On those rare occasions when you and your other half find yourselves free for the weekend, what do you do? Where do you go? It was this kind of ‘blue-sky thinking’ that led the way to our next adventure…
It’s late December and the excitement of Christmas is just dying down, the last thing I expected my boyfriend to suggest was Glamorous Camping – glamping! Luckily my curiosity for adventure got the better of me and I was easily persuaded to head to Shaftsbury, to the Dorset Country Holiday and Events Park. Being in the heart of the English winter it was easy to swindle the cost down for two nights of glamping, especially as on arrival we realised we were probably the only guests for that particular weekend. We were pleased with the facilities including the toilet and shower blocks, which were always clean and the showers were ideal for warming us up in the morning. I must also mention the Park Warden, Ken, and his wife Jude, who make sure everything is organised for new arrivals and both live onsite at the park. When we turned up, it was late evening, and pitch black, yet Ken was waiting for us and all we could see was the warm glow of our glamping pod lit up. Ken and Jude went out of their way for us that weekend, lending us guide books on the surrounding area, making us hot water when ours would take time to boil on the camping stove, a truly generous and welcoming couple that made our trip all the more enjoyable!
Dorset itself has so much to offer, you have your quintessential English beaches like Swanage and Lulworth Cove, with the historic Corfe Castle nearby, and not forgetting Dorset’s famous Steam Railway great for family days out whatever the weather. For something a little different you can visit the famous Giant located in Cerne Abbas, a large male form sketched into the hill side. A place where tradition states women and men go to mate for a higher chance of producing children.
Shaftesbury is just down the road from the holiday park and it had plenty to offer when it was time to find food. We decided to pick Mitre, at 7 o’clock on a cold Winters evening; this lovely pub and restaurant was perfect for what we needed. The friendly staff were helpful, offering good advice when ordering food and sitting us in a cosy corner of the pub in large leather armchairs next to the roaring open fire. They also recommended we visit again during the day just so we can enjoy the view from their balcony seating, which Mitre was well known for. It was heaven, and although a little pricey the food was more than satisfying and just what we needed before we headed back to our pod for the night.
The pod itself was everything and more, with a comfortable double bed, heaters, fridge, and TV with Free view. When you can’t be without your hair straighteners for too long this pod was just right! We also brought our own thick winter duvet to keep out the cold; and along with the heaters warming up the pod, it was spot on. The real excitement with our particular pod was the large clear circular dome in the roof, all set for some spectacular star-gazing. On a clear night, there was little light pollution and the night sky was illuminated with glittering stars. Whether it was whilst tucked up in bed or sat around the fire pit you could easily spend all night pointing out different constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. It certainly made an exciting change from a hotel room!
Our spontaneous weekend away was a welcome break, trying something we had never done, getting away from the ‘everyday’ and making the most of the time we had together. I would whole-heartedly recommend a spot of glamping anytime of year. For 2014 we intend to make a conscious effort to live every day to the full. Time is precious!