Happy New Year from the woods here in deepest Dorset. While we always promise not to bombard our subscribers with no more than one newsletter per month, we only actually managed to publish two in 2014! So, here's to improving on that in 2015 with more regular updates on the goings on here at Crafty Camping and the Woodland Workshop. And do remember that we always announce special offers and new offerings to our newsletter subscribers first.
A Record Year For Romance
Last year was a record year for us, with many more guests than ever before. Thank you, everyone, for all of the fantastic feedback and congratulations to all those who chose our woodland refuge for their marriage proposals, honeymoons and significant birthdays. We always feel very privileged to be chosen as the suitable romantic spot for popping the question; this note in our visitors book in December says it all.
Plenty of bookings are now coming in for 2015: there are eight weekends already fully booked-up. As ever, if you have your heart set on a specific date please do book soon before they all fill up - especially for the more popular weekends and for whole site bookings with groups of friends. And as ever, to ensure staying with us remains as pleasurable as ever, we aim to remain very small and private. Once we're full, we're full.
If you are thinking of coming to stay as a group, we have a total of seven double bedded spaces and those that book the whole site get exclusive use of all the facilities including the sauna yurt, games yurt and field kitchen and pizza oven. It makes for an extra special holiday!
Winter Work And Peaceful Lanes
It's been great to see so many more guests coming back for a winter break this year. The heated towel rails, electric blankets and log burners have been keeping everyone cosy and the sauna getting more use than usual. The usually busy local towns of Bridport and Lyme Regis are wonderfully quiet in the winter months and the views from Pilsden Pen, just ten minutes up the lane, can't be beaten on a crisp winter morning.
The new second TV series of Broadchurch, which started last week, is already proving a magnet for visitors to our part of the country, so the quiet lanes and local attractions are unlikely to be quite so quiet in summer! That said, rest assured that when the beaches and markets are bustling, you can always rely on retreating back to the woods for some serious R&R.
While guests have been relaxing here, we have been busy in-between changeovers - and running courses too. Our winter woodland jobs of scything the brambles, tree safety work and the less popular task of clearing pond weed combine to keep us out of mischief!
There has been one big new addition to our website - a virtual tour of the whole woodland site and inside all of our spaces. This has been produced by our friend Sandy at Panoogle after a massive amount of 360 degree high resolution photography last summer. All these photos have now been painstakingly stitched together and I hope you agree that all the work that's gone in to it gives website visitors a much better feeling of what we have built here in the woods.
Please do let us know your thoughts on this new feature and if you have any problems navigating around the virtual woods. There is a small sub-menu that will take you straight to anywhere you want to explore. Panoogle are very highly recommended and some more information and contact details are available here: www.panoogle.co.uk. You can enjoy the tour via this link:
Our green wood craft courses have been running through the winter with some great spatulas, spoons and bowls being hand made by our hardy winter carvers. I don't think you can beat sitting around a blazing brazier making bits of wood smaller! Along with our customers, Adam has been busy refining his spoon carving skills to new levels with great results.
We are considering running two Saturday spoon carving courses this year: while most courses are available in the week time only, we would like to be able to offer one or two dates for a one-day weekend spoon carving course for those that simply can't take time off.
If you think a weekend spoon carving will be of interest to you, please just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can organise everything, we'll publish some dates when you can come and join in.
In The Press
Last year saw several great review and coverage in the press. Some of my favourites were:
Number One in the Green Traveller Top Five Yurt Camps:
This piece by Natalie Paris for The Telegraph:
Abi King's piece Inside the Travel Lab:
Four years after our Mastercrafts TV series, we are still getting lots of enquiries as they repeat the series both here in the UK and worldwide. Although there are currently no plans for any more TV work here in the woods, we did make a small video in 2014 for Defra and the Chalk and Cheese Local action group, which-part funded our yurt building project here in the woods:
Chic cabins in Vogue:
Hot Club Returns To Glastonbury Festival
Looking ahead a few months, we have just confirmed that we will be taking our new portable parachute shelter to Glastonbury Festival again this year. This portable version of our woodland workshops proved very popular last year as the backstage VIP party area for the Rabbit Hole and has now been become known as 'Hot Club' by the backstage team. We will be making a few refinements between now and June, and will be offering this very versatile shelter for rent for parties and other festivals later this year too. It makes a great add-on to more conventional marquees, and we can supply it with or without the central fire pit.
Well, it might be winter but Spring is not far away. We have already spotted daffodils in the local hedgerows. So, it's time to get back to our winter jobs before the bluebells arrive; our happy glampers will be snoozing in hammocks under the trees before we know it!Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing our guests in the coming weeks and months.
Guy and the team