Heron's Rural Retreat

UK England South East England Bedfordshire Leighton Buzzard

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Staggered showering times
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Campfires allowed
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Good walks nearby
  • Walking
A wild-feeling campsite on the farm, with ponds and hens and quirky glamping options

When Rachel and Julian first started Heron’s Rural Retreat on their Bedfordshire farm in 2020 there were just a handful of camping pitches and a couple of bell tents you could hire. But the reaction to the wild-feeling space, with individual pitches spread about, views over Aylesbury Vale and a couple of ponds fed by a natural spring, was instant. Campers and glampers loved the place and it set the wheels in motion.

It’s a short walk from the couple’s old farmhouse and its outbuildings (where there are toilets, showers and parking) to the meadowy pockets and spaces of the campsite. Today, the farm remains just as spacious and wild but there’s even more intrigue, with an ex-army truck for couples, a pair of 1960s horse boxes and an old showman’s wagon with a circus-themed interior. All of the quirky new glamping options are off gird and suit the hidden feel of the place. The secluded cedar-wood glamping pod, for example, has port-hole windows to overlook the pond and the shepherd’s hut, on the edge of an old hay meadow, is situated quietly away from other guests in the shade of willow trees. The result is a homespun site with the same secluded atmosphere but, now, a host of exciting places to return to each year, as well as the grass tent camping pitches.

The farmland itself slopes westwards towards the River Ouzel, with a footpath running along the bottom of the site that you can follow, in one direction, to Rushmere Country Park, a 400-acre forest with footpaths and cycle trails, or, in the other direction, to the Grand Union Canal, where there’s a good pub beside a lock. Bring bikes to cycle the towpath further afield or hop in the car to visit the likes of Bletchley Park (five miles) or the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate (15 miles). Not that attractions are really what you stay for. The campsite is an attraction in itself, with birds to watch, bugs for youngsters to find and hens and sheep to meet. It feels odd that such escapism can be found so close to Milton Keynes and the M1. But then that’s the magic of what Julian and Rachel have created here. And, indeed, what they continue to create on this ever evolving landscape.

Our Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

Book with complete confidence at Heron's Rural Retreat with the Glampingly Coronavirus Booking Guarantee. We guarantee the following clear policy for your booking:

  • A low deposit of 30% to secure your booking
  • Balance not due until 30 days before your holiday, in case of late changes to Coronavirus guidance
  • Complete flexibility to move bookings up to the end of 2021 in the event of Coronavirus restrictions
  • In the event of a lack of 2021 availability, switch your dates to 2022
  • Due to low deposit and late balance payment, no refunds are offered

Click here to read the full terms

Details

Facilities

- Currently we have three flushing toilets and one shower in a shared block. Some of our glamping units have private toilet and shower facilities - please check the individual listings for details. For our campers there is an outdoor sink for washing up, and a mains water tap

- Campfires are only allowed off the ground, so please bring a firepit or similar (alternatively you can rent a BBQ or firepit from us)

- Disposable BBQs are not allowed unfortunately due to the damage these cause to the grass

- When restrictions are lifted we plan to offer space for group bookings - please get in touch if this is of interest

Suitable For

- We allow tents and camper vans, but the site is not suitable for motorhomes or trailer tents

- To preserve the natural habitat we prefer that guests do not park on the camping field - there is a separate parking area

- No dogs allowed, sorry

Nearby

The farm is situated on a hill overlooking the Aylesbury Vale and is a short walk from Rushmere Country Park (recently featured on BBC1's Countryfile). Rushmere is an ancient forest with a visitor centre and cafe (check directly re: opening times), lakes and several trails for running/hiking, mountain biking and horse riding (permits needed for horses and bikes - these are sold at the visitor centre. Rushmere hosts a Parkrun every Saturday (expected to resume on June 5th) which is a 5km run. It adjoins Stockgrove Country Park which has its own picnic area and kiosk selling hot and cold refreshments.

Also close by are Alders Farm shooting range and fishery and an 18-hole golf course with bistro (The Three Locks Golf Course).

The Grand Union Canal has miles of walkable towpaths with many pubs along the way and is about a 15 minute walk from the farm.

Food & Drink

Within one mile of the farm there are two great pubs - the Three Locks and The Old Red Lion Great Brickhill. The first is canalside and the other has a garden with expansive views over the surrounding fields. Both are walkable and serve excellent food.  Slightly further away is The George in Little Brickhill - about 2.5 miles by car. This is a family-run pub with a large garden and is close to a play area. There is a butcher (T.H.E. Best Butcher) in the next village selling a wide range of locally-produced meat and other items. Hunters Farm Shop sells fruit, vegetables, gardening supplies and deli items.

Open

Some of the glamping accommodation is open all year but the bell tents and camping pitches are seasonal.

Why book with Glampingly?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

The Owner Says

Heron's Rural Retreat is on a working farm between Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes and overlooks the Aylesbury Vale. The land slopes down to the River Ouzel and is quite wild in parts with two ponds that are fed by a natural spring. We offer a limited number of seasonal camping pitches, and a choice of glamping units, all off-grid and fitted out with upcycled and handmade items.

Accommodation

A little bit of everything! A quirky wooden pod, an ex-military lorry, a shepherd's hut, a showman's wagon, a 'glamping cube', converted Bedford horseboxes, a couple of pre-pitched bell tents and around 10 grass camping pitches for tents and small campervans.

Mezzanine Eco Glamping Pod

Pod Sleeps 2
Situated in a tranquil waterside location overlooking open a pond and open farmland with no other units close by. Clad in cedar wood it enjoys plenty of natural daylight thanks to the large glazed doors and porthole windows.

Connie - ex-Military Living Van

Quirky Sleeps 2
Connie is an ex-military trailer that we have converted for a unique off-grid glamping experience.

Shepherds hut

Shepherd’s hut Sleeps 2
An original shepherds hut beautifully restored and updated for guest accommodation

Showman's Wagon

Quirky Sleeps 2
A vintage showman's wagon with an unique interior

Non-electric grass tent pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 7 Available
Pitch for one tent for up to 6 people max, with 2 people included in the rate. Charged per pitch per night (sorry no trailer tents)

Bell tent

Bell tent Sleeps 4 3 Available
This year we have our 5 metre bell tents for hire, pre-pitched with matting, beds, lighting and outdoor chairs. Sleeps up to 4

Non-electric grass campervan pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 4 4 Available
Grass pitch suitable for VW-type campervans (no motorhomes). Two people included in the rate, charged per pitch per night

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Location

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Getting There

Our closest village is Great Brickhill. We'll provide detailed driving directions after booking and also let you know of any road closures!

If arriving by train, the closest mainline stations (in order) are Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley and Milton Keynes Central.  All are about 30 minutes journey time from London and a 10-20 minute cab ride away (£10-25)

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Why book with Glampingly?

  • Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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