Home Family holidays Glamping in Leicestershire at Brook Meadow campsite and farm

Glamping in Leicestershire at Brook Meadow campsite and farm

Activities at this award-winning family farm include egg-collecting, fishing and an outdoor cinema

by Sarah Bridge
Marabou Brook Meadow

A stay at Brook Meadow

Glamping in Leicestershire might not sound like the most glamorous of jaunts but there’s no denying that a stay at Brook Meadow campsite near Market Harborough is a cut above a typical night under canvas.

While camping can be a massive chore – packing all that equipment, putting the tent up and down, bringing bedding and cooking tools, and having to trek for miles when you want to use the loo – glamping is the superior version, with everything already prepared for you so you can start your holiday the moment you arrive.

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Brook Meadow in Leicestershire

There’s plenty of space for campers and glampers at Brook Meadow in Leicestershire

What makes Brook Meadow different from other campsites is the great range of activities for kids and grown-ups alike on offer, from fishing in the vast, carp-filled lake, to collecting fresh eggs from the chickens on site, to watching films seated on hay bales in the farm’s cowshed cinema and making use of the campsite’s vast open spaces.

It’s a working farm too, so there are plenty of cows to spot as you explore, and the location is just a few minute’s drive from the Avalanche Adventure centre offering quad biking, 4 x 4 off-roading, clay pigeon shooting, archery and hovercrafting, as well as the Gliding Centre just next door.

There are various accommodation options at Brook Meadow, so while you’re welcome to pitch a tent in one of its several spacious fields, there’s also the choice of various self-catering lodges and even a cosy silver Airstream trailer with an indoor and outdoor kitchen. As for us, we were going full safari in our Leicestershire glamping weekend, with a stay at Brook Meadow’s Marabou safari tent.

Brook Meadow’s Maribou safari tent

Our home for the night – Brook Meadow’s Marabou safari tent

Glamping in a safari tent

Built on stilts with its own private outdoor dining area and fire pit, this vast two-storey safari tent was inspired by Out of Africa and it shows, with details such as fine crockery displayed in a glass cabinet, to a pair of pith helmets so you can channel your inner Robert Redfords and Meryl Streeps.

pith helmets

The pith helmets add a certain safari magic to the Marabou experience

Unzipping the tent on arrival reveals a unique camping experience like no other, with an eight-seater dining table, a colourful sofa and armchairs and a wood-burning stove. Next to the dining area is an immaculate kitchen with Smeg fridge and toaster, conduction hob, dresser and bar stools, perfect for cooking and entertaining.

If we didn’t have two children in tow, it would have felt exactly like the kind of place to have a 1920s cocktail party, thanks to its stylish colours and attention to detail, as it is beautifully decorated throughout.

interior of the Maribou safari tent

The interior of the Marabou safari tent is packed with stylish (and practical) touches

From light fittings in bird cages and hanging twisted-rope ornaments, the safari tent was full of things to discover, and not just for adults: the children loved discovering the bedrooms – the ‘penthouse suite’ up the steep staircase, with a double futon and two more single beds in the sloping eaves of the tent, and the Harry Potter-style secret bedroom downstairs, accessed by a ladder and with a heart cut-out in its doors.

well-stocked kitchen at Maribou

The well-stocked kitchen at Marabou included a Smeg fridge, induction hob, toaster, kettle and sink

The grown-ups were left with the four-poster style bed with romantic netting surrounds, which was handily next to the bathroom, a work of art in itself, with a stand-alone bath, rainfall shower, loo, sink and various artistic touches such as elephant head hooks, plants and bead chains hanging from the ceiling.

The safari-themed bathroom at Maribou

The safari-themed bathroom at Maribou

To go camping is to make the most of the outdoors, and Brook Meadow’s Marabou tent has its own decking area with outdoor picnic table and canvas furniture, plus a fire pit and its own bridge across to the rest of the campsite.

The outdoor fire pit was perfect for BBQ-ing as well as toasting marshmallows late into the night

The outdoor fire pit was perfect for BBQ-ing as well as toasting marshmallows late into the night

Activities at Brook Meadow

While I could have happily stayed in our luxury safari tent for the next 24 hours, the other members of the party were keen to explore, so we headed over the bridge (carefully replacing the notice saying ‘Safari Glampers Only) and discovered what other delights Brook Meadow had to offer.

This family-run camping, glamping and caravanning site on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border is on a working farm – run by Mary and Jasper, whose parents first started farming here in 1913. Their daughter, Claire runs the campsite, ably assisted by her own children, and there is a relaxed, family-feeling to the site from the moment you arrive.

There’s a small reception and farm shop, selling milk, eggs, food and sweets, and during the summer months a pizza van turns up in the evenings – there are also various seasonal offerings such as a coffee van, cocktails and world food options. There are various shower blocks dotted throughout and films are shown in the evenings in Brook Meadow’s vast cowshed cinema.

Brook Meadow's cowshed cinema makes for unique movie nights in the summer evenings

Brook Meadow’s cowshed cinema makes for unique movie nights in the summer evenings

Guests either glamping or staying in the self-catering lodges can use the site’s pass to Mini Meadows petting farm just a few minute’s drive away, so Annabelle and I headed there for a very pleasant afternoon of feeding and petting a whole variety of animals, from pigs and chicken to llamas, alpacas, ducks, donkeys and guinea pigs.

Mini Meadows petting farm

Mini Meadows petting farm has a whole variety of animals for children to enjoy petting and feeding

Fishing for carp at Brook Meadow

Meanwhile back at the farm, Stephen and Samuel were happily settling in for a day’s fishing, as the lake at Brook Meadow is teeming with more than a thousand carp. Carp fishing, as I was to discover, is a lengthy business, stretching long into the evening, but sitting by the lake watching the gliders and light aircraft from The Gliding Centre next door pass by overhead was a very pleasant way to spend the day, not least because we knew there was a nice in a luxury safari tent still to come.

The fishing was huge success, with the boys (big and small) both landing record catches, while Annabelle looked thoroughly at home in her Out of Africa fashions.

 lake's sizeable carp

Samuel and his impressive catch – one of the lake’s sizeable carp

Annabelle loved exploring the safari tent and the rest of the campsite

We made dinner by roasting pork and halloumi on the fire pit, later toasting marshmallows and keeping warm under the night sky, watching the stars and listening to the geese honk and flap over the lake.

Breakfast at Brook Meadow

Samuel and Stephen had been up for hours (since 6am) fishing in the lake, so were ravenous by the time Annabelle and I surfaced from a more leisurely start.  We were kindly offered a breakfast bakery basket (£10.50 per person) from La Fete Fleurie which can supply the campsite a whole range of hampers, from breakfasts to afternoon tea. Our bakery basket was delivered on Sunday morning, containing bread from Hambleton Hall’s bakery, pasties, jam, butter, juice, milk and coffee, so we made coffee with the Marabou’s cafetiere and enjoyed an al fresco breakfast in the sunshine.

breakfast hamper

Our breakfast hamper was a lovely way to start the day

With the fishing rods stowed away, it was time for a highlight of our stay – an hour spent with Claire’s parents and farm owners Mary and Jasper whose house is just next to the farm entrance. Mary entranced the children by asking them to guess all the herbs in her impressive herb garden, and then we met (and fed) the chickens who were full of fun and character.

Feeding the chickens

Feeding the chickens with Mary was great fun

Our haul of freshly-laid eggs

Our haul of freshly-laid eggs

We then collected the freshly-laid eggs (and got to keep six of them for a second breakfast) and then the children loved being introduced to the cows by Jasper, sitting in a tractor and even get weighed on the livestock scales.

By the time it came to head off, we felt like we’d really packed a lot of fun (and relaxing) into our 24 hours – here’s hoping the British weather perks up so lots more people are able to enjoy everything Brook Meadow has to offer, whether glamping, camping or lodge-ing.

Enjoying a relaxing drink on the Marabou terrace

Enjoying a relaxing drink on the Marabou terrace

Information and contact details for Brook Meadow

Situated on a family run, working farm in glorious countryside on the Leicestershire/ Northamptonshire border and surrounded by 400 acres of grazing and arable farmland with a breath-taking five-acre fishing lake Brook Meadow (01858 880886 and  www.brookmeadow.co.uk) offers 20-acres of camping, glamping, and caravanning options for all the family to roam around and enjoy.

Getting there

Brook Meadow is easily accessible from across the UK and just over an hour by train from London to Market Harborough or two hours by car.

Address:  Brook Meadow, The Wrongs Farm, Welford Road, Sibbertoft, Market Harborough Leicestershire, LE16 9UJ

Marabou’ Safari Glamping Lodge sleeps up to eight guests/ Afour-night self-catering midweek stay in Marabou costs £145 per night based on two people sharing. Add £15 per night per additional person, up to eight people.

Other family options include  a choice of cabins: From the cosy ‘Nuthatch‘ lakeside cabin, which is packed with luxurious botanical printed furnishings and chic styling to the contemporary boutique chic interiors ofWoodpecker; the cabin-like exposed beams and cosy fireplace of Kingfisher or pet friendly Skylark with its pastel decor and spacious layout. A four-night midweek stay costs from £120 per night based on two people sharing. Add £15 per night per additional person, up to four people.

Or pitch a non-electric tent from £42 per night Friday to Sunday or an electric camping pitch from £52 per night Friday to Sunday. Cost includes one vehicle for 2 adults and 2 children and the pitch.  Based on a two-night minimum stay.

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