I own a glamping site – here are my tips for booking a perfect UK holiday | The Sun

A GLAMPING site owner has revealed how to guarantee a perfect camping holiday when booking your posh staycation this summer.

Nicola Holland, 41, and her dad Peter Bourne, 73, opened their small glamping site Stone Pit Meadows in 2020.

After the family sold part of their land to a Kent wine producer, Peter spent eight years transforming the remaining woodlands into wildflower meadows.

And for the last three years, Nicola and Peter have been welcoming holidaymakers to their glamping site near Sandhurst in Kent.

But along the way, the dad and daughter duo have noticed what pitfalls holidaymakers should consider before booking their next trip.

Nicola told Sun Online Travel: "I would always look out for things like if there are shared facilities – then exactly how many units are sharing. 

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"And see if you can find out how close together all the units are so you know what sort of privacy to expect."

And with her own glamping site, Nicola believes that honesty is the best policy.

She added: "I know that I am careful not to mislead – both in the descriptions and in the photos. 

"I don’t think in the long run it is helpful as it will all eventually come out in reviews."

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But Stone Pit Meadows has already been a hit with holidaymakers.

Nicola said: "One time we had two guests stay who liked to crochet. They made us a little duck and left a thank you card – we always get good feedback like that."

Nicola puts the positive reviews down to "hard work and a bit of luck".

She added: "In the first year, we set up three fully furnished bell tents in a six-acre wildflower meadow with no real knowledge of what people might expect or any expertise in hospitality.

"I just thought about all of the things that I would like if I was glamping."

The family added extra details like a jar of giant marshmallows and toasting forks, as well as duck feed to allow guests to feed the coots on the ponds.

Nicola added: "If I find out it's an anniversary or special occasion, I try to do something fitting inside the tent as a surprise like adding balloons or rose petals.  

The family has also fetched other items for their guests like pints of milk and playing cards.

She said: "You just do anything that you can to make their stay as memorable as possible and then the good reviews start coming.

"In such a crowded market, you need to do everything you can to stand out from the competition."

The journey to opening Stone Pit Meadows wasn't been plain sailing as it took the family several years to obtain planning permission.

For anyone who's thinking about opening their own glamping site, Nicola suggested talking to neighbours and local residents.

She added: "People are wary about the unknown, or what your ultimate motives might be, reassure them, and be open and honest about your plans."

The family officially opened their site earlier this year two Shepherds Huts and three Bell tents available for holidaymakers.

Each guest has their own private seating area complete with a table and a firepit.

They're also encouraged to explore the 15 acres of wildflower meadows, ponds, and ancient woodlands.

Holidaymakers can even swim in one of the ponds too.

Each of the Shepherds Huts has a kitchen, breakfast bar, double bed, shower, and toilet, while the Bell Tents feature a king-size bed, kitchen utensils, a cool box, and access to a shared Showershack.

Stone Pit Meadows is both child-friendly and dog-friendly too – there's a small car park where visitors can leave their cars, so the actual glampsite car-free.

There's also a public footpath on the site where holidaymakers can walk through the ancient woodland.

Other activities in the area include kayaking on the River Rother and a wine tour at a nearby vineyard.

In the future, the family wants to work with other local businesses in the area to run workshops for their guests.

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She added: "We're still taking bookings for this season too."

Prices start from £117 per night, and holidaymakers can book to stay on the Stone Pit Meadows website.

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