Winter camping tips to help keep you and your family warm

Winter camping tips to help keep you and your family warm
Nov 30 2021

Winter isn’t always seen as the best time of the year to go camping, but it can actually be pretty amazing. Picture yourself on a stroll through the snow with the kids on a crisp winter morning, or curled up by a log burner on a chilly night. It can be magical, but only if you prepare properly. A cold, wet winter camping trip is no fun for anyone. So, here’s how to keep your whole family warm, toasty and dry during your next break in the great outdoors:

How to make your camping site more glam

How to make your camping site more glam
Nov 29 2021

Camping doesn’t have to be dull or uncomfortable, and nor should it be. With the right accessories, it can be stylish, glamorous and super cosy too!  

A glamping Christmas: Best UK glamping sites open all-year round

A glamping Christmas: Best UK glamping sites open all-year round
Nov 24 2021

Fancy doing something different and just a little magical for Christmas this year? Go glamping! There’s nothing better than curling up in cosy, heated glamping accommodation while the snow falls gently outside, before tucking into your Christmas dinner. Winter glamping breaks also tend to be quieter, so you can get all that beautiful, idyllic nature to yourself. Here’s our guide to the best UK glamping sites open at Christmas:

Benefits of awnings in entertainment venues in the winter

Benefits of awnings in entertainment venues in the winter
Nov 23 2021

Awnings, marquees and other temporary structures have been a lifeline for many hospitality and entertainment venues during the Covid-19 crisis. When indoor spaces were restricted, venues could make better use of outdoor space. But what happens in winter - will customers still want to sit outdoors?  The good news for any venue owner wanting to maximise outdoor space during the colder months is that awnings are here to stay. They offer a huge number of benefits for customers, staff and performers too. Let’s take a look at just a few: 

Top 10 UK counties for camping, according to the AA

Top 10 UK counties for camping, according to the AA
Oct 21 2021

2020 saw a huge rise in popularity for camping and glamping, as the Covid-19 crisis meant that overseas summer holidays were off the table. The UK camping renaissance continues into 2021, with the AA publishing its annual guide to the best destinations for al fresco adventures. If you’re starting to plan your next camping or glamping trip, here are the 10 best counties to focus on:  Cornwall Unsurprisingly, sun-soaked Cornwall took the top spot in the AA camping guide. Around 86 of the hundreds of fabulous campsites in the area are featured in the latest AA guide – and 13 of these have won Platinum Pennant awards. This includes Globe Vale Holiday Park in Redruth and Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay, which was crowned ‘AA Holiday Centre of the Year’ in the most recent awards. Devon Following hot on Cornwall’s heels is neighbour Devon, home of nearly 60 AA-rated campsites. These include Woodland Springs Adult Touring Park in Drewsteignton, Harford Bridge Holiday Park in Tavistock and Dornafield in Newton Abbot. North Yorkshire The third best UK county for camping, according to the AA, is North Yorkshire. There are 46 exceptional AA-rated sites across the region’s dales, moors, market towns and coastal spots, including Riverside Meadows Country Caravan Park in Ripon and Rudding Holiday Park in Harrogate. Dorset Yet another south-western county scoring highly for camping is Dorset, which is also home to the AA’s Campsite of the Year (South West England) – East Fleet Farm Touring Park. Set in a stunning spot on the shores of the Fleet Lagoon in Weymouth, this working organic farm offers family-friendly camping and a fantastic location close to local attractions. Somerset With its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, beaches and coastlines, and plethora of cultural attractions – it’s easy to see why Somerset is one of the top camping spots in the UK. It has 30 5-star AA rated camping and caravan sites, including Burham-on Sea Holiday Village and Wells Touring Park. Cumbria Heading back up north again, we arrive at the mountains, lakes and valleys of beautiful Cumbria. Its Lake District National Park is one of the main attractions for campers, but there are also dozens of fantastic AA-rated campsites – including Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park in Keswick and Skelwith Fold Caravan Park in Ambleside. Gwynedd The top spot for camping in Wales is Gwynedd, home of Portmerion Village, Caernarfon Castle and the Welsh Highland Railway. Plus, over 20 AA-rated campsites, including Greenacres Holiday Park in Porthmadog. Norfolk Norfolk and its Broads, offering over 125 miles of beautiful waterways, comes in at no. 8 on the AA’s list of top camping counties. It’s also where you’ll find the AA Campsite of the Year (Heart of England) – the Clippesby Hall country house estate with camping and touring facilities. Dumfries & Galloway Scotland’s entry into the AA’s top UK counties for camping list is Dumfries & Galloway, home of 17 AA-rated sites – including the coastal gem that is Seaward Holiday Park in Kirkcudbright. Lancashire This northern county with its rolling countryside, seaside resorts and rich industrial history just about makes it into the AA’s top 10 camping counties. But Lancashire also wins another prize, as the peaceful Charoland Farm touring park in Greenhalgh was named ‘AA Small Campsite of the Year’.  Ready to go camping? Check out the SoulPad shop for all the kit you’ll need, from tents and hammocks to cooking equipment and lighting. 

10 must-have items for camping cooking

10 must-have items for camping cooking
Oct 16 2021

Ready to cook up a storm on your next camping trip? Here’s how to add a touch of glamping luxury to your setup, with our must-have cooking essentials:  Brazier  If you want the fabulous experience of cooking in the great outdoors, a brazier or fire basket is a must-have. It keeps your campfire off the ground, so you can use it pretty much anywhere.     Camping stove Not every day is suitable for outdoor cooking, so invest in a compact, good quality camping stove for wet days. All you need is a single gas burner to boil water for hot drinks and to prepare simple hot meals.     Bon-fire Kitchen This mobile kitchen kit is more than just a great BBQ. It’s also a stew pot and grill, for use over an open fire or brazier. Simply pop up the 3-leg stand around the heat source and choose your pot or pan – it’s also great fun to use.      Petromax Fire Kettle If all you need for your trip is a lovely hot brew every morning, this portable fire kettle is ideal. It’s lightweight and compact, but it boils just the right amount of water in minutes. And you can use it anywhere, all you need is a tiny fire underneath – there’s no need to plug anything in.     Petromax Loaf Pan Bet you didn’t think you could bake bread or cakes while camping! Well now you can, thanks to this handy piece of cast iron cooking kit. You can use your new loaf pan on the campfire for baking, or even use it as a casserole or roasting dish. And the lid has its own feet, so you can turn it upside down and use the ridged surface for grilling steaks.    BBQ Bucket If high-tech gadgets aren’t for you, why not keep things simple? The BBQ bucket is a classic design for fun outdoor cooking, with a sturdy shell to hold the coals, air holes at the bottom and a grid on top for cooking on.     Coffee percolator It’s gadgets like this that mark the difference between camping and glamping. If you miss your quality coffee while camping, this is the accessory for you. Coffee percolators can be used on small open fires, on the BBQ or camping stove.     Utensils and essentials So far, we’ve looked at the bigger pieces of kit for camping cooking. But the smaller accessories are just as important. If you’re packing light, here’s what you need to have as a minimum:  A sharp knife A set of cutlery each, including spoon Tongs and skewers – for outdoor cooking Wooden spoon Can opener, bottle opener and corkscrew  Dishcloth and tea towel - for washing up Large water container A plate, bowl and mug each   Bonfire cover If you need to leave your campfire out for the next night, you can use a tipi cover to keep it from getting wet. As a side bonus, it also helps your campsite look tidier.      Carbon monoxide alarm Last but perhaps most importantly, a crucial safety item. If you’ll be doing any kind of cooking indoors, or using a wood-burning stove, make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly.     Check out the SoulPad shop for a full range of camping and glamping accessories.  

Glamping in the autumn or winter – what do you need to take?

Glamping in the autumn or winter – what do you need to take?
Oct 15 2021

A luxury camping trip during colder seasons can be just as good as summer glamping, but for different reasons. Nature is at its colourful, crisp best during autumn, and if you’re lucky you’ll get snowy scenes during winter.   This is where glamping really comes into its own, giving you a warm, cosy place to snuggle up and listen to the weather outside. So, pop another log on the wood burner, open a bottle of red and enjoy that lovely ‘hygge’ feeling.  But to stay cosy rather than wet and chilly, packing the right things is essential. Here’s a handy autumn/winter glamping checklist:  Great lighting  Night falls early at this time of year, so you’re going to need more task lighting to see by. But don’t forget about atmosphere – warm twinkly festoon lights and lanterns are crucial for creating a cosy feeling inside your tent or glamping pod. And don’t forget a torch for those magical winter walks!  Heating and stoves  All glamping accommodation should come with some kind of heating during the colder months. If you’re using a SoulPad bell tent, a Blaze stove is a perfect way to safely heat it – a lightweight, efficient wood burning stove.   Just make sure you remember those all-important safety accessories, including the Blaze-flue kit to vent out fumes and The Genie to seal the chimney exit (so that fumes don’t come back inside). Any stove accessories can be kept in a Blaze-flue canvas bag for easier packing.   Warm, woolly clothing and blankets  Like on any camping trip, it’s good to pack lots of layers just in case you get too hot or too cold. On autumn/winter glamping trips, you’re likely to be chilly – so fill your rucksack with warm jumpers, gloves, hats and thick socks. Don’t forget those vital insulating underlayers, and bring along some blankets to snuggle into of an evening.   Sturdy, waterproof footwear  A good pair of walking boots or wellies are one of the best things you can pack for a camping holiday. They’ll keep your feet warm, dry and supported whatever the weather, especially when out on walks and hikes in the countryside.   Waterproofs  Even if the forecast’s looking reasonably dry, it’s always good to be prepared with waterproof coats and umbrellas.   Rainy day entertainment  Wet weather is fine on an autumn/winter glamping holiday, provided your accommodation is fully weatherproof and you have something to do. In fact, there’s nothing nicer than curling up with a book while the rain outside patters on the tent, or getting stuck into a lively board game with the family. So, make sure you pack some rainy day activities for those blissful slow days.  Hot drinks and hearty food  Nothing beats a steaming hot chocolate and marshmallows on a cold day, so pack the right supplies so you can quickly whip up a batch. You’ll need a camping stove or kettle, and if it’s dry you can even toast your marshmallows on an open fire.    You’ll find everything you need for amazing glamping adventures all year round at the SoulPad shop – check out what’s new here.      

The escalating appeal of glamping pods

The escalating appeal of glamping pods
Oct 14 2021

Glamping comes in many forms, from beautiful bell tents to lodges, pods and cabins. All of these accommodation types have one thing in common – luxury. This is why glamping appeals to so many different types of holiday makers, especially those who love the great outdoors but aren’t so keen on roughing it under canvas.   The latest craze is for glamping pods, which have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These self-contained units bridge the gap between tent and building, being so compact that they can be placed anywhere. Think of them like a mini hotel room, nestled into a traditional campsite. Crucially, these pods sit lightly on the land, without spoiling the beautiful countryside surrounding them.   Cleverly designed units like our SoulPods are fully insulated, double-glazed and come with everything needed for a luxury escape. They’re stylishly but simply furnished, so you still get a camping-like experience along with a proper bed and private bathroom.   Why does everyone love glamping pods so much?   Pods offer all kinds of tempting benefits, which is why they’re likely to stick around as the glamping accommodation of choice for many years to come. Let’s take a look at few of the reasons they have the edge on tents:  Like hotel rooms, only better  We all appreciate a stay in a luxurious hotel room, but it usually means sleeping in the heart of a building. This means restricted views and the need to travel to reach the best rural and countryside spots. But with a glamping pod, you get the same luxury touches as a hotel room, but you’re right in the heart of nature. You can simply step outside the door and drink in the panoramic countryside views as you sip your morning coffee – bliss.   Best option out of season  While many glamping tents come with heating (i.e. a wood burner), they aren’t best suited to camping in the depths of winter. But in a fully insulated SoulPod, you’re 100% protected from the elements. With heating, you’re warm and cosy whatever the season. This makes glamping pods a year-round camping solution, allowing you to get out and enjoy the beauty of autumn/winter without freezing your toes off.   No setup  Glamping pods are permanent, which means no setup required once they’re installed. So, neither you or the campsite owner will need to wrestle with a tent in the pitch dark. You can arrive, unpack and start your holiday right away.   Private facilities  Many glamping pods come with ensuite bathroom facilities. If you’ve ever been camping and had to share facilities, you’ll know just how good a luxury this really is. It means no freezing 4am walks to the toilet block or queuing for the showers. And some glamping pods even come with their own hot tub, so you can soak away your cares while staring up at the stars. There’s nothing quite like it.  Want to experience ‘podlife’ for yourself? Check out our stunning SoulPods – you’ll love their natural, welcoming aesthetics and clever use of space.    

Top tips on making a glamping site successful

Top tips on making a glamping site successful
Sep 24 2021

Setting up your own glamping site, or giving your campsite a luxury upgrade? It can sometimes be difficult to know how to get started, as well as what to choose to impress customers while keeping your budget in check.   We’re here to help, with some handy tips on how to make your shiny new glampsite a roaring success. 

Top five glamping sites in Wales for the October half-term

Top five glamping sites in Wales for the October half-term
Sep 23 2021

  Looking for a family getaway during October half-term? Glamping is the perfect option, and the beautiful country of Wales the ideal destination. Gorgeous green countryside, windswept beaches, charming towns and villages – Wales has it all.   Here’s our guide to some of the best glamping sites across Wales for the autumn school holidays:   

How to look after a bell tent

How to look after a bell tent
Sep 22 2021

If you’ve bought yourself a beautiful bell tent, you can look forward to many years of magical glamping adventures under its canvas. But to get the most from your bell tent, you’ll need to give it a little TLC.   Here’s our rundown of care and maintenance tips for your tent, including our 4000, 5000 and 6000 hybrid bell tents…

Tips on surviving a festival with the erratic British summer weather

Tips on surviving a festival with the erratic British summer weather
Aug 18 2021

The great British summertime can always be relied upon… to be completely unreliable. There’s an element of uncertainty and packing panic if you’re heading to a UK festival, where it could be gloriously sunny or biblically rainy – or a combination of both.     But we’re not going to let a bit of weather spoil our fun, especially after a year where many events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The key is to be prepared for absolutely anything.   You’ll need a little more space in the car boot for some extra kit, but it’ll be well worth it.   Here are our top festival survival tips, to help you outfox the weather with some seriously smart packing: 

Off the grid: The benefits of camping and a 'digital detox'

Off the grid: The benefits of camping and a 'digital detox'
Aug 18 2021

A holiday is an excellent chance to switch off, unplug and unwind. And there’s no better way to truly enjoy a digital detox than camping. There’s no Wi-Fi, no screens and no city centre bustle to distract you or disrupt your peace and quiet. Choose the right location to pitch your tent, and you’ll have nothing but beautiful, soothing natural surroundings. Let’s explore some of the ways camping can help you slow down and reap the benefits of going ‘off grid’…

How to start a festival on your land

How to start a festival on your land
Aug 18 2021

If you’ve got land going spare, why not start your own outdoor event? A festival can be an exciting opportunity to raise some income, and design your own perfect event from scratch. However, it can also be hard work, involving lots of planning, paperwork, risk assessing and attention to detail.   Here are some of the key things to consider as you start the process of setting up your festival:   

Top five campsites in Devon near the beach

Top five campsites in Devon near the beach
Jun 21 2021

Devon is one of the best spots in the UK for sun-soaked camping and glamping adventures. It has it all – glorious weather, beautiful sandy beaches, lush countryside and many national parks. But whereabouts exactly should you pop up your tent?   We’ve put together a list of some of the best campsites in Devon near the beach, perfect for newcomers to this stunning coastal county…

Best 10 things to take Glamping

Best 10 things to take Glamping
Jun 17 2021

You can upgrade the ordinary camping experience quite easily, with a comfy bed, some proper flooring and of course, a beautiful bell tent. But if your idea of glamping heaven is an all-out, five-star luxury experience, you’re going to need to think bigger. Here are the must-have glamping accessories that can turn a comfortable camping trip into a fabulous VIP getaway…

The rise of the British staycation: Is it here to stay?

The rise of the British staycation: Is it here to stay?
Jun 17 2021

The international travel industry has been severely disrupted by COVID-19, which has naturally led to a spike in interest in UK holidays. According to research by customer experience agency Brand Vista, there was a huge 500% increase in Google searches for the term ‘staycation’ in 2020. What’s more, ‘UK travel’ searches increased by a whopping 2500% year-on-year. But will we continue to holiday at home even after overseas travel restrictions are lifted? The early signs are positive. Around 50% of UK holidaymakers are looking to stay closer to home in summer 2021, according to the Brand Vista survey. Whether or not you’d class this as a ‘staycation’ is somewhat contentious - as some people consider the term to mean a holiday within your actual home – but it could certainly mean a boost for the UK hospitality and tourism industry nonetheless.

How to choose the right awning

How to choose the right awning
Jun 17 2021

If your pub has a beer garden or outdoor seating space, providing some kind of overhead cover is crucial. It not only keeps your punters dry in case of sudden downpours, but also provides much-needed shade on those scorching hot summer days. The ideal solution is an awning. They can be fixed or flexible, so you can pull it out or put it away when needed. And there’s no need for extra storage space either, as many awnings fold away neatly into the fittings on the side of your building. But which is the best option to choose? Here are some key things to think about when picking out awnings for your pub…

Seven top tips for starting a glamping site

Seven top tips for starting a glamping site
Jun 04 2021

Combining the luxury of hotels with an authentic outdoor experience, glamping has been changing the way many of us holiday in recent years. This rising trend looks set to escalate in popularity even further in forthcoming months, as travel-starved holidaymakers keep their eyes firmly poised on when Britain’s much-loved staycations are given the green light. Given our nascent love affair with glamping, it’s hardly surprising that there is a growing number of landowners interested in starting a glamping business. What might seem like a faraway dream might not be a challenging to set up as you think, providing you work with the right advice and suppliers that is! Sounds enticing and exciting?  Check out SoulPad’s seven tips for starting a glamping site.

Show Some Love

Show Some Love
Apr 28 2021

Being in the outdoors has been proven to benefit mental wellbeing [1], improve mood [2] and increase happiness levels [3]. At SoulPad HQ we hope you're buzzing with camping plans and having a great time so far this season. The British weather hasn't been all that fantastic recently but it's early days, right?  Hardened UK campers will be used to a bit of variety in the weather and would never let a bit of rain get in the way of a good adventure but here's a friendly reminder that, if not adhered to, could put a mouldy dampener on your plans...  Wet summers mean warm, damp conditions which are not ideal for canvas or polycotton tents. Thoroughly dry your tent before packing it away or - if you're running a glampsite or campsite - perhaps treat your bell tents to a bit of TLC by giving them the once-over with Fabsil as in our Care Pack. Fabsil will protect from mildew - so even if a bell tent doesn't need cleaning you should still treat it to a good spray of the Fabsil. Application is easy, you'll be protecting your investment; helping it look good all through the season. Glampsites should aim to do this three times during April to September. It's much easier to do the legwork now than to realise all too late that your next outdoor adventure may not leave you so happy after all.  More details on all of our products are available at SoulPad.co.uk or you can speak to our friendly staff on 0800 389 9193.