This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Glamping is so 2016. Today’s in-the-know travelers know that “champing” — or sleeping in an old church — is the next big travel trend. Or at least it is in Southeast England, where The Churches Conservation Trust, a nonprofit organization that works to save the country’s historic churches, has set up a network of medieval places of worship that visitors can call home for the night.
“Our Champing churches are living time capsules, with stories that can be traced back as far as the Saxon period, and centuries of history to explore,” the “Champing” page of the organization’s website says. “They present the perfect setting to explore England’s culture, heritage and craftsmanship throughout the ages.”
According to Atlas Obscura, the program kicked off in 2014 at the medieval All Saints’ Church in Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, located less than three hours from London. With its unique design details, including limestone arches and a square tower, the venue was a hit with architecture lovers. And the church’s close proximity to a charming village, a river for canoeing and woodlands for exploring made it a unique country getaway for both Londoners and visitors looking to get a taste of life outside the city.
Since then, the Trust’s network of participating churches has expanded, with each one offering a unique opportunity to explore a bit of England’s past on your own timetable. Plus, it’s private: you’ll be given your very own key to the church and free run of the place, so you can play that ancient organ as loudly as you want. It’s also a bargain at £55 (less than $70) per person per night, which goes toward helping maintain these landmarks — and includes a delivered breakfast.
But don’t expect five-star amenities; the point of champing — which literally combines the word “church” and “camping” — is to go back in time a bit, so it’s a pretty rustic experience. You’ll bring your own bedding (at least pillows and blankets) and most of the churches don’t have electricity, instead using lanterns and battery-operated candles, which will be provided. There’s usually no running water either, but you’ll find a supply of water, plus eco-toilets and water basins for washing up.
Because none of the churches are heated, champing is a warm-weather activity, running from May through September only. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Champing.co.uk.
H/T: Atlas Obscura
Featured image courtesy of The Churches Conservation Trust.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards