Thursday, 19 May 2016

Glamping - YHA Bell tent review

Have you ever been camping before? We took the girls camping for the first time a few years ago which went well but we cut it short due to the rain forecast and having to put the tent down, which isn't nice in the rain. We haven't been camping since as our planned trip last year fell in the week it didn't stop raining so we decided to stay put at home instead. However if the tent was already up in place it could have been a different story.
The YHA invited us along for a night in one of their bell tents which is already up in place on arrival and we could not wait.
Daddy M was due to work on the weekend we picked so we invited V and K2 from Mummy3+1Dog for a girly weekend away 'glamping'. 

On arriving at the YHA Wye Valley we checked in and was given our allocated bell tent. There were 4 bell tents on our site in a field away from the youth hostel itself.

All the tents faced into the middle of the campsite with three clustered close together and a fourth situated away at the back of the site. Our tent was in the heart of the camp site.

As we arrived I managed to keep the girls outside so I could capture exactly how we found it. Wooden decked mat outside the door and a black non slip mat helped protect the ground from getting muddy. Also pretty solar powered fairy lights lined the entrance.

Inside the tent we were greeted with 4 futon beds. Think along the lines of a wooden crate and a futon mattress on top. The double bed was centralised with two singles to one side and another single to the other side. Each bed was made up with sheets, pillows and duvets in the youth hostels trade mark green duvet covers. At the foot of the double bed was a wooden storage box that could fit a padlock (you need to bring your own). Inside this wooden chest was a charging device that stored power from the solar panel outside the tent. This could charge up a device that uses a USB charger. Perfect for a phone. (There is only one port, and you would need to supply your own charger). We also stored our snacks inside the storage box.

The floor was lined with mats. A half moon carpet lined the entrance and was rough on little bare feet but we also had two small patterned rugs either side of the double bed which helped give it a superior feel. You don't expect rugs when camping! The side panels were also lined with colourful prayer flags.

To the other side of the tent was a small coffee table and two large beanbags. J claimed the coffee table to do her writing and drawing on which worked perfectly whilst sat on the floor.

The girls and us mummies loved it. There was plenty of space for the 5 of us. The girls were able to relax and it felt like a home from home.

The centre pole acted as a vocal point to the top of the tent, and we were able to stand completely in some areas of the tent. The centre pole also worked as a stand for the night light which was also solar paneled so we only needed our torches when we went to the loo at night. The switch was conveniently placed on the side of the wooden storage box.

We settled in for the night.  Using the beanbags which felt like they had a protected covering on we sat outside the tent and watched all the scouts play their games and cook their dinners on the camping stoves and snuggled up warm with the duvets and a drink.

The light soon vanished and S got her wish. She wanted to watch the sun go down and the moon come up.

The community feel of camping came alive and we were invited along to a campfire at the fire pit near our tent. The girls loved it. If only we had marshmallows! This is what camping is all about. Talking about the days tales and watching the stars with other families and groups.

The next morning when J woke us up early needing the loo we were greeted by the morning mist. Just Wow.

The sun soon shone bright and we were able to warm up and the kids were able to run free and enjoy the morning sun. We were able to relax and watch them without the stress or worry of having to put the tent down.

What a great way to get back to nature without all the expense of buying a tent and the time it takes to put up a tent, put it down again, and without it taking up an entire room the following day to dry out.

The YHA currently has 16 sites with bell tents and tipis ready to hire. Why not try Glamping without breaking the bank? With the tents being on a YHA site you will also have access to the lounges and self catering kitchens if it does rain, or if you don't fancy cooking on a camping stove. Some sites also provide a café. We enjoyed a cooked breakfast which helped warm us all up before the sun came out.

Would I go 'glamping' with YHA again? Yes. It meant I could go camping with just the girls which opens up so many more days that we could go camping without worrying about Daddy's shifts for help to put up the tent. It also gave us more room in the car if we wanted to take bikes or scooters. It also meant that the weather didn't have to affect us as we didn't have to put the tent up or down again, we just turn up. The YHA also provided port-a-loos on the camping field which made it more convenient as we didn't have to head to the main YHA building every time the girls needed to go.

*We were given a complimentary one night stay for the purpose of an honest review, all words opinions and photos are my own.


  1. wow that is a brilliant tent! I am not a fan of camping but I would definetly give it a go if i could stay in one like that! Sounds like you all had a brilliant time!

  2. I'd love to go glamping - it looks lovely. I'm not too keen on traditional camping but this looks more my cup of tea!

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  4. I have a bit of a phobia of camping because of one bad experience with a tent falling down. This kind of camping I could definitely deal with, it looks amazing!

  5. I just come back from a camping holiday with the caravan, it's really fun. The bell tent looks amazing. I never tried glamping, but I would give it a try and it's not that expensive.

  6. That tent looks huge and pretty comfortable, but not enough to draw me to camping.

  7. No I haven't gone camping before but it sounds like fun.

  8. Oh I love this idea. We used to go camping every year when I was younger. Definitely something I want to do with Lucas in a couple of years x

  9. I love the idea of glamping - we tried camping last year and it was awful - torrential rain put us off I am afraid. Kaz x

  10. What an absolutely awesome looking tent - I completely admit I would love to go glamping one day. x

  11. WOW! This looks amazing! That tent is awesome! I ove the bean bags and coffee tablet etc, it looks so cosy and comfortable. And very spacious. I love a good campfire too! And it truly is a great way to get back to nature without all the expense. It sounds like you guys had a great time! xx

  12. That looks awesome! I've always thought of glamping as big fluffy matts and disco balls! It actually looks really classy! :) Looks like you had a brilliant time away with the family :)


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