I don’t do camping – but I now do glamping.
The last time I went camping I was a girl guide waking up in a freezing cold bell tent with my camping partner having kept me awake all night crying because she was homesick.
It was then on with the wellies and a trudge across the muddy fields with washbag in hand for a lukewarm shower and a breakfast of half-cooked sausages over the campfire.
Fast forward more years than I care to let on, and camping has seriously upped its game.
The Wigwams at Waterfoot Park in Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, are the Rolls Royce of camping with not a tent peg, soggy ground sheet, muddy sock or twisted guy rope in sight.
Instead it’s electric heater, hot water on tap and fridge to keep your wine chilled for when you stagger back the 15-minute walk from the friendly village pubs.
Built from renewable resources of home-grown timber, the cabins are fully insulated, have double-glazed windows and lockable door, and sleep up to four people in two foam mattress double beds.
For self-caterers, there’s a two-ring electric hob, microwave, kettle and toaster plus enough room for a dining table and four chairs.
The separate bathroom with shower cubicle, flushing toilet, hand basin and mirror is surprisingly spacious and saves you the aforementioned traditional trip to the shower block.
Waterfoot’s two Running Water II Wigwams are made in Scotland – but not from girders – and the park is hoping to be pitching up two more in the not too distant future.
The Wigwams are a far cry from my last camping experience and offer a cosy, comfortable retreat after you’ve spent a hard day walking in the Lakes and enjoyed a lovely meal to fill your belly at one of the three friendly Pooley Bridge pubs.
The Waterfoot Park’s own Mansion House bar with free wifi and overlooking the lake is also well worth a visit for a nightcap before you retire to your snug, state-of-the-art Wigwam where, despite the rain, we enjoyed a peaceful and dry night’s sleep.
Tent poles apart from the leaking canvas of my girl guiding days... which is why for me from now on, it’ll be carry on glamping!
*Many thanks to Michelle and the rest of the staff for helping to make sure our first glamping experience won’t be our last.
*Prices for Wigwams at Waterfoot Park start from £45.50 to £56.50 a night for two people including electric, depending on the season. For full bookings and tariffs, call 017684 86302 or go to http://www.waterfootpark.co.uk/enquiries/