Glamping, why haven’t I done it before?
We visited the Just So Festival (that will be a whole other review) last year and doing anything we do, we do it wholeheartedly. The last time I went camping was during my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award at the tender age of 15. So we did our research and went all out and got the Vango 600 which in terms of camping is like a small house. But with three adventurers in tow, it was proving to be a little trying to get the tent up whilst ensuring the children’s safety and entertaining them. So we were looking at alternatives to hotels and stumbled across these wooden wigwams. I bet your all thinking cowboys and Indians. Nope, these are like wooden pods, those are tipis 😉
We had originally looked at wigwams at the Shropshire Hills and were about to book when we thought, why not Northumberland. As you will have noticed, I am a huge travelodge Fan, cheap, cheerful and does what it says on the tin. I searched for a travelodge in Northumberland and found that there was only one and it was located in Berwick. However, procrastinating and not booking straight away meant all the family rooms were booked over the spring bank holiday. I was really disappointed but didn’t want to put a dampner on things so decided to look for alternatives around Berwick and came across Pot a doodle do in Berwick. This was the beginning of my love affair with Northumberland. A full post on Berwick and Northumberland will be done under a separate post.
We arrived at the site on Saturday 24th May just after 3pm. Check in was perfect. Walk into the site shop, give your name and get the keys and information. Now, that’s what I miss about the ease of the good old days. The site has the yurts and some wigwams at the front near the car park and 22 wigwams over the other areas. We were in the furthest wigwam which was near the footpath back to shared areas.
The owners of the site were very approachable and lovely. They came around the second evening to see that everything was going well. Other staff who we met during our visit were all lovely to the children and were full of smiles and real northern hospitality.
Our Wigwam was just the right size. You have five single mattresses, we used four and made a huge bed. But for older children or travelling with friends you can keep them separate. One tip would be to bring bed sheets if you are after a real comfort holiday. Each wigwam has a small fridge, heater, electrical sockets and lights. You need to buy a £1 card from the kitchen for the electricity. Doc, purchased 3 (forever thinking ahead) but we only used one even though we used the heating, fridge and had phones on charge for the 3 days we were there. It was ideal for all the needs of a family with young children. Each wigwam has a small decked area outside the front door and a picnic table. You can park your car right in front of your wigwam. The wigwams would’ve been quite tight if we’d have taken all our bags, pushchair etc out but as the car was so close we only took out the essentials. The children had their sleeping bags as did Doc whilst, me and the baby went proper glamping with our duvet! If your worried about getting cold at night, with the sleeping bags the children were very snug and warm!
The shared facilities were great. The shower rooms were great. They were very clean and there’s a mentality of cleaning up after yourself. There were 5 shower rooms which had a shower, toilet, sink and a seating area. It was ideal for us as I could sort the children out in a job lot. Like other reviews on Tripadvisor commented, it does get busy in the mornings but before 7 and after 9 it was a little quieter. In addition, there was also separate toilet blocks.
There is a shared kitchen which had two electric cookers, two microwaves, 2 toasters, 1 washing machine. There were 5 dining tables and chairs. There was also a few ikea high chairs. We had precooked our meals so we only needed the microwave and a cooker to warm the food up. Other families were using the oven so sometimes it can get quite busy. For us this was ideal.
The atmosphere around the site was great. Lots of families were there as it was bank holiday weekend. Maya and Raihan made lots of friends and it was lovely to see them gaining confidence.
There is a small playground onsite, it was fine for children up to 5/6 years old. Older children would get bored of this. Taking my older nephews out with us, I can imagine them not wanting to do a daily visit like our adventurers did. But our little adventurers had a lovely time there and we would spend about 30 mins in evening, burning off any post supper energy they may have. Plus we were blessed with fantastic weather so the children enjoyed rolly pollies down the hills. Being the true Legal eagle that I am, I research everything to the nth degree. I was reading some tripadvisor reviews and previous visitors to the site commented on the lack of things to do in evenings. If you are looking for entertainment provided by others, this is not the place for you. But if you want your children to be able to play outside, read books, make friends and have some old fashioned fun then this is ideal. Doc wants to get our children out of the habit of conventional toys and wants them to be able to create their own entertainment and games so this was out step in that direction.
There is a shop, restaurant and pottery decorating studio on site. We didn’t use the shop or restaurant but the times we popped in the staff were really helpful. Maya is our little arts and crafts princess so she had a go at painting a fairy. We did this first thing on Sunday morning at 10, the activity is not cheap but is comparable to other places we have done it at before. Plus we now have the figurine on our shelf at home as a little memory of our holiday.
Families can hire the BBQ huts, we didn’t do this but we did hire the fire pit for £10. Everything from logs, fire starters is provided so you don’t need to bring anything with you. We called all the children from the nearby wigwams around to toast some marshmallows. It was a lovely party atmosphere and my little adventurers will full of smiles and glee. Word of caution if you have a toddler like we did, the fire pit is very sharp and hot. We kept Zayn in his pushchair so not to get hurt. The older two (aged 3 and 5) were fine with it. We had perfectly timed our toasting session as the heavens opened by which time the little adventurers were ready for a quick read of the Gruffalo and bed.
The location of the wigwams are ideal, there is a gorgeous beach close by, 1 mile away from Berwick town centre, easy access to A1 so you can go north to Edinburgh or South to Newcastle. Even though the site is just located off a road, we felt very safe with our children and the site generally.
We loved our wigwam holiday and my adventurers big and small had an absolute ball here. It’s a perfect outdoor holiday for families who want camping with comfort. Northumberland is beautiful and this as accommodation was the back to nature holiday we really wanted. We’ve enjoyed it so much that we are rethinking our October holiday to Ireland and may consider an outdoor holiday in the south part of Northumberland.
Thank you Potadoodledo, we had a great holiday. The memories of my adventurers having good old fashioned fun with their beautiful faces aglow with happiness and glee will stay with me for a long time!