Gooseberry Field Glamping is a beautiful place located in the heart of the Kent countryside. It is surrounded by many beautiful orchards, farmland and houses.
A 2 minute walk from the site will take you on a stunning 2 hour circular walk exploring the local area. The site is just a stones throw away from Pluckley Village Centre which has all the local amenities you would need such as the post office, grocery store and butchers. Eating out is also very convenient as there are a number of gastropubs located nearby. It is also only a short 20 minutes drive from Leeds Castle and Ashford. With an additional 10-20 minutes drive further away from a number of great beaches too. Making it the perfect place to relax and unwind yet not feel too far away from life‘s conveniences. There is so much to explore and discover in Kent that a long weekend trip is just not enough. This is a local gem that we will absolutely come back to.
Occupancy is usually 8 luxury 5 meter canvas bell tents in a spacious and open 5 acre field. However due to Covid, this has been reduced to 6 tents. All the tents are furnished uniquely to a very high standard with buntings, rugs, scatter cushions, fairy lights, lanterns and LED tea lights. Each bell tent comfortabley sleeps 4 people and consists of 1 double futon bed with a proper mattress and 2 additional single futons. All made up with pillows, duvets and 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen. It is glamping after all! There are also additional blankets and throws for those chillier nights. Perfect, whether you are spending it in your tent or by the open fire.
Gooseberry Field Glamping has really put the luxury into glamping. I‘m not sure I have come across another that has thought of our comfort and convenience as much as they have. The thoughtfulness and detail they have put in is meticulous.
Firstly, before we arrived, we were sent via email a pre-arrival welcome pack. This informed us of everything we needed to know regarding the campsite, its facilities, safety, rules and the local area.
There are a number of shared facilities onsite. However, due to the U.K. Government guidelines regarding social distancing. Some of the facilities and how they operated prior to Covid changed and restrictions imposed. Shared facilities such as the communal hot tub, pizza oven, fridge and indoor bar area which were shared amongst guests were not available during our visit.
The toilets and shower blocks were operating as usual, but we did notice that capacity was reduced due to a more rigorous cleaning schedule. There are 3 eco toilets, 1 conventional flushing toilet and 2 spacious hot water shower rooms. Each tent were given time slots which lasted around 90 minutes each morning to use the hot showers. This was more than enough for our family of 4. Before and after each slot, the facilities were thoroughly deep cleaned and there are hand sanitiser stations to use prior to entry. We didn‘t encounter any issues with this during our stay and must say the schedule actually worked very well for all who stayed on the same long weekend as us.
The communal hot tub and private “Victorian Hops Carriage” hot tub were still opened for use. However, the hot tub is no longer communal and to use them, you had to reserve them for exclusive and private use between the hours of 15:00 and 20:00 (Saturday and Sunday only).
A small but perfect Gooseberry Farm
Not really a facility, but Gooseberry Field has lots of apple trees around the field (not for picking). A vegetable patch and seasonal fruits are also grown at the top of the campsite. Kerstin, the owner and host of Gooseberry Field were kind enough to show us around and also let my boys pick their fruit and veg. On our first morning, she also let us know when she was going to feed her piggies and of course invited all the children to participate. The best experience of the weekend was feeling the warmth, enthusiasm and good vibes from Kerstin, her family and campsite manager, Bianca. They made our stay even more pleasant than we had anticipated.
What should I bring?
Bring what you would normally bring to a 5 star hotel plus food and I would say you are good to go. Everything you would need to cook a meal on site is provided. Including cutlery and cooking equipment such as plates, pans, mixing bowls, chopping boards, oven gloves and bottle openers. A detailed inventory can be found on their website and will also be emailed to you once you have made a booking. New for 2020: a clean bath towel for every guest!
Another essential for us were power banks. I take so many pictures of the boys that the battery on my phone drains like a switch of a button. This was super handy for night time charging. Although if you’re not a heavy user you can always leave your phone to charge at the power outlets by the pizza parlour whilst doing your washing.
If you are big on walking and cycling, then bringing your own bike is a must to explore the Kent countryside. One family that stayed at the same time as us went out to cycle everyday. They went as far as the seaside town of Whitstable, which is a 2 hour journey by bike (4 hours return) or 40 minutes by car.
Optional extras? Torch, card/board games, eye masks, water bottles, medication, books.
A big thank you to the hosts
When we were booking our stay a few months ago, we ran into the issue of our friends booking going through and ours refused because of full occupancy. I immediately contacted Gooseberry Field Glamping on Facebook raising our issue. Really, I just wanted to check whether they could book us in another weekend or get a refund for our friends. This was at 11:08pm on a Friday night. Within minutes I had received a reply from the owner, Kerstin, that she would have a look first thing in the morning! I expected days for my initial message to get a response! Not minutes! This just shows how much the business means to the owners. From the minute we stepped on site, we felt so welcomed and at home. They have truely adapted the site to be as Covid safe as possible, whilst being organised, yet undisruptive of our stay.
A huge thank you to Kerstin, her family and Bianca for making our stay this summer so memorable, relaxing and stress free. 2020 had been a difficult start and is still an on going struggle, but staying with them has opened up the endless possibilities of luxury staycations within the UK. However much we were looking forward to travelling the world in 2020 and beyond. We now look forward to more staycations and finding beauty in our own country. We are determined to make 2020 and beyond memorable for a whole different reason.
Thank you for reading and we hope you all have a blessed day.
Love as always,