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Swallows Field Adult Only Glamping Pods

Welcome to Swallows Field Glamping Pods. Situated to the West of Colchester our three Luxury Adult Only Pods stand on our landscaped paddock, overlooking the Colne Valley. With far reaching views of the Essex countryside and ancient woodland, the outlook from each pod is simply beautiful.

Designed to accommodate guests all year round, the pods are dog friendly and have enclosed gardens so that everyone can enjoy their time away from home. If you are looking for the perfect location for a short break or a luxury Glamping base, from which to explore East Anglia, you will be made most welcome at Swallows Field.

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Each of our three Pods measure 7m x 4.5m & include: Kitchen Facilities Full-size convection oven Two ring ceramic hob Integrated 108-litre fridge plus 14-litre freezer compartment 4 Person Stoneware Tableware set & cutlery 4 Tumbler glasses & 4 Wine glasses Knife set & chopping board Saucepans, frying pan, baking tray, roasting tray & oven gloves Mixing bowl, metal colander & many kitchen utensils including a corkscrew & tin opener BBQ Tools Kettle 4 slice toaster Living Area Comfortable 3 seater premium Futon with pocket sprung core (which is also a second double bed) 4ft 6’’ Double bed with memory foam mattress (fully enclosed in mattress protectors) Fold away dining table & chairs Two thermostatically controlled electric radiators Storage for clothes Ensuite walk-in shower, toilet & basin Heated towel rail in the shower room Two Velux windows USB Charging sockets Wall mounted flat screen television LED lighting throughout Individual reading lights and bedside recesses Bed linen & towels available to hire Outside Covered decking area with two large boot boxes for storage, also providing seating LED lighting for darker evenings Enclosed, secure gardens for our four-legged friends Patio area with privacy fencing Wooden picnic table Two comfortable garden chairs for reclining BBQ/Firepit By prior arrangement, it is possible to hire your own private hot tubs ( contact us directly) One car parking space next to your Pod Welcome Pack- included for use during your stay Tea, coffee & sugar Washing up Liquid, sponge pad & dish cloth 2 x tea towels Liquid hand wash Shower mat 2 x toilet rolls We also have a warm dog shower for our doggy guests to use, a vegetable & herb garden & miles and miles of wonderful dog friendly walking. Hot tubs available to hire.

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.

Swallows Field Glamping Pods, Fordham Heath
Review by Jenni Eley

The last time we went glamping we vowed that it would be exactly that – the last time we went glamping. We realised, regrettably, that we’d reached an age where we were no longer willing to sacrifice a comfortable night’s sleep, a hot shower, or home comforts in search of adventure. Then along came Swallows Field Glamping Pods to change our minds.

Swallows Field is billed as luxury adult-only glamping pods, and it is located in the hamlet of Fordham Heath, Essex. On their website, the pods look immaculate, with en-suite shower rooms, proper double beds, kitted out kitchens and heating. They actively welcome dogs and each of three available pods have fully enclosed gardens, as well as the option to hire in your own private hot tub for your stay. 

This is glamping, but not as we have known it. Feeling confident that we wouldn’t need our thermals to sleep at night, we decided to give glamping one more go. The owners John and Liz started to build the pods on a paddock by their house back in 2018. John designed and handmade them himself, and the craftmanship is impressive. They launched in summer 2019 and as lifelong dog owners themselves, they were determined to make the accommodation dog friendly. Up to two dogs are welcomed per pod and included in the price of booking.

Liz contacted us before our arrival and we confirmed that, yes, we would definitely like a hot tub for our stay (£100 for two nights). We also took the option of adding on the bedding and towel pack (£25) with the bed made up on arrival. Roughing it for the weekend didn’t exactly sound like it was going to be hard work. Perhaps we’d finally found a truly ‘glamorous camping’ experience.

We arrived on a wet and windy Friday evening and were greeted by Liz to show us to our pod ‘Poppy’, pass on some helpful local info and to give us the all-important hot-tub instructions. Woody’s exuberance at being somewhere new didn’t faze Liz at all, which made sense when we learned that she had double-trouble with two golden retrievers at home.

The pod was larger than we imagined and once inside it felt surprisingly spacious. Unusually, it also looked just as good as the website photos. Poppy pod was warm, cosy and the perfect antidote to the weather outside.

Woody settled in on the sofa immediately, which had been thoughtfully covered with a dog cover for us, and enjoyed a few treats from the welcome pack before snuggling down for a snooze. We’d never seen him relax quite so quickly before, he clearly felt instantly at home.

The pod has a carefully considered layout and design. It maximises the use of the space and includes everything you need for a comfortable stay away. We liked the little touches like the cute away dining table and extra storage space for muddy boots outside the pods that doubles up as outdoor seating. There’s no skimping on size of the important stuff either, with a double bed, and standard size shower, oven, and fridge.

We cooked a meal in the well-equipped kitchen, and relaxed for the evening, looking forward to waking up to see the view from the pod in the morning and exploring the local area further.

We weren’t disappointed the next day, taking in countryside views across the fields, while Woody pottered happily around the garden. The three pods are positioned at an angle so although they are quite close to each other you each have privacy.  The garden also has picnic bench seating, two sun-loungers and a barbecue, so a perfect setting for summer stays.

We checked out the handy information room in the stable block by the entrance and found a folder of various local walks, with step-by-step instructions and photos. There are bikes here to borrow if you prefer to explore on two wheels. We decided on the 50-minute circular walk direct from Swallows Field and armed with our laminate instructions we set off, making note of the local bakery and deli to stop off on our way home. 

We’re used to getting lost whenever we follow walking maps, so it is testament to Liz’s meticulously prepared instructions that we finally managed to follow a route successfully. The walk gave us a good sense of the local area, through farmland, fields, and riverside trails. 

A stay at Swallows Field strikes a balance between being close to lots of amenities but with the countryside right on your doorstep. The bonus of this walk, for Woody at least, was a glorious stream to splash about in and clean off, before proceeding to roll around and completely cover himself in mud again straightaway.  We stopped to pick up coffee and breakfast on the way back and made use of the warm water dog shower, complete with dog shampoo and fresh doggy towels. Woody wasn’t impressed, but we appreciated not bringing a mud monster back inside, especially as we realised that it wasn’t just mud that he had rolled in. The joys of dog ownership.

Later that day we visited the Marks Hall Estate, a 15-minute drive from Swallows Field, with 2350 acres of ancient woodland and a world-class arboretum to explore. It’s £8 entry per person and welcomes dogs to the visitor centre and in most places on the grounds. We visited at the start of spring, on a particularly cold and gloomy day but still enjoyed a wander round the lake and through woods full of snowdrops and daffodils. The arboretum is split into different geographic zones with trees and plants from around the globe, and made for a dog walk with a difference, with plenty of new sniffs for Woody. There are also well marked circular woodland trails to explore. Dogs should be kept on a lead and there are plenty of poo bins – in fact the estate works with a local Essex start-up called The Poo Patrol company. I was impressed to learn that they convert dog poo into fuel which heats and powers several hospitals and public buildings in the UK. I’m happy to report that Woody contributed to the poop to power cause during his visit.

After a tiring day out, we opted for a quiet evening in and to enjoy the hot tub. This was the one and only activity of the weekend that Woody was definitely not involved in, although he did keep a watchful eye on us from inside. 

Our lazy evening continued with a takeaway from the local pub, The Cricketers. It felt like a treat to have good quality, tasty pub food delivered right to us to enjoy in the comfort of our own pod.

The next morning, we took a drive to Mersea Island, half an hour from Swallows Field. The main reason for our visit was the novelty of driving over the causeway to an actual island with the added excitement of checking tide times to make sure we didn’t get temporarily stranded. Risk taking in our 40s while glamping is admittedly a tamer affair than camping in our 20s at Glastonbury.

All the same, we enjoyed a walk around West Mersea by the fishing village area with lots of fresh seafood eateries, and great views out across Blackwater Estuary. We warmed up at the Art Café with some of the best coffee we have tasted, while Woody enjoyed meeting lots of other dogs sat outside.

We decided we couldn’t go home without a quick visit to Woody’s favourite place, the beach. Dogs are allowed on Mersea beaches  all year round, with the council requesting that they are kept on leads in summer when busy. Cudmore Grove Country Park is a nature reserve covering 102 acres of unique coastal landscapes with sandy beaches, salt marsh, rolling grasslands and meadows.

It is a stunning place to visit, with beautiful views, plus a wealth of interesting historic features. On a windy day, we can confirm that it is also exceedingly cold. Not that Woody minded, the combination of the wind and the beach brought on an attack of happy zoomies, the likes of which we haven’t seen since he was a puppy.

Back in the warmth of Poppy pod we reflected on our stay as we packed up to leave. Swallows Field is hard to put in a box and neatly categorise and that is exactly, we concluded, what makes it such a special place to stay. It’s a glamping experience but close to all the amenities of modern-day living. It’s a chance to disconnect, relax and explore the outdoors but with the connectivity of takeaway deliveries and a very good bakery down the road. It’s supremely dog friendly while still feeling like a treat for us humans too. It’s a mini escape from everyday life, with all the creature comforts of a luxury stay. We left relaxed, rejuvenated, and reconverted to glamping, or to glamping at Swallows Field at least!

Swallows Field Camping Pods, Fordham Heath, review by Jenni Eley and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 72.  For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine

23 Review(s)

Catherine Withers, October 2021

Very high quality accommodation that puts dogs right at the centre of the stay. Friendly, welcoming and lovely area. Plenty to do.

Melanie Halll, October 2020

We stayed here in August, we had an amazing time and if our dogs could speak they would have said the same!! Fabulous pods, the surroundings were beautiful and we had a very warm welcome and the kindness was extended throughout our stay. We will be definitely returning :)

Carol Luckett, October 2020

I stayed here with my dogs at the end of August. The owners could not have been more accommodating. The pod was well equipped and well set out. The dogs and I had a really lovely time.

Read All Reviews Write A Review

Listing Updated: 20/07/2022

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Listing Address

6 Heath Cottages
Heath Road, Fordham Heath
01206 240626

Listing Details

Can Leave Dog Unattended


Exercise Area


Wheel Chair Access


Owner Has A Dog


Limit On Dog Size

No Limit

No. Of Dogs Allowed


Charge For Dogs


Miscellaneous Notes

We accept two well behaved dogs free of charge. If you have more than 2 dogs please do contact us to discuss your fur babies further.

Enclosed Garden Confirmed








Dog Welcome Pack


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