Okay, I know I’m biased, but as seasoned camper with two kids and a wife, who quite understandably, doesn’t particularly enjoy the quirks of a portaloo or a mouldy old prefab with a dripping tepid shower, I can truly say that I regard myself as in the perfect position to write a small review of The Grove Glamping. In 2015, Ruth Graveling set this up as a stand-alone business off her own bat and it has been a roaring success. Having twice tested out her facilities with the family, I can honestly say that it is well worth a visit.
Some camping home truths, for those who are thinking of going for the first time.
- Problem. Camping in the UK, even in summer can be a bit on the chilly side. With all the triple-tog, six season expensive sleeping bags, tested by Bear Grills himself and however state-of-the-art your tent is, the moment you wake up in the middle of the night, your nose can feel cold. Solution. Insulated yurts and wood burners. The yurts all have wood burners and are insulated. So no more cold noses.
- Problem. Horrible loos and showers. Let’s face it however much you don’t mind roughing it for a few days it is always nice to sit down in relative comfort when nature calls and to have a nice hot shower in lovely surrounding and not in a muddy hut, or in one of those purpose built shower blocks where your feat get washed by run-off water from the person showering in the next cubicle. Solution. Proper showers, individual rooms and proper loos. No mould guaranteed!
- Problem. It’s lovely to eat a great meal out with the kids, but it’s also great to save a bit of money and cook something for yourself. You have your trusty two ring burner, but the wind keeps blowing the rings out, and the ground isn’t level so you need to use the table that the kids want to play cards on, and it’s raining. Solution. Individual eating areas complete with gas burners, charcoal BBQs and picnic benches and they are under cover.
- Problem. The kids have made friends (for you) and you want to have a glass of wine with the parents but little Jonny is tired and needs to go to sleep and their tent is the other side of the field. Solution. Only five yurts, centred around a fire pit, so that you are never more than a few meters away from the sleeping children and can have a glass of wine, or even two and a good chinwag about how nice the beach is.
- Problem. Your campsite is a drive away from the beach and every day you have to load the car and plan in advance how long you are heading off for and where you are planning to have lunch. Solution. The Grove glampsite is five minutes’ walk from the beach, you don’t even have to see a road let alone go near one.
- Swimming pools that are not quite warm enough. Okay maybe I’m a bit of a wimp, but it does annoy me. Solution. The Grove pool is 32 degs. Please take it from me as the designated sticker-back-on-of-tiles-from-the-bottom-of-the-pool. It is definitely warm enough.
These are just a few of my observations. There are, of course, myriad other reasons why to go glamping at The Grove.