At the bottom of the sledging field there is a hidden corner the tractors never reached, hidden by a thicket and bounded by the bubbling beck, which is now home to The Writers’ Retreat. The most secluded of all our camps, this one really does feel like you are completely hidden from the rest of the world in your own secret spot.
This camp is closest to the beck and the ancient woodland, perfect for sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of the birds singing and the beck trickling past. Birds flit in and out of the woods which surround the camp so it’s perfect for birdwatchers. A hammock swings between the trees, and a firepit sits in the centre of the camp for you to sit round in the evening, telling stories, toasting marshmallows or looking out for bats and owls. Look out for the wildflowers at this camp, with a riot of primroses in the Spring and wild gooseberries in the summer. A hanging fireplate and tripod is provided for you to try your hand at cooking over your campfire. Steps from your camp lead down to a place to sit among the trees – is it the prow of a pirate’s ship? That’s up to you to decide. More steps lead down to a deck in the woods by the stream, a place to paddle and to dream.
The tent has a wide deck between the tent and the bathroom with an outdoor covered kitchen with stained glass windows looking out over your camp. There’s a gas hob and oven as well as a gas fridge to keep all your food and drinks cold, as well as a dining table to sit and eat while you look over the woods and camp.
Inside the tent there’s a double sleigh bed, as well as 3ft bunk beds, comfy seating, soft rugs under your feet, a log burner to keep you cosy even on a chilly evening, and of course a writing desk complete with pens, pencils and paper – everything you could need to start that novel you’ve always wanted to write! Imagine the study of an eccentric Victorian explorer in the middle of the woods and you’ve got the idea of the Writers’ Retreat.
The bathroom is only a few steps from the tent and might even our best one yet. One wall is made of reclaimed stained glass, so as the sun rises the bathroom lights up with all the colours. There’s lots of space for all your things, and the hot shower under the pantile roof comes from a gramophone trumpet (and why not?!).
As with all our camps The Writers’ Retreat is completely off grid, with virtually no phone or internet reception, so if you do feel inspired to write it will have to be the old fashioned on a piece of paper kind!