The Glampers Return
This is the tenth season we have done Glamping at Layer Marney Tower. When we began we were pretty much unique in the area. Glamping hadn’t really taken off and we even had to explain to people what it was. Now there are glamping sites dotted all over the place, some are Yurts, some are cabins, shepherds huts and just plain tents with a few frills. The glamper can take his or her pick.
Our Featherdown Farm glamping is international and once families have sampled a Featherdown glamping site, they know what to expect and know that the Featherdown formula suits them.
That means we obviously get lots of people who have sampled other Featherdown sites all over the country and/or Europe.
Here in the office at Layer Marney Tower, we have a print out of the next group of guests and a note of whether they have tried Featherdown before, most have, but what intrigues me is the list of camplers who are Layer Marney Tower returners. Booking after booking lists previous sites as Layer Marney Tower, not just once but year after year. The last few weekends, five out of the six glamping tents were filled with people who had been to us for several years. Angela came our first year, when her daughter was 7, that daughter, returned recently with her mum, she is now taking her A levels…how time flies!
It is fantastic for us to see so many people come back here, we must be doing something right! Christine, who looks after the campers seems to remember everyone. She knows which tent they like and whether they want a hot tub, whether they barbecued or went to the pub for supper or ordered a supermarket shop. She remembers names and faces, children and where they are from. She gets the campers’ chickens settled in their coop by the tent and has a quick word to encourage egg laying, then has a quiet word to parents to grab a couple of eggs from the Bothy (shop) and slip them in the nest if the chickens fail to perform.
Everyone seems to enjoy coming up to the Tower with their free pass, many don’t venture further afield than that, the adventurous ones may walk to the pub or paddle at nearby Mersea Island bringing back a sea food platter for a convenient and delicious supper.
I guess it is the slow pace, alongside easy access to London. Only a few miles from Colchester but the feel is totally rural. There are hooting owls and a fox may trot by. Somehow we seem to catch a world that in the hurly burly of modern life, seem often to elude us.
So as I tick off next weekend’s names, once again, five out ot the six tents have been to us before. Christine will be busy preparing their tents, sorting out the hot tubs, checking the log store, they can be a sure of a warm welcome and we will be delighted to see them again.