Monday 27 January 2014

Into The Wild

Chaps, I'm noticing a little spring in my step this week. Despite the growing collection of lists that seem to be taking over my life, despite a troubled sleeping pattern, despite the showering rain clouds lurking just across the horizon... Is it me or is there a little freshness in the air? I find myself lying in bed during the early hours, just listening to the morning chorus right outside my window. The spindly branches of the cold forgotten trees are looking rather nourished and appear to be stretching up to the beautiful sunlight breaking through the fluffy tufts in the sky. And the bright blue blanket above offering the most elegant of sunsets as the day departs.

I'm thinking of trips and adventures. That ritual of throwing your belongings into the car, travel playlists and munchies, fields ripping by as the sunlight bounces of gentle puddles. I have a particular trip in mind right now, and you know what? I think I'll share it with you!

Last summer, the boyfriend and I embarked on our very first camping holiday together- oh wait, please let me rephrase that... Our very first GLAMPING holiday together. Oh yes my friends, we threw out the rule book that summer, discarded our tent and pegs and set sail for the luscious grounds that fall on the border of England and Wales, known locally as Big Bear Lodge.

Big Bear Lodge offers accommodation within their beautifully arranged luxury B&B, caravan and tent fields and of course the wonderfully unusual pods. The family that run this haven are so friendly as we were greeted upon arrival and shown to our humble abode.

The cosy 'wine barrels' were spotless and despite appearing rather sparse in space we comfortably fit our double air bed, suitcase AND a table and chairs, still with plenty of room! These gorgeous cabin type pods are situated on the grounds, opposite the guest house and shower facilities and face a horizon of green. Fields in every direction, the pods are framed by huge towering trees and winding country lanes. There were even goats, chickens and a donkey on site!

Big Bear Lodge provide the perfect hide away, whether it's a restful retreat you're after or an action packed weekend, this place fits the bill. They offer a jam packed list of sports for the thrill seekers, including guided canoeing and are even part of 'Beyond Extreme' a leading paragliding centre. But if, like us, you were hoping for a more subdued visit, they are located amongst some beautiful countryside, sleepy villages and even within reach of Powis Castle, one of the National Trusts most precious gems! We certainly didn't run out of things to do or see, and managed to squash in plenty of time to take in the view, and of course... Enjoy a BBQ or two!

Amongst feeding our faces, plentiful lazy time and our sight seeing round the castle, we also visited Wroxeter, the site where a Roman city once stood (the fourth largest city in Roman Britain) and we stumbled upon the most beautiful of old churches in Melverley known as St Peter's. There is something quietening and mindful about walking around the crumbling grounds of an old church, the thick foreboding beams withholding years and years of weathering distress, the still yard surrounding it, clutching it closely.

We took one last little meandering turn, on our journey home, to stop by the town of Shrewsbury, to refuel and stretch our legs. Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire and a historic market town which still holds its gloriously medieval appearance along many of its windy lanes, timber framed buildings, cobbled roads and has a scattering of monuments celebrating times gone by. Hiding throughout the many shops and restaurants we found cute boutiques and independent shops as well as a fantastic coffee shop called Eat Up.

We had such a brilliant time staying here and exploring the land around that we genuinely can't wait to go back and visit this year! Have you ever stayed in a pod before, visited any of these treasures or do you have any local gems worth checking out on our next road trip?


  1. Wow Gemma, this place looks amazing and I cannot believe that I have not heard of it before, I don't live that far from this place, about an hours drive from the village of Meliden, if you have not already booked for this year, try and go at the same time that the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza, May bank holiday weekend is on, it's a great event. This is a lovely post and I have totally enjoyed reading such a poetic and beautiful piece of writing, have a great time, when you next visit, loads in the surrounding area to see and do - Best wishes to you both - Alan

    1. Oh thank you so much for the wonderful advice!! I'm always on the lookout for new places to find : ) In fact, I might even have a little look online right now at the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza! You have captured my curiosity!! Thanks again Alan : )

  2. Hi Gemma, I love your blog, so I have nominated you for a Liebster award. Check out the nomination here

    1. Gosh thats super kind!! Heading over to take a look at your answers, and questions for us to answer!