Building a glamping site

Building Up Stick Glamping


Follow the trials and tribulations of getting our glamping site built and ready for you to visit, here in the Malvern Hills

It’s been a while in the design and making, and with all things it never goes as planned. First we thought long and hard about what we were looking for as a family when we holidayed. Top of our list was privacy, comfort, good food and lots to explore.

So we felt that our smallholding ‘Brays Farm’ could become the perfect place to share. Glamping was a great way to stay and explore The Malvern Hills and surrounding area, but we needed to think about what the structures were going to be and how we went about building them.

Our family of three children are well on their way to being grown up now, so we knew we wanted to build something big enough for a family our size to enjoy. Space with private spaces, all the facilities to cook both inside and outs with lots of chill-out areas to relax and of course a fire, a country essential.

We explored the options, and pondered on some of the best places we’d stayed. Now granted we might not be typical in our tastes, but we’re not wacky either. Stand out places for us used honest natural materials but the home comforts like lovely beds and crisp linen, a great shower and fresh ground coffee in the morning were what made the difference. Quirky outdoors showers that we loved in the Caribbean and on safari may not suit the English climate, but the simple wood and canvas structures, and huddling around a fire pit whilst tucking into wonderful food would translate here.

So we bit the bullet and applied for planning permission to build three safari lodges on our land. We took down fences, and cleared our pond. We designed layouts and moved stable blocks. We dug ditches and laid pipes ready to build. Whilst celebrating my 50th Birthday in New York we got the planning permission through and on our return placed an order for our safari lodges.

As with all new builds there were some delays. Additional ground works, and the day jobs did get in the way for a time, but on a damp February evening a massive arctic drew up from Holland with our tents aboard.

We very soon set about putting our giant flat-pack together, and whilst the instructions were all very straightforward, the size wasn’t. It became clear that help might be needed, so friends, teenagers and machinery were called on.

After a long weekend the deck was built – my back suffered having been bent double all weekend securing 1000’s of screws. We then discovered that expanding wood and galvanised fittings don’t play well together. So we had to wait for the wood to dry out before we started assembling the five metre span four metre high trusses. Steve and I were building alone at this point, and it became clear that raising the blighters was a bit of a challenge between us. So our trusted David Brown tractor was called on to leverage up the trusses using straps and with a bit of huffing and puffing the first was raised. Just four more to go!

Once the frame was up, the heavy duty fly sheet was winched to the top of the ridge pole and rolled out  – no easy feat, I assure you. With just a couple of scaffold towers we became adept climbers. A cherry Picker would have been very useful at this stage.

The internal walls went up easy and our excitement was palpable. Even the sun came out. It was time for a cheeky cider to toast our new venture and celebrate all our hard graft.

Take a look at the video below, which plots our progress.

Next instalment coming soon folks!


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