Visit Feather Down Farms for their 10th Anniversary this Year

6Y9C2883Glamping has become all the rage and no wonder; it takes all the aggro out of camping so that you can enjoy the best bits! Camping trips are the ultimate family holiday. Kids love nothing better than roaming free and getting dirty. Throw in loads of BBQs and some roasted marshmallows and they’re in heaven. Your kids will always remember the nights they spent tucked up in their sleeping bags and all the things that were amazing or went terribly wrong will become the stuff of legends.

If you are new to camping, then the idea of buying all the gear, carting it out to some muddy field and then having to assemble it and make use of it can be very daunting. At the same time, the most seasoned campers and gearheads can also use a break. Why not save yourself a dark, wet walk to the loos this year and try out some luxury camping.011

Let me set the scene for you…It’s been six months since you last had a day off work. You’ve been jammed in the car for three hours and the sat nav took you off course – twice. The kids are hungry and are starting to get a bit ‘punchy’.

You finally arrive at your destination. The kids pile out and can immediately run wild. They dash off to meet the piglets while you unload the car. As you enter your rustic safari tent you hear the sound of a crackling fire and smell a stew bubbling away on the wood stove. Candles are lit and the beds are made with deep feather duvets*. There is nothing left to do but crack open a bottle of wine and begin to enjoy your holiday.hottub_ShadyMoor_006A

Welcome to Feather Down Farms.

Feather Down Farm Days provides sustainable family holidays on farms across the UK and Europe. They began as a project for the Dutch National Trust to provide high quality accommodation on farms and in doing so, have provided a much needed additional source of income to farmers, thus securing the future of their farms. FDFD offers families a unique low-impact farm stay experience. Your family can see what daily life on a farm entails while providing work for the farmers, and bringing tourism to the local economies of the nearest villages.

The tents have no electricity. The lighting comes from candles and you’ll cook and warm yourselves over a wood stove. Some facilities boast outdoor hot tubs, which are also warmed with wood fuels. Each farm provides a shower block and a farm shop, which operates on an honesty basis. There is no Wi-Fi and no televisions. Bliss. Oh – and each tent has its own toilet.6Y9C2964

You can spend all day at your farm, or explore the area. You can prepare each meal in your tent, or each out all day. The adventure is entirely yours to plan in the safe knowledge that when you return, your tent will still be standing and you’ll have a dry place to sleep.

The tents are the same across the FDFD farms, so you’ll always know what to expect. They are compact and functional. They feature a double bedroom, a twin bunk room and the coveted cupboard room, which can fit two children. There is a kitchen area, with a sink, woodstove and the dishes and cookware you’ll need. There is also a separate toilet room and a dining table. You’ll find a cool box in which to store your food and drink. Ice can be purchased at the honestly shop to keep this cool. There is enough open space in the cabin for a small dance party and seating outside so that you can take in the unspoilt scenery around you. It is important to note that most of the farms are remote and so you can’t just nip out for fresh croissants and lattes in the morning.Hillside-9.jpg.p

What to pack? Wellies. Extra socks. Tough clothes. Rain gear. At least one entire spare outfit. A designated pair of indoor (dry) shoes/slippers. You get the picture. Our kids were up haystacks, in the pigpen, ‘wading’ in creeks, chasing dogs, milking cows, handling kittens, and more. You’ll need towels and dishwashing equipment. Also, if you’re not going to buy the first night meal, then take one that is already assembled and just needs heating. Check in time is generally not until 4, so you have to be ready to feed the hungry masses.

Book early to avoid disappointment as they do fill up quickly, especially during school holidays. To celebrate their 10th anniversary this year, Feather Down Farm Days are offering a free ‘welcome hanger’ to anyone who books before January 31st. Enter the code ‘earlybird14’ to the booking in order to take advantage of this offer.

Anyone booking 6 or more tents on one farm in 2014 will receive a free ‘group feast’, which will vary per farm.

*Most farms offer a bed making service and pre-made first night’s meal at an additional charge. We recommend you opt for this extra.

Bedruthan Steps Hotel in Mawgan Porth, North Cornwall

2012 hotel poolNestled in a bay on the North Cornwall coast, family-run Bedruthan Steps has been welcoming guests since 1960 and was one of the first hotels to focus on sustainable living. The original building has been completely refurbished inside to be comfortable and stylish with an emphasis on eco and family- friendliness.

The décor is bright and simple, with lots of quirky local touches and artwork and the sea views taking centre stage. The accommodation ranges from double bedrooms, to apartments and villas, which offer more space for families or groups.Wild Cafe - Wide

In the restaurant and café, food is locally sourced, so expect to find seasonal produce and a lot of fresh sea food. The menus change daily, dependent on fresh market ingredients. Your kids will find plenty to choose from and will enjoy the Ice Cream Parlour!

SeafoodBedruthan caters to children, while also taking care of parents – and grandparents, making this stunning seaside location ideal for the whole family. Some parts of the spa, the deck area and bar are strictly adults only but your children can make use of the many ‘kids only’ spaces. There are play areas indoors and out, daily entertainment, swimming pools, surf school and the Ofsted registered Children’s Clubs.

Children’s Club sessions include the 3 hour morning ‘Kid’s Clubs’ and in the afternoons families are invited to use the playroom where children can enjoy crafts, art and play time with plenty of toys. In the evening there is the ‘Evening Kids Clubs’ – giving parents time to relax over dinner while their children are in safe play area

The kids clubs are divided into age groups and for teenagers there is a special ‘Teenager’ room where they can listen to music, play computer games – and the surf school is popular too. There is also a babysitting and nanny service, both in the afternoon and in the evening. For children under the age of 12 months a qualified nanny is required.

With all this time on your hands, you can try out the surf school, book in to The Ocean Spa, walk along the beach, or just relax on a sun lounger or in the library.

walkingThis location is also terrific for getting out and enjoying the glorious Cornish lanscape. In addition to the world famous surfing, the beach itself is a natural playground and the hotel is set on the South West Coast path taking you to Padstow in one direction and Watergate Bay in the other. Explore the local villages, or try out food foraging with a local expert. There are local golf courses and the hotel offers a number of special breaks featuring art, crafts, seaside cookery and much more.

surfBedruthan Steps has everything you need for a relaxing and memorable family seaside holiday which you enjoy in the knowledge that they are also taking care of the environment around them.

Rooms from £135 bed and breakfast, double room

villa 2Features & Services:
Bedrooms, Villas, Apartments and Family Rooms
Restaurant and Café
2 outside Swimming Pools
1 inside Swimming Pool
Children’s Clubs
Outdoor Playground
Teenager’s Room
Craft Room & Craft Breaks
Surf Club
Room service
Nanny Service/Baby Listening Service

Source responsibly, making sure to dig deeper by considering the life cycle of all purchases
Reduce waste and carbon footprint year-on-year
Beach clean ups
Solar panels, grass roof insulation, rainwater harvesting and more
Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme

See their full sustainability policy and projects online

Getting There:
By plane: The nearest airport is Newquay Airport ( 10 minutes drive)
By train: Bodmin Parkway Station ( 30 minutes drive)
By car: Located between Padstow and Newquay.

Book now for dates from January 31 2013 on their web site Hydro and relaxation area