We have been making the most of what was meant to be the 'closed' season, grabbing the opportunity to have a few (OK, in fact close to 300) good friends come and join us just before Christmas for night time drinks in the woods. Along with some good friends, we then moved in to the glamping facilities ourselves to celebrate the New Year ...
Well, it would be slack of us not to personally test the facilities to the full in mid winter!
The yurts, tipi and shepherds hut are kept dry with dehumidifiers and gorgeously warm with radiators and their existing log burners, and hot water bottles kept us all toasty over night. It really is exceptionally nice and cosy. And, as a direct - and unintended - result of that testing, we've decided we're going to open up the Crafty Camping from the 18th January! It just seems crazy not to - the tents are plenty warm enough and the woodland is as wonderfully peaceful this time of year as any other.
We've a special Winter Offer to launch this new idea with - see below for details.
The pre-Christmas event in particular was the perfect opportunity to show lots of people what we have built in the last year, as well as to say thank you to all of those involved in making everything look so beautiful whilst being practical, including our friends at 'Chalk and Cheese', who helped with part-funding for the Crafty Camping project.
Guy Furner was on hand with his hand-reared pigs for the hog roast (it's difficult to imagine fresher or more local produce), along with his wife Vicky who - as seasoned course goers will know - is the head 'Nettlepicker', responsible for our delicious course lunches.
Something Old, Something New
As well as celebrating how well things have developed over the past year, the events in December were also a good opportunity to demonstrate the new safety lighting we've installed on all our paths (to satisfy the powers that be). I have to say we are very pleased with the low level LED lights we're using, that now illuminate the paths and boardwalks as guests walk by, before turning off again.
The bright pink lighting for the parachutes for the big get-together was rather less subtle but I promise that these were a one off for Christmas!
And talking of parachutes, new ones have been installed and the older ones have been cleaned, patched and reassembled. The Woodland Workshop's canopies are now looking and working better than ever in what must be, at least, Design Development No 10, over some eight years of using parachutes for shelter.
Over the years a real favourite for me has become the lovely experience of hearing rain on the silk whilst sitting on one of our course chairs round the central fire pits, all polished off with a slice of home-made pizza. Bliss.
A Winter Offer
As mentioned then, here's a winter offer for anyone feeling a little adventurous.
Throughout January and February we are offering a 20% discount on the low season price on any camping booking in our yurts, tipi and shepherds hut - that means it's just £80 per night for two.
Furthermore, for January and February only we are relaxing our booking restrictions to allow guests to check in any day of the week, with the minimum stay reduced to two nights. Imagine hiding away with a good book and loved one for a few days with the wood burner fired up, hot water bottles at the ready and a sauna to warm the cockles. Although not exactly in keeping with the surroundings, we are also supplying an electric, plug-in radiator to make absolutely sure your Winter wonderland experience is as toasty as you could possibly want.
So, if you fancy an off-season escape with a difference, come on down and experience the peace of Crafty Camping in the woods.
(Of course, weather conditions are unfortunately beyond our control. Although we can assure you of warmth and cosiness in your accommodation, if there is an extreme frost or snow then the water pipes may freeze in your en suite bathroom. We will do our best to ensure that this doesn't happen but rest assured that if it does, the communal loos, woven willow hot shower and sauna yurt will stay open and working.)
Spring Is Soon
If you can't make a break in January or February, do bear in mind that the dates in Spring particularly are starting to get booked up, with groups of friends taking over all seven tents for quite a few weekends already. So, as usual, do book up soon if you have plans to come down to stay at a specific time.
Of course, we're not just about camping! Our two hour 'Have a Go' courses are proving popular through the winter, as are the private tuition days, and with just over 12 weeks to go before the first of the coming season's fully catered group courses, now is the time to secure your place before they are full.
As ever, you can choose between two-day Bowl Carving, Pole Lathe & Green Woodworking or Spoon Carving, or the five day Make A Chair From A Tree course.
That's it for now. I do hope I've convinced you to try some winter camping so you can get to enjoy the woods at this lovely time of year. If it turns really cold I'm not going to stop any hardy types who fancy leaping out from the sauna into a snow drift!
Guy and the team