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

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