The fact that our last blog post was pretty much a whole year ago just goes to show how busy this year has been. You would think- being in our 8th year of business – we would not still be blown away by how popular glamping has become – But we are! Taking a little time out before the craziness of Christmas is upon us, it’s great to look back over the year and take stock of all that we have achieved and enjoyed this year.
We kicked off the year with one of our favourite long standing weekends – The Acoustic Festival. Just down the road from us, this friendly, family festival has such a great relaxed atmosphere, and our glamping village was home to a great bunch of festival go-ers for the weekend. With fabulous weather, camp was nothing but idyllic! Our luxury packages with real double beds went down a treat – as did the Cider! We are glad to say we are back for 2019. Let’s hope for a repeat of the weather!
This was the start of the 2018 heatwave – of which we were so thankful! Never have we known such a dry summer. Mallets became a thing of the past and all staff were armed with hammers for tent pegs as the ground was so dry and hard. Communal tents all became blissful floating retreats with sides up to let the breeze flow through, and take downs were done in record time. We won’t mention the ridiculously early starts we made to get tents up before the blistering sun gave us all heat stroke or the hours spent in a sweltering van on the road home – a small price to pay for such a fantastic summer.
A brand New Festival for the UK – Timber was also blessed with this fabulous sunshine, of which we were thankful! An area of The National Forest was transformed into a magical woodland community, and we were lucky enough to be asked to build a glamping village for campers to retreat to after a day spent immersing themselves in music, art, and philosophy. We have never been to a festival like it – a real treat for the soul. Our camp was home to guests from all over the world, making for a very interesting little community for us to chat to and get to know – a fantastic experience. We can’t wait to return in 2019 to see how the festival evolves in it’s second year. But we are determined to find a little more time to enjoy all it had to offer personally too – especially the outdoor Spa!
The Tinker’s Van, in all her yellow glory bought along the sunshine to so many extraordinary weddings this year. We travelled 6 counties, bringing brides and grooms pop up accommodation for all of their lovely guests – extending their big days into even bigger weekends, with more time to enjoy their friends and family all together. Our handmade festival flags continued to fly high, really adding a wow factor to our set ups that our customers loved. More and more guests chose to spend the weekend In real style in our luxury suites, enjoying the comfort of a real double bed. The energy and creativity that we have seen couples putting into their weddings this year has surpassed any other, we continue to be amazed by you guys!
Another new festival for us was the Rock and Blues Custom Show in Pentrich. Aagain we were amazed by the popularity of our bell tents – it appears your bikers like a bit of luxury! – Although maybe it’s because its a little tricky fitting your polyester tent into your saddle bags?! Either way the glamping went down a storm and was huge success – again meaning a return for us in 2019 – where we hope to have even more availability for you all.
Whilst physically getting through all the set ups of the summer, in the background we were also managing an increase in future bookings, meaning a much needed update to our booking process. A redesign from our amazing web design team bought us a new guest booking system which allows guests to book and pay for tents instantly, and for brides and grooms to shed the hassle of organising their guests accommodation with a personalised guest booking page. We now offer this service free of charge to all of our wedding bookings and it has fast become of huge value to our service.
Just as the season was coming to a close, and the tents should be getting packed away, our new storage building was completed, so we were on the move – only a few meters to the new plot, but still quite an upheaval! But oh my – the relief to have the warehouse of our dreams, and a new office too, what a great way to end the year. This change will make 2019 so much easier and open up even more opportunities for the future of Tinker’s Bells – and it’s all thanks to our great friends Mick and Anna at Fieldhead – love you guys!
That leads us to…drum roll….in 2019 our sister company Hen Camp will open a permanent site at Fieldhead Farm, owned by Mick and Anna. The site, close to Alton Towers will be similar to our current Hen Camp – The Grange but will be able to accommodate larger groups and have a few other little quirks of it’s own too! We are so lucky to work with such fabulous people – MIck and Mary at The Grange continue to utterly spoil guests at The Grange, and with new addition Loki the puppy, Biscuit the dog now has a partner in crime to add the cute factor to all the hen camp weekends.
In addition to Mick, Anna, Mick and Mary, we would also like to say a huge thank you to our staff this year – the biggest and best team yet! The commitment our team has shown this year has been outstanding and it’s all thanks to you guys that we have been able to bring our bell tents to so many amazing events this year. Thanks Guys!
Did we mention in all of this we have had our two little Tinker’s Jude and Sid tagging along? A busy summer with two boys under 3 has been a crazy ride – but one we wouldn’t change for the world. Being able to involve them in the festivals and Hen camps is a great experience, and only makes us more excited about what’s to come next year for us all. But for now – a bit of sleep wouldn’t hurt kids – yeah?!
Signing Out for a much needed December Lull..
Love to you all