it taste amazing!
Prinknash has lots to offer, from Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks at Prinknash Abbey to the bird and deer park where you can hand feed the deer! This location is certainly worth putting on your next to do list!
According to the monks, it is not known for sure when Prinknash made its first documented appearance.e in documented history. According to a venerable antiquary Gloucestershire was erected into a County and divided into Hundreds by King Alfred [c. 890] and in a list of these Hundreds Prinknash is included in the division of the Hundreds of Kings Barton. Gloucestershire antiquaries, however, are not always reliable and we cannot say for certain how ancient the place is.
Monastic life did not end in the middle ages and there are still monks in residence here. You can visit the Monestry’s shop which sells monastic gifts and books. There is also a cafe however the Monastery is private for the monks that reside there.
Next door is the Bird and Deer Park, a real treat for animal lovers. It was created in 1974 by Phillip Meigh and now run by his daughter since his death in 2008. This parkland incorporates the old monks ponds to create a habitat for all sorts of wildlife. You can visit here and spend time hand feeding the birds, fish and fallow deer. It’s a photographers dream!
We had a lovely afternoon here and it is on our list of places to go back to. The site is on a hill so do wear suitable footwear. I was on crutches at the time of our visit and had to wear a hard boot to protect my foot. This made some of the navigation tricky but still doable!
The animals in residence are
- Fallow deer
- Pygmy goats
- Miniature donkeys
- Waterfowl including geese, ducks, Ne Ne’s, Snow geese and Bahama Pintails
- Poultry including Mad Frizzlers, Polands, Dutch faveralls and seabrites
- Pheasant and Fowl including the stunning Golden and Yellow pheasants
- Caged and Aviary birds from D’anvers and Japanese Quail, to Budgies, Cockatiels and Lovebirds
- Fish including Carp and Tench
Family fun at Gloucestershire campsite and attractions.
Make sure you take plenty of change as for 20p you can obtain food to feed some of the animals. We had a slight hiccup when a deer snatched one of the paper bags of food and ran off with it so do hold on tight!!! Also watch the birds, they may poop on you… and they did poop on us! But it was so nice to be able to relax and just sit with the birds. They are very tame will come and land on your hands for the food. It’s a great experience that kids and adults will love. The site is quite large and well maintained. There is plenty of free parking, again no height restrictions, available for the whole Prinknash site.
There’s a lovely cafe which sells salads and hot meals. A children’s menu is available, soft drinks and of course locally made ice creams. If you’re looking for a gift with a difference then I’m sure you will find one in the gift shop adjoining the ticket office. You do have to pay for entrance into the Bird and Deer park. You can book online and save 10% with an email ticket sent direct to you.
There are so many different Gloucestershire campsite and attractions so you
Click here to see other locations we have visited.