We first visited Wild Rose caravan park in the lovely Eden Valley – that’s the right hand side of Cumbria without the big lakes, that generally speaking folk overlook – about 20 years ago. Then we were a family of 4 plus Grandma in a rather nice touring caravan – an Elldis Golden Crown 5 berth, to be precise. I recall it was bonfire night whilst we were there and besides ourselves, there were maybe 20 other units there. It wasn’t a very big park, but it was well laid out, clean and had a decent shower block – not that that mattered. We were well posh with our shower room-cum- toilet onboard.
Fast forward to 2016 – November and a significant birthday looming….
I had the bright idea that it was time to start ticking a few things off the ‘bucket list’. We’ve camped; caravanned; motorhomed; static caravanned; chaleted; cruised – but never been Glamping. Wild Rose we remembered affectionately, so when the opportunity to go Glamping there with our two ‘hoolihounds’ ( a German shepherd and a black lab) entered my email inbox, it was too good an opportunity to miss!
Wild Rose described the glamping as taking place in a ‘wigwam’. Now, to me a wigwam is something made from canvas and poles with a log fire in the middle….. add a few red indians hopping about outside and the picture is complete.
When we arrived, the park was nothing like we had remembered. It’s grown over time and is now home to many static ‘vans; plenty of pitches for touring ‘vans – and those that never see the open road from one year end to the next…..It was – in comparison with our memory – huge.
And then there were the ‘wigwams’….
Set in a small enclosure of their own, with parking adjacent to each, were 4 very cute looking…sheds. True, each had an enclosed verandah; solid front door; curtains, crockery etc, but to me a wooden structure that looks like a shed is…well, a shed!
In fairness, I should say it was the best insulated and warmest shed I’ve ever spent time in. Even the onset of winter snow didn’t cool it down during the night. Although basic, the beds were comfortable ( no bed linen – make sure you take your own. We didn’t and had to make a hurried visit to a charity shop in Appleby where we were lucky enough to get a couple of new/never been used Vango sleeping bags, pillows and pillow cases for less than £20!). Seriously, I don’t know why we bothered – the ‘wigwam’ was so warm and cosy that we would have been fine just sleeping in tee shirts.
The showers and toilet block were as we recalled – clean, well maintained and warm. A rough car count suggested there were probably the same 20 old-timers still there from all those years ago. Wild Rose is – despite its size – still a well laid out and well cared for park. The staff are lovely, helpful and genuine people. It feels like the sort of place people go to time and again.
And it’s in the lovely Eden Valley – the part of the Lake District without lakes….Cumbria at its least spoilt.