Return to Ling's Meadow, Suffolk
Hello there. We've recently returned from a lovely week glamping in Suffolk. It's taken me a few days before I found the time to write this post, mostly because I have found myself easily distracted by the Olympics - who the heck knew fencing and archery could be so interesting? Haha!
I've blogged about staying at Ling's Meadow before and I'd always planned on making a return visit as we'd enjoyed it so much. We'd camped in the bell tent last time and that was what I thought we'd do again, but this year lovely hosts Kath and Neel introduced the Living Van Windhover to their eco campsite. It's perfect for families and so we opted to stay in the van for the duration of our Suffolk stay. It sleeps four - two adults and two kids or in our case, two adults and one giant, moody teenager.
Windhover (named after the kestrel that can often be seen above the campsite) has been lovingly crafted by a local carpenter and eco builder using recycled materials, including the beautiful carved bed. Coloured glass roof lights made by a local glass artist, allow a golden glow to emit through the van in the sunshine. And like everything at Ling's Meadow, it's all about the little details, from the freshly cut flowers from Kath's garden sitting in earthenware pots, handmade crochet blankets adding a homely touch to the classic vintage books to enjoy tucked up in bed. And of course, a little bottle of Kath's homemade damson gin to tipple on an evening makes it extra special!
The van was cozy and we didn't need to use the woodburning stove at all, instead opting to cook outside on the firepit or our own little stove we brought from home. The weather didn't really live up to last time (when we had temperatures of over 30 degrees C) and we had some crazy high winds on several occasions along with a couple of downpours. Mostly this happened in the evenings and overnight so we stayed dry but it stopped us from sitting round the fire reading books and gazing at the stars. But that's the great British summer for you, isn't it? The beds were comfy and I slept well apart from the one night when it was really windy and I thought the entire site would be blown away. I awoke surprised that everything was still in place and intact. The van also has a little table and chairs so you can eat inside as well as a beautiful rustic cabinet filled with everything you need to make yourself at home - tealights, cutlery, crockery, firelighters etc.
The campsite is small and only has a maximum of twenty five people staying in a mixture of glamping bell tents, a Shepherds Hut and bring your own tents. It's quiet and chilled out but perfect for families as the kids can go feral - den building and kite flying being the most popular whilst we were staying. There is a nice community spirit, with everyone chatting about where they had visited, either sitting round the main campfire (some braved the rain) or cooking in the shared kitchen. The loos are compost (super clean, no odours!) and the shower powered by the sun combined with the rocket stove (and it's toasty warm). There is no wi-fi but in the van there are two solar powered charger units for phones and tablets. I got absolutely no 4G and very limited 3G, so it allowed me to pretty much switch off and relax. Ling's is about getting back to nature, adopting the pace of the seasons and treading lightly on the land. It's a place to enjoy a much gentler way of living.
On our last morning we had coffee sitting on the steps of the van. No-one else was awake at the campsite. We watched a mother deer lead her two youngsters through the field next to us to forage for their breakfast. That moment didn't need to be photographed, it needed to be savoured and preserved as a memory. And that moment will stay with me forever. It was the perfect way to end our holiday.
I'll write more on our adventures in Suffolk soon. x
Ps, my holiday was paid for in full. This is not a sponsored post.