Glamping in winter – madness?! Well, throw in some ‘proper’ beds, fluffy rugs, pompom throws, and actual heating, then why not?

Dark Sky Glamping, based near Matfen in Northumberland is home to some beautiful Bell Tents, offering a glamping experience under the dark skies. October half term (when we were allowed out!) was actually a great time to visit as with the nights being shorter, the stars were viewable before the 7 year old went to sleep. We were also pretty lucky that Mars was out and shinning brightly during our stay which everyone was very excited about.

There’s no denying that October is a pretty chilly time to go glamping, but Kirsty has done a great job at making the tents as cosy as can be with an log burner ‘effect’ heater in the tent and heaps of throws. There’s also a fire pit outside of the tent that we enjoyed toasting marshmallows on, however it was pretty windy when we stayed, so we didn’t sit outside too long!

Making the experience Covid-safe, each tent is allocated it’s own toilet and shower which is great. The tents are also spaced out from each other as you’d expect with glamping. One thing to consider is which Bell tent you’re allocated. We had the one furthest away from the car park, overlooking a field of sheep – others were positioned in front of the showers and toilets – probably worth having a conversation with them before you book if you like a good view in the morning! It’s also worth noting that the brewery and tea rooms are only open on a weekend (or were at the time of our mid-week visit, so if you’re looking for facilities on site, check ahead of your stay.)

The location, however, is great for exploring Northumberland – Hadrian’s Wall is a short drive away for some easy walks with children. Park at The Sill and walk along to Robin Hood’s tree and back – it has some ups and downs to climb, but it’s a good adventure for the little ones.

An hour’s drive away is Kielder – here there’s mountain biking, walking routes, water sports and the famous Kielder Observatory which gets booked weeks in advance and especially in school holidays – so get in quick with your booking if you’re interested in learning more about the stars. They do early evening sessions starting 5pm for children too.

Closer to the campsite there’s Go Ape which is based next to Matfen Hall. Also the Hall itself does an excellent afternoon tea as well as has a spa (if you need to relax after all of the outdoor activities you’ve been up to!)

Corbridge is a beautiful village a 10 minute drive away – full of lovely little shops and restaurants. Check out Grant’s Bakery in the Market Place – it’s not to be missed if you love cake and pastries!

Price for Dark Sky Glamping:

*1 night minimum stay Sunday to Thursday*  £135

*2 night minimum stay Friday and Saturday*  £97.50 per night

*3 night minimum stay during school holidays*  £97.50 per night

(This was not a press trip, rather I WON this in a Facebook competition!)

 

Friday 20 September 2019 will see hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in the name of a global climate emergency. It’s the Global Climate Strike and one year on since Greta Thunburg began her strikes from school in the name of our planet. If you can’t make it out to join them, then do just one thing. Watch this video from Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot and then share their message for more to hear. 

So today has mainly been about getting involved with the Look for a Book North East campaign. It’s all about gathering those books you no longer read and hiding them for others to find.

We came across the idea on Facebook and Isabella was so excited to get involved. We had a big clear out of books and have wrapped them in some clear plastic that her school uniform came in (repurposing) to keep the books dry.

We have spent the afternoon hiding them in some rather tricky places in Morpeth… the small child wasn’t keen on others being able to easily find them! It all officially kicks off tomorrow – Saturday 3rd August…  check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/500930390662751/ for more info!

Happy reading!

We live in a world where most people rely on modern technology to survive. How many times do you walk along the street and see people engrossed in their smart phone? Even homes are now becoming smart with the advent of systems such as Hive and the increased use of virtual personal assistants like Alexa. Not everyone wants to embrace the technological age though; simpler times can have great appeal. This why going rural and off grid has gained popularity.