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“A wonderful experience”

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Feather Down Farms at Sunninglye Farm
Reviewed April 28, 2012

We stayed in the first week of April. The weather forecast was terrible, but we had plenty of sun, although it was pretty cold. We'd brought plenty of thermals due to the forecast, so were fine. My goodness it was cold at night though - we were cosy in several layers of clothing, two duvets each and a hot water bottle, but getting to bed was a chilly affair...
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
The 'tents' were lovely spaces, and having the feeling of camping but with a flushing loo was luxury indeed. The beds were comfy, the 'cupboard bed' is an inspired idea, the views across the farm were beautiful and none of us wanted to leave. The honesty shop provided pretty much everything we needed, and we heeded warnings about how long it takes to make a cuppa by slowing ourselves right down and enjoying the anticipation.
Our hosts were courteous and friendly throughout, though they took a while to 'warm up' - I liked them all the more for that - they were real people and their love of this place was evident.
We were lucky enough to be there during lambing season and there were new ones every day, and beautiful wild plants in the hedgerows as we walked into the village (approx 2 miles).
I could go on... it was magical, we loved it, and will go again (to this farm and others) - we're hooked!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank A H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 32 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2011

We stayed here in August. We had a fantastic time. I thought Jo was very welcoming and she visited everyday to make sure everything was ok. We ordered fresh fruit and a salad basket as well as a BBQ pack and a picnic, all of was excellent and good value for money (better than i expected). The farm is in a lovely setting and all the tents look out over the farm.The only negative point is that its on a flight path, you dont hear planes constantly but i did notice them in the evenings.
The tent was fantastic, bigger than it looked in the brochure but with all the charm I had hoped for. The beds were comfy and the kitchen was very well equipped. The stove takes HOURS to get hot, if you like to have hot drinks take a single gas burner as you just wouldnt want to have to light the stove every time you wanted a cup of coffee! All of the tents had an area outside for a campfire and you were free to collect as much firewood in the forest as you liked, my boys loved toasting marshmallows on it in the evenings and i loved reading by the fire at night. Its an idea to take torches and headlamps if you like to read as the candles and oil lamps dont really provide enough light for that.
One slight drawback of the farms is that you cant check in until 4 but we made the most of the day by going to cambersands and Rye for the day on the monday, it started the holiday off well and its only about 40 minutes away from the farm so definitely worth doing.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay on the farm, its very relaxing and the children really enjoyed the simple things like collecting fire wood and feeding the animals, i would recommend featherdown to anyone but especially to those with small children. .

Room Tip: all are identical.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank fluffyloveheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2011

My first venture into any form of camping & one we shall certainly be repeating.

We couldn't have asked for a better week's holiday than the one we've just experienced at Sunninglye. Jo was warm and welcoming and went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed and our accomodation was clean and comfortable. We have made a lot of special memories at the farm - raftbuilding, sharing our dinner with chickens and having our picnic gatecrashed by hungry ponies - such fun.

But more importantly, I think we have all returned more relaxed than from any other holiday we've taken. Thanks to all at Sunninglye for a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank jabber42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

A mere 1 1/2 hour drive from London and yet, once here, my family and I were transported a million miles from the capital's hubbub. My 7 year old daughter's face when she and farm owner Jo bottlefed two little lambs together immediately told me that this was the right holiday for us, and that was just the first evening! Next morning, my daughter collected eggs from the free range chickens and Jo showed us around her beautiful farm. She was a generous and instructive guide and her passion for this land is infectious.Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, we found Jo to be a welcoming, attentive and friendly host.
A particular highlight of this holiday was building a raft to sail on the farm's pond with predictably soggy and comical results!
For wholesome, outdoor fun you really can't beat Sunninglye Farm. Thanks Jo !

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
Thank NeweFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

Heaven on earth!. The owners, Jo and Gill were FAB, very kind and helpful. The farm animals were friendly, especially Mrs O the sheep. Freshly laid eggs for breakfast from the chickens, hot showers and acres of peace made for a wonderful weekend with close friends. We built a raft on the pond which was fun but we were totally useless and we sunk, campfires in the evening for toasting marshmallows and making stews. We will definately be back. This is the second Featherdown Farm we have been to and we aim to visit many others. Try it once and you will be hooked!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank staplefordparkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2011

We stayed at Sunninglye over a long weekend (Friday through Monday) in April. It was a wonderful experience for the whole family and especially for the kids. The kids were captivated by the farm animals and were easily occupied by the activities on the farm. There were sheep with young lambs, chickens, pigs, a donkey and miniature horses.

The view was spectacular. The seven tents are situated on the top of a hill overlooking beautiful vistas on each side. There is a small pond down one side of the hills and trails for the whole family to enjoy

The accommodations were comfortable. The tent was clean and the bedding was plush and well-insulated to handle the cold night temperatures. Compact quarters, no electricity and no television added to the experience and encouraged more conversation and interaction within the family. Starting the wood stove did take some skill as the fire logs were somewhat "green" at times.

During our stay, we did several activities. They had a raft-building activity which I completed in about 2 hours and successfully circumnavigated the pond circular with several of my kids (and the kids of some other parents). We also made homemade pizzas in the outdoor brick oven and made a stew over our outdoor campfire pit.

One of the best parts of this experience was the communal spirit that was fostered. We quickly met the other families and our kids soon became friends with some of the other kids. The sense of community was amazing.

There is an honesty shop where you can purchase certain supplies and food -- keep in mind that the supplies are very limited but the costs are reasonable. I would not order the Reddy Beddy where they prepare the linens on the beds before you arrive. They charged us £30 for 6 people which seems way overpriced for 2 beds and a bunk bed.

A couple drawbacks:
1) Even though the days were sunny and pleasant, the nights were quite cold. The small wood burning stove does not keep the tent warm once the temperature starts to drop at night. You need to consider this if you are staying in the Spring or Autumn. The bed duvets are well insulated and will keep you warm but once you leave bed and move about the tent, you will be very cold.

2) The hosts were sometimes cold and prickly as well. Jo, the matriarch and her daughter Jill were sometimes unpleasant to us and at times made the visit uncomfortable. There was an expectation that you should know exactly what to do even if it was your first time to stay at a Featherdown. Conversely, they could be pleasant and helpful at other times. On balance, their son Rob was extremely kind and helpful. He showed the group around the farm and was very friendly to the kids.

Room Tip: Try to get a tent closer to the car park
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank circlewe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2011

We had the most amazing stay at Sunninglye farm, the family were great, really helpful with great senes of humour ( which you need when camping even if its supposed to be the luxury type)

Jo was a great host and was really touched by her kindness when my little girl wasn't feeling very well...We will DEFINATELY be back !

PS If Jo has any of her homemade dinners available try them their delicious

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Georgina081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Feather Down Farms at Sunninglye Farm

Address: Bell Yews Green, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Royal Tunbridge Wells
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Royal Tunbridge Wells
Number of rooms: 42
Also Known As:
Feather Down Farms At Sunninglye Farm Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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