Luxury Glamping with Kids at Lantern & Larks
When I suggested to my husband that we went glamping last weekend he deleted the calendar invitation as he thought it was a joke. I’ve never been one for camping, and he didn’t think I was going to start during our wettest summer in the last few years with our 3 little Mini Travellers in tow.
He hadn’t however seen the standard of accommodation on offer at Lantern and Larks Glamping. This wasn’t really camping or even glamping in the strict sense of the word. I mean there was some canvas and there was a field with a beautiful view, but you need to think luxury safari style tent, not two man tent in a field with a shower block.
Even the booking process was slick and stylish. The email confirmation was very detailed and attached a very thorough list of the items included with the tent. This meant what I had to pack was minimal. It was definitely turning out to be a fab experience.
As much as I loved the confirmation emails it was the text messages confirming the countdown to the holiday and providing the address for your Sat Nav that possibly over excited me. Whilst the booking information and detail of how to get there was really detailed, the text message meant that, if like me, you forgot to print the said detailed info, you could get there anyway!
So on Friday afternoon, I set off from one side of the hills with the girls and hubby set off from home and we met on the beautiful Bleasdale Estate in the Forest of Bowland not too far from Clitheroe.
When you’re in the middle of the country Sat Nav only gets you so far and Lantern and Larks have thought of this. Discreetly placed blue signs direct you to the campsite where Joanne (one of the sites managers) was waiting to show everyone to their tents for the week or in our case weekend.
There was wheelbarrows to allow you to get luggage from the car to the tent as there are no cars allowed on site. Our tent was the closest tent to the car park so we didn’t need to use these but I saw lots of others using them. Really simple but effective idea.
When my girls first saw the tent they said – Is this really camping Mummy, really? I obviously said yes of course it is, look it’s a tent! There was some scepticism!
There was a couch, three bedrooms, double bed, bunk beds, immaculate crisp white duvets, soft blankets and towels. Toilet, shower, gas hob, a kitchen and a dining room table! You can appreciate their scepticism. I took a little video of it as I was so amazed.
The girls ran around so excitedly, playing in their new house for the weekend. Deciding which room they would sleep in, who could have the top bunk and who could have their own room. It was decided that there was so much space even their teddies could have their own bed/wardrobe/drawer to sleep in.
I opened a beer and decided we would defintely have a BBQ that evening as Lantern & Larks had even ordered the weather in for us. In our tent when we arrived was the BBQ pack (definitely enough for the 5 of us and probably 4 adults) a fire pit and a campfire kit. So on our first night we set to work on cooking in the great outdoors. After my failed attempt at starting the BBQ off using wood (I’d been quite proud of my fire) Hubby arrived, took over and told me we couldn’t cook on wood, the BBQ was a great success. The BBQ pack (which you can pre-orderfor when you arrive) contained really good quality meat and lots of it: the burgers particularly were fab.
The girls also adored making their campfire cones. They loved filling their ice cream cones with marshmallows and chocolate and wrapping them in tin foil to melt on the BBQ. I can’t believe we’ve not made these before. I’m not sure these combined with the excitement of being away made bedtime easy but the girls adored them and I’m sure they will become part of our bbq’s for years to come.
After wrestling the girls to bed, me and hubby sat by the fire all evening. It was really warm and there really isn’t anything like sitting by a fire watching it crackle and putting the world to rights. It was freezing in the tent when we finally gave in and went to bed but the beds were really comfy and we really appreciated the duvet and blanket.
There was a reminder when we went to bed that we were still camping as you could hear the chatting from the busier tents next door and at times the baby in the other tent crying, but this is by no means a complaint: we were camping after all. It was just at times because of the standard of the accommodation it was easy to forget.
The kids slept til well past 7 which is very unusual and a good sign that the tent had very effective covers on the windows as the light wasn’t streaming in and it was a beautiful sunny morning. We got up, had bacon and eggs for breakfast and sat listening to the babbling brook. The shower was excellent. The water was warm instantly which I really didn’t expect. It was much better than lots of hotels I’ve stayed in. I was however the only one who used the shower as the rest of the family decided to ’embrace’ camping and stay mucky all weekend!
After breakfast we considered heading off to Blackpool but decided it would be far too busy and we would prefer to explore where we were. In the tent was some Butterfly watch sheets for the Great Butterfly Count which was a really sweet idea for the kids. Tip – maybe one sheet per child staying as mine wanted one each, however we spent a good 40 minutes quietly watching for them and ticking them off the sheet.
After the butterfly hunt we played Pooh sticks
Climbed over rivers and played in the meadow.
As you can see from the glam combination of wellies and denim skirts (that they felt the need to hitch up) we weren’t really expecting such fab weather.
After all that wholesome activity it was still only 11.00, so we popped home, had drinks and some cake and then spent some time scooting on the the quietish flat road outside the farm itself.
After lunch we did venture out to Bowland Boar Park for the afternoon. It’s safe to say that it’s probably seen better days but the girls spent a good few hours there playing on the zip wire and the tractors, and they loved clambering on the bales of hay that they could hide in and ended up having lots of fun in a girls against boys fight where the aim was to cover each other in the most hay!
After leaving the boar park with the intention of eating in Chipping for tea, the girls had a change of heart and decided on sandwiches for tea followed by more campsite cones. This was a great plan until we realised (once home) we didn’t have anything for us to eat apart from a pack of sausages, and we also didn’t have any more charcoal. We then remembered the honesty shop but unfortunately they didn’t have any charcoal left either. Our very kind neighbours saved the day and gave us a bag of charcoal and we cooked chips, sausages and eggs on the BBQ washed down with a bottle of red! Note to self you need to be more organised when you’re in the middle of the country and you can’t just pop to the shop!
The girls loved the freedom the campsite gave them and they spent hours that evening playing on the mown grass in the middle of the site with a new friend. We also took some fab shots of them running up and down in the sunset.
We had a really fantastic time in our luxury tent and would highly recommend it to anyone. I’m not sure though, having been spoiled by this I want to go proper camping now! The girls do though, they weren’t persuaded that was actually camping and whilst they definitely want to go back they still want to try ‘proper camping Mummy’.
Linking up also with Travel Tales and North East Family Fun