Welcome to Thistledown Farm! Thistledown is an organically managed family farm near Stroud, in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our farm covers 70 acres of pastureland, woodland and elderflower orchard, and borders Woodchester Park. We offer three different areas for camping, two of which are car-free. The fields have plenty of space and every tent can have their own campfire.
Thistledown offers an alternative approach to camping: green values are emphasised, campfires are encouraged, the lower fields are car-free and we have no allotted pitches.
Our farm offers more than just a spot to pitch a tent. Footpaths wind their way through 70 acres of ancient meadow and woodland; past streams, woodland ponds, Roman troughs, animal paddocks, picnic spots and land art. We have set up a farm shop so that visitors have an opportunity to buy local produce from small scale suppliers (ourselves included), as well as local art and crafts. We are developing a clay oven and café space, which we hope to use soon for pizza evenings and slow-cooked lunches.
The farm has a rich and varied history. We have found neolithic hand tools, a rare iron age storage pit, the remains of various roundhouses, and evidence for Roman occupation. In later centuries, the farm was part of the Woodchester Park Estate. You can still see the remains of the seven mile-long deer wall that enclosed the valley. After purchasing the farm in the 1990s we re-instated the green-top organic dairy and also established the largest elderflower orchard in the world in partnership with Bottle Green Drinks! The old pastures are now car-free camping fields, whilst clearings are mown into the elderflower orchard for campervans and those who prefer to be near their car. Our focus is now primarily on camping and environmental education and management, and we no longer accept day visits from the general public. We are keen to establish more courses using the land, and we are also a wildlife receptor site, rehoming species that have been disturbed by development.