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Discover glamping with Lantern & Larks.

Enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends, explore fantastic surroundings and relax in all the comfort of home. Our luxury canvas retreats provide the ideal get-away for adventurous children, romantic breaks or family fun; kitted out to the highest quality and situated in idyllic corners of the British countryside.

You can take the girl out of the city, but can the girl really sleep in a tent?

Posted by Katy Peck

This lovely article was very generously written and supplied by Katie Jolliffe. Thank you so much for your kind words, Katie - we're glad you enjoyed your stay!


What could be more exciting than three nights in a tent in the middle of nowhere in springtime England? For someone like me, who has never really been camping (or indeed glamping) in their life and who always looks for an easy way out of any situation with a google search, the idea of no internet, no electricity and no phone signal for a whole weekend was actually quite daunting!

But when your friend books glamping, you kind of have to go along with it so as to not upset the group. The group being four work colleagues who, although we socialize occasionally outside of the office, I’m not sure need to be sleeping in close proximately in a tent.

However, when we first pull up at the Lantern and Larks Sweffling site in Suffolk after driving down the bumpy entrance even I, with my high expectations, apprehension and lack of enthusiasm, have to admit it took my breath away. When you come from a big city, something that should be so simple - seeing the open green space and the field views, even from the car park - is amazing. As you breathe in the clean fresh air you can already feel yourself taking a step back from the ordinary stress of day-to-day life. Follow that with a greeting from perhaps the most helpful and welcoming person I have ever met. I’m sure Sandra has met the most apprehensive and also the most experienced glampers on her site but just five minutes with her and her reassurances that she was nearby if we needed anything during our stay, and I felt my nerves easing even further.

All of our luggage, wellies and wine included, was piled into a wheelbarrow and off we went on a tour of the site and our tent. Our tent was called Swallow (all the tents are cleverly named after local birds) and was number five out of six on the site, about a three-minute walk from the car park. The other four tents we walked past to get to Swallow were all incredibly spaced out so not only do you feel like an inclusive member of an elite club on this site, but there’s an element of complete privacy too. We saw some children setting up blow up goal posts in the first tent and what looked like a middle-aged couple in the next. All were far enough from the path that even our rubber necking on the journey to the tent gave plenty of privacy.

Our new home was next to the log store which Sandra informed us we could help ourselves to as much as we needed during our stay. Giving us the handy tip to do several wheelbarrow trips so we had a good stock to keep both our fire pit barbecue and our indoor stove going. I’d looked at photos of the tents online but I was surprised at just how big they looked from the outside. And so welcoming with a couple of small steps up to a veranda with the most inviting looking furniture. I could already picture myself sitting there with a glass of wine and gazing at the stars.

Once we unzipped the tent, I honestly could not believe my eyes. We were standing in front of a canvas tent which is furnished better than a lot of houses I’ve visited, possibly even better than my own! There was an L shaped sofa complete with coffee table, rugs and throws galore, which Sandra assured us we might need later as it could get chilly. The stove, which would both keep us warm and help us cook our food, and a full-size dining table, again bigger than my own at home with six dining chairs. To say I’m shocked is a bit of an understatement at this point! Open plan and just off of the dining room is what can only be described as a full working kitchen - not what I was expecting at all! A two-ring gas hob with a kettle, an actual sink and drainer, working tap and all of the pots and pans I think you’d ever need. Even a cafetière and a tea pot! Plastic cups and glasses of every shape and size possible, and for the snob in me- actual porcelain mugs- not tin or plastic which I was prepared for, even if I was dreading the idea.

The decking is the same throughout the tent, our feet aren’t ever touching the grass outside as we are led into the three separate bedrooms. Two to the right-hand side of the tent and the king size bed that we’d all drawn straws on in the car journey over. I lost the draw so myself and my friend were given the twin room… but it turns out this isn’t really a short straw at all! There are two full size single beds with duvets, pillows in lovely clean white linen and very sumptuous looking grey blankets. There’s also plenty of open wardrobe space, a hanging rail with a few clothes hangers and a bedside cabinet. Plenty of space for two to share, not at all cramped like I’d first expected when the word ‘glamping’ was said to me.

The two other bedrooms are also spacious and full of both storage and floor space. One with a king bed complete with duvet and hot water bottles and the other a bunk room. Although our party is all adults, and a mixture of both ladies and gents, this tent feels like the perfect amount of space. Privacy and dignity are also easily upheld when we’re shown into the bathroom!

A separate toilet and basin. And not some chemical monstrosity like I was expecting - an actual porcelain toilet, with a seat and a flush and a basin complete with hot and cold faucets. The cliché of a home away from home (if home was in the middle of a field!) springs to mind. Especially after we take a peek through the next door. A separate shower. Yes! An actual shower! With a good size shower head, hot and cold controls and another basin and plenty of storage space. In fact, a shelf for all of us so we don’t have to share or fumble with a wash bag in the morning!

So, after we say goodbye to Sandra, who reassures us again that she is only a phone call away, we unpack our things in our new home and set about making some food. We’ve had a long drive and even though we drove past a couple of village pubs on our way to the site, we figured the best thing to do is completely embrace the glamping life we found ourselves in. A trip with our wheelbarrow back to the log store - which turned into a fun job in itself - and we’re stoking up the stove inside our tent.

It takes a while to feel the effects, but after a few firelighters from the onsite honesty shop and some wood the tent is really starting to warm up and we can wrap up our jacket potatoes in tin foil and get them cooking on the stove. This gives us time to start our fire pit outside, move the chairs on the decking closer to the flames and, most importantly to me, pour a glass of wine!

And there is something quite magical about sitting with three friends around a camp fire and the quiet apart from the crackle of the flames. As we all look up, we’re struck with a silence. A stillness. I’ve never seen as many stars as clear as this before. You don’t get views like this in the city. It’s not anything I’ve ever seen in my life. Sitting here in the contentment of silence and I’m already taking back everything I’ve said about glamping - this is heavenly.

Written by Katie Jolliffe

Find out more about our Lantern and Larks Sweffling site here. Or, if you're ready for your own glamping adventure, be sure to book your stay today.

Author: Katy Peck

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