Duration: 3 days

Price point: Mid range (see below)

Discover one of England's hidden gems on a unique 'champing' experience in natural Northamptonshire

  • Spend time in Wadenhoe, voted prettiest village in Northamptonshire

  • Canoe down the River Nene (and enjoy a swim for those who wish) 

  • A lantern-lit night in a beautiful unused church

  • An evening with a Medieval Story Teller

  • Scenic walk to the National Trust site of Lyveden New Bield

  • Enjoy a hearty pub lunch at a classic riverside pub

  • Visit the historic market town of Oundle for afternoon tea

This trip is ideal for families, groups of friends or couples looking for activity and adventure - with the added opportunity to see some wildlife and birdlife. The perfect urban escape!

 

You'll experience Champing, the unique concept of camping overnight in a historic church, brought to the world by The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity which protects historic churches at risk. Children and adults love this unique experience - thinking of it just like camping, but you'll have the added comfort of a roof over your head and plenty of space too. Not to mention the wonderful atmosphere and acoustics if you fancy a sing-song! 

There's plenty more to enjoy on this gentle but fun-filled adventure. Canoe along the tranquil River nene; enjoy the stories of a medieval story teller; walk to National Trust's Lyveden New Bield, a stunning Elizabethan summer house.

 

At a glance

  • Location: Oundle, Northamptonshire, between Peterborough & Kettering.

  • Access: from 3pm until 10am for exclusive Champing use.

  • Group sizes: Ideal for families (min four) or groups of friends up to 12 people.

  • Trip type: Self Guided (guided group tours also possible).

  • Season: May to September.

  • Grading/difficulty: Easy walks (mostly flat terrain) and fun kayaking.

  • Facilities: Aldwincle church is off-grid, so no electricity or running. water (think camping with a roof!).

  • Getting there: Car, plane or train.

  • Pick-ups: Make your own way by car. Train and taxi if preferred.

  • Age recommendation: Great for all ages - groups of adults or families.

Ask an expert

"I look forward to showing you some of my favourite places in my back yard!"

Christina Hunter-Locke, Natural Britain

 

If you have any questions we are just a click away.

Sustainability and values

We are proactive and ensure that the suppliers we work with minimise or avoid any negative impact on the environment. Every booking contributes to the conservation of historic churches and all services offered support the local economy. 

If you care about Climate Change, you'll care about carbon emissions from travel

All of the tours offered through Natural Britain have been assessed for the amount of carbon emitted and this is shown against each featured itinerary below. To help make sense of this figure, you can head over to our Carbon Emissions page for useful comparisons with overseas travel etc.

"Protect our historic churches by Champing!"

Aldwincle_©  - credit photographer_right

What is Champing?

Hundreds of happy Champers have loved having exclusive use of an ancient space for the night. 

Champing is basically just like camping, but in a church!

This imaginative and practical concept was developed by the Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity which protects historic churches at risk.

Featured Itinerary 

Price guide

Price guide

The trip is mainly self-catering, but we include afternoon tea in the historic market town of Oundle and, after our walk to Wadenhoe, include a hearty pub lunch at one of the prettiest riverside pubs in the country in the charming village of Wadenhoe.

Canoes are included but if you want to bring an SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) then you are welcome to. 

It is suitable for groups of adults wanting to get together or for families with young children. 

 

There’s an eco-loo (waterless composting toilet) inside in the vestry, and the following items are provided: bottled water, gas camping stove and gas cylinders, tea and coffee making provisions (please bring your own milk), hot-water bottles and plenty of hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes! 

 

No candles are allowed unfortunately, but we hang up battery fairy lights and put out lanterns to create a wonderful atmosphere. 

This tour runs on a self-guided basis with departures on Fridays from May to September. Deposit refundable if government action prevents you from travelling.

Price: £349 per adult and £199 per child under 12

Includes accommodation, all activities as described, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 afternoon tea.

Midweek prices £20pp lower

The above prices are £20 per person lower if booking midweek (this reduction will be reduced on your final balance invoice)

Guided group option available (price depends on group size). 

Flexibility on dates

If you don't see the date you want, please just ask us and we will do our best to accommodate. Similarly, you can extend your stay for longer if you would like some time to further explore this beautiful area independently. Please just ask and mention your preference when booking. 

Champing in Natural Northants

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Aldwincle village, near Oundle


Arrive by car at All Saints Church in the pretty village of Aldwincle. If travelling by train, arrive at Peterborough or Kettering Station and transfer by taxi. Arrive early afternoon at Aldwincle Church to leave any luggage before heading into the historic market town of Oundle. Enjoy afternoon tea (included) at one of the charming tea shops and then spend time at your leisure exploring the town on a self guided tour. Before leaving Oundle there will be time to collect some take away fish and chips to enjoy whilst soaking up the atmosphere of your church accommodation; or if you prefer you can make an evening of it and stay to have dinner in Oundle. The night will be spent champing by candlelight at All Saints Church.




Day 2. Walk and canoe along the Rive Nene; evening Medieval Story Teller


After a hearty breakfast you will set off by foot to Wadenhoe where your canoes will await you. Set off down the beautiful River Nene where you will be treated to local wildlife as you peacefully glide down the river, stopping for lunch at a local pub or picnic along the way. There will be plenty of time to swim and enjoy the surroundings before heading back to your accommodation for the night. Choices for dinner at local pub or in Oundle or choose from a take away menu and enjoy your surroundings.This evening you be joined by a fabulous Medieval Story Teller - guaranteed to entertain with his harp or hurdy gurdy and even educate you with his wonderful tales as he takes you on a journey in time!




Day 3. Explore site of Lyvden New Bield; then lunch in Wadenhoe


After breakfast it is time to head off on a scenic walk to the Heritage site of Lyvden New Bield (3.7 miles/ 80 minutes). A charming National Trust site home to an unfinished Elizabethan summer house. After you have had time to explore, it is time to head off towards the beautiful village of Wadenhoe (2.5 miles/ 45 minutes) where a delicious included lunch will be served at the Kings Head - one of the prettiest riverside pubs in the country. After lunch it's time to make your way home after a memorable trip. Or extend your stay for more time to explore this beautiful area independently.









The carbon impact of this trip is

0.1 kg CO2e per person

The above calculation shows the approximate amount of carbon that will be emitted by taking this trip (this does not include meals or getting to the destination). Details of how this figure is calculated can be found on our
Carbon Emissions page. 
  

Check dates and book it today

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Price guide

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