No tent? God help you!
If you fancy getting out of London and exploring some of the great English countryside this year, but don’t fancy lugging a tent about with you, then maybe you should consider Champing – camping in churches!
This cosy new initiative from the Churches Conservation Trust is a way to raise money for some of the gorgeous, ancient churches they’re helping to protect. From the end of March to the end of September each year, eighteen medieval churches around England accept overnight guests looking for a blessed night’s sleep. [See also: 10 gorgeous woodland getaways near London]
Each booking secures the exclusive use of the church, so you won’t be bunking up with randoms. Camp beds, chairs, lanterns and candles are all provided, and each church has tea and coffee-making facilities and a loo. For a few extra quid, they’ll provide cosy fresh bedding too, so you don’t even need your sleeping bag! Praise be.
There are eighteen ‘champing’ churches across England, from Walkhampton in Devon to Shropshire, Cumbria, Norfolk and Kent. Some of them sleep up to twelve guests (although it’s charged per person) and there’s a 20% discount for groups of eight or more. And each church comes with a handy online guide to nice places to visit and eat at nearby.
The churches are still consecrated (the Lord is watching, people!) but don’t hold Sunday services, so you won’t need to leap out of bed first thing on Sunday. That said, some are open to tourists during the daytime hours, so you’ll want to be in your best jammies if you’re lounging around! Champing is for those of any faith, no faith, and even members of trip-hop group Faithless. (Hopefully they won’t suffer from, o-ho, Insomnia. #jokesfrom1995)
With prices from just £49 per grownup per night (under-16s from £25) it’s a pretty good deal, and the opportunity to snooze in the pews is certainly a little bit different. Find out more at champing.co.uk.