Disconnecting from the world around us is something we all crave at some point, but finding the right place to escape to, for even just a few days, can be quite a daunting challenge.
When You Say You Want to ‘Get Away From it All’ What Does That Really Mean?
Is it heading to a different part of the country, far removed from your normal surroundings? Is it trying something new? Or, perhaps you are seeking solitude in that idyllic countryside location that often adorns magazine covers enticing people to explore more than just what they find on their own doorsteps.
If it is the countryside that is calling, then we believe we have potentially found the ideal place.
If you are a person that enjoys the peace and tranquillity that can only come from spending time in an isolated setting, with limited phone signal and a unique take on camping then Amber Bell Tents in North Norfolk is the place for you.
Set in the grounds of Mannington Hall, a moated medieval house with beautifully maintained, eye-catching gardens hidden behind an aging stone wall; you could be forgiven for thinking that you are stepping into a scene from ‘The Secret Garden’.
Look further into the distance, past the wood and the wetlands and you will see a meadow. This meadow, is home to three cosy bell tents, full equipped to make your stay stress free.
As Amber herself states: “Amber’s Bell Tent Camping aims to take the hassle out of camping by supplying everything you need for a relaxing stylish comfortable camping experience…” and she achieves just that.
In fact, all you need is your suitcase or weekend bag because bedding and kitchen supplies are included. In fact, let’s say that you are a traveller that has opted for the more classic-style suitcase, i.e. the ones that look great but come without wheels, this is not a problem, Amber also provides wheelbarrows in all sizes so that you can transport your luggage from your vehicle to your overnight abode.
The Bell Tent
Decorated in fairy lights and retro bunting, each cotton canvas has a welcoming aura surrounding it. Once inside the large double bed, complete with soft furnishings and warm patchwork blankets, is inviting and comfortable. After staying here, it is guaranteed that blow up mattresses will become a thing of your past; you will never again wish to return to that roll mat or hard floor that was once an iconic statement of any family camping trip.
To add to the rustic feel you also have the option of cooking on an open fire. Whether you are adventurous enough to try one of the ‘one-pot’ meal suggestions that you will find in the apple crate bookshelves or want to use the flames to simply toast marshmallows who can resist an open fire after a day of wandering around the countryside.
Not feeling like an intrepid firestarter? Then you have several choices – the gas stove that comes as standard inside each tent, the communal pizza oven or, should you wish, the local pub.
Our Advice: Don’t miss out on the Pizza Oven. There is something very satisfying about creating your own stone-baked pizza in the middle of an open field and you could become the envy of your fellow glampers.
A Slice of Luxury
Still struggling with the idea?
Worried about the cold evenings?
No need. In each bell tent you will find a wood burning stove, complete with a basket on kindling and organic firebricks safe for use inside. This will, without a doubt, be able to keep you warm even in the coldest of evening.
If you could have a relaxing sauna whilst looking out over the Norfolk countryside would that sway you at all?
Well at Amber’s this is also possible. Created from scratch, don’t be put off by the fact that outwardly it looks like a conventional shed. Once inside, with the fire burning and the water heating, all you will notice is the relaxing, soothing steam and the picturesque landscape surrounding you.
The Honesty Shop
You know that you are away from the city when you come across an honesty shop, one where the only expectation is that you are truthful at the end of your stay. Should you forget the essentials you will love this. Well stocked with charcoal, kindling, firewood, coffee, tea and even candles, this means that no last minute dash to the supermarket is required.
If however, you do find yourself in need of a few extras, rather than travelling to the supermarket head to the local village and utilise the independent store there. Not only are the prices reasonable, the produce is local and should you arrive during the lunch time period they offer a fantastic selection of dishes including soups, sandwiches and the best looking cakes in the area.
Top Tip: The Moroccan Soup is delicious.
So, are there any downsides?
We don’t believe so but there is one thing that all glampers do need to be aware of.
A midnight dash to the toilet facilities will take you a little bit longer than your usual wander to the bathroom and you will need a torch because the block is about 200m back up the driveway. Once inside, the facilities are clean and bright. With whitewashed walls and new shower fittings each bathroom has been revitalised in keeping with the whole experience.
Our Verdict On Amber Bell Tents
This is more than a camping site, this is glamping at a rustic level. Here you will be forced to forget about your urban commitments and will find yourself slowing to the relaxed way of life that comes from living in a village location.
Everyone needs a break away from the norm at some point, and even if you believe that camping isn’t for you, we feel that Amber Bell Tents has the potential to change your mind.
You will have no fear of being woken up by bustling traffic or large crowds, instead the last noises you will hear at night will be the hooting of the owls followed by a wake up alarm of tweeting birds – what more could you wish for?
One Final Tip…
For us, the star-gazing topped off this already amazing experience. This site is free of light pollution which means that starring up at the sky leads to a full display of twinkling gems. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to see a sky full of diamonds.
Have you visited a glamping site that you would like to recommend to others? If the answer is yes, we would love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a free stay at Amber’s Bell Tents in return for an open and honest review. As always all opinions are our own.