A few years ago mention the word camping to me and I would have run a mile. Now as life has become so busy and with two girls in tow the thought of some down time (no Netflix , no Snapchat and a chance to let the battery on my phone run flat) suddenly seemed so appealing. The chance to enjoy some quality time together with no modern world distractions… yes please!
Now when I say camping, I actually mean ‘glamping’ and as I discovered during my weekend at Home Farm Glamping these days staying in a tent can be just as luxurious and comfortable as many hotel rooms, just with twice the fun and freedom.
From the moment I arrived at Home farm I felt like someone had just handed me back a slice of my childhood remembering the simple things that I had forgotten I enjoyed so much. Even unpacking the car and popping the bags into the wheelbarrows that the site kindly provides turned in to a game as we took it in turns to have wheelbarrow races and tip each other out mid sprint.
The Bell Tent we had was spacious and decorated using upcycled apple crates and vintage furniture - so up my street, complete with a cosy double bed with duvet and pristine white cotton sheets. Nosign of a man-made fibre sleeping bag or a roll mat and with fully heated indoor showers and flushing loos just a short stroll away, sockets for hair dryers, warm blankets for snuggling round the campfire, hot water for tea and coffee and ice for the cocktails any apprehension I had about camping/glamping was soon forgotten.
Before I knew it the kids had found new friends and I was in the main barn toasting marshmallows around the fire pit, glass of red wine in hand chatting away to the other glampers like old friends. That’s the great thing about glamping, take away all the modern day influences like mobile phones and iPads that were designed to make communication easier and strangely enough we all remember how to be social and have fun the ‘old school way’, ‘in person’ and it’s so refreshing.
Now other than all the fun that you can have at Home Farm Glamping, the campfires, the option for a home cooked supper, the stunning local walks, the freedom and space for the kids to run around, what really sold it to me was how close it was to London. My girls and I love exploring London and all it has to offer but hate the stuffy constraints of over priced hotel rooms.
Home Farm is about 7 minutes drive from Stanmore Tube which meant after a campfire cooked breakfast and a few cups of coffee we could hot foot it to the big smoke and explore. It literally is two holiday experiences for the price of one. I parked at Stanmore tube and within 25 minutes we were enjoying exploring Hampstead. You would not normally associate a trip to our Capital with a glamping holiday but this unique location makes that totally possible. This is the place to come if you want to escape London but can't face the thought of a three hour Friday night drive or crowded, expensive train. No need for a car, you can grab your overnight bag and a few bottles of wine, hop on the tube or overland straight from work and be toasting a marshmallow in 40 minutes!
Staying in hotels with kids when there is a big group of you can be fraught with tension, ensuring they don’t disturb others when running up and down the corridor burning off their endless energy and keeping the noise down. Glamping solves all of these issues and they can enjoy healthy fresh air and run wild in the fields doing the things that children should do, snail races, building bases and playing ‘chase’ while the adults can all just relax, chat and share a bottle of two of wine – without having to take out a second mortgage for the price of a bottle of house wine in a hotel.
So am I now a convert to Glamping? You bet ya! I am already planning my next trip with friends, something about the fresh air and the simplicity of things is addictive. I came home with a stow-away slug in my washbag as a souvenir and made some amazing memories with my girls. Time to unplug and chat over a campfire making the most of quality time with no interruptions. Sometimes with our busy lives and our quest for luxury breaks we forget the simple things in life are what gives us the most pleasure… Now, who’s up for a wheelbarrow race?
Hope you get the glamping bug soon!
Lots of love,