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If the name of Gilcombe Farm seems somewhat familiar to you, then the chances are that you hail from West London. George Portch and his brothers are a regular fixture at the farmers markets there. Their unpasteurised milk straight from the cow and “eggs with the dirt still on” are organic staples around Barnes and Hammersmith.
Your tent will have virtually 360 degree views of the rolling countryside. Step out and there is Alfred’s Tower on the horizon, an 18th century folly, close by the Palladian mansion and world famous landscape gardens of Stourhead. Sherbourne Castle in Dorset is just half an hour’s drive away too. There are also 30 acres of lovely woodlands for playing in very easy walking distance of the tents if you are happy to chill on-site. There are also streams to dam and dens to build down there too. You can paddle in the stream but only with wellies please accompanied by an adult.
The male side of the Portch family will be your hosts. Apart from George, there is Andrew, his father and brothers, Sam, who you’re likely to meet in the milking parlour and Ollie, a chef who works his magic out the back of the farm shop. The farm tour will take in all aspects of organic farming including chicken rearing. The Columbia Blacktails and Hubbards have a variety of wooden trestles in their barn where they perch in order to meet the exacting standards of the Soil Association. There is also a herd of 100 Friesians, all born and bred here on the farm during the last fifty years. You’ll be able to see the milking at least once during your stay. Calving takes place from the end of June to October so there is a good chance you’ll get to witness a birth then. Around the same time you’ll also meet their free-range geese, ducks and turkeys and no doubt be tempted to put in an order for your Christmas table.
The Portch Family
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Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Tiny (1-10 pitches)
Tipis, yurts, or wigwams
- Coach stations
Wincanton: Memorial Hall Coach Stop — 5.0 miles
5.0 miles Shepton Mallet: Rectory Rd Coach Stop — 6.6 miles
6.6 miles Oakhill (Somerset): Coach Stop — 7.8 miles
- Train stations
Bruton Rail Station — 1.1 miles
1.1 miles Castle Cary Rail Station — 4.2 miles
4.2 miles Templecombe Rail Station — 8.6 miles
- Ferry ports
Prince Street Bridge Ferry Landing — 23.3 miles
23.3 miles Temple Meads Station Ferry Landing — 23.4 miles
23.4 miles Millennium Square Ferry Landing — 23.4 miles
Bristol International Airport — 21.6 miles
From the M25
Exit at Junction 12 (M3). Follow signs for M3 (South West/Southampton)
Remain on the M3 for approximatly 30 mins and then exit at junction 8 (A303, South West).
Remain on the A303 for approximately 1 hour (look out for stonehenge!) and then exit off
the dual carriageway following signs for Bruton. If you get to a big roundabout with a fuel
station and a Macdonalds you have gone about 10 minutes too far.
After exiting turn right almost immedaitaly (sign posted Bruton)
At the end of this road turn Left.
After 30 seconds then turn right after the Hunters Lodge Pub.
At the end of this road turn right. Follow this road all the way into Bruton where you will go
round a one way system past a church on your left.
At the end of the road turn right. Continue round the one way system, up the high street to
the end of the road where the road forks. You need to fork to the left (but do not take the
the left turn – just follow the road up the hill) sign posted Frome.
Follow this road up out of Bruton and when you get too the top of the hill our farm is on the
right. You should notice us as we have farm shop signs prewarning you, a union jack on a flag pole and an old tractor by the entrance. On arrival head into the farm shop or ring 07817033161 as the farm shop closes at five p.m.
Exit the M5 at junction 15 for the M4 eastbound
Exit the M4 after one junction (junction 19) for the M32
Follow the M32 into Bristol which changes to the A4032 and then the A4044. Follow the
signs for Bristol station. When you have past the station you can follow signs for Shepton
Mallet on the A5/A37
Follow the A37 all the way to Shepton Mallet, after passing through Shepton Mallet exit at
the round about A371, sign posted Castle Cary/ Bath and West show ground.
Almost opposite the show ground turn left to Evercreach sign posted Evercreech and
Burton. Follow this road through Evercreech and on into Bruton. When you get to the end of the road turn left.
Follow this road up the hill out of Bruton when you get too the top of the hill our farm is on
the right. You should notice us as we have farm shop signs pre warning you, a union jack on a flag pole and an old tractor by the entrance.
On arrival head into the farm shop or ring 07817033161 however the shop closes at five
Alternatively you might know Gilcombe as the venue for numerous summer festivals. For example, there is Sunrise in June, winner of the Guardian Ethical Travel Award in 2011, also lauded as Best Green Festival by the magazine Green Parent. And Glastonbury is only a 15 minute drive away down the Somerset back roads. We are also just 1 hour away from Weymouth, Weston and the Jurassic Coast and only 40 minutes from Stonehenge. London is 2 hours.
A Feather Down stay at Gilcombe will give you the chance to re-live either experience from the comfort of our tented luxury. The festival ground is literally across the road (although well shielded noise wise from our tents) whilst the farm store which doubles as our honesty shop stocks excellent local meats, cheeses, ciders and beers. Your inner foody will also enjoy the village of Bruton, accessible via footpaths from your tent where you’ll find The Chapel, one of the Times’ Top Ten brunch locations in Britain.
- Stourhead House and Garden (5.2 miles)
- Haynes International Motor Museum (7.9 miles)
- Longleat (8.1 miles)
- Stourhead (5.2 miles)
- West Pennard Court Barn (9.2 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.