We went glamping at Featherdown Farm, Howbeck Lodge in Cumbria for the October half term. We didn’t have electricity so I bought a notebook from Tesco and kept a diary for the week.
The kids thought it was really funny when they asked what I was doing and I replied, ‘I’m blogging!’.
Here’s my diary but please note, the first night was an anomaly and if the minus temperatures had happened later in the week, when we were used to the stove and had the experience we’d gained by the end of the week, we wouldn’t have suffered half as much as we did!
Saturday 27th October
|Loving the views on the way to the farm 🙂
Day one of our arctic adventure saw us meet the lovely Farmer John who showed us to our fridge tent.
He’d very kindly lit our stove for us and I was extremely grateful! He showed us the tent, shower block, (where there’s also a toilet and sink with hot running water) honesty shop and also took our order for a loaf of bread to be delivered for breakfast the next morning. He explained the stove to Ant and showed him where to fetch more boxes of logs. You get a free box daily and pay £5 for any extra boxes you use.
We arrived around 5pm and if we come glamping again, I’d pay to have the beds made for us on arrival. It really isn’t easy to fit pillow cases and duvet covers on in the rapidly fading light. I’d also make sure that we had everything needed for the first night, packed in a separate bag. It was a nightmare trying to find pyjamas, slippers etc for each person and it looked liked a bomb had hit when we woke in the morning!
I have to say, I can’t actually believe we ended up with a below zero temperature on our first night.
I lay in bed last night and shivered with the cold, despite having extra blankets as well as the duvets provided. We brought 6 fleece blankets, 2 thick wool blankets, 3 hospital type blankets and a double duvet with us.
The tent came with 6 single duvets (the double bed had 2 single duvets rather than a double on it for some strange reason) and while they all helped stop my body getting too cold, my face and head was freezing.
I couldn’t feel my nose and ended up wrapping my head in a fleece blanket and covering it over my face to try and keep out the cold. I was still awake at 2am this morning and in total I got about 2 hours sleep.
Aiden and Kaycee slept in the cupboard bed with a couple of fleeces and 3 single duvets and both of them slept right through. We did have a time earlier in the evening when the two girls were crying because they were so cold. We had to hurry dinner so we could get them in bed so they could warm up.
Ella didn’t want to sleep in the cupboard bed because she said all the duvets made it hard for her to move so she slept on the bottom bunk on her own, wrapped up in a single duvet.
They did cheer up a bit and I grabbed the camera to capture some smiles before they disappeared!
Ella ended up getting in our bed around midnight because she was too cold on her own.
At half two, Ant went to sleep in the bottom bunk to give us more room and to try and get some sleep without wrigglebum Ella!
Suffice to say, we were both shattered this morning and we had to go to Tesco to stock up for the week.
Now I do have to say that we’re not blaming anyone for the weather but I am a bit disappointed that the website says, ‘Made of thick, protective canvas, our tents keep the warmth in without shutting the sounds of nature out, so you can wake up with everything around you. After a comfortable, curative sleep, you greet the day feeling refreshed and relaxed.’
|Click to enlarge
and I’m sure when I was booking it, it said something along the lines of, ‘it’s warmer than you think at this time of year and the wood burning stove creates a warm cosy atmosphere’.
It was reading that, that helped us decide to go on a Featherdown Farm Days holiday in October and I know that if we’d have known it was going to be as cold inside as it was outside, and having to sit nearly on top of the stove to get any warmth, we certainly wouldn’t have booked.
I didn’t expect to see our breath all day while we were inside the tent and it started to get me down after a while.
We have to wear hats, scarves, gloves, coats and 2-3 layers of clothing all day and night. Last night I went to bed wearing trousers, pyjama bottoms, a vest top, pyjama top, jumper, long wool cardigan, fleece jacket, gloves and a fleece blanket as a hat!
I hugged a hot water bottle to me until it went cold around 3am.
We were up early this morning, about 7.30am and even though it was cold, everyone was in good spirits. The kids fetched eggs from the chickens and some bacon from the honesty shop (because despite taking bacon with us for breakfast on the first morning, I couldn’t find it anywhere!) and we had the most delicious warm loaf delivered by Farmer John.
Bacon, scrambled eggs, warm bread and butter and hot black coffee was the best breakfast I’ve had for a long time (well, I didn’t have butter because of my diet and the kids had cup a soup instead of coffee but you get the idea!).
After breakfast we headed off to Tesco and couldn’t help falling in love with the stunning views on the way there. The villages we went through were gorgeous; I loved the little cottages.
After spending a small fortune at Tesco, (we usually do a big shop when we go on holiday but it’s never been as big as this one was. We had to buy extra clothes for Aiden, more leggings for Kaycee, gloves for me and a thermal top for Ant. We spent about £70 on extra clothes because of the freezing temperatures) we headed back to the tent and I have to say, I wasn’t looking forward to it. We joked that we should spend the day in Tesco’s cafe where it was warm and there was free wifi!
When we got back, I put a big pan of beef stew on the stove. It smelt lovely and everyone looked forward to tucking into it with fresh bread to dip in.
Here endeth days one and two!
Tomorrow: Rain, board games and a feeling of contentment.