Lonely Planet Writer

Forget glamping, now you can go 'champing' in medieval churches across England

Forget about camping or even glamping; 2017 is set to be the year of ‘Champing’, or church camping in England, with 12 more churches across the country being made available to rent for a special night away.

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All Saint’s Church in Langport, Somerset. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
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Church of St. Cyriac and St Julitta, Swaffham Prior in Cambridge. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
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Last year saw hundreds of people participating in Champing across England. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
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A map of the churches available for Champing. Image by Champing

Organised by The Churches Conservation Trust, Champing is a unique concept that sees guests camping overnight in historic properties. Last summer saw hundreds of visitors trying out the quickly growing travel trend, and now additional sites have been added in England as well as in Sandwick in Orkney, off the north-eastern coast of Scotland. New sites include the picturesque Warwickshire church in which William Shakespeare was reputedly married, two churches on the edge of stunning moorland, a church in a valley on which Postman Pat’s Greendale was based, two coastal properties and a church next to a Roman ruin with a vineyard.

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All Saints, Billesley in Stratford Upon Avon. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
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Church of St Andrew in Wroxeter, Shropshire. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
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All Saint’s Church in Langport, Somerset. Image by Joseph Casey Photography

The new season also sees the introduction of a flexible pricing structure, enabling people to pick their level of comfort, including mid-week and weekend rates as well as optional bring-your-own-breakfast packages. ‘Champing has proved immensely popular with people who want to try a completely new experience, immersing themselves in history and relaxing in a stunningly beautiful location,’ said Crispin Truman, Chief Executive for The Churches Conservation Trust. The franchise model for Champing is being tested to see whether it can be implemented in other countries, with interest from Canada and destinations across Europe.

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All Saints Church, Billesley, Stratford Upon Avon. Image by Joseph Casey Photography
St Mary Church, Longsleddale in Cumbria.
St Mary Church, Longsleddale in Cumbria. Image by Jenny Woolgar Photography.
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St Thomas, Heights Lane, in Oldham. Image by Joseph Casey Photography

The Champing season runs from 31 March to 30 September and caters to couples, families and special interest groups. Adult rates cost from £39 to £59, while children’s rates start at £19, with special group discounts being available for eight or more. Dogs are also welcome to Champ with the family. More information on booking stays is available at the Champing website.

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