For your next staycation, you could try ‘champing’ in an ancient church in the village of Swaffham Prior
Unused churches in England that may otherwise be forgotten have been transformed into popular camping staycations for people who want to holiday closer to home this summer.
A beautiful church in Cambridgeshire with a stunning Georgian interior is one local place where families can go ‘champing’.
Swaffham Prior, near Ely, is unusual in the fact that it has two churches.
The church of St Cyriac & St Julitta is not a working church anymore but has opened its doors to campers.
By 1806 St Cyriac’s was a crumbling, ivy-strewn ruin with no roof, but luckily it was restored with an elegant Georgian interior.
If you book the medieval church, your camp-beds and camp-chairs will be all set up for you, with tea and coffee ready to help yourself.
Fairy lights add to the ambience of the historical setting.
You’ll still feel like you’re camping as it is without mains supply or electricity.
If you also want to attend a service, you can cross the churchyard to the village’s second church, St Mary’s.
Champing is a great way to support churches, learn about their history and architecture, and to try something new.
One champer said: “Do yourself a favour and book a night away there, take the family, children, it’s a history lesson, a lesson in art, a lesson in appreciating buildings and great for hide and seek.”
Scroll down to see some pictures of the church, and its champing set up.