You might have seen comedian and actor Johnny Vegas on tv recently, talking about the 2023 location for his unique glamping experience, Field of Dreams. This year, lucky glampers will enjoy the glorious setting of historic Melbourne Hall, in the picturesque Derbyshire town of Melbourne. There are eight stunning glamping options, including an old fire truck, Puma the helicopter and a boat called Mahala!
Located on the edge of the town, Grade II listed Melbourne Hall is currently a family home and has been described as “one of the finest examples of a small English country house.” The gardens are open to the public on Wednesday and weekend afternoons, from Spring until late autumn, whilst the house is open on limited afternoons in summer. The most noted previous owner of Melbourne Hall was William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. William was twice the English prime minister in the 1830's and 1840's. The Australian city of Melbourne was named in his honour in 1835.
The gardens at Melbourne Hall
Guests to Vegas' Field of Dreams will want to make time for a leisurely explore of the beautiful gardens surrounding Melbourne Hall. Designed by Rt. Hon Thomas Coke, the Vice Chamberlain to Queen Anne, with assistance from landscape designers George London and Henry Wise, these gardens are considered by experts to be one of the best surviving English gardens in the style of le Notre. Sweeping avenues, framed by old yew hedges, give open views to the surrounding countryside. Visitors will find a number of statues in the gardens. A large urn statue, on a crossroad of paths, is known as Four Seasons. It was created by Jan van Nost, and is believed to be a gift from Queen Anne. The most striking focal point in the garden is the Bird Cage arbour. This guilded wrought ironwork was created by Robert Bakewell and cost £120 to make. It is said that it made him famous but he was left penniless from the cost of manufacture. Robert Bakewell also created ironwork for Derby Cathedral and National Trust owned, Staunton Harold Church. In spring, the air on the west side of the gardens is filled with the scent of wild garlic. The herbaceous beds alongside the stream are a more recent addition to the gardens and are in full bloom throughout the summer.
Melbourne Hall Courtyard
Step into the courtyard of Melbourne Hall for a unique shopping experience. The courtyard features fabulous small shops, a cafe, pop-up coffee shop, and even a microbrewery. Whether you're looking for a warm drink or meal by the cozy wood burners in the winter or taking advantage of the outdoor seating in the sheltered courtyard on a warmer day, there's something for everyone. Wine merchants Pierre Hourlier will be happy to recommend the perfect bottle of wine to enjoy as you take in the sunset from your glamping home.
Around Melbourne Hall
Just behind Melbourne Hall, a gated drive leads to Melbourne Pool, a popular spot for all ages to stroll or watch the birds on the water. (keen birdwatchers will want to ensure they have their binoculars with them). Walk to the end of the Pool and you will be treated to stunning views of the church, on the other side of the water. Look up and you may even see a heron here, perched on the branches of a tree overlooking the lake. As you walk, you'll notice the magnificent yew hedges of Melbourne Hall. The benches surrounding the Pool are always a popular spot to enjoy a picnic.
Opposite Melbourne Hall is the parish church of St Michael with St Mary's. Dating back to the 12th century, the church is Grade 1 listed and is considered one of the best examples of a Norman church. The flags of Australia and Melbourne, Victoria hang in the church, in recognition of the town's association with Melbourne, Australia.
It's just a few minutes walk from Melbourne Hall into the heart of the town. Here' guests will find narrow streets and alleyways with a wide range of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes.
Fresh local produce
Guests planning to cook their own meals will find plenty of delicious fresh ingredients in and around Melbourne. The area was once home to over 150 market gardens and it's still possible to buy fabulous fresh seasonal produce from both FM Heath and Sons and F Jackson and Son. There's even a selection of home grown produce, with an honesty box, outside a cottage in the heart of the town. Meat eaters will want to enjoy a walk or cycle from Melbourne Hall to the award winning Tori and Ben's butcher's, on the edge of the town. We recommend enjoying an alfresco coffee here, before starting your return journey. Be sure to stop into Melbourne Deli, as you pass, for some mouthwatering cheeses and treats. A market takes place every Thursday, where you will find a range of fresh food from local producers.
Stay at Jonny Vegas Field of Dreams as part of a walking or EBike holiday
For a truly unique and memorable holiday adventure, include a 2 or 3 night stay at the Johnny Vegas Field of Dreams as part of a longer self-guided EBike cycling or walking holiday holiday, exploring the National Forest. Choose to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings or discover more of the countryside on a circular walk or cycle ride. We will take care of all the arrangements, leaving you free to relax and enjoy your holiday. Contact us on email@example.com or on 01530 417482 to discuss your requirements.
About National Forest EBike Holidays
Award winning National Forest EBike Holidays offers luxury, self-guided EBike and walking holidays in and around the National Forest region of the UK. Guests can start their holiday any day of the week, all year. The holidays are designed to encourage slow travel. We keep mileage low, making our EBike and walking holidays perfect for gentle adventurers and leaving plenty of time to connect with nature and explore the many sights and experiences along the way. We love signposting some of the fabulous local woodland experiences, including bee keeping, Forest Bathing and woodland crafts. We move guests' luggage between hotels, leaving them free to explore the region at their own pace and in their own private group. Our guests can expect fabulous accommodation each night. We select the best possible small luxury B&Bs, delightful country inns and small boutique hotels. Often our accommodation providers have their own green tourism accreditations and awards. All have a love of locally-sourced, seasonal food – it will be home-grown, reared or baked in many cases. Unlike many cycling and walking holidays, our routes are circular to limit the need for additional transportation. In most instances, there is always a local pub or restaurant for guests to enjoy a delightful evening meal, without needing to take a taxi. As a small family company, we specialise in offering guests a very personal service, with holidays tailored to suit guest's specific needs or interests.
The National Forest region
Straddling Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, The National Forest is one of England's most exciting and ambitious regeneration projects. The area was once full of of coal mines, opencast and clay pits. The last 30 years has seen 200 square miles transformed from black to green, completely changing the landscape and lives of local people. Miners have become forest guardians and forest schools are common place for children. Some of the UK's most productive mines are now filled with trees and wildlife. The 9 millionth tree was planted in 2021 and the region has gone from less than 6% to over 20% tree coverage.
Choose your perfect EBike or walking holiday
We would love to help find your perfect walking or EBike holiday. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01530 417482 to discuss your requirements.