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Champing™ Holme Lacy

England / Hereford, Herefordshire
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An unforgettable Champing experience at St Cuthbert's Church awaits - a medieval sandstone beauty just outside the quiet village of Holme Lacy in Herefordshire.  

First there was camping, then there was glamping, and now, there's Champing™! Church camping is revolutionising the traditional camping break, giving you exclusive use of some of the UK's greatest listed buildings for the most unforgettable sleepover of your life.

Champing™ came about in finding long-term, sustainable uses for stunning churches that are no longer used for regular worship. Cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust, these magnificent buildings are some of the greatest architectural wonders our country has to offer, and often come with fascinating histories too. So what better way to appreciate one than to stay in it?

Up to eight guests can enjoy a unique adventure in this special historic space.  Standing beside a bend on the River Wye and enjoying stunning views across to the Herefordshire hills, this beautiful setting is peaceful, poetic and a real treat for any Champer lucky enough to enjoy it.

Once you step inside, this incredible space is yours to enjoy.  You'll see the ChampBots have set out everything you need for your stay - comfy, fold-out camp beds, beanbags, cushions and camping chairs, and even brightly coloured rugs for an extra touch of home.  If you want to move things around just to your liking, go ahead! After all, this is your home for the night, and you're free to arrange it as you please.

Those ChampBots are even kind enough to provide teabags, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar and all your cups and cutlery.  All you need to do is bring the milk for your well-earned cuppa on arrival! Bottled water is provided, as are camping lanterns and battery candles for when it gets dark at night.  There's even a ChampLav set up for you in a pretty cabin in the churchyard - a dry separating toilet to take care of all necessities!

Forget any preconceptions of tiptoeing round and whispering in the church; as your home for the night, you're free to chat, laugh, sing, dance around - whatever takes your fancy!  Kids can run about or play the best game of hide-and-seek ever, while adults can relax back in a camping chair with a bottle of wine (the ChampBots even provide the corkscrew!).

As it's sure to be unlike anywhere else you've ever called home for the night, waste no time in exploring every nook and cranny of St Cuthbert's. Check out the pretty stained glass windows, the golden eagle lectern and the unusual 17th-century font, decorated in carvings of rosettes and cherubs. You'll no doubt notice the variety of monuments dotted around the church, many of which are dedicated to the Scudamore family - patrons of St Cuthbert's from the Middle Ages right up to the 20th century. And be sure to look out for the magnificent carvings on the medieval choir stalls, including angels, humans, a dog and a horned demon!

There's also more to see beyond St Cuthbert's, which is little surprise in this beautiful corner of England.  Fownhope is a bustling village on the other side of the River Wye, and just a 9-minute drive from your church door.  And then of course, there's the city of Hereford, just 7.5 miles away. The marvellous Hereford Cathedral is a must-see, not least for the world-famous Mappa Mundi and the quirky chained library.  On your way back, why not stop off at the Cider Museum to learn everything you need to know about ‘golden amber'? Hic! Don't forget pretty Hay-on-Wye either - a cultural hub for literary fans and just under an hour from St Cuthbert's.

Champing™ not only gives you a break from modern life, it also gives you a break from cooking!  You can't cook inside the church or churchyard, but this gives you the perfect excuse for hearty suppers at The New Inn in Fownhope, or the Riverside Bar and Eatery - a relaxed restaurant in the grounds of a camping and caravan park just a 7-minute drive from the church. If you have pre-booked breakfast, the lovely people at the Green Man Inn in Fownhope will be expecting you. Just let them know you are champers and they will provide you with some yummy breakfast fayre.

Sadly, the time will come to leave St Cuthbert's, but it couldn't be more hassle free.  After your departure, the ChampBots will take everything away as if by magic. You don't get that in a camping field!  

Whether you're young or young at heart, part of a group or traveling on your own, a spot of Champing™ should definitely be on your bucket list!  And where better than at St Cuthbert's? With glorious views, picturesque countryside and one of Britain's most beautiful cathedral cities just a short hop away, one night just isn't enough.

Things to note

Champing™ season runs March - September, no minimum stay requirement, Champers should bring their own bedding including pillows, sleeping bags, duvets and blankets, up to two (or three if they are small) dogs are welcome upon prior arrangement, children are welcome and encouraged to stay although they must be supervised and no ball games are permitted in the church yard, Champers are welcome to bring their own alcohol, and wine may be pre-ordered on booking. Champers have sole access to their church after 6pm and before 10am.  

See the video below to find out how the Champing™ team transform an empty, serene church (St Thomas, Friarmere) into a cosy champ and back again, in the blink of an eye. 

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The basics

Region: Hereford, Herefordshire
Cost (from): £49 per person per night
Sleeps: Up to 8
Bedrooms: Varies
Minimum stay: 1 night
Property ref: 758

Facilities

Sleeps up to 8, fold out camp beds, bean bags, cushions, camping chairs, rugs, tea bags, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, cups, cutlery, corkscrew, bottled water, camping lanterns, battery candles, cabin toilet.

Local activities

River walks, historic city, galleries, castle, museums, birdwatching, wildlife park, country houses, gardens, canal walks, boating, horse riding, cycling, wetland reserve.

At a glance

  • Champing™  (Church Camping) at St Cuthbert's Church, in Holme Lacy, Herefordshire
  • Exclusive use of charming 13th-century church for 1-8 guests
  • Up to two well-behaved dogs welcome
  • Everything you need set up for your arrival and taken away afterwards
  • Just bring your bedding, snacks and drinks
  • Perfect for exploring Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and surrounding countryside of English-Welsh border
  • Convenience store and pubs in Fownhope (4 miles); bus stop in Holme Lacy (1.6 miles); Hereford Station: 7.7 miles
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