IN POD WE TRUST
went glamping in the Lincolnshire wilderness and it was far more luxurious than you’d expect
IF YOU are someone who has always liked the idea of going camping – the romantic notion of sleeping under the stars, cuddled up to your nearest and dearest, sipping hot chocolate or something a little stronger, toasting marshmallows on a camp fire – but never braved it because the thought of trekking across a field at three in the morning to go to the toilet has put you off, then read on.
Glamping is a craze that’s been around a while now and the number of places you can do it seems to be on the increase.
I was challenged to spend a couple of days in the Lincolnshire countryside to see if things had changed in the six years or so since my last glamping experience on the banks of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.
As someone who was lucky enough to do a fair bit of camping in my younger years, trotting off to all parts of France on the bank of mum and dad, accompanied by my younger brother who would be issued with the task of fetching fresh French bread in the morning, the thought of ‘slumming’ it doesn’t faze me – I’ve been there before.
However, given that I’m now approaching my mid-30s, I’ve developed into someone who likes his creature comforts and I want my shower within a second’s walk – hence the attraction of glamping.
Wigwam’s Millside is on the side of a small farm in the quintessential English village of Barkston, a stone’s throw from Grantham and barely an episode of Peter Kay’s Car Share away from Nottingham.
This little diamond is nestled down a country lane, and feels as though it is in the middle of nowhere. It is just yards from the banks of the River Witham, too.
The folks behind Millside, Steve and Fiona, have created a lovely little haven of six wigwams facing onto the sprawling countryside, with only sheep and cows for company, music to the ears of my travelling companions.
There are varying degrees of glamping. Some are blessed with toilet and shower facilities, others are not – ours was the former, a mini-lodge which wanted for nothing.
Inside, you’ve got a double bed which is more than adequate for a couple of nights and beats a rolled-up piece of foam on the deck.
There’s a sofa which can be used as a clothes rack or a place to watch the TV, or popped out to sleep on, should the need arise, and even USB ports for all your different devices.
You get half a kitchen, which includes fridge, double-hob, and all the bits you need for making yourself a morning brew, or whipping up a quick meal, plus plenty of storage space. Perfect if, like me, you don’t travel particularly lightly.
The bathroom has ample space inside and a corner shower, which was more powerful than one at one of my previous homes.
There is a television attached to the wall, though I’m not sure why you’d want to use it when there’s so much natural beauty outside.
Talking of outside, the spacious field is ideal for adults to frolic about, or those with children to entertain, and there’s a picnic bench just off the decking area which demands you eat al fresco.
We were also well looked after with a fire pit and all the stuff you need to get those marshmallows cooking.
The only thing missing from the occasion was probably some comfy chairs and a hot tub. I’m nit-picking of course.
Those who have put these pods together have thought of everything. They’re well made, solid, cosy and very homely.
The area is quiet and because you’re at the end of the road, the only traffic you have is the odd car going in and out of the farm. It’s bliss.
We were blessed with some of the finest weather of the year to date, which made sitting outside and the walks in the immediate vicinity more than pleasurable.
There’s a lodge at the main entrance to the site which has pool, table football and air hockey, along with a sofa and plenty of games to keep the kids occupied, should it rain.
Mercifully, on our trip, there was no hint of the wet stuff which only added to the overall feeling of wellbeing that Millside generated.
In the quaint little village of Barkston, you will find the Stag pub a handy 15-minute walk from Millside and well worth the stroll.
With the prospect of a pint of Sunchaser at the end of it followed by a delightful meal, this walk is definitely worth taking.
In the immediate area, there’s Syston Farm Shop, which be aware is closed on Mondays.
They serve food, their breakfasts are lovely and they do Sunday lunch too.
You can pick your own asparagus there as well, if you are so inclined.
Grantham is a bustling town, with the river and Wyndham Park. It offers an easy way to spend an afternoon and Grade I listed Belton House and the market town of Newark are not too far away either.
For me, though, I didn’t want to be gallivanting too far. I wanted to kick back and relax, something that Millside was only too willing to make possible.
The pods have plenty of space around them The cosy pod at Wigwam Millside
Enjoy a roaring fire at Millside