New craze, ‘glamorous camping’, is introduced to France in serious style.
Graham and Paula Grant moved from the Isle of Islay to the rural Limousin in 2004, to set up their home and 240 acre farm, La Tuilerie. Now that their 6 children are settled and bi-lingual, and the livestock’s seasonal routines are comfortably established, they have diversified their cattle and sheep farm with yurts and tipis!
Having eight mouths to feed (mostly with home-produced food), the need to find a extra source of income was certainly as pressing as it is for most farmers who take the diversification route. 2008 was the family’s first summer of welcoming guests to their own unique brand of glam camping, and with every week booked and repeat bookings already flooding in, the new project has been declared a huge success.
Whether you’re a couple or hoping to introduce your children to camping, but don’t fancy all the faffing and discomfort usually involved, this could be the option for you! This style of camping still feels like the ‘real’ thing, with each tipi or yurt provided with its own campfire and cooking equipment, but everything is just that bit easier. As Paula says, “You can sleep under the stars and yet avoid a bad back.”
Staying in tipis and yurts is a luxurious camping experience, with just a little something extra, at this small and exclusive campsite. The beauty and image of tipis in a meadow delights children and adults alike, for a start, and the tipis and yurts are all 5 metres in diameter which will sleep 6 comfortably. They are positioned carefully and individually in a particularly pretty field, and are furnished with futon beds, mattresses, and bedding, with linen and towels provided. They have tables, chairs, rugs, cushions and all the crockery, glasses and cooking equipment you could need. Each tipi or yurt has a central chiminea, and wood supply, to keep it cosy.
As well as the special sleeping arrangements, Graham and Paula offer the significant extra elements of tranquillity and a sense of freedom and fun. They organize communal farm-produced meals for their guests (wild boar was on the feast menu last week!), access to the animals and farmhouse, and if you have children, they will even find playmates provided, which means more peace and quiet for you.
Accommodation can be booked for weeks at a time or single nights. Being situated roughly halfway down France, La Tuilerie guests have found it to be a fantastic opportunity to have a bit of an adventure for a night or two, as a special stopover, on the long journey to the South coast. If you decide to stay for longer, there is plenty to do in the area, including canoeing, swimming at lake beaches and horseriding. Guests can even bring their own horse with them.
So, it seems that glamping is not just for those city types too lazy to do ‘proper’ camping – it can be a memorable experience with all the good bits of real camping, in a very special place.