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Bedgebury Camping, Pattenden Farm, Coudhurst, Kent
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Bedgebury Camping, Pattenden Farm, Coudhurst, Kent

You can instantly tell that more than the average amounts of thought and love have gone into Bedgebury Camping. It's the little extras: a communal dpi tor camptire gatherings and general hanging-out; the cute little wooden compost toilet blocks, hand-built by owner Jim; the camptire starter packs, which include straw bales to sit on in addition to the more predictable logs, kindling, and marshmallows. Small things - big difference. And it's a big site, too. Although camping is restricted to four acres, there are another 20 acres to explore, including woodland and a small stream. It's a tranquil, picturesque spot, set away from the main road in a green, wooded vale.You might catch the occasional glimpse of an oast house amid the trees - these distinctive buildings serve as a reminder of the hop-fanning heritage of the area.

Bedgebury itself was a hop farm in times gone by, but now the rows of old hop-drying huts have found another use as perfectly proportioned cycle storage sheds. Bring your bike to explore the exhilarating single-track trails at Bedgebury Forest, or the more sedate, ftimily ambles around nearby Bewl Water.

Bedgebury Camping, Pattenden Farm, Coudhurst, Kent

COOL FACTOR Spacious, chilled-out camping loveliness.

WHO'S IN? Tents, dogs - yes. Campervans, caravans - no. Well-behaved groups - yes (separate field for large groups).

ON SITE The main, L-shaped camping field is largely flat. Atmospheric communal tipi open 24/7; tea and cakes served in the afternoon. Eight compost toilets; clean showers and WCs in a portaloo cabin; and washing-up sinks next to the bike-storage huts. Maps detailing local footpaths at reception. Campfires allowed; starter pack including 2 hay bales, logs, matches, kindling, and marshmallows £20.

OFF SITE Fantastic area for walking and cycling, including Bewl Water (see pi 51) and Bedgebury Forest. Sissinghurst Castle (01580 710701) with its remarkable gardens isn't far.

FOOD AND DRINK The stylish Globe & Rainbow (01892 890803) at Kilndown serves excellent seasonal food sourced largely from Kentish farms - a 45-minute walk.

GETTING THERE Take the A21 towards Hastings. After Blue Boys services turn left at the next roundabout on to the A262. Turn right at Goudhurst village pond, follow the road down into the valley, then look for Bedgebury on the right.

OPEN For 28 days during August only.

THE DAMAGE Adult/child (3 to 14 years) £8-£10/£4-£5 per night (depending on day). Pets £2.

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