My First Glamping Trip

One of my 50 Fabulous Things

March 2016

So what exactly is “glamping”?

glamping
ˈɡlampɪŋ/
a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
“glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”

Glamping is that escape you’ve been meaning to take. It’s that little break from the hustle and bustle. Glamping accommodations vary but, the most common types of glamping includes, airstreams, caravans, barns, farmhouses, cabins, pods, domes, cubes, eco lodges, huts, yurts, tents, tipis, villas and tree houses.

Our first trip in our new caravan, over the Easter weekend, was to a camping site in Priddy, near Wells in Somerset, set right in the heart of the Mendhips. We were staying at the Cheddar Mendip Heights.

Mendhips heights, Priddy

We arrived around lunch time, and had a warm friendly welcome from the owners of the site, who showed us to our pitch for the next few days. We quickly set about levelling out the caravan, then filling up water reservoirs and hitching up to the electric. It was a  beautiful sunny day.

Having realised we needed a fuse for the flushing system for the porta loo, and a back up radiator, as the one we had arrived with wasn’t working, we headed off to Wells and Shepton Mallet. Once back on site we headed off to the local pub the Queen Victoria for a late lunch, early dinner.

Queen Vic, Priddy, Wells Somerset

The Queen Vic was heaving when we arrived, the pub gardens were over flowing with local families and walkers which were all brought out by the warm sunny weather.

Quenn Vic, Priddy, Ploughmans

A nice ice cold local Somerset cider and a huge plougmans was just too inviting. The pub inside had several log fires and an open fire, low ceilings, and a great atmosphere. We can see why people come from miles around to pay a visit.

Queen Vic, Priddy,

Early evening we wondered back to the site, and had a pleasant evening, playing cards and scrabble whilst enjoying a glass of red or two. The Somerset sky even graced us with stunning sunset!

Somerset sunset

During the night I woke briefly aware of the wind and rain outside but was surprised at how sturdy the caravan felt. I was convinced it might of been rocking a bit. I slept surprisingly well.

mendips heights, priddy, wet weather

The next morning wasn’t looking so bright, very foggy and wet! We decided that we would pay a visit to Wookey Caves, as it was likely to be a bit dryer underground!

Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset

Wookey Hole Caves are a site of special scientific interest for both biological and geological reasons. The cave is noted for the Witch of Wookey Hole – a roughly human shaped stalagmite that legend says is a witch turned to stone by a monk from Glastonbury. It has also been used as a location for film and television productions. The River Axe also flows through the cave.

Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset, rock formation in new cave

The caves were pretty impressive.  I would of liked longer to have look around, but you can only view the caves with a guided tour. The price was reasonable if you were a family with young kids, as there was amusement attractions that could of killed quite a few hours, but as adults only, the price in reflection was quite high if you only wanted to view the caves.  We stopped off at the gift shop though and brought ourselves a slice of Cave Matured vintage Cheddar.

After viewing the caves we took a drive out to Cheddar, and had a wander up and down the street looking at the local shops.

River running through CheddarThe weather was still very wet and quite chilly. With that done we set off to Wells to go and view the Cathedral and Vicars Close.

Wells Cathedral.

Wells CathedralThe present Cathedral was begun about 1175 on a new site to the north of an old minster church. Wells is the first cathedral in England to be, from its foundation, built in the Gothic style.

Chapter House stepsWells clock, Wells Cathedral

 

Chapter House steps is among the most photographed area of any cathedral and the building itself, octagonal in shape, is delicately decorated with sculpture.

The famous Wells clock is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain, a to survive in original condition and still in use.

The Scissor Arches
The Scissor Arches
Jesse window Wells Cathedral
The Jesse Window

Wells Catherdral

Vicars’ Close, is claimed to be the oldest purely residential street with original buildings surviving intact in Europe, mid-14th century. Each house in the quadrangle was designed to accommodate one vicar.

Vicars' Close,

We didn’t get a chance to walk around Bishop’s Palace, as by the time we had stepped outside the Cathedral and walked around to Vicars Close the heavens had opened. In the short space of time it took to walk back to the car we were soaked through and figured the best place to go and dry off was in front of the open fire at the Queen Vic.

We weren’t the only ones that had got caught out in the rain, there was a huge group of students who had been rambling drying off too.  We spent several hours making sure we completely dry before heading back to the caravan for the evening.

Sunday morning, was again a little wet, but we had intermittent blue skies so were hopefully it might of been a drier day. We were heading off to Shepton Mallet first thing to a large flea market in Bath Showground. Not as many stalls as we had hoped, but I think the predicted weather had put a few stall holders off if they were taking outside stalls. There were still quite a few inside which we spent several hours browsing around.

After the market we headed over to Kilver Court Designer Village and gardens. Stopped off in cafe for a cream tea, before wandering around the shops and gardens.

Cream Tea

2016-03-27 13.23.10sml

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In the afternoon we went of a magical mystery tour on route to Weston-super-Mare and Burnham on Sea.

Weston-super-Mare
Weston-super-Mare Beach

Storm Katie had kit the headlines this weekend, with predicted wind speeds of 70-80 miles an hour hitting the South-East, by 8pm Sunday evening she was heading in, heavy rain and winds battered the caravan. Thorughout the night I woke several times aware that the wind and rain hadn’t let up but around 4am, Storm Katie was at her strongest, I dread to think what the wind speeds were but the caravan was a rocking! We both just tucked ourselves further under the bed covers, silently hoping that we would be fine. I remember a  scene crossed my mind from Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and Toto get whisked away up into the storm but I must of dozed off again.

Come morning Lee went out to do a perimeter check on the caravan, for any missing items or damage, all was OK. Around lunch time we head off home.

I can safely say we harden caravaners now having braved the storm! I had great fun and am looking forward to the next trip.

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