Did you know that tucked away in the Leicestershire countryside is an award-winning hotspot that Londoners have been flocking to for years? The Dandelion Hideaway is an award-winning glamping destination based on a working farm in the small village of Osbaston, near Market Bosworth, and we went along with 2 eager children in tow to find out what was in store.
With a nervous husband, excited children and armed with wellies, waterproofs and a cool box we set off for a family weekend in the country. As we pulled up we were greeted by owner, Sharon, whose warm welcome instantly put us at ease. She took us into the “Old Cow Shed” which is is home to their reception and the honesty shop. The shop is open 24 hours a day and stocked with the most wonderful produce to ensure you will want for nothing from homemade pies to fresh eggs. A quick check in and a chat through the different activities available over the weekend and we were ushered back outside to be greeted by Farmer John to escort us to our home, Badger’s Sett, for the weekend.
We jump into his trailer (I think that’s what it is – my untrained farm eye would liken it to an industrial golf buggy) and head off with him across the farm to the glamping field, the children waving eagerly at the chickens and goats that we pass on the way.
Now, before I move onto the accommodation I must explain that the last time our family enjoyed a glamping trip it resulted in a 6 hour game of Would You Rather, trapped in a small, albeit dry, bell tent, cowering from the torrential rain eating cereal bars & drinking warm wine. So let’s just say that my husband had needed a little persuading to come along for this trip.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary glamping is “A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.” As we explore our home for the weekend we quickly see that Sharon and John have taken the luxurious in glamping to another level… and then some!
Badger’s Sett isn’t camping, it’s as far from a tent as you could get. I can only liken it to a luxury country cottage with canvas walls instead of brick. The interior could be straight out of the interior design pages of Country Living Magazine. With a beautiful open plan kitchen area, dining table for 8 and lounge with a sumptuous leather sofa and a huge log burner in the centre for cooking and heating, it’s a wonderful surprise as you enter. This cottage sleeps 6 with a twin room, a double and a fabulous hidden cubby den…. Again, this isn’t camping, these are all PROPER beds with beautiful linens to keep you snug all night
All fears of communal “facilities” are soon alayed upon seeing the bathroom which comes with a roll top bath – heaven! Farmer John gave us a quick run down of the facilities, including the gas fridge in the veranda – perfectly big enough for the basics, solar lamps, the wood burner and log supplies and the USB ports!
We quickly unpack and then tuck into the delicious homemade welcome cake as we sit in the verandah enjoying the view and pondering what to do for dinner (and if Sharon and John allow long term lets, I’d already decided I wanted to move in!) There are a number of camping cottages in the field all perfectly distanced from each other to feel secluded, plus also a communal fire pit, bbq and pizza oven available for everyone to use.
Over the weekend we thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities available. The farm tour with Farmer John was both fun and informative. He talks with the passion and self confessed grumpiness that only a true farmer can and it’s wonderful to see that this is still a true working farm, which has stayed true to its roots through the diversification. We all loved getting involved with the goat milking but the children’s favourite activity was hands down grooming the Shetland ponies who were all just adorable. Sharon kindly left out a grooming kit out so they could pop into the field any time – it’s these little touches that make this place so special.
Whilst at the Hideaway the children revelled in the freedom to roam away from adult eyes that they would never have in our suburban home environment. Collecting eggs, enjoying the kids’ den, running errands to the shop and getting very muddy. With no television and limited phone signal we enjoyed conversations as a family that really hammered home how important this quality time is to spend together.
After a wonderful weekend we left invigorated and full of best intentions to have a bit more time away from technology and the outside, which I’m very grateful for. On our last morning as the children roamed they returned full of beans that they had discovered a treehouse on the site. This, Sharon informed us, is one of their new accommodations which can be booked with a smaller canvas cottage (which has a hot tub!) for a family with older children in the tree house, or for couples looking to escape the rat race for a few days.
The kids keenly informed us they were definitely big enough for the tree house, which sounds like my perfect excuse to return to this wonderful farm retreat & we can’t wait!
The Dandelion Hideaway attracts visitors from all over the UK, especially London but don’t let them have all the fun. With this gem on your doorstep you mustn’t miss out.
Breaks are bookable online and start from 2 nights priced from £325. For the latest prices and availability please visit The Dandelion Hideaway website.
Review by Anna Humphreys. The review trip was taken with 2 children aged 7 and 8. The accommodation was offered on a complimentary basis but with no obligation to give a good review. All opinions are those of the writer.