March 13, 2016

My Favourite Mini-Break Right Here In The Stunning UK Countryside


March is finally here. I've got spring fever. I don't know about you, but I am so ready for the warmer weather. Warm by British standards means anything above 12c, of course. I've been pining for outdoor time lately. The chance to stretch my legs and gulp down clean air. For me, winter spells hibernation. Blankets, baths, books and big fat mugs of tea. I have a confession...

I'm a fair-weather kinda gal. We don't get outside nearly enough in the colder months, but come summer, we love exploring. I absolutely love being outside and Yorkshire has so much to offer when it comes to the great outdoors and nature - seasides, quaint villages, forests, rolling hills, moors, even a Druid's temple. Josh (my husband) grew up on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and his family still lives there. An hour of driving takes us to so much beauty and green, lush space.

It's getting to that time where I start thinking about these adventures, longing for the standard dirt tan from wearing sandals and sundresses. I even miss the nettle stings. Kind of.

As beautiful as God's own country is, it's nicer to go further afield for a special mini-break. We tend to take a weekend in early summer and drive down to mid-Wales to stay at a tipi campsite. It's so worth the 3 hour drive. I actually  hesitated to tell you about this oh-so-magical place that has such a special place in our hearts, but I'm a firm believer in sharing the love. I might change my mind when I can't get our usual weekend booked in because of popular demand...

*drumroll* Cledan Valley Tipis, although technically a Shrewsbury postcode, is a Welsh countryside camping getaway where the tents are already up and you get a real bed. It's what some would call glamping and I'm sure camping diehards who find some kind of twisted pleasure in sleeping on a hard floor in a nylon bag are turning their noses up at the word glamping (sorry). Yes, it is more luxurious than regular camping, but it's still basic to a degree. We're outside, what more do you want from us?!



The grounds contain six dwellings - four tipis, a bell tent and a shepherd's hut (for those of you who prefer more solid surroundings - though the tipis are far from flimsy or cramped). The tipis have a piece of canvas with a heavy piece of wood attached to the bottom which forms a door when rolled down - we have, on occasion, had a cheeky squirrel popping in to say hello, but it's very secure and keeps wind and rain out effectively. It's all very cosy! The tipis are super warm and have a small wood burner inside, which you're provided a basket full of logs for. If you need it, you can purchase more wood for your burner and campfire from the two wood stores on the site, using an honesty box for a couple of pounds. The owner of Cledan Valley Tipis, Bethan, is everything you could hope for in a host. She meets us at the small car park with her quad bike ready to take our (unnecessary amount of) supplies down the short, but steep, path. We have a natter and then she leaves us to it, only coming by again to drop off fresh ice packs and fresh eggs for J in the morning.

We always stay in the 'Honeymoon' tipi, an 18ft tipi kitted out for a couple. It's on the most quiet part of the site, secluded and romantic thanks to the small hill leading down, separating you from the other campers. There's a picnic bench with a cover to shelter from rain, an outdoor fire pit and a babbling brook running adjacent, which is dreamy to dip your feet in and skip stones. We take a small BBQ to cook tofu dogs on, as well as a hand grinder and a moka pot for morning coffee. There's a toilet and shower block for the whole site, only a 5 minute walk from the Honeymoon tipi, with hot and plentiful water. There's also a washing up sink for dishes. It really is blissful and camping has never felt so good.


I wanted to share some photos with you from our time spent there over the last couple of years. That feeling that I can't quite name is setting in. I'm daydreaming of sitting by the campfire, always expertly lit by J (I married him for several reasons), listening to that babbling beck trickling away, sipping on some gin... I actually received a bottle of Forest Gin for Christmas and something tells me it will be the most perfect accompaniment to sitting in the balmy summer air while I stubbornly try to read a book through squinted eyes, even though the daylight has all but faded.

I'm ready for it.


Do you prefer to stay closer to home when it comes to your precious holiday time? Where's your favourite camping or glamping spot in the UK? As always, the comments are open for everybody and I love hearing from you!

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2 comments

  1. Wow this place looks amazing! This year I decided to explore my country, Italy, a little more. Even though I don't like to drive and I still take trains and airplanes to reach the places, is a simple pleasure to enjoy a place which you kinda belong too. Italy and UK are some particular places that are worth to visit from head to toe lol

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Elena! I think 'home' is often overlooked, but there's so much to see and discover.

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