Journalists were amongst the first to try out the new Champing package at All Saints' Church, Aldwincle in Northamptonshire, which is a partnership with local business Canoe2.
The two day Champing package offers guests (or 'Champers' as they have become known) an opportunity to paddle down the majestic River Nene on a two-day canoeing adventure, stopping off overnight at All Saints’ which is near the banks of the river.
After the group had enjoyed the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, they were welcomed to Peartree Farm by Bev and Tim and were provided with a hearty three course meal, made from local produce. Champers also made a toast (with champagne of course) whilst watching a news report of Champing on ITV Anglia in the comfy confines of the farmhouse sitting room.
As Pear Tree Farm is only a two minute walk from All Saints’, the group were able to enjoy a torch-lit stroll through the village back to the church, where Storyteller Richard York awaited. As the magical sound of Richard’s harp filled the church, the Champers pulled up a beanbag or cushion and wrapped in blankets, were softly serenaded in the candle-lit church. Stories of local myths and legends were to follow and the evening was brought to a close with more music – this time from the Northumbrian bag pipes and also a hurdy gurdy!
"Being in the church at night is a really magical experience, with the candle-light - it’s quite difficult to put into words. I had a great nights’ sleep, wrapped in my cosy sleeping bag and I drifted off with the wonderful tales from the storyteller in my head! I felt like I’d shared a unique experience with my fellow Champers and it's something I’d love to do again!
- A Champer on their experience at Aldwincle
Champers were woken at 7.30am by Tim, the farmer, with breakfast baps and tea and coffee! All who took part were sad to say goodbye, but agreed that they’d shared a great adventure.