Uncategorized

Accessibility

Getting to your tent

We have implemented several features to enhance the accessibility and convenience of our site.
A track has been added in the field to facilitate easier vehicle access, allowing direct entry to the front of your tent. Additionally, we provide an 18-car parking area for our guests at the entrance.
For safe night time navigation, our boardwalks are illuminated, ensuring a secure path from your tent to your private bathroom.
Access to the tents involves three steps up to a boardwalk that connects all three tents and their respective bathrooms. For guests with limited mobility, Midsummer is the most suitable option. This is our first tent, located closest to the entrance and closest to its private bathroom.

Your tent

All of our tents are two stories. The ground floor comprises a kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms, while the loft features an additional bedroom with two beds.
Upon entering, you step into an open-plan living space with a kitchenette. The kitchen is equipped with a four-ring induction hob, kettle, toaster, and an under-counter fridge with a small icebox. The living area includes a two-seater sofa, two armchairs, a games box, and a wood burner. The two ground-floor bedrooms can be arranged as either double or twin rooms, providing flexible sleeping options.
Each bathroom features a standard toilet, sink, and a walk-in shower with a 10cm step-over lip.
An electric boiler ensures instant hot water, and electricity is supplied to various lights and sockets, some of which include USB outlets. While there is no TV, we offer site-wide Wi-Fi, though signal strength varies by tent. Phone signal is not optimal, but guests can use Wi-Fi for calls.
All tents come with a mix of feather or hypoallergenic duvets and pillows. We can supply specific tents with hypoallergenic bedding upon request.

The Shack

Our stretch tent (The Shack) is at the end of our site at the bottom of the track, which guests can drive all the way down to if mobility is limited. There is a small step up into The Shack.

Sustainability on the farm

Where we are

Nestled in the heart of rural England within the Malvern Hills, we deeply appreciate and strive to preserve the stunning environment that surrounds us. The Malvern Hills are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and as a biological and geographical Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). As passionate outdoor enthusiasts who love walking these beautiful trails, we feel a profound responsibility to maintain and nurture this precious landscape.

What we do

We have made every effort to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible by:

  • Using reused or upcycled furniture.

  • We provide recycling bins alongside waste bins to encourage guests to recycle.

  • We are single-use plastic free zone.

  • Using environmentally friendly chemicals for cleaning and guests use.

  • We consider the environmental, social, and ethical impacts of the goods and services we purchase. For example, we supply Who Gives a Crap toilet paper, made from eco-friendly bamboo, with the company donating 50% of its profits to provide toilet facilities in developing countries.

  • We provide refillable organic toiletries from Faith in Nature, which are vegan, cruelty-free, and minimise surfactants, parabens, and silicones while aiming for zero waste.

  • We use refillable surface spray from Method, an eco-friendly brand with packaging made from 100% recycled materials.

  • All food provided in hampers or welcome packs is locally sourced or homegrown.

  • We reduce resource consumption, including energy, water, and raw materials, and strive to use resources efficiently.

  • We utilise solar panels to generate sustainable energy.

  • We are constantly looking at what we do already and consider how we can change to do more.

Keeping it local

While we already take significant measures to ensure our site is sustainable, our mission extends to educating our guests and encouraging them to make sustainable choices. We urge our guests to support local establishments, such as Clive’s Fruit Farm and The Nest, as well as local pubs like The Farmers Arms and The Duke of York.

By shopping locally, guests can contribute to the community and embrace sustainable practices during their stay.

The communal Shack

Glamping star gazing

Stargazing – Time to look up

Looking up is something we often forget to do, yet star gazing can be one of the most magical experiences to share with family and loved ones. Stargazing offers us a window on a universe and it helps us get life into perspective,  and it’s the perfect antidote to our worries.

The night sky has caught our imaginations for centuries, from navigation by stars to divination and forecasting for people through astrology, stars just keep fascinating us.

There is a whole new world to discover above our heads a world to appreciate and explore. So when better to start than in the dark nights in the pastures of Worcestershire. Glamping at Upsticks offers the space and time outdoors to enjoy stars, whether lying on the grass or just wallowing in your own personal hot tub for spotting your star sign, or the Milky Way, or the space station passing overhead!

What you need to Stargaze

In your lodge you’ll find a star chart to help, you don’t need a telescope – but there is one in The shack which you are free to use.

There are so many spots to enjoy the night sky – and when glamping you get the chance to spend more time outdoors and see the things that we don’t notice when living in four walls. There are some wonderful spots on the top of hills in the Malvern’s to enjoy night skies as well as on site or just soaking in the hot tub.

Our tents face South East, so you not only get the sun rise to warm your tent in the morning you get the moon rise too. During summer months the moon can appear huge in the sky as it rises above the shack in the corner of the field, and glampers get the best view from their tents.

Best Star gazing tips

  • Best choose a night when the moon is new or in its first quarter.  Here is a handy timetable of moon times.
  • Turn off all outside lights near your tent – if you’re in the hot tub – turn the lights off. Alternatively grab a blanket, some cushions and a torch from the tent and take yourself off to the other side of the farm and snuggle down to star watch.
  • You will find a pair of binoculars you can use – but you can just use your eyes.
  • Allow your eyes to come accustomed to the dark – its amazing what you’ll start to pick out.
  • Moving lights are likely satellites, but if you are lucky you may see a shooting star in the form of a meteor.
  • visit Nasa, for tracking the space station, it comes around every 90 minutes or so
  • There are also some handy Apps like Night Sky or Star Walk which you can use to navigate the stars.

Star gazing is a great way to spend a night without screens.  Kids love picking out creatures in the pattern of star signs or tracking satellites. Night skies are the ultimate in romance. and making special memories. Dream, wonder and love the precious time together without distraction – apart from the odd shooting star of course.

 

UpSticks Glamping fire pit

Glamping holiday activities

Last year was was weird right? Home working, Zooming your life away, and having to become a teacher overnight, whilst doing the day job. Not to mention the face mask revolution. Who would have thought that would be a thing! On top of all of that stress, we weren’t able to travel – anywhere!  When we could eventually move about we had to stay here in the UK.

People wanted a break after the stresses of Covid. Being unable to travel abroad to warmer climates holidays which offered  lnew experiences here in the UK were top of the list After being holed up in our homes for so long people searched for holidays in the great outdoors. Glamping holidays offered the perfect mix of an experience an otherness, in the fresh air.

Glamping holiday bookings have rocketed

 

So 2021 saw glamping enquiries rocket. Our glamping site wasn’t alone in receiving a tsunami of enquiries. The everyday of running a busy season of glamping was manageable – but personally the enquiries swamp me. If you were one of those that rang in the early hours of Sunday morning, apologies if you didn’t get the best me.

I resorted to reverse marketing -posting on social media that we were full.  This felt weird – but without a single night free it seemed wrong to promote only to disappoint.

I did feel for our regular visitors. They were unable to get a look in, as so many people booked so early, which has overflowed into 2022 bookings, which have seen pre-bookings up. This year, we have less availability than we would normally have for this time of year, but there’s still plenty of choice.

Grab yourself a short break away

 

Chase End in the sun

Upsticks glamping; Chase end lodge in sun

 

Weekends are always the first to be booked up on the glamping site, especially popular with group bookings – where people hire our whole site.

Last year group bookings got hit by government restrictions. Later in the season a few hen parties and significant birthday events did go ahead. It was very welcome to hear the good humour and cheer of people partying together in our shack where the pizza ovens and silent disco were a big hit!

For those of you looking to book a short break our low season prices are detailed below.

  • Weekend prices start from £500 – a two night stay with a ‘twilight’ checkout on Sundays, so no need to rush off, enjoy a slow brunch or even late lunch.
  • Midweek breaks start from – £350 – We offer Monday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Friday stays.

All have the option of adding a hot tub for £45, which includes all wood, heating for your arrival and of course the water.

Couples retreat – book a midweek two night stay for 2 andclaim a free hot tub with code Just2

 

Book your break

Arrive to a ‘Hot’ Tub

The hot tubs have been a raging success. We put them in by each tent in 2020 and haven’t looked back.  Our glampers love them. It has been a bit of a learning curve for us and guests.  Our tubs are heated by wood burner, so its been a learning curve to effectively guide guests on how to get their tub toasty.  The amount of wood we get through has been a bit of a shocker too.  For that reason we are endeavouring to get the tubs hot for arrival. We know  that those first five minutes of your holiday really matter, and lighting fires isn’t top of the list of things to do.  Kids and adults alike just want to jump into their holiday and hot tub!

Our tubs have sand and UV light filters which means they don’t need big doses of chemicals to stay clear; nevertheless we empty, clean and refill between guests – so with a 10:30 checkout and 3pm arrival and a heating time of 3 hours we’ve set ourselves a tall task.  It’ll mean emptying tubs early on departure day, to meet the deadline. But jumping into your tub on arrival tends to stump a breakfast dip on departure day.

We have offers from time to time which discounts the price of your hot tub. Our current one is Couples Retreat (use code Just2 at checkout)- book a two night (or more)  midweek stay for two people,  and get your hot tub free.

 

New Glamping activities for 2022 – bikes, crafting and more

 

When we started our glamping journey, our guests just loved to come and chill.  Many planned to explore and book activities around the Malvern Hills and Wye valley. In the end many just stayed on site. It was such a pleasure watching people unwind during their stay. Families have space knowing it was a safe space. So parents could relax, and there was no agenda.

Over the last few years our audience has wanted to pack more into their holiday time.  Yet we know this can prove costly and add stress with driving, packing for the day etc.

It has been tricky to know what to offer our broad bunch of visitors. But we’ve put our thinking caps on and spoken to guests, a few specialists and come up with a list of activities which we hope will hit the mark.

 

Scavenger hunt and nature quiz

 

glamping activity

We had an orienteering quiz a while back, but it proved rather too big and complex.  So we have put together a scavenger hunt, along the lines of geocaching, with treasures to find.  Who doesn’t love finding treasure? We provide a map of the search area, compass, log book and pen as well as hints on tips on finding the treasure.

We recognise many families choose glamping to get a dose of nature.  Many little ones are fascinated with the natural world and we want to help them and grown ups leave tUpsticks having learnt a little about our space.  Our little Nature Quiz encourages kids of all ages to explore, collect and observe nature with a new eye.  Scrap books can be purchased to create a keepsake.

Crafting

We did have crafting materials in each tent’s entertainments box but unfortunately it was tough to maintain. So we have come up with a re-cycling box of crafting gear, which will live in the shack.  Along with glue, paints, brushes and scissors, bottles, card, reels, wool, and much more are there to get creating and reduce what goes to landfill. Perfect for quiet play and wet days.

Bikes

 

cycling at Upsticks Glamping

 

We invested in bikes last year.  So we have about 10 decent adult mountain bikes for hire.  We do have some kit to take little ones pedalling such as a tag-a-long and bike seats.  There are some great little rides about here with quiet lanes and some off road trails too. Destinations like Upton-upon-severn and Castlemorton common are great destinations which aren’t too taxing on the legs. It’s best to book ahead, and bring your own protective gear. We have maps and guides to help you get the most from your day on two wheels.

Games

Our ping pong table is due for an upgrade this year, and we are looking to add some traditional games like coconut shy and wellie wanging, a few space hoppers and sacks so you can create your very own village fete.

Obstacle course

 

Zip wire

We recognise kids love to play independently, climbing and crawling, balancing and swinging are always popular. So our biggest add this year will be an obstacle course. Think balance beams, cargo nets and an upgrade to the rope swing. It’ll be built around the shack area, so kids can let off steam in a safe place.

A new communal area

During the season we will be adding more space to our communal area. This will be great for our group events as well as additional activities for all our guests.  It’ll be perfect for arrival drinks, or a night of camping cinema.

So many ideas, we  can’t wait to get cracking on Upsticks glamping’s seventh season. We are going to be adding two further lodges to our collection this year, as well as all the activities.  So for visitors old and new we hope we have something that grabs your attention for 2022.

 

Looking for something else?

Last year we ventured into holiday letting property.  So we’ve been very busy with other projects.  We’ve really proud of what we’ve created and hope that many of our glamping guests will give our cottages a try.

 

Upsticks Glamping

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!