Take a sneak peek inside Northamptonshire church now transformed as quirky 12-person B&B

With foreign holidays looking increasingly doubtful this year, Brits are searching for holidays closer to home. But has a staycation inside a village church ever crossed your mind?

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 10:06 am
What better way is there to appreciate one of the most historic buildings than to stay in it?

First there was camping, then there was glamping, and now, there's ‘champing’.

Host Unusual - a website that brings together some of the most extraordinary hidden gems in the UK and around the world - is hiring out this Aldwincle church, in Kettering, for UK holidaymakers, when it's safe to do so.

Church camping is set to revolutionise the traditional camping break, giving ‘champers’ exclusive use of some of the UK's greatest listed buildings for the most unforgettable sleepover of their life.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Forget any preconceptions of tiptoeing round and whispering in the church; as your home for the night, you're free to chat, laugh, sing, dance around - whatever takes your fancy.

Champing came about in finding long term, sustainable uses for churches that are no longer used for regular worship and are cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust.

You can't cook inside the church or churchyard, but this gives you the perfect excuse to tuck into delicious fare at The Kings Head in Wadenhoe or The Fox Inn at Thorpe Waterville.

Champing season runs between March and September with no minimum stay requirement.

Host Unusual says that Champers should bring their own bedding including pillows, sleeping bags, duvets and blankets.Up to two (or three if they are small) dogs are welcome upon prior arrangement and children are welcome and encouraged to stay, although they must be supervised.

Snuggle down inside the original Champing church - All Saints in Aldwincle, a beautiful, ancient space in Northamptonshire.

Champers are welcome to bring their own alcohol, and wine may be pre-ordered on booking and have sole access to their church after 6pm and before 10am. Find out more here.

Whether you're young at heart, part of a group or traveling on your own, a spot of Champing should definitely be on your bucket list.
You will have set out everything you need for your stay - comfy, fold-out camp beds, camping chairs and cushions for an extra touch of home.
Refreshments will be set up for you on your arrival and fear not, there's even a ChampLav set up for you - a dry separating toilet to take care of all necessities.
During your stay at All Saints, take time to explore fragments of a wall painting depicting St Peter, stained glass dating back to the middle ages, imposing columns, and carved creatures overlooking the churchyard.