Review: Wild Meadow Glamping, Raynham Estate
Muddy under canvas! How did we get on spending a night under the stars at this wild North Norfolk glamping spot?
Ok sure, admittedly we were (hashtag) blessed a halcyon weekend of golden sunshine during our stay, but the rolling views from the Wild Meadow Glamping site would be glorious in any weather. Between the wild flowers underfoot and the swelling birdsong that pulses the air, it really does feel like somewhere to get back to basics – but, oh-so importantly, with the opportunity to take a hot shower and charge your phone, too.
The site was packed with young families during our stay, but it’s also a fantastic spot for couples. If you’re a sociable sort there’s a firepit tucked just inside the woods, where guests tend to gather after dark to sit on logs and drink wine from camping mugs.
Scoff and quaff
Each yurt is assigned its own cupboard, fridge space and cooking area in the Turnip Tent, a spotlessly clean communal area that’s lit up prettily by fairy lights from dusk. All the tents also have their own barbecue and picnic bench just outside, and you can pre-order Aberdeen Angus beef reared on the estate to fling on the barbie.
We ate burgers and toasted marshmallows all weekend (not sorry), but it you fancy venturing out then The Brisley Bell, Sculthorpe Mill and The Dabbling Duck are all fantastic foodie pubs under a quarter of an hour’s drive away.
Wild Meadow has eight hand-crafted yurts, which are all very evocatively named after some of the wildflowers that grow on the site – including clover, poppy and foxglove. They can all sleep between four and five people (with one super king bed and other guests on singles).
Two come with a brilliant ensuite bathrooms, but all other tents are assigned their own toilet and shower – meaning you’ll never have to do the dreaded shower block queue, or deal with a stranger’s stray hairs (or worse).
Inside my yurt, the interior decor looks just like something from a boutique hotel – except there’s a massive hole in the high ceiling, designed so you can gaze at the stars while you’re lying in bed. (Don’t worry, it’s covered in plastic – so you won’t get rained on in the night!)
It’s seriously spacious, with plenty of room for a comfy Super King bed and a sweet wood-burning stove. While there’s no wifi (come on, you’re supposed to be getting away from it all!) there’s excellent 4G coverage – quite unusually, for Norfolk, it must be said.
A word to the wise – unless you are a heavy sleeper, an eye mask and a decent pair of ear plugs are an absolute must. I was woken up periodically by a flock of seagulls pecking the field at dawn, cows mooing in the distance and the constant chiming of a nearby church. (All fabulously atmospheric, if not terribly restful!)
It also got cold at night when I visited in late May, despite my best efforts with the woodburner – although I was completely toasty once I was under the thick duvet and a blanket. So, don’t forget to pack something warm to wear – even in summer.
Out and about
It’s well-worth taking a cute footpath which runs down the side of the glamping site, which will take you on a little tour of the pretty estate. You’re also in a very decent location if you feel like exploring a little further – plus, you’ll be eligible for “guest benefit” discounts for various nearby attractions.
The wild and beautiful North Norfolk coast is less than half an hour away, and you just can’t ever go wrong with a trip to Pensthorpe Natural Park (15 minutes away by car). I also love the sound of the Whatahoot gin school, where you can create your own bespoke gin. Perfect for quaffing back in the Turnip Tent!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Getting away from it all, young kids, exploring North-West Norfolk.
Not for: We imagine that the lack of wifi or entertainment might be less of a hit with teenagers. But then, that never did any of us any harm…right?!
The damage: Summer rates cost from £130 per night, with a minimum two-night stay.
Wild Meadow, Hall Farm, East Raynham, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 7EE. Tel: 01328 853467. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.