I’ve always believed in experiences over material objects. From a young age, the thrill of a new toy for example, always felt short-lived, whereas days spent with family or friends lingered in my memory for years to come. The result of this mind-set is that I’ve never quite succumbed to the fast-paced, consumer driven marketplace; never really sat at the forefront of fashion or been an early-adopter of the newest technologies – I have, however, climbed a couple of mountains and jumped from a plane. Over the last few years, many of my experiences have involved the Outdoors, and the latest is no exception.
I’ve been aware of Canopy and Stars for some time now, they offer a great collection of treehouses, yurts, cabins, Gypsy caravans and other outdoors, glamping places in the UK and Europe. Places like these often appeal to me, as they tend to pair an artistic vision mixed with a deep connection to nature. Gratefully, this past weekend C&S invited me to stay at their Stargazers Wagon in Herefordshire, a 27-foot long living space with double bed, kitchen and private hot tub. The thought of sitting by the woodburner with nothing but great company and board games to keep me busy was too much and I gladly accepted.
We arrived late Friday night, Chris, one of the owners, showed us up to the wagon that was already nice and warm as the fire had been lit. Looking round, the interior area was much bigger than we expected. In the front is a two-seater sofa with living space, which leads towards a well-equipped kitchen with table, and in the back, a large double bed. Although rustic, this place has running water, lights throughout and a USB port to charge your phone. Chris and Victoria have even thought through all the finer details, providing bathrobes, towels and hot water bottles. Within the wagon is everything you’d ever need for a weekend away, it is totally secluded in a private field so is a real escape from the daily hustle, yet it is only a short distance from local amenities.
The following day, after a late start and a pancake breakfast, we headed into the Shropshire Hills, a beautiful, hidden gem of our country. The roads were quiet and the whole area has a beautifully, laid back atmosphere. As the day went on, we got more and more excited about our evening plans. We took up Vic’s offer for a home cooked meal and couldn’t wait to get into our mixed bean chilli. At 6pm, right on time, it was delivered to us in the wagon and it met our high expectations. The hot tub had been lit a few hours earlier so we relaxed for a short while before getting changed and heading out onto the decking. After a few brief gasps at the cold feet and hot water contrast, we mellowed down and soaked amongst the evening darkness. A few hours later it was still only 9pm yet we felt completely ready for bed, a couple of games of draughts later and it was time to catch some sleep before another day amongst nature.
We rose a little earlier on Sunday, spent a couple of hours having breakfast and just enjoying the wagon. Around midday, we had a visit from the owners to have a quick talk about our stay. It was great to hear their story of moving from Sheffield after looking for a rural business to buy. It got our imaginations going about owning our own glamping place. What a dream.
Knowing the Brecon Beacons were only a short drive away, we decided to spend to afternoon visiting one of my favourite places in the Park – Llyn y Fan Fach. It was a crisp walk up to the lake where the surrounding hills were covered in snow. The clouds rolled in and out adding a misty mood to the area. I flew my drone up high to capture a real essence of that afternoon. It was the perfect end to our short weekend away. All that was left was the long drive North.
Sometimes we like to share stories from the outdoors from all around Britain, not just the Peak District, to offer a little more inspiration. This was our experience at the Stargazers Wagon and one we would recommend highly. If you’re looking for something a little different, an escape in the Outdoors, then this place is just what you need. Alternatively, Canopy & Stars have a wide range of locations to stay at, some a little closer and others much farther. If this experience was anything to go by, I’m sure they’ll all be worth your time.