Ashlyn Wood comprises several acres of ancient woodland and meadow a few miles west of Cambridge not far from the junction of the A1(M) and the M11.  It is a secluded, beautiful and peaceful site set in the depth of Cambridgeshire, and for the duration of our camp, for the sole use of Manifest East.  The river Cam runs through it.  A moated island is buried deep within it.  There are several footpaths leading into the surrounding countryside.  Immersing yourself in these ancient woods, which we’ll share with the badgers and other woodland creatures, is worth the trip in itself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the times and dates of arrival and departure?

Arrive any time before between 3 pm and 7pm on Friday 20th September and leave by 3pm on Wednesday 25th September 2024

Are meals and drinks provided?

Dinner is part of the package. We ask that you bring food for breakfast and lunch. Tea, coffee etc are available whenever you want them.

There is no map and there are no directions on the website. Where is Ashlyn Wood?

To avoid sightseers we only give out the map and directions after receiving your booking.  This information will be given to you nearer the time of the event.  If you need to book a rail ticket then the nearest station is Royston.

I am coming alone and for the first time. Is it normal to feel a bit apprehensive?

You can expect a warm welcome and the camp is structured as to promote inclusivity. We camp in circles, each around its own central fire where kettles are boiled and food cooked. We eat communally each evening and prepare the meals together in small working groups. There are also work groups for other tasks which need doing, such as chopping and barrowing wood.  You will quickly make some friends.

How many people will we be?

No more than sixty, including crew.

What's this about a half day's work to help with the camp?

You will be able to choose work to suit your ability and inclination and will be part of a team of people.  Jobs include, preparing the kitchen for the cooks, helping to prepare the evening meal, making sure the toilets are swept and have toilet paper and in them, preparing performance spaces, chopping and barrowing wood for the sauna.

Is there shelter?
Yes, there are covered areas with fires.
Will I need to spend lots of money at the camp?

No.  There are no concession stalls, shops or markets.  Bring food or enough money to buy food for those meals from shops off-site.  There are no shops within walking distance of Ashlyn Wood.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs, with the exception of guide dogs (by prior arrangement), are not permitted on site.

Will I be able to charge my mobile phone?

This is an off-grid event so there is neither mains power nor a generator on site. If you need to recharge your phone then you can use your car battery. Alternatively, bring a charger pack. These packs can hold multiple charges.

Is drinking water available?

Yes, there is mains drinking water on tap.

Can I bring a camper van/caravan?


Can I camp wherever I like?

We camp in circles of tents/vans each of which has a small open fire at its centre for cooking, boiling kettles and as a focus for sitting and chatting.  Each circle is home to about twenty to twenty-five people.  Choose your circle and pitch up.  It’s first come, first served, but we try to avoid circles becoming overly large and unwieldy.

I have special dietary needs. Can you accommodate them?

The evening meals are included in the cost of your booking.  They are invariably vegan, although occasionally grated cheese, or cream, have been offered as an option in the past.  There are always wheat-free alternatives if we have pasta.  Beyond that, we will do our best to accommodate any dietary requirements you may have.  Since we launched Manifest East in 2019 we have not found anyone we couldn’t feed.  And our food is exceptionally good!

I will be arriving late/I need to leave early. Is that OK?

Ideally we like participants to be there at the beginning and leave at the end. Each camp is a shared journey which we take together. Please make sure the organisers know if you’re going to arrive later than 7 pm on 20th. There is a weekend option if you cannot attend the whole event.

How will I get from the railway station to the site?

Lifts are available at no extra cost and after the closing meeting on the final day. The closest station is Royston.

Can I have a weekend-only ticket?

Yes, weekend tickets are available.

Are day tickets available?

No, sorry.

Can my friend/relative come and visit me?

No.  If you need to rendezvous with friends or relatives then please arrange to do so off-site.  Each event is a ‘closed’ camp.  You can come and go as you please but no one else may come in.

I’ve never used a compost toilet. Do they smell?

No they don’t.  They are hygienic and they are cleaned twice a day, the toilet paper replenished.  Use them for defecating only – or at least, go there with that intention.  And throw in a handful of sawdust when you’re done before closing the lid.  If you just need to pee then men have the whole forest to find a suitable spot.

What is the sauna etiquette?

Bring a towel.  Most people will be naked but if you would prefer to wear trunks then that’s fine.  Do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

Are there any rules about smoking?

Anywhere directly under a tarpaulin or roof of any kind is ‘inside’ and smoking is not allowed.  Otherwise, if you smoke please be mindful of those around you, especially around the fire.  Check the wind direction and dispose of your butts in a responsible manner as they are not biodegradable.

Will I be kept awake by drunken revellers?

No!  This is not a camp for getting smashed.  Alcohol is allowed on site but a drinking culture is discouraged.  Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

What about drugs?

Please leave your drugs at home.  You won’t need them.  But seriously, drugs have never been part of the culture of Ashlyn Wood.

What about Coronavirus?

If we’re not allowed to run the camp then we’ll refund the cost of your ticket.  In running the camps we will act in accordance with the medical advice at the time and work with you to keep us all safe and well.  Copious amounts of soap and hand sanitiser will be provided.

If you think you may have coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has had it during the week before camp, please take a test before coming.  If you have to cancel at the last minute due to coronavirus we will return your booking fee (minus an administration fee).