More and more of us feel the need to get out into the countryside and feel connected with the wilder side of life but having to pitch a tent, blow up a mattress and set up your cooking can be a step too far for those who have a had a knackering work-week and have already spent a draining few hours in the car with their kids. Enter glamping – glamorous camping. Already a household term, the concept has taken the country by storm over the last few years and we are glad to say we have been there from the start!
From our inception we have wanted to offer some creature comforts for those wanting to spend a night or two in nature. Being at the mercy of the elements is incredibly exhilarating but can get a little chilly so having raised beds with snuggly bedding as well as underfloor heated power showers and a traditional loo make all the difference. Having the outdoor kitchen also means that all your food can stay tucked away in your own cupboard or shelf in the fridge without taking up lots of space in your tent and the complimentary cool box can be used for more important things like keeping your cider beautifully chilled to enjoy as you are watching the sun go down.
While we have made a huge effort to balance romance with practicality, here are some ideas of what to remember to bring along to make your weekend even smoother:
Whatever time of year you go glamping it is likely to be wet. Even if the weather is dry, there is often dew in the grass from the early hours in the morning so for the morning stumble to the loo it is always best to have shoes that you can easily slide in and out of and are waterproof. Always keep them by the entrance so that you don’t have to wake everyone up searching for them and also keep the tent clean.
We like to provide you with your own towels for showering but having our own beach towel is key if you are planning to go picnicking at the beach or swimming in our pool or lake. These towels take time to dry up so it is lovely to have a nice fresh towel waiting for you when you get out of the shower or bath. Some complete pros have even brought a collapsable clothes horse to dry all their sandy bits and bobs on.
While we provide torches and lanterns in your tent, having a head torch in a set place (by the door) is super useful for any midnight trips to the loo or if you have to try to find something and need both hand for rummaging. It is also useful for reading while the little ones are already asleep.
Eye mask & ear plugs
A common misunderstanding by city folk is that the countryside is peaceful and quiet. Not so. The birds like seeing the day in with beautiful symphony sung at the top of their lungs and in the summer this can be early. The sheep follow soon after as do the cockerels. It is a spectacular and life-affirming scene but if you have got a little carried away at the fireside the night before it is worth having BYO darkness and some noise-cancelling earphones…
One of the most magical features of a bell tent is enjoying lounging in bed and watching the shadows of the trees playing against the canvas. You really want to persuade your kids to stick around for as long as possible so bring books they can read quietly while you enjoy the sounds of nature in dreamy slumber. If your kids are too restless, open the flaps of your tent and watch ‘nature TV’.