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Town Farm, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
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Town Farm, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, BedfordshireWhipsnade Zoo; hot air ballooning above the Chilterns; the Grand Union Canal; parks aplenty; and endless cycling, walking, and riding trails - with the area offering all this, surely the BBC's Room 101 was wrong to consign Leighton Buzzard to the bin?

The sheep-rearing Town Farm family-owners have enjoyed living here for generations regardless, and have opened their land to campers looking to extol this part of Bedfordshire, too. Their vast camping field is behind a barn. Tents can be pitched at the foot of Ivinghoe Beacon, where the famous Ridgeway Walk starts its journey to Wiltshire, or overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury. Ignore the pylon wire running along the right of the site, and head left towards the Chilterns, past a hip, new, chalet-style wash-block, to pitch at the far end.

Frazzled parents looking tor activities to wear out their brood have so much choice both off and on site (there are swings, goalposts, and a trampoline on the grounds, plus a pick-your-own farm open in summer) that everyone will sleep soundly at night. Room 101 obviously wasn't thinking about parents; we think Leighton Buzzard is a keeper.

COOL FACTOR An ideal trial location for first-time campers and Londoners not wanting to stay far from home.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, caravans, obedient dogs (that won't bother sheep), groups - yes. Noisy groups - no.

Town Farm, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire


ON SITE Campfires allowed in the onsite fire pits (rented for £5; wood bundle £5) and BBQs on blocks. A total of 50 pitches, with 12 hook-ups for caravans/motorhomes. The facilities block has 2 showers, a washing machine (£3.50), tumble-dryer (50p/8 mins), freezer, wi-fi, and electricity points. There is a distant hum of local traffic.

OFF SITE Whipsnade Zoo (01582 872171) is 10 miles away, and the elephants and tigers at Wobum Safari Park (01525 290407) half an hour. The Chiltern Cycleway (www. chilternsociety.org.uk) details 170 miles of routes in the area.

FOOD AND DRINK Eat local goods fresh from the Pecks Farm Shop (01525 211859); lovely pies and pickles. Leighton Buzzard farmers' market takes place every third Saturday.

GETTING THERE Town Farm is just off the B489 between Ivinghoe and Dunstable (on your right if travelling west).

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Train toTring, then a taxi (£10).

OPEN All year.

THE DAMAGE Adult £8-£10 (depending on length of stay); child (6 to 18 years) £5, under-5s and dogs free.



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