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The History of Hillside Nursery

We often get asked why we decided to start our family-friendly glamping site Campden Yurts. The answer is simple: we appreciate that we live in a beautiful place, and want to share it with others.

We want people to come and spend time outdoors doing things they perhaps can’t at home. To star-gaze, to have a campfire and toast marshmallows!

 

We know holidays are precious times, and it is important to us that guests can relax as soon as they arrive. This is why we provide high quality glamping accommodation and facilities rather than offering a bare field as a campsite.

This corner of the Cotswolds that we call home has been in Jane’s family for over 45 years. Here is a brief glimpse into it’s history:

The Twinberrow family

In the 1960’s, Hillside Nursery, Chipping Campden, was a plant nursery. It fell into disrepair and in 1971 The Twinberrows – Dave, Dieuwke and baby Cate bought it and moved to  Chipping Campden. Jane came along in 1972.  The nursery had not been used for years and was now a complete wilderness. Acres of overgrown grass, nettles, thistles and weeds, ramshackle old buildings and a neglected shack of a house.

Undaunted by the state of the land, the Twinberrows and many family members from The Netherlands set to work. They began clearing and tidying, ploughing, rotavating, planting and repairing the place. It took years to finally tame the 3 acre site.

The vision was to be as self-sufficient as possible, to live off the land and have a simple life. 

Their continuous hard work paid off and they happily lived this way. Hens for eggs, goats for milk, ponies for pleasure and work, and acres of vegetables, plum, apple and pear trees. The 2 polytunnels were full of tomatoes and melons which were sold by the side of the road. They even built a windmill to re-charge tractor batteries!

Picture The Darling Buds of May meets The Good Life!

The metal frame of a windmill with Uncle Jelle at the top!

 

1970's photo of horse and cart being loaded up

Roll on 45 plus years and Hillside hasn’t changed so much.

Having moved away, Jane and husband Neill moved back to Hillside Nursery in 2008 (then were joined by Elly and Billy).

The site was now nearly 5 acres, had less vegetables and less fruit trees (winter storms have taken their toll). There are no goats or ponies just a dozen or so very free range hens and some Cotswold sheep belonging to local farmers.

Our children Elly and Billy go to the same schools that my sister and I did, in Chipping Campden. We all value having Jane’s mum here too as the kids see and get spoiled by her every day. Sadly Jane’s dad Dave passed away April 2010, age 90. He had been working in the garden all morning, then died in his armchair that afternoon. His spirit and influence are everywhere still. Our two luxury yurts are named after his favourite goats.

Grandad walking the goats along Kingcombe Lane

Over the years we had had so many visitors from the UK, Germany and Netherlands. They all loved the feel of the place (staying in our vintage caravans) and never wanted to leave!

A glimmer of an idea began to form. We researched and explored the idea of creating a family-friendly glamping site. Somewhere children can experience something new and exciting and make memories by sleeping under canvas rather than within 4 walls. Somewhere couples can come and slow down, reconnect and relax with each other and friends can meet and spend quality time together.

So, in 2015 work started to give the land a new lease of life. In 2017 Campden Yurts opened, providing glamping in Gloucestershire. 

We want to welcome couples, families or groups of friends to have a unique holiday experience at Hillside Nursery. So, come and enjoy being outdoors and close to nature without skimping on  luxury and comfort.