Recently the boys and I got together with some friends and went away for the weekend to Parkdean Sandford.
As there was 6 of us in total, 4 of which are kids aged between 3 – 8 we chose to stay in one of their glamping tents.
I was a little bit unsure about this but the pictures on the website were encouraging and I was looking forward to trying something new.
There are 4 different types of glamping tents, depending on your budget and needs. Parkdean is included on the Kids Pass discount app so you can save some money if you book through that (click here for a 30-day trial).
We chose to go for the Safari + (with bathroom) tents.
These tents include:
- Bathroom with shower
- Electric hob
- Electric lighting and sockets
- Equipped kitchen with sink
- Outside decking area
- Rustic chunky furniture
- Table and chairs in living room
- TV and DVD Player
- Towels Provided
The glamping tents at Parkdean Sandford are new this year (2021) so they were nice and fresh!
As I mentioned there were 6 of us. The tents have 2 bedrooms – one double and one twin. The sofa then has a pull out bed for 2. This did mean it got quite squashed as we couldnt be bothered to put the bed away each day but the boys were all happy to chill out on the bed anyway.
All the bed linen was included as were some towels. Everything in the tent is very basic but it was definitely suitable for us. We didn’t spend that much time in the tent. When we did, it was just to chill out for a drink on the balcony or for sleep.
At Sandford Holiday Park, where we stayed, the glamping tents were all located on their own strip that was closed off to other cars with a barrier. The code for the barrier was only given to the guest of the tents so there was very little traffic. This meant that the kids were free to play out the front. Our kids made friends with the boy in the tent across from ours and had a great time playing outside together.
On our first night in the tent I thought I was going to be really cold. It was June when we went so warm in the day but still cold at night. When I got into bed the first night I was freezing and wished I took a blanket but turned out to be ok. There is an electric heater in the tent that is quite effective so the following nights we warmed up the tent with this before hopping into bed.
The Safari+ (with bathroom) tent cost around £379. As we split it between the two families it was only £189 each which I thought was really reasonable. You can find out more about the prices and availability here.
There are a few downsides to parkdean glamping, however most of them can be easily rectified. The main ones being…
- There is no soundproofing. If you want to get up earlier than anyone else or go to the toilet at night, you are likely to wake them up. It also means that you can hear a lot of what happens outside and in the nearby tents.
- The lighting can be terrible. There was only 1 mirror in the whole tent and that was screwed to the wall in the bathroom. The bathroom was located in between the 2 bedrooms so there were no windows meaning there was really poor lighting. No good if you’re wanting to apply a bit of makeup. This can easily be rectified by taking your own portable mirror.
- As I mentioned, it can get cold. These are essentially tents so don’t provide the best insulation. It’s a good idea to take some extra layers and/ or blankets (such as this travel blanket)
- The hot water was temperamental/ limited. On our first night, we started showering the kids. After about 10 minutes they yelled out that the water had gone cold. I’m not sure if the hot water is limited or just a bit temperamental due to the number of people staying at the holiday park. We tried again after an hour though and there was hot water again.
- They don’t lock. There is obviously no way to lock a tent. Each time we went out we locked our valuables in the car.
Have you done any parkdean glamping in the UK? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
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