Disclaimer: We paid for our trip to Beeches Farm Campsite Chepstow ourselves and they did not know we would be writing this review
We bought a family tent recently – an amazing second-hand Gumtree bargain of a huge eight-person air tent, with loads of camping gear included, all barely used.
We camped in our garden over the Easter weekend to put it to the test (the tent only just fitted!) and then over the May bank holiday weekend we booked a last-minute trip to Beeches Farm campsite in Chepstow.
This was our first official family camping trip – and it was a huge success.
I hadn’t planned on writing about it as we were only there for one night and it wasn’t an official review trip, but I’ve had so many people ask me about it so I thought it would be worth putting a post together.
Before we had children, Cardiff Daddy and I backpacked around a few European countries with a little two-man tent. And the last two years we have had camping holidays in Italy in tents provided onsite, as well as a couple of family glamping trips. We’ve been talking about getting a tent for the last few years, and last month we finally bit the bullet and invested in a family tent of our own, ready for a summer of adventures under canvas.
Beeches Farm Campsite is around 55 minutes from Cardiff, so it’s easily accessible for a one-night stay. It’s a chilled out and relaxed site, with a lovely eco vibe. There’s a big recycling area, rainwater is harvested for the toilet system and they use solar lights where possible.
Situated on the top of Tidenham Chase, it has the most amazing views overlooking the Wye Valley, and felt like a complete escape from city life.
We arrived at just after the official 2pm check-in time, and were shown to our pitch in the corner of one of the two big fields. The pitch sizes are generous, with plenty of space left for the children to play after we’d put the tent up, and a good distance between the tents too. Our pitch was next to a tree swing, which my children thought was brilliant, and we also had a portaloo cubicle nearby.
There are good toilet and shower facilities on the site (the shower costs £1 for four minutes), but the various toilets dotted around the site certainly make camping with three children easier. It even had a good supply of toilet paper and hand sanitiser.
After we’d put up our tent we explored the site. There’s a children’s playground with swings and an obstacle course made from old tractor tyres, and easy access to nearby woodlands and fields.
Back at the tent, we cooked pasta for tea on our gas camping stove – and then set up and lit our campfire. Each pitch has its own fire pit, with wood for sale in the reception area. We’d planned ahead and bought wooden sticks, marshmallows and chocolate biscuits so the children could make S’mores. With my daughter being a Brownie and my eldest son a Beaver, they were keen to sing some campfire songs, and I shared a few I remembered from my own Girl Guide camping days.
The site asks for noise levels to be lowered after 10pm and we didn’t have any issues with other campers keeping us awake. Being early May, it did get cold overnight so we were thankful for the electric heater we’d bought with us (we’d also paid extra for electric hookup).
Check-out is at a very reasonable 12pm so we had a chilled out morning of playing football and other games around our tent, not to mention packing up the tent and all the equipment, before heading into Chepstow for the afternoon.
We had a cheap and cheerful lunch at the town’s Wetherspoons, The Bell Hanger, and walked along the banks of the River Wye. Crossing the beautiful cast iron bridge takes you from Wales into England, which my children thought was great fun.
We took advantage of the Cadw family membership I had for a birthday present last year and visited Chepstow Castle (family entry would usually be £21.20). As the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain, it has a rich history, dating back to 1067, although building work continued on the fortress until the 17th century. Walking along the castle walls gives beautiful views down to the river.
Other day trips within easy reach of the campsite are Tintern and its famous Abbey, and a walk up the cliffs to Devil’s Pulpit, where a limestone rock juts out and, according to legend, was where the devil tried to tempt the monks below away from their order. Raglan Castle (review here) and Raglan Farm Park (review here) are around 25 minutes away, and Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo and Amazing Hedge Puzzle (review here) are around 35 minutes away.
Beeches Farm, Miss Graces Lane, Tidenham Chase, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 7JR. Cost per night for 2018 are £8 per adult, £4 per child, £2 per dog, £5 for electric hook up, £55 for static caravans, £2.50 per gazebo and £6 for hikers and cyclists.