Fordwich, Kent

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Try out this absolutely unique new twist to glamping... "Champing' - Get the keys for an entire church given to you and stay overnight in the pews!  Available at various locations, one being in Fordwich - Kent.


The trust offers two-day, one-night breaks, with optional activities: storytelling with your own personal storyteller, yoga and guided walks. Fordwich is on a scenic stretch of the Stour – St Augustine travelled along it in 597 on his way to become the first Archbishop of Canterbury – you can take a canoe trip as an optional extra. The five-mile paddle to Grove Ferry takes you through Stodmarsh nature reserve .

Fordwich is a couple of miles from Canterbury and a short drive from the north Kent coast – so there is plenty to do beyond the parish. At prices from only £19 a night for children and from only £39 a night per adult it is a great alternative to a standard hotel stay. Considering that you have sole use of a historic building which has witnessed important events in people’s lives for hundreds of years, it is a bargain. More than that, it is a privilege.

Organised by The Churches Conservation Trust, Champing is a unique concept that sees guests camping overnight in historic properties. Last summer saw hundreds of visitors trying out the quickly growing travel trend, and now additional sites have been added in England as well as in Sandwick in Orkney, off the north-eastern coast of Scotland. New sites include the picturesque Warwickshire church in which William Shakespeare was reputedly married, two churches on the edge of stunning moorland, a church in a valley on which Postman Pat’s Greendale was based, two coastal properties and a church next to a Roman ruin with a vineyard.

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The Champing season runs from 31 March to 30 September and caters to couples, families and special interest groups. Adult rates cost from £39 to £59, while children’s rates start at £19, with special group discounts being available for eight or more. Dogs are also welcome to Champ with the family. More information on booking stays is available at the Champing website.

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