Date of Visit: July 2021
Gayton Farm campsite is located on a working farm on the outskirts of the village of Horningsea just north-east of the city of Cambridge. Access from the A14 was easy – please see our Site Arrival video.
It operates as a Certified Site (CS) and so you need to be a member of the Camping & Caravan Club to stay. www.gaytonfarm.co.uk All camping units are welcome and in addition there are two Glamping Domes and a Gypsy Caravan available to hire adjacent to the camping field.
The site is open on two sides to farmland and there is no shade although the openness meant the addition of breeze, much welcome in the recent spell of hot weather.
There is a dedicated dog walk on site and, being a working farm, they should be always kept on a lead outside.
All pitches are grass, 16A electric hook up is on offer and there are two serviced pitches available. Fresh water points are dotted around the perimeter of the site with the grey and black waste water disposal points located by the entrance gate to the field.
At the entrance to the site there is a shed to the left which houses the rubbish and recycling bins, along with fire pits – logs are available to buy.
A second building with a nice veranda has a shower and separate toilet and washbasin along with a washing up area and an information board with some handy contact numbers plus menus for nearby pubs.
To the right is a newer building with another shower and separate toilet and washbasin. The water was hot, and all were kept immaculate during my stay. There were plenty of hooks to hang your towel and clothing on, although spectacle wearers might appreciate a small shelf. Neither of the facilitiy buildings are wheelchair accessible.
Review of Site Pitch
The camping field is flat mown grass although I managed to pick a spot that needed a ramp to get my unit level. You can pitch any which way and I chose to go nose in to get a lovely view over the fields. There is plenty of room.
I asked, and was allowed, to discharge the grey water at the edge of the site. Electric hook up points and freshwater taps were dotted around the perimeter of the site, and neither were far away.
It was quiet – there was little noise from the farm itself but traffic from the road through the village could occasionally be heard as could traffic from the A14 depending on the prevailing wind. Certainly not intrusive though. There was a very occasional light aircraft heading to or departing from Cambridge airport a few miles away. Again, not intrusive.
Picking up TV and AM/FM radio was no problem thanks to the area being very flat. There was no Wi-Fi available, however mobile wise, 4G reception was reasonable. Three showed between two and three bars outside or in the window of the caravan with streaming possible. Vodafone was slightly better. EE reports similar on their website, O2 indicates both good indoor and outdoor coverage.
Around and about
In the village of Horningsea, and all easily walkable, are two pubs. The nearest being the Crown & Punchbowl, which also offers rooms. At the other end of the village is the Plough & Fleece and almost opposite that is Scotsdales Garden Centre which has a cafe. I have not tried either of the pubs on this trip, but they do seem to have a good reputation locally.
Turn right out of the site and a longer walk, or short drive will bring you to the tiny hamlet of Clayhithe and here you will find The Bridge. Part of a chain but it is a lovely location, right at the side of the River Cam. On my visit the food was tasty, good value and the service was good. It is worth pointing out here that you can walk along the riverbank here all the way into Cambridge.
Talking of Cambridge, it is the obvious draw here and deservedly so. However, I would not recommend driving into the city. The traffic is frequently heavy and parking charges are high. Instead, opt for one the Park & Ride sites, the nearest being Milton, one junction along the A14 to the west. However, motorhomers will need to use the one at Trumpington to the south of the city.
Two buses a day run to and from Cambridge, Monday to Friday only. The nearest railway station is Waterbeach, 1.6 miles away where trains run frequently to Ely and Kings Lynn one way, and Cambridge and London the other.
Once in Cambridge there is plenty to do. I would highly recommend you head for the market square and a walk up the tower of Great St Mary’s church to get a great birds eye view of the city. A punt along the River Cam is a must – you can have a go yourself but it’s not as easy as it looks. Most opt for a ‘punter’ who will also point out things of interest. www.scudamores.com
Shopping wise, there is the aforementioned Market Square with it’s traditional canvas topped market stalls operating six days a week. There are plenty of independent shops to help you empty your wallet or purse and the Grand Arcade houses all the usual chain store suspects A second shopping area – the Grafton Centre – is a ten minute walk away from the Market Square.
Cambridge could easily keep you occupied for several days, but there is plenty in the surrounding area worthy of your attention too. The Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley may not be an obvious tourist stop off but it is very popular – and the seasonal hop on/hop off bus tour stops here too.
Five miles from Cambridge just off the A14 is Anglesey Abbey – a National Trust property and gardens well worth a few hours of your time.
The small city of Ely to the north is well worth a visit too – it mas a magnificent cathedrall and head to the waterside for an informative and entertaining trip on the Liberty Belle.
I paid £20/night during July 2021. If you don’t need electric hook up it’s £2/ night cheaper, or £2/night more for a service pitch. The price includes up to two adults and two children. Not cheap, particularly if you are travelling solo but balanced by access, location and immaculate facilities. When visiting Cambridge I usually use the Caravan & Motorhome Club site at Cherry Hinton but this made a nice change and it’s a site I would certainly use again.