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Our Champing Guest Book

Since the dawn of (Champing) time we have hosted over a thousand happy champers in our hallowed havens. 

Their enthusiastic messages are left in visitor books up and down the land. Here are just a few:

Fantastic experience – after

Fantastic experience – after going to the wrong church then trying to get in the wrong door (!!) we finally got in and were quite astonished at the sight, far better than we expected. We had bought a feast as it was a group members birthday so lit all the candles (we had also brought lots of our own) ad proceeded to tuck in. As the light faded it became more enchanting but the cold came too and all 6 of us were fighting over the kettle. We went outside at midnight and WOW the stars and moon..stunning, also the sight of the church windows lit up by “candles” was beautiful.
Getting up at night to go to the toilet was an experience but the church was not spooky at all, it was a beautiful serene peaceful place. Breakfast was lovely, we heartily tucked in, the croissants were out of this world, thanks so much
A wonderful experience, we had come together from all over the UK

Lesley Kiddell-spencer

Absolutely fantastic! Amazing experience! I

Absolutely fantastic! Amazing experience! I couldn’t believe we had the whole church to ourselves! Would recommend this to everyone and anyone!

Thomas Barron

I took my husband to

I took my husband to the Fordwich church as a birthday surprise/treat on 27th April 2017. It was still a little cold even with all our clothes on in a sleeping bag, under a blanket and an arctic coat – so do prepare! Philip was kind enough to drop by with a heater, though, so we did drink tea and watch a movie on our ipad in total comfort before turning it off and heading to the cold corner of the church! The faux candles and gas lamps are all a lovely touch as are the camping chairs, tea and a place to lock your bags away. We came without a car and there are two lovely pubs and kayaking and great walks right there.

Katy Schutte

A lovely church, set in

A lovely church, set in a beautiful area. Very cold though, I would suggest visiting in July or August to be more comfortable!

Alex Walsh

I spent 2 nights over

I spent 2 nights over Easter at beautiful St Michael the Archangel in Booton, Norfolk, as part of a group of 3. We chose the church because of the amazing stained glass, and we were not disappointed. The church is spectacular, with carved angels watching you as you sleep, and the sunsets and sunrises through the glass are amazing. I was also really impressed with the Champing experience. We had sturdy and comfortable camp beds, nice chairs, and a carpet to add a bit of extra warmth. There is also a very clean loo provided, and plenty of water for washing up, making tea/coffee, etc. Booton is idyllic, there are horses in the fields nearby and the lack of street lighting means the stars look amazing from the churchyard. So we spent mornings and evenings in the church and ventured out to places like Wells by the Sea, Norwich, and nearby little Witchingham (if you’re in the area *do* go to see St Faiths church – stunning). Ok, it was April, so it was cold, but not so cold you can’t sleep. Plan for this if you’re Champing at the start/end of the season when the nights are chilly. Make sure you have a sturdy 3-4 season sleeping bag, a woolly hat, perhaps some gloves, but top tip (I’m so glad I packed them) bring hot water bottles. You can refill/top up from the kettle whenever you need if you find it’s just too cold for comfort. Thank you CCT and the Champing team – we’ll be booking again soon!

Verity Ross-Smith

Me, my wife and two

Me, my wife and two young children had a very enjoyable night at Fordwich church on Easter Sunday. Champing is a great idea and it’s wonderful to be able to explore a church after dark with the doors locked. I read a couple of appropriate ecclesiastical ghost tales by M R James before we extinguished the (electric) candles (very realistic by the way). The wind-up lanterns provided were excellent and provided light for a long period after winding. We weren’t told that there would be a kettle provided, as we would have brought some hot water bottles. We’ve been recommending it to our friends and one has already booked a church in Norfolk.

Antony Clayton

I stayed two nights over

I stayed two nights over Easter with my Mum and two small children (3 and 4). What a lovely experience. I loved being able to talk my girls through the history of the church and the architecture. They absolutely loved the ornate stained glass windows. And the view of the Somerset plains from outside was fantastic. The experience itself was cold overnight but we had extra blankets and jumpers (an essential at this time of year!). It was a little spooky overnight but we kept a light on so we could move around with ease. The outside loo was surprisingly clean and odour free. Very well maintained. The village of Langport was picturesque and we enjoyed walking along the river to have our breakfast at the Kitchen at the Wharf (gorgeous food and great service). And the last point to make is that the customer experience of champing was absolutely excellent. I accidentally left my little girls new shoes at the church (she decided to tell me when we got home that she’d hidden them from me!) and I contacted the Champing contact on my booking and she was lovely and posted them straight back to me. An all round lovely experience. Highly recommended.

Sarah Poulton

Lovely churches – part of

Lovely churches – part of our heritage
Easy access even after dark
Loads of space in church to move around
Great breakfasts at both Booton and Aldwinkle
Better than camping by a mile
Easy booking system
Plenty of parking space at Booton
Comfy camp beds
Free tea and coffee went down well
Watched the sun rise through the stained glass windows, a real treat
Roxy the dog loved it too!

John Sorsby

Amazing! My husband and I

Amazing! My husband and I spent the night at All Saint’s, Billesley, a beautiful little church in the manor grounds. It was a wonderful experience, peaceful, cosy, a perfect escape in wonderful surroundings. Breakfast was served at Larkrise Cottage, Alan was very welcoming and the food and service faultless. Thank you CCT for the opportunity, we will be back 🙂

Anna Biddleston

Quirky, unique and lovely

Quirky, unique and lovely stay near Robin Hood’s Bay. Great fun and something really different. Would definitely recommend it and would definitely do it again. Take lots of blankets…it gets chilly. 😊

Anne

Yes, it’s cold, but if

Yes, it’s cold, but if you bring a hot water bottle and blankets you won’t be!
Yes, it’s a bit spooky, but only a bit. It’s also quiet, peaceful and beautiful.
The centuries of history in one building is staggering.
When you’re sitting in a pew, drinking tea and watching the sun stream in through the stained glass windows, leaving vibrant colour patters on the wall, you’ll wish you’d booked an extra night.

Libby

Brilliant experience for three, first

Brilliant experience for three, first time, champers. Church was awesome and set out to welcome us with beds and table and chairs with cushions. The place looked magical at night lit with battery candles and lanterns. As we were pre warned to bring plenty of blankets we were as warm as toast. Mrs Farmer Tim’s breakfast in the morning was absolutely delicious. Luckily there were beautiful walks along the River to exercise it off. Great pubs serving good, reasonably priced food in walking distance too. We are already planning our next Champ. Well done and thank you.

Margaret Dilloway

Excellent stay facilities were excellent

Excellent stay facilities were excellent and the set up perfect. Would recommend a decent duvet and or sleeping bag (I had both as it does get a bit nippy. Lovely to see the church in the dawn light.

Richard Brown

St Mary Fordwich Kent++’s Magical

St Mary Fordwich Kent
++’s
Magical little place with tons of beautiful history and fab gravestones! We had dinner at Fordwich Arms which so good and the staff so so friendly!

–‘s
We didn’t fully understand the “camping” element as we had never done it before! We were cold and felt a bit sorry for ourselves with just a little bowl and no hot tap! Would do again but with lots more warm clothing and bedding!

Sheila and Ravi

All went well and communication

All went well and communication was great. Breakfast was lovely and friendly staff… Fold out beds could be slightly more comfortable…

Damon Barton

Just back from a night’s

Just back from a night’s champing at the splendidly named St Cyriac and St Julitta, Swaffham Prior with the top brass of the CCT. A very atmospheric huge Georgian church with limitless space to set up one’s camp bed well away from Olympic class snoring companions. I’ve stayed in a number of Landmark Trust properties but this is very different. All credit to the CCT for this imaginative scheme. Definitely worth a try

Alan Guthrie-Jones

Champed at Swaffham Prior on

Champed at Swaffham Prior on 19 August with Crispin T, Peter A and Damien P from the CCT. Most impressed by the facilities, champing furnishings and the bits and pieces such as electric candles, electric storm lanterns and a surprisingly good range of teas and coffees for the morning. Vast spaces so that we could occupy all corners of the church.

Alan Guthrie-Jones

We loved the church and

We loved the church and the village was charming. Earlier in the day we visited nearby Anglesey Abbey, which provided a wonderful day out. This was all to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. However, there wasn’t any wifi, which wasn’t the end of the world, but a bit irrirating . Also in the website photo there is a sofa, which was also no existent. The camp beds are horrible. Far too small. In the end I slept on the floor which was more comfy. My hubby stayed on the camp bed but regreted it by the morning. We would go champing again, but would take our own airbed or roll.

Bianca Saville

Stayed at St Mary’s in

Stayed at St Mary’s in Fordwich on Tuesday – it was amazing. Certainly one of the more unusual places we have slept in! Had a delicious evening mesl in Fordwich Arms – Thoroughly recommended. All very well organised. We will certainly ‘champ’ again next year!

Jacqueline Hunt

The most memorable B&B we

The most memorable B&B we have ever stayed in. Makes your average hotel room or B&B seem very dull.

trevor morris

This without doubt was one

This without doubt was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been lucky enough to stay in. Right from the moment with drove up to see the true size of the building and then to opened up “our own church” with the huge front door key. A beautifully clean space, sparse but with enough care placed into the decoration by the Champing team to make it homely. A wonderful meal at the Snooty Fox (2 miles away) was followed by a delightful evening sat talking over a glass of wine in the sacred space under (battery powered) candle light. A peaceful nights sleep was gently interrupted by a knock on the door from the local farmer bringing us breakfast; a substantial feast of bacon, sausage, egg, tomato and mushroom cob, with hot croissants, yoghurt and fruit. We spent our remaining time exploring every nook and cranny of the wonderful building, reading all the inscriptions engraved and etched into the floors, walls, windows and fittings. A truly marvellous night. We’ve already booked to visit another Champing church.

Richard Clifford

Stayed at St. Peter’s and

Stayed at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s at Albury which I booked for our 21st anniversary. Husband was pleasantly surprised when we got to the church and I announced this was our room for the night! Nicely laid out with everything we needed for the night. Very peaceful and not at all spooky! Walked to the local pub for a lovely dinner and really nice breakfast there in the morning. Would definitely recommend this as an unusual and interesting night away. Thank you

Deborah little

My 12 year old daughter

My 12 year old daughter and her four friends had a fantastic night champing in Booton – telling ghost stories by (electric) candlelight, listening to the bats in the rafters and waking up to the sun shining through the massive stained glass windows. It was a birthday sleepover she’ll never forget! Me and the other adult present appreciated the tea making facilities and also the incredibly civilized breakfast at the Dial House in Reepham!

Amelia Worley

Stayed at St. Peter’s and

Stayed at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s at Albury which I booked for our 21st anniversary. Husband was pleasantly surprised when we got to the church and I announced this was our room for the night! Nicely laid out with everything we needed for the night. Very peaceful and not at all spooky! Walked to the local pub for a lovely dinner and really nice breakfast there in the morning. Would definitely recommend this as an unusual and interesting night away. Thank you

Deborah little

Stayed at St Mary’s in

Stayed at St Mary’s in Fordwich on Tuesday – it was amazing. Certainly one of the more unusual places we have slept in! Had a delicious evening mesl in Fordwich Arms – Thoroughly recommended. All very well organised. We will certainly ‘champ’ again next year!

Jacqueline Hunt

Beautiful church – thank you

Beautiful church – thank you for the opportunity to stay in a fantastic setting. Our group had a lovely time and breakfast at Dial House was excellent. We will definitely be back xx

Inga Hinsley

WOW! That was both fun

WOW! That was both fun and very interesting, with plenty of time to take in the building and appreciate it! The four “naughty” sheep who jumped over the wall to nibble grass in the churchyard provided some entertainment too! A chance to use my natural sheep herding ability, I found! Very nice loo, I couldn’t believe how clean it smelt! A complete delight to have so much wonderful space and sense of history… Will do it again!

Jenny Meehan

Really loved it. What an

Really loved it. What an ingenious idea. Booked it for my husband’s 50th as a surprise and he was surprised! And the breakfast was delicious. Only comments are that a majority of the candles didn’t work – new batteries needed. And really disappointed that we couldn’t go up the tower but I guess for insurance purposes that’s an issue and perhaps it’s not in the best nick? Will certainly think about going to another. I noticed that one is opening in the Orkneys but any plans for the north of England? Also I love the fact you are so humorous on your website especially the FAQs – had a real giggle at those. We spent some time debating what ‘a decent hour’ would be for the breakfast to arrive!

Virginia Blakeley

Had a wonderful time, and

Had a wonderful time, and were very impressed with the effort put into making it an enjoyable experience for us. Fantastic Church and very peaceful (apart from the snoring!) Will definitely do it again. The breakfast at Dial House in Reepham was excellent. Well done CCT

David Tibbetts-Chaplin

An amazing weekend

spent in a unique church (Fordwich)

M Stuchbery

Champed here overnight

Lovely being woken by sunlight and birdsong (Fordwich)

Katy and Charlie

We had such a lovely time

Breakfast was amazing and church was amazing. Thanks for having us! (Aldwincle)

Davey and friends

Here on our wedding anniversary (married 1984)…

… when the church was full and 3 canons took the service. Back then we were trying to raise £350,000 to restore this church. Thank you to the Church Conservation Trust for all the work you have done and for setting up a wonderful champing opportunity. Thank you for our lovely anniversary welcome which was totally unexpected and really lovely flowers, champagne, candles and cards. The camp beds were great. A magical and calming night, wonderful x x x (Booton)

Mr & Mrs Bagnall-Oakley

It was a privilege to stay in this beautiful church

Not spooky at all! Thank you (Aldwincle)

Rebecca & Mark

Amazing stay

Completely unique and will never forget, thank you very much! (Aldwincle)

The McGinn Family

2nd champing holiday!

Liked the lanterns and “candles”! (Aldwincle)

The Joinson's

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The Du Toit's

Fantastic night champing in the church.

We had a delicious breakfast too, thank you! (Aldwincle)

Jenny, Country Walking magazine

So happy to support the CCT.

So large and grand it was an honour to stay here, many thanks to the wonderful volunteers and to the Rev Whitwell for having such vision to build this remarkable church (Booton)

June, Andrew and Susan

Champing, fabulous setting and beautiful experience

Booton

Jayne

Ten girls champed!

Simply glorious staying the night in such a stunning setting, MAGICAL (Booton)

Natalie Gray

Thank you so much for the amazing stay.

It was a beautiful building and an incredible experience. Will spread the word and definitely champ again in the future (Fordwich)

The Briscall-Harvey's

We are champing

Very peaceful, thank you (Booton)

Moira, David, Archie and Tay

Stayed for 2 nights…

Stayed for 2 nights champing, lovely, peaceful and amazing church (Booton)

Mr & Mrs P

We had a perfect stay

We had a perfect stay at St Mary’s, Fordwich on the hottest day of the year so far. What better place to be when it’s 30 degrees outside, than in a cool church! We had a picnic in the beautiful churchyard surrounded by wildflowers and birdsong, then walks along the river Stour which runs behind the church. In the morning, we woke to sunlight streaming through the stained glass. It was great having a breakfast picnic hamper and it was full of delicious goodies – and far too much for us to eat!

helen hanford

A friend and I had

A friend and I had a wonderful stay at West Stourmouth in July, whilst walking the St Augustine’s Way. The church was beautiful, peaceful and calm. We had everything we needed laid out for the night, and the night lights were welcome. We both slept well, once we got used to the sounds of the church, including a chirpy cricket. The walk through the orchards to the Rising Sun for breakfast was lovely; and the breakfast was glorious and fuelled our walking for the onward journey. I would recommend this as a unique experience; and will definitely be introducing more people to the ‘Champing’ experience.

C Carroll

This without doubt was one

This without doubt was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been lucky enough to stay in. Right from the moment with drove up to see the true size of the building and then to opened up “our own church” with the huge front door key. A beautifully clean space, sparse but with enough care placed into the decoration by the Champing team to make it homely. A wonderful meal at the Snooty Fox (2 miles away) was followed by a delightful evening sat talking over a glass of wine in the sacred space under (battery powered) candle light. A peaceful nights sleep was gently interrupted by a knock on the door from the local farmer bringing us breakfast; a substantial feast of bacon, sausage, egg, tomato and mushroom cob, with hot croissants, yoghurt and fruit. We spent our remaining time exploring every nook and cranny of the wonderful building, reading all the inscriptions engraved and etched into the floors, walls, windows and fittings. A truly marvellous night. We’ve already booked to visit another Champing church.

Richard Clifford

We had the most amazing

We had the most amazing Champing experience at Booton Norfolk sleeping under angels and bats flying over. All quite surreal, picnic in church yard and the most amazing breakfast at the Dial house in Reepham. Thanks so much for a most amazing experience 😊

Colette Coleman

What an amazing experience!

What an amazing experience! Lazy evenings spent exploring the church, pub dinners, such quiet nights sleep, waking to birdsong and dappled light through stained glass. Wonderful stay! Thank you CCT for letting us stay!

James - Champed at Fordwich

Wonderful!

A wonderful Champing experience!

John - Champed at West Stourmouth

Loved it here! What an

Loved it here! What an adventure!

Claire - West Stourmouth

I champed with a group

I champed with a group of my friends and we had such an amazing time! Dinner at the pub was very yummy and we then went back to the church to play cards and tell stories! Felt like we’d all shared a unique experience!

Joanne - Champed at Swaffham Prior

Amazing! So wonderful to wake

Amazing! So wonderful to wake up to the sun shining through the windows. Second church we have stayed in – both lovely!

Brian

Brilliant place to stay, and

Brilliant place to stay, and Chana was great in helping with the booking and getting everything ready. Thank you!

Champers at Aldwincle

Beautiful – Just a wonder

Beautiful – Just a wonder to open your eyes in the morning. Thank you!!

James - stayed at Fordwich

A fantastic experience. Breakfast was

A fantastic experience. Breakfast was outstanding too. Thank you so much for all the details – home comfort/ candles and of course the children loved playing the organ.

Linda and family - Champed at Aldwincle

What a great refuge from

What a great refuge from busy lives! Perfect relaxing time!

Anna & Dave - Swaffham Prior

Thanks for the opportunity to

Thanks for the opportunity to stay in such a beautiful place – the children have loved it!

The Jones Family who had fun Champing at Aldwincle

Pyjama Party!

I held a surprise 60th pyjama party for my husband at Swaffham Prior and what a wonderful surprise it was for him and all the guests! A fun and different experience – they are all still talking about it!

Martha, who Champed at Swaffham Prior

Beautiful church, beautiful area –

Beautiful church, beautiful area – spoilt for choice with walks and activities!

Emily - Aldwincle

Breathtakingly beautiful church. Loved sleeping

Breathtakingly beautiful church. Loved sleeping here and felt safe. Loved the pretty candles.

Sara, Champing at Aldwincle

Cosy!

Lovely experience. Warm, cosy & fun!

Ian - Champed at Aldwincle