Leisure and Tourism
We are Spirits Intent, a small, successful, UK based tent-making business, and have been working in the glamping industry for 15+ years, watching it grow from humble beginnings to a mainstream trend. Alongside this we have set up a project called Heartland, a centre for sustainable tourism on a yurt campsite in the mountains of Abruzzo, Central Italy. In this region, as often is the case, farmers have had to compete more and more with big agricultural industry and there is much depopulation as young people are moving away to the cities. This trend leaves villages empty, land abandoned and the traditional ways of farming, culinary skills and folk traditions dying with the older generation.
Suppliers to the holiday and leisure park industry gathered to meet project delegates at this well-organised forum at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Northamptonshire in November.
Stable Events themed the seminars on “Harnessing the growth in the UK staycation” and speakers ranged from across the breadth of the tourism sector.
As well as speaker sessions and a networking gala dinner, 1:2:1 sessions were arranged prior to the event which meant delegates could meet the suppliers most relevant to them.
Farm Diversity editor Victoria Galligan attended the forum and here she offers an insight into the speaker sessions which may help you stay ahead of the competition in 2020…
MWD Makers has recently unveiled a new and unique range of architect-designed highly insulated micro units that can be used as glamping pods or additional living accommodation. These designs offer the opportunity to escape the pressures of the modern world and access a simpler and slower pace of life closer to nature.
People are more than ever in need of rediscovering physicality and a sense of place, and this is something that closer contact with nature can provide. MWD Makers design simple living spaces that satisfy people’s cravings to reconnect with the wild. MWD Makers take pleasure in the handmade, the use of local, natural materials and the enjoyment of simple things, believing that real luxury derives from the ability to live in harmony with one’s environment.
A farmer who started his own gym on a working farm in Essex has hit the shelves nationwide as the cover star of Men’s Health.
Tom Kemp is a fitness expert, entrepreneur and farmer who is breaking the mould in the fitness industry.
Tom has become one of the fastest-growing names in the UK’s health and wellness business, built a globally recognised brand, and is challenging the way the nation works out, and works on their mental health.
Through his company Farm Fitness, Tom has converted his passion into a career: and an area of his Essex farm into 'one of the best gyms in the world' according to Men's Health – its unique outdoor workout concept with a custom training facility is located against the idyllic farmyard backdrop and active outdoor farm lifestyle.
Here’s how farmers can set up a caravan site, and what caravanners can do to keep warm.
“Land” they say, “is the ultimate commodity”. Aside from making good housing development and festival sites, farmers are also leasing out their agrarian lands to campers and caravanners. With an estimated 18 million separate camping and caravan expeditions in the UK every year, it’s clear there is money to be made here.
As caravanners (campers less so) we are also moving away from the seasonal limitations that our cold, northerly climate has previously impinged on us. That may be due to technological advancements — such as improved plumbing, heating, and Internet connections that can make our caravans a little cosier just like our permanent homes.
Around 62% of UK farmers are having to diversify alongside running a traditional farm, according to government figures. As farms are trying to diversify their sources of income through various entrepreneurial activities, many are looking to agri-tourism as an alternative. This form of tourism has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. For city-dwellers, farm tourism offers an opportunity to experience rural life, even just for a few days. Some of these ventures are becoming so successful that they’ve overtaken traditional farming as the primary source of income.
How then does a farm begin investing in agri-tourism? What steps should farm owners take to become successful in this project? Below, we’ll explore key investments farm owners should consider to make their farms attractive for tourism.
Earlier this month a group of like-minded, local farmers, friends and colleagues turned out to Chubbs Farm, near Axminster to celebrate Phil Short winning the Devon Bronze Otter award in 2018 for the remarkable and innovative conservation work he is undertaking on his farm. Devon’s Bronze Otter Award showcases the long-term commitment to wildlife conservation and sustainable farming shown by many farmers across the county.
It was a beautiful day and Phil certainly deserved the turn out and praise for all his efforts. One guest said “It was a wonderful walk, and sad as ever that there is never time to walk more. I have never been to farm like it, where a proper working farm feels so well balanced with nature, above and below ground. I always enjoy walking there. It is a great credit to Philip and Bill”
We were at the beginning of this Glamping phenomenon and are the largest pod manufacturer in the UK. Our pod designs have been copied many times, but the true iconic design camping pod still remains with us.
Pod companies will come and go, but we will continue to grow year on year. We have pod agents all over the globe, we are the only company to do this, we remain sharp and adventurous and intent on all rising markets for this product, always marching forwards to gain any foot hold to secure new business for us, the future is positive and we are upbeat on current and forth coming orders.
Slades Farm Leisure build hand crafted Pods for a variety of outdoor situations . We retain the flavour of camping, the comfort of caravanning and the appeal of outdoor accommodation by a build that reflects the current appetite for unique structures and living spaces for holidays and breaks in the UK.
Building the same models that we use on our own site we know the appeal and demand for Glamping currently growing in the UK continues to grow
Don't miss out on this holiday trend of Glamping by adding our Pods to your existing accommodation. Built to order and delivered ready to site they can be up and running within a few hours as they hook up on pitches similar to a caravan.
Why not create an area dedicated to Glamping with a next to nature experience and you will see the impact they have on reservations immediately?
As the glamping trend took off around 10 years ago, farmers and landowners up and down the country installed pods, washroom and camping facilities to attract this new, younger and hipper crowd of campers. But, as the team at Quality Unearthed tell our editor Victoria Galligan, it’s not as easy to attract guests now the competition has grown – unless you can provide a wow factor. Here, they advise on how to create an Insta-worthy glampsite which will get visitors return year on year.
Glampsite Q&A with Quality Unearthed's Tim Rees…
Lune Valley Timber Buildings are manufacturers of bespoke camping pods, shepherds huts, garden rooms, amenity blocks and stables based in north Lancashire. The many different buildings thathave been made are used in a wide variety of applications, from letting applications to extra space for school classrooms.
The most popular buildings supplied are the pods – these have been delivered from the south of Cornwall to the north of Scotland and many places between. Withluxury internal finishes and superb return oninvestment rates for site owners, it’s easy to see why the Lune Valley pods are so popular up and down the country.
Catgill farm has been our family home for the past 60 years, originally run as a dairy farm by Grandad Ken. In 2013 Ken’s grandson Oliver returned to Catgill to the cottage where he was born and had the idea of opening a campsite. It was not easy to sell his idea to his Grandad but he agreed and the campsite opened in 2014.
“We hoped people would love it here as much as we do” said Oliver, it turns out they do and the campsite has grown enormously in popularity over the past 5 years. It’s an amazing place for families there is so much to do; Bolton Abbey is only 1Km away and Hesketh Farm Park is literally over the road.
The site is also close to the Dalesway footpath and there are numerous cycle routes including the famous Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire routes. Each year we have added new features to the site, we started with a high quality amenity block and a field. Ken would welcome guests into his living room to check in.
Farm Diversity magazine editor Victoria Galligan caught up with Anji Morrall, the director of The Tipi Hire Company and The Bell Tent Shop. Here, she advises those setting up glampsites on choosing the perfect tents…
How did you get into making tipi tents?
We started hiring North American tipis 12 years ago. I bought one tipi to live in on a plot of land we were going to buy in Spain. The sale fell through – and I was left with a tipi. I then made a website and it took off overnight.
Five years down the line, I asked our customers what they wanted and bell tents were becoming popular. We started hiring our bell tents for extra accommodation at weddings, festivals, corporate events etc. and we now have over 500 that we hire our throughout the summer months across the UK and beyond.
Huts and Stuff make Shepherds Huts to suit many uses: Their Field and Farm Shepherd's Huts make great entry Glamping solutions ideal for ramblers, walkers and cyclists accommodation. While the “Severn”, their 16ft River Range hut, can be customised to suit luxury long weekend lets ideal for wedding venues and honeymoon getaways.
Dave and John are the father and son team behind Huts and Stuff. They have over 12 years experience meeting the uniquely different needs of each of their customers. With little more than a vague idea, or a sketch on a back of an envelope, they will design a layout that suits your needs and will let you know if they think your ideas need a little more tweaking. They want the project to work for you! And Give a return on your investment.
A world full of Luxury safari tents, furnished lodges and the fastest service. That is what you will get from Outstanding. The leading safari tent supplier can take care of everything. From the moment you ask them for advice to the moment the installation is complete. They lift camping to a higher level and will make sure your guests get a well-deserved vacation.
In a period of just four years Outstanding has taken up a leading position in the relatively new world of glamping. They’re designing and producing all safari tents, glamping lodges and furniture themselves. And the results have been exceptional. Their safari tents and lodges can already be found in nearly 45 countries.