Review: Glamping At Woolley Grange
Kids, young (naïve) and adaptable as they are, love camping. Adults, old (grumpy) and wise, as we are, hate it. Why sleep outside when the indoors has warm, comfy beds? Why pack up your car until it’s bursting at the seams (but still missing several vital components to erect a watertight tent) and drive to a muddy field when you could pack a chic overnight bag and drive to a luxury country hotel and be thoroughly spoilt? The thrill of the great outdoors, you say? Waking to the sound of birdsong with the first morning light, you say? Watching the kids delight in toasted marshmallows over a firepit, you say. Luxury Family Hotels has launched a glamping collaboration with the Pop-Up Hotel at Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon to please both camps and we arrived as the last guide rope was hammered in to test out the concept, a week before opening weekend. The Great British weather also showed up…
Glamping At Woolley Grange Hotel Review
The Pop-Up Hotel launched its first luxury camping accommodation at Glastonbury a decade ago in 2011 and ever since has been one of the leading transient hotel providers in the country. From celebrity weddings to luxury festivals, their largest pop-up to date accommodated 8,000 guests so this latest venture is not their biggest project, but it is by no means their least ambitious. How do you recreate a glamping experience within the grounds of a luxury hotel, so that guests can make the most of the facilities while still feeling like they are experiencing the great outdoors? Woolley Grange provided the perfect solution, housing eight luxury glamping suites in a private field nestled next to the hotel’s main playing fields but surrounded by trees to provide privacy and create the feeling of exclusivity and emersion in nature. The suites are comprised of two bedrooms and a bathroom with hot showers and plenty of space, with one comfy double bed and two singles for the kids, plus a lounge area inside and a spacious deck for taking in the sun or sheltering under the canopy roof from the elements. Comfy beds, cosy armchairs, fluffy towels, fresh flowers from the hotel gardens and hotel robes; it’s camping, but not as you know it.
The suites are perfect for enjoying the British summer, but if the weather doesn’t play ball (on our visit there was apocalyptic rain and gale-force winds), the nights will be cold. Surrounded by luxury, it’s easy to forget you are still sleeping under a canvas roof, but you’ll want to pack your thermals for layering, although the team will stock your beds with hot water bottles before you hit the hay, ensuring a cosy night’s sleep.
The food at Woolley Grange is always one of the main appeals. With a menu that increasingly incorporates fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown within the grounds themselves, going green comes naturally to this countryside gem. Glamping guests will have the option to book into the hotel restaurants (indeed, the Wind in the Willows afternoon tea is a treat not to be missed, for adults or children) but the Hideout café erected to stand behind the glamping suites is open from 11am serving delicious camping-appropriate cuisine to be enjoyed alfresco or in a comfortable laid-back restaurant set-up. Think paella, BBQ, salads made with vegetables from the kitchen gardens and stone-baked pizzas, plus anything you fancy from the hotel’s kitchen if nothing takes your fancy.
Start your morning on the terrace with a breakfast hamper of pastries, overnight oats (a must-try) and bagels plus flasks of (strong) coffee and fresh juice. All can be enjoyed in peace, while your kids jump straight back into playing with their new friends made toasting marshmallows over the fire pit the night before.
All of the Luxury Family Hotels are designed with kids at the forefront, and the glamping experience at Woolley Grange is no different. The gorgeous grounds in front of the main hotel, connected directly to the glamping field, are packed with activities to keep kids entertained for hours, from football pitches to table tennis, tree swings and pond fishing. A stay in one of the glamping suites includes access to all hotel facilities, including 90 minutes of childcare each day and access to the indoor and outdoor swimming pools (bookable in advance for Covid-safe slots), the spa and treatment rooms and hotel babysitting service. The hotels staff are second to none and the childcare provision is outstanding, so recover from your alfresco night’s sleep and early rise with a massage in the hotel’s top-class spa, safe in the knowledge that the kids are happy.
THE FINAL WORD
This year the staycation reigns supreme and this glamping experience is the ultimate way to give the kids the camping trip of their dreams, without sacrificing your own holiday to the gods of mud. Pack your woolly socks, pull on your woolly hat and book your stay at Woolley Grange’s greatest summer adventure to date (and quickly, because it’s selling out fast).
Luxury Family Hotels collaboration with The Pop-Up Hotel will start from 24 May 2021 and run until September 2021 | Rates start from £375 for one night on a B&B basis (midweek, term time), rising to £575 per night on a B&B basis for peak summer dates | Prices are based on four or five people sharing a suite, with a two-night minimum stay during peak periods | For bookings, please telephone 020 8076 5555 or visit woolleygrangehotel.co.uk
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