Until you’ve been and done it, you’ll not know about the magic of camping. I’ve written before about our love for camping.. all the gear and no idea! Well, I think we can safely say now after years of pitching, soggy puddles, sweaty tent faces, cold showers and family arguments, we are experienced campers!
Last weekend we had a different camping experience and stayed in a Bell Tent at Embers, in Henley-on-Thames. Embers Camping was founded 6 years ago by Murray who’s vision was to create a site that provided a camping experience as it should be: large open spaces, camp fires with canvas tents huddled under the night’s sky. They strive to be as Eco friendly as possible, with eco-flush toilets, on-site recycling and using solar power for hot water and electricity.
Embers currently have 5 campsites in the UK, each one adopting the same basic principles: Tents arranged around the outside all looking in on one large central space for children to play and explore, make friends with fellow campers and embrace nature in all it’s glory. Sustainable Oak wood wash block facilities house hot showers and loo’s for your comfort and rustic open air wash basins for you to wash your pots and pans after you’ve cooked up your bacon and eggs for breakfast! The large fire pits provide you with the warmth for when the sun goes down and set the scene for family gatherings under the stars as you all toast your marshmallows for some well-earned s’mores after a day of running off energy in the great outdoors.
One of life’s treat’s are wood fired pizza’s and at Embers, they have just that. Homemade delicious pizzas can be rustled up by the Embers team during your stay for all to enjoy and I can very highly recommend their popular Nutella Pizza as an extra special treat!
We spent our two nights at the Henley site. Located in a large field perched beside the River Thames. An ideallic and beautiful setting. Having only opened a couple of weeks ago, site manager Sarah was on hand to show us around and provided us with plenty of information on the local area. The main Hub caters for all your needs, with freshly ground coffee available, ice-creams, cold drinks, tuck-shop treats for the kids, essential provisions such as milk and fresh bread as well as Kayak hire for all to enjoy. The on-site facilities are incredibly clean and well kept. Sarah introduced us to our Bell Tent, adorned with fairy lights and pretty bunting, in addition to providing us with Bundle Beds to make our stay even more luxurious! Bundle Beds can be added to your camping package at an extra charge.
The Bell Tents are large in size and have little windows so you can sneak a peek at the view when you wake up in the morning! If you’re keen to leave your tent at home and try out the Bell Tents you won’t be disappointed and you have the additional bonus of not needing to pitch it and take it down yourself!! We had two families pitched next to us in their own tents and it wasn’t long before our boys were all playing football together and having a game of 40/40 around the large trees. Of course this meant us adults could merrily drink our wine around the fire pits and watch on.
On the Saturday morning after breakfast, we decided to take the Kayaks out for a ride along the river into Henley for lunch. It was a great activity that we all thoroughly loved and the sun was beaming the whole time. Sarah mentioned where we could moor up, which was easy enough and we found a lovely pub by the bridge to sit and eat outside of and watch the rowers in full swing.
If you’d prefer to avoid the water all together, there is in fact a tow-path you can take directly from the campsite into the centre of Henley, which is only a short walk.
We are very much looking forward to returning to Embers again soon, but next time we plan to take our new tent that we recently got as we’re yet to use it! Whilst we’re keen to try out the other Embers‘ sites, we would love to visit Henley again because Sarah made us feel completely at home and with the drive out from London being so easy for us along the A40 (only 1h 30mins maximum), it feels incredibly accessible and LOCAL!!!
Thank you Embers for having us. We’ll see you soon!
Visit the Embers website HERE.
by Laura xx
** This month (JUNE) you can find an Embers discount at the back of the Waitrose Magazine
** MIDWEEK PRICES: Great for those who want to give camping a go but not sure that they can face a weekend or just have a few days mid week free. Children: £5 and Adults are £10 (per night, per person). CLICK HERE