[gifted-ad This glamping weekend was gifted, however all views are my own. All activities, food etc was paid for and organised by me.]
That’s right, you read correctly…UK Family Glamping! That’s glamping right here in the UK, with the great British weather, under the elements…well sort of! After a recent camping disaster (being that we were wholly unprepared for the freezing cold and lack of luxuries with 2 kids!), it made us yearn after a more “civilised” affair and we weren’t convinced that camping was for us. Then stepped in the lovely team at Ashbourne Heights who told us about their Glamping Safari Lodges…
UK Family Glamping – where?
Immediately I was excited as the Safari Lodges looked seriously impressive and like they’d offer far more protection from the British elements (summer or not, we know we can’t rely on the weather!). Looking through the features, my interest piqued when I saw the lodges had Freeview TV (!), a shower, toilet, electricity and lighting, actual beds and duvets and even two floors of accommodation! Sold, sold, sold!
So where were these glamping things of beauty? Just over an hour from Manchester, that’s where! In the Peak District, surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside, hills and picturesque villages. Again, sold!
Previously, when thinking of UK family glamping, I’d think of Suffolk or Cornwall or somewhere miles away in farms or fields…it hadn’t even occurred to me that there’d be somewhere so beautiful, a stones-throw from home. You know, close enough you can go after the school run on a Friday afternoon, but far enough it feels like a proper holiday?
Peak District Glamping – the low-down…
But in essence, here’s our personal highlights of our Peak District Glamping holiday:
- Having everything we needed on arrival: warm accommodation with lights, sausages and bacon in the fridge for breakfast, freshly made beds with duvets (!) and towels folded and waiting on our beds
- A warm and ready-to-go hot-tub bubbling away (Prosecco in the tub for me and the hubster)
- A small but perfectly formed and well-equipped shop on-site with friendly and welcoming staff
- Beautiful views from our lodge, over the hills of the Peak District
- Fantastic on-site playground, suitable for all ages of kids, to run the energy off
- The picturesque town of Ashbourne less than a 10-minute drive away
- The Heights of Abraham (a must-do!) approx a 30-minute drive away
- The market-town of Bakewell (yes, home to the famous tart!), approx a 30-minute drive away
- Waking up each morning and being warm, able to shower and not have to trudge across the site to the toilet block for a wee!
The Heights of Abraham – a round-up
This was an absolute surprise for us and a fantastic day out with the kids! We had the most perfect weather and the Heights of Abraham were a win all round.
From the cable-car journey up and down, to the epic view from the top (to be enjoyed with a glass of wine!), to the well designed adventure playgrounds, to the food and the ice-cream – it was a fantastic place to visit with kids.
The playground was in shade (lucky as it was a 30-degree day!), the restaurant served fantastic food and gin cocktails (which I felt obliged to try of course!) and the ice-cream was homemade from their very own cows’ milk. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get down to the caverns as you can’t take buggies/prams and we thought it’d be a bit tricky to carry the little man around. Tip: take a baby-carrier as it would’ve been fine if we had ours.
Tip: go early for opening at 10am. The parking gets busy and it’ll make for minimal queuing for the cable-cars.
Bakewell – what to-do
On our final day, we wanted somewhere local to Ashbourne Heights that we could explore for a couple of hours and enjoy some lunch before heading home. There really are so many places in the Peak District to visit and Chatsworth House nearly made the list, but we decided it’d deserve a whole day dedicated to it, so opted for visiting the local town of Bakewell instead…home of the tart of course!
We parked-up in the dedicated town car-park and strolled past the duck pond and through the town lanes. There are plenty of little shops and independently run traders to explore and we had to buy an authentic bakewell tart (and slice!) of course. We had lunch in a pub, which was nice but nothing to write home about and fed the ducks before jumping the car, cranking-up our sing-a-long playlist, and heading home.
What a fabulous weekend we had at Ashbourne Heights. The perfect trip for kids and the right balance of outdoors and home comforts – our peak district glamping weekend was definitely a win for us and we’ll be heading back to Ashbourne and the surrounding areas again for sure!
Have you tried glamping yet?
Like this? You might like to read about our recent trip to the Lowry Food Fest and other UK Family trips.