What could be simpler? A lake, a few trees, some grass and a loo shed in thecorner – all you have to do is supply the accommodation and a will to chill. The only thing complicated about Lyneham Lake is finding it in the first place. Ordnance Survey maps conspire to confuse in this respect, since they continueto show caravan and tent symbols at a place that’s just around the corner (and safely out of sight), which has been a cluster of holiday lodges for some time now. Put the postcode into your GPS and it too will have you heading for the lodges. To find the campsite without resorting to anguished gnashing of teeth, follow the main B4450 from Kingham towards Churchill, but turn off right, down Lyneham Road, and the entrance is on the right. The area is a cyclist’s paradise – there’s nothing by way of steep hills, just plenty of quiet roads and oodles of small Cotswolds towns and villages desperate to be ridden to and pootled around in. A day’s circular tour, for example, could take in Adlestrop (immortalised in a poem by Edward Thomas), Stow-on-the-Wold, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Fifield (a Domesday Book village) and Shipton-under-Wychwood for a pint at the Shaven Crown (www.theshavencrown.co.uk), a 700-year-old hostelry once used by the monks of Bruern Abbey as a hospice for the poor. Back at the peaceful campsite, should your tummy fancy the look of any of the lake’s fishy inhabitants, you can buy a day’s fishing licence for £6 and try catching one or two for your supper.
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Holycombe CampsiteWhichford, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV36 5PH
A truly a-maze-ing site built in the grounds of a Norman castle. This is a wonderfully peaceful campsite, so no loud noise please!
Talton LodgeNewbold-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV37 8UB
A children’s utopia, filled with secret gardens, babbling brooks, pavilions and chickens...
Cotswolds CampingSpelsbury Road, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 3LL
Civilised and simple campsite surrounded by all the delicious Oxfordshire and Cotswolds village food offerings.
Pinkhill LockEynsham, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 4JH
Just sitting at the dock of the bay…ok maybe not, but this site is just as peaceful, and definitely worthy of an Otis redding song. Fabulously chilled.
Rushey LockTadpole Bridge, Buckland Marsh nr Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8RF
See the true peaceful beauty of the Thames at this spot. You can even test out your rowing skills and give the give the professionals a run for their money.
Park Farm (Feather Down Farm)Littleworth, Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8ED
Park Farm is a 370-acre mixed arable and sheep farm nestling on the edge of the picturesque village of Littleworth. Spectacular views stretch out from the foot of your tent towards the Upper Thames Valley to the Cotswolds.
Northmoor Lock PaddocksCamping-on-the-Thames, Manor Farm Appleton, Oxfordshire, OX13 5JN
Back-to-basics camping and unbeatable canoeing on the gorgeous Oxfordshire stretch of the Thames Path.
Hidcote Manor Farm (Feather Down Farm)Hidcote Bartrim, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR
Lovers of the Cotswolds will want to flock here, as Hidcote Manor Farm is the first Feather Down farm in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With all it has here, we think you’ll find it hard to leave – both during and at the end of your stay.
The Kingham Plough (free house; 1½ miles) – a posh pub/restaurant with tip-top locally sourced or foraged food (just don’t call it nosh, scran or grub); 01608 658327. Or sample the Chequers Inn (free house), Churchill (1¾ miles) – another pub highly praised for its food (and posh too, though not quite as posh as the Plough) – booking strongly advised; 01608 659393.
Click here for more pubs, restaurants and places to eat & drink in the Cotswolds.
Stow-on-the-Wold (6 miles) – often crammed to the gunwales with tourists, but catch it on a quiet day and you can appreciate why they flock to this attractive little Cotswolds town. Rollright Stones (8 miles) – a monarch and his court petrified by a witch (allegedly), the oldest stones having been put there by our Neolithic forebears some 5,000 years ago; 01608 642299.
Click here for more activities, sights & attractions to see and do in the Cotswolds.