Has anyone done 'glamping' / Featherdown Farm type things?

(23 Posts)
BeCool Wed 04-Sep-13 10:24:29

Ob that is deffo glamping! smile
Sounds really really lovely - do you rent out your caravan wink?

The advantage of the farm stay I did is I don't need to buy any kit or store anything. I love camping but I have no where at all to store any tents or gear, and I doubt I could get it in my very small car even if I could store it.

Oblomov Mon 02-Sep-13 18:49:05

I wonder what, Op, you consider to be Glamping?
I only ask, because we have just returned from 10 nights. Our friends next door, have been there for 3 weeks.
We both have caravans, awnings, gazebos, fridges to store wine. There are hot showers, a washing machine, boiling hot water to wash your dishes. We want for little. You could go anywhere and glamp, surely?

BeCool Mon 02-Sep-13 15:58:45

So here is my quick review of our 7 days glamping in a large tent.

It was just me and the 2 DC. I separated from X at Xmas and was in desperate need of a good relax. There were some "luxurious" elements – lovely shower, flushing loo, hot running water everywhere, the wood burning fire/stove, comfy beds and bedding, nice furniture, wooden flooring etc. We slept well.

But it was a tent – a really large spacious large lovely tent, with a large covered porch.

There were just two tents where we stayed on a huge fenced field. It was so lovely that the DC could just run wild in so much space. The field was on a quiet country road - bit of traffic but not much. There was a chicken coop and we could help ourselves to fresh eggs daily. The DC loved that and I now have a fried egg habit.

Locally there was lots to do – the beach, the heated lido in nearby village, Bewilderwood, a camel far/play park, hanging out with other kids on the campsite.

I loved it – would thoroughly recommend it as a holiday and I will do it again. I prefer the tent to a cottage – cottages are lovely, but for a holiday the different experience and more outdoor aspect was amazing. The DC simply loved it (even though there was no TV - not one complaint about that).

Oh & getting Waitrose to deliver our holiday shop to the tent was inspired!!!!

TenToWine Wed 21-Aug-13 15:33:25

We have been to FF twice (large group - 4 or 5 families) and more recently to another glamping place (tipis in Sussex) - just us - which we found on the cool camping website. We loved both. There was probably a little more to do on-site at FF (eg feeding animals) but I am not sure that it is worth the extra cost compared to other glamping places (when we first went to FF it was a while back and there were not so many other options). I would def try other places from Cool camping or canopy and stars if we wanted to do something similar again.

Cannot compare to "normal" camping as I could not deal with the faff.

BeCool Wed 21-Aug-13 14:27:47

Right the Waitrose delivery will arrive on site just after we arrive. OMG I just love some aspects of modern life!!!

Nearly all the packing is done - we have a VW Polo and I have to take a buggy so not much room.

Sandyballs have Ready Tents which look good for semi glamping. All you need to bring is your sleeping stuff.

BeCool Sun 18-Aug-13 01:34:36

Ill report back. 6 more sleeps till were there.

Ooooh, report back both of you please? Especially BeCool - mine will be 5 and 2 next summer so you can be my research :-)

BeCool Fri 16-Aug-13 23:54:17

I'm going to a small family run place (2 tents) with a 5 & 2 yo next Friday! excited smile

Edendance Fri 16-Aug-13 20:11:32

I'm off with my boyfriend and another couple who are friends of ours for a long weekend in October with featherdown farms and we thought it was really cheap! We're doing Friday to Monday on their stewpot weekend and its £240 for all of us for the weekend and that includes 2 meals for all of us as well! It does get a lot more expensive when you add in the extra bits and pieces though.

The family I nanny for are going for a week in September too funnily enough! Though as none of us have actually been yet I can't actually offer any thoughts :-/ but I can write it up when back! It's definitely the sort of thing I'd love to do with my own children I think!! (I say all this now in ignorance of course!)

Littlepaleale Tue 13-Aug-13 16:23:04

FF gets a huge thumbs up from us. It's in no way camping, but gets the kids outside all day and they love it.

I'm sure it is overpriced and you could get better value with other companies but we've been three years running (with weather ranging from torrential rain to blazing sunshine) and had a great time each year.

Tents are well equipped. Next year we'll bring the couple of things to make it a little easier: little gas stove (so you're not dependent on the wood stove for an early morning cuppa) and, lots of freezer ice-packs for the cold box in the tent (farms provide frozen hot water bottles but in our experience, these are in short supply and take an age to freeze).

To answer your question about how we spent our time... it's been a mixture of pottering about on the farms and day trips out. There's plenty to do and smaller children 2-8 have had plenty to keep themselves busy running around between the tents. The farmers have all been really friendly and helpful and have shown the children round, let them collect eggs etc.

Have fun wherever you end up going!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 16:21:25

If you are on Facebook, consider signing up to Cool Camping's facebook page. They seem to get quite a lot of discounts to various glamping sites coming through - I am always getting status updates with one deal or another (regular camping ones too).

we did these:

http://www.insideoutcamping.co.uk/

Lovely yurts - fully equipped, indoor stove, outdoor bbq.

little wood burner indoors too - very little time spent doing camp chores - loads of time free to explore the lakes smile

turkeyboots Tue 13-Aug-13 15:20:22

I like Featherdown Farms. It's not camping as I recall it, the only chore if keeping the wood burner going. It's more like a electric free holiday cottage.

If you stay away from Devon and Cornwall it is cheaper too.

hillbilly Tue 13-Aug-13 15:12:17

But you would say that Nettle wink - only joking!

We went to a FF in Lancashire a few years ago and chose one of the cheapest weekends which still cost £300 for 3 nights. It was about 4 years ago at the time that DH needed a gentle nudge into the world of camping and it worked. I agree with Nettle that you will probably get more varied choice on Canopy & Stars as there are so many more places offering the glamping type of thing now.

I would definitely say that FF is hugely overpriced and there was a thread last year from someone who had a bad experience with their customer service although I'm sure they have many happy customers, including us. Having said that, I would not go again.

Spend the money on a tent and basic kit and then sell it all on Ebay if you don't like it grin

Marlinspike Tue 13-Aug-13 15:11:16

We've just come back from a weekend glamping here : Secret Meadows Suffolk Now it's not cheap, but the tents are truly luxurious, and have everything you need to self cater. There is a proper shower and loo attached to each tent. Being objective I would summarise camping vs glamping as follows:
GLAMPING
+It's all set up for you - no wrestling your tent up or down
+ the tents are fantastically well equipped, so no need to fill your car with boxes upon boxes of sleeping bags / pillows / cooking equipment and utensils
+ proper beds make for a good night's sleep!

- lacks the authenticity of camping
- pricey

The site we stayed on is on a 130 acre nature reserve which you can roam through. There's only 6 lodge tents, and they're really well spaced, so you have complete privacy. You cook using a wood burning stove, and you are left ample wood / lighters / matches for the duration of your stay (there's more available in the on site "honesty shop", which is well stocked with excellent quality local produce). There's also a BBQ. Each lodge tent has an inside and outside dining area, and a hammock - oh, and you can "rent" 2 chickens for the duration of your stay, which would be great fun for younger kids.

There are workshops on the site (bird box building / nature walks etc). All in all we had a fantastic time!

Damnautocorrect Tue 13-Aug-13 15:04:35

I have it's amazing, take lots of candles. It's not an 'easy' holiday as in you have to get the fire going for a morning brew but its amazing and beautiful.
Funnily enough I was looking at c and s last night, some of the yurts look gorgeous and yes better value.

NettleTea Tue 13-Aug-13 15:00:11

Nicer because the places are all individual and because the team at C&S have visited each site and if you called up with your requirements they would know exactly which place was right for you.
Nicer because alot more of your money gets to the people who own the sites, and I think the prices are better for what you get.

Ah thank you - I'd never even heard of that one.

Can I ask what makes it nicer? Having no experience of either (and having not even heard of C&S) I just wondered in which way is it better? Price? Accommodation? Type of farm? More or less rustic etc? Or just a general impression from the website?

I've had a wee browse now but am doing it on my phone whilst tending to a not-sleeping baby so will have a proper look when I get on the computer.....

NettleTea Mon 12-Aug-13 22:44:46

Try having a look on Canopy and Stars. much much nicer than Featherdown imo

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 12-Aug-13 20:50:56

I haven't done this myself but waa talking to someone the other day who stayed on a Featherdown Farm recently. Her view was that it was very expensive for what it was.

She did say they didn't have great weather and that can affect how you feel about somewhere but I have looked at their website and it does look quite expensive.

I do wonder whether the money spent on a trip like this would be better spent on a nice tent (a bell tent perhaps grin) and some gear so you can have lots of family trips away doing your own thing.

I know this might not technically fall under 'camping' but I've not had any answer in the 'UK' section so thought I'd try here.....

Just looking at the website for Featherdown farms and wondered whether anyone had any experience or recommendations for this (or this sort of thing)?

I suppose I'm interested to know how each day panned out - how much was spent doing camping type 'chores' vs what did you do with the rest of your day? Would you recommend it?

We have 2 ds's who will be 5 and 2 next summer and we've never camped so don't have any equipment type stuff. I'm not against camping though as an idea and both me and DH have camped when younger (or when we were kids!) - we just don't have our own kit now.

So that's another question actually - what kit would we need?

Any / all advice gratefully received...... smile

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