A few years ago, we enjoyed a wonderful weekend away glamping with Feather Down Farm. It was such an amazing experience for my city born and bred girl, that the memories from our trip have stuck pretty fast in her mind. Mention camping to her and she will recount the time a chicken pooed in her tent and she slept in a cupboard. As you can imagine it wasn't your average kind of camping trip!
It was so lovely to be asked back by Feather Down Farm, this time to capture some photographs for them of Lipley Farm up in beautiful Shropshire. I'm not entirely sure telling my five year old that we were going "back to the farm" was such a great idea, however. Every morning, for about 2 weeks before our trip, she would wake, yelling from her bedroom to ours - "How many days until we go to the farm?" Despite the early wake up call, it was nice to know that yet again, we could enjoy some precious family time together. There's nothing like getting down to basics to focus your attention on the people that matter the most.
So, last Friday we headed 'up North' to Shropshire. Lipley Farm is a dairy farm with over 140 cows, a few sheep, pigs and chickens. The farm is owned by the lovely Tracey and Stephen who share the farm with their twin boys. We arrived quite late, but it was the perfect summer's evening and we spent the last few hours before sundown settling into our canvas lodge; cooking soup and unpacking the car with the wheel barrow that also came in handy as a child transporter.
The best thing about camping with Feather Down is that you really don't need to pack that much. The canvas lodges come complete with real beds with the warmest duvets, kitchen utensils, candles, even a kitchen sink and the all important - private loo! Some fancier versions even have en-suite bathrooms and hot tubs. A torch is pretty essential, as well as fresh food, although there are basic items including milk, bread, bacon and sausages that can be purchased from the on-site honesty shop.
Remembering what a hit the whole chicken thing was on our last visit. I arranged to hire a chicken coop for our stay. I cannot tell you how brilliant this is. Not only did we get to see a real egg actually being laid (I'll save you the full description!), we got to eat them as fresh as they come for breakfast. We had two chickens to care for and we named them Dora and Elsie. Seeing the bond grow between our girl and her chickens was very cute, as you can see from some of the photographs from our stay.
Locally, there are so many beautiful sites to see and Shropshire has the most stunning rolling countryside. We had a great walk around Hawkstone Park Follies (beware if your kids are not good walkers!) and the views from the top of the tower are breathtaking.
Lipley is a real working farm and so it was great to have a tour with Tracey, our host. She walked us around introducing us to the new calves, some of which were just a few days old. It was lovely listening to her talk so passionately about the animals, and the best bit was getting to milk a cow ourselves.
After our adventuring, we returned back to the farm for our BBQ dinner cooked on the outside stove, marshmallow toasting on the bonfire and some zip wiring that filled the lazy hours until bedtime.
Tracey, Stephen and all at Feather Down Farm - thank you so much for another wonderful stay.
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All photographs are copyright Jess Morgan Photography. Jess Morgan Photography specialises in the natural-light photography of babies, toddlers, children and families in West London and Surrey (Richmond upon Thames, St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampron, West Molesey, Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton, Kew, Chiswick, Barnes, East Sheen, Putney, Fulham, Wimbledon, Dorking, Esher, Weybridge and Cobham)