Ohh this sounds a little bit too dramatic. Our glamping in a treehouse adventure in one of the English sites didn’t require any survival skills. While England and the UK in general might seem like a good place for camping and glamping – picturesque landscapes, lots of greenery, good infrastructure – there is one thing to consider!
I bet you know what it it.
But let’s start from the beginning.
What is glamping?
“Glamping is a combination of “glamorous” and “camping” and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping.” Thanks Wikipedia. It became popular among those who are looking to spend an adventure time closer to nature, but are not really keen on sleeping in a tent or a camper van. So you will usually stay in a hut, in a yurt, in a tipi, in some sort of vintage trailer. Or in a treehouse. And you’ll have easy access to a shower, a toilet and electricity.
After months in lockdown and ‘Rona still hanging around, glamping sounded like a perfect idea for a little getaway.
Glamping in a treehouse in Brook House Woods.
In July 2020, after first lockdown ended, longing for some greenery, fresh air, freedom or basically anything that didn’t concern being locked in a city apartment 24/7, I was on a hunt for unique outdoor stays. And since camping is not really my thing, I thought that glamping would meet all my “freedom” requirements, without sacrificing my need for using straighteners to do those beachy waves. Sustainability of the searched for place was an additional bonus. So I was super happy when I came across Brook House Woods.
Located in England’s Herefordshire, not far from the famous Cotswolds, Brook House Woods offers 65 acres of peace and quiet thanks to its secluded woodland surroundings. The hosts, Penny, Will and Loki the dog moved to Brook House from London in 2016 to study wood craft from a specialist in this field – Mike Abbott. When he decided to retire, he suggested the idea of Will and Penny taking over his Living Wood workshop – famous among woodwork enthusiasts. Will and Penny took Brook House to another level. They expanded the business by building a variety of accommodation for guests to rent. Using lumber from the Brook House Wood itself and almost completely with their own hands, they built 4 cabins, a Hobbit Hut, a yurt and the place where we stayed – the Goji – a berry shaped tent hanging from a tree.
To be completely honest I was more keen on glamping in one of the cabins, but since they were all booked up, we decided to reserve the Goji. And I have to admit…
Glamping in a treehouse as unique as Goji was a great experience.
Suspended between two ash and an oak, the red tree tent Goji was definitely the most eccentric place I’ve slept in. Despite its compact look and the fact that it shakes every time you move, it was very comfortable inside. Goji was equipped with 2 single beds that fold up into sofas during the day, a wood burner, desk and loads of storage under the beds. The roof was entirely glass so at night you could lie in bed looking at the stars. During the day, you could chill on the deckchairs overlooking the Malvern Hills…which we didn’t have a chance to do for a long time because of the…we’ll get back to that.
Goji also had a private compost toilet, shower with a view of the woods and private kitchen with a little dining area where we spent most of our time hanging out in front of the fire. There was hot water and electricity so we were preparing our meals by ourselves (although there was a possibility to order hot home-cooked meals) and making lots of hot tea. By the way, having a shower in a wooden “bathroom” and running around the forest only covered with a towel, or even without it – best experience ever.
And it’s all eco-friendly!
The best thing about Goji and Brook House Woods in general is their dedication to making everything as sustainable as possible. All the accommodation is powered by solar systems. The water comes from a bore hole on the farm which is particle filtered and UV treated avoiding harsh chemical treatment. All the cleaning and washing products are biodegradable, including the recycled toilet paper. And as I mentioned before, all the structures were made using locally grown wood from coppiced woodlands.
It all sounds awesome, right?
And yes, it was a cool experience and in general we had a nice time. We went on a few walks around the area, we saw beer hops hanging on the vines, we visited a local cider mill: Little Pomona. But one thing influenced our enjoyment in a rather negative way. And I’m sure you already know what that was…
You’d think that the weather in July, even if it is in England, would be rather warm. Unfortunately it wasn’t. I guess we had bad luck, or you know…just classic England. It was simply cold. And rainy. With temperatures oscillating between 10 and 12 degrees, maybe 14 (50-57 Fahrenheit). Even lower at night. So no sunbathing, no chilling with a book, no…sitting still, because you had to keep moving. We literally had 2 hours of sun and higher temperature, when we took most of the pictures (don’t let them deceive you, I was cold) and that was it. Luckily the kitchen area was covered, so most of the time we were hanging around the fire, that we had fun chopping wood for.
Even though we checked the weather in advance and it didn’t seem so bad at the time, when you have to be outside all the time, the cold will finally get you. Hence we were simply not prepared for such bad weather conditions. If we packed more hoodies, jumpers or even winter coats (although wearing a winter coat in Summer – probably not the best holiday fun), we’d be more comfortable.
That’s why, since some of you might go glamping in a treehouse this summer, I thought it would be a good idea to pass on some wisdom, so you don’t make the same mistakes we did.
How to survive glamping in a treehouse in England?
Or in an equally cold country.
If you camp/glamp a lot, some of those tips will sound silly and juvenile. But if you’re new to it, like I was, I hope you find them useful.
1. Check the weather in Advance and prepare for the worst scenario.
Weather changes like…the governments lockdown rules. It might surprise you in a good or a bad way. Even if the forecast serves you well, you have to be ready for a sudden change for the worse. And the opposite. Additionally, being in the woods, or in the fields, or at the seaside, in general – in nature, for longer and not having a proper shelter (a house with heating), can add to your perception of the cold. That’s why you need to…
2. Pack warm clothes.
Hoodies, sweaters, sweatpants, jumpers, warm pyjamas, warm socks… And even a winter jacket. I’m not joking. I really wish I had one back then. My comfort of sitting by the fire would be way bigger. And if you’re going with a car, there’s no problem with taking all the clothes you might possibly need – for hot and cold weather.
3. DOn’t forget about A waterproof jacket.
Going for a walk in the forest in a waterproof jacket is way more pleasant than walking with an umbrella. So if you own one, don’t forget to throw it in your luggage.
4. Take wellies or waterproof shoes.
There are no pavements in the middle of the forest! Shocking, ha? It obviously depends on where your glamping site is located, but with Brook House being in secluded woodland, I wore my wellies all the time! High, wet grass and mud – no sneakers would survive there. Even if you don’t use them for strolling through the woods, you’ll be always ready for when the rain comes.
5. Grab a blanket.
That’s the one thing I really wish we had taken. Not even for covering ourselves at night, because the duvets in our Goji were super thick and warm, but to have something warm to place on the chairs. Sitting on a cold metal chair the whole time wasn’t very pleasant. Plus you can use it for different purposes.
6. Bring a sleeping bag.
If your glamping site provides you with duvets and pillows, I’d say a sleeping bag is not a must. But if you’re worrying that you might be cold at night, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Luckily they are not heavy. Plus you can always cover yourself with it during evenings by the fire.
7. Don’t leave without a torch.
That’s another must have! If you’re glamping in a treehouse in the middle of the woods and you have to go use the toilet (or a bush) in the middle of the night, good luck doing that without a torch. Our glamping site, like probably most of them, had no street lights so after it got dark, a torch was our only source of light. Very, very useful!
8. Bring Bug Repellent
Despite being in the deep forest, there were surprisingly very few bugs around (maybe it was too cold even for them). But bringing Citronella or any other natural bug repellent can’t hurt. You’ll be protected in case some nasty mosquitos decide to crash your party.
9. Buy easy to prepare and easy to heat food.
The best in one saucepan. While many of the glamping sites probably offer food, if you want to live the full nature adventure, you can cook for yourself. Check if the place you’re planning on going provides pans, pots, plates, cutlery and most importantly – a stove, and buy food accordingly. Toast with peanut butter and fruits, pasta with sauce, or a pre-made sloppy burger (vegan of course) are perfect meals to prepare in the woods. You might want to take a few tea bags or coffee with you. Again, it’s better to have too much than too little.
10. Don’t forget about a bottle of wine.
Or a few beers, or a bottle of whisky, or pre-made cocktails or whatever you fancy, Well, of course if you drink alcohol. But having something stronger to warm you up in the evening, can also lighten the mood. Hmm, hope it doesn’t sound too…alcoholic. But you know what I mean.
While we are on the topic: bottle opener! Don’t forget to bring one! Otherwise you’ll have to go back to your youth times and open wine with a fork…or whatever your magic trick was.
Alright, I think that’s it. You should be now well prepared for your glamping in a treehouse adventure.
If you’re looking for a place to spend a few days in nature, I really recommend Brook House Woods. Despite the bad weather we had, I think it’s a great place to chillax and escape the bustle of city life. And I’ll always remember those 2 nights in our Goji treehouse.
If glamping isn’t your thing and you prefer city breaks, visit Manchester. Great food, great coffee, post-industrial vibe. And the city is full of photography opportunities. Find the best photo locations in my latest blog post: the best outdoor Instagram-worthy photo locations in Manchester.
If you have any comments or question regarding, feel free to drop them here or hit me up on Instagram.
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