We go around seeking out weird and wonderful places to stay. This blog is full of things we love, things we’ve found and some vague outdoorsy musings.


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Jane B, one of our lovely guests sent us this snap of her recent trip to Mendip Molly, where she and her husband celebrated 24 years since meeting. Congratulations to you both, this is just the thing we love to hear about!


Take a peek at our essential glamping checklist for all the answers to the quandries you may not even find yourself in until you’re knee deep in mud without your wellies or pac-a-mac.

Find out how to make use of a Kelly Kettle, when to check in to take optimum advantage of the sunny evenings and what to cook on the campfire.

And if you haven’t decided on your glamping destination for 2014 yet, why not put the checklist into practice at one of the special places in our collection?





Ever fancied designing and creating your very own glamping getaway? Well, now’s your chance!

One of our fabulous owners, the lovely James Noble, has a distinct love of wagons and has decided to pass on his passion to other appreciative folk by running a course in October.

For three days from 3-5 October in Pewsey, Wiltshire, the course will explore the designing of wagons of different sizes as well as a look into the more technical aspects of how they are made. The cost of the three days will be £360, including accommodation and food. Visit James’ website for more details.

James is also the proud owner of The Wagon and craftsman of Gwennol, just a couple of wheeled wonders from the Canopy & Stars collection.




Lovely news has reached the office from some delighted guests who stayed at Lost Meadow Tree Tent in January 2014. After some secretive plotting between Steve and Lost Meadow’s owner Ian, Steve popped the question and Vicki said yes! A big congratulations to them both!


In 2014, a time when everyone has at least one digital camera glued to them at all times - some of them with more megapixels than you can shake a stick at, why would we still care about shooting film? Apart from the sheer look and the richer, more physical quality of film shots, there is its effect on you. Today we take more photos than ever but make less and less meaningful beautiful images. When you have sometimes as few as ten shots per roll, you really take a moment and think before you shoot, frame out that ugly thing in the background and wait for what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment - that moment that you still manage to miss when you take 30 photos of the same thing with your phone.

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We’re super excited to be part of Yeo Valley’s current on-pack promotion now in store until June 2014! Enter for your chance to win one of two VW campervans and 100 of our wonderful glamping trips! Plus, you get to enjoy the scrumptuous Yeo Valley goods you purchased too.


Every so often, as the Canopy & Stars team, we need to take a day and get out on the field and enjoy our special places as you, our loyal guests would do (it’s a hard job but someone’s gotta do it!).

So last Tuesday, we did just that and jumped on the M5 to head down to Devon and spend one day and one night at two of the six safari tents at Longlands, nestled among the rolling hills of Exmoor. 

We arrived to be met by Longlands owner, the lovely Bella Given who introduced us to our tents, Lundy and Lee and showed us the ins and outs of the impressive wood burning range and jingly paraffin lamps hanging from the ceiling. After a quick cuppa and the important task of baggsie-ing beds, it was time for an away-day activity. We were going horse riding!

A short drive brought us to Dean Riding Stables and after being introduced to our ponies and fitted with riding hats, we went for a lovely long stroll with our horses and their trainers down some hair-raising hills. Despite a close shave with a horse and cart, we managed to progress onto trotting as we clung tightly onto the saddles of our steeds! It was a fantastic couple of hours and if you’re ever at Longlands, the stables are just five minutes drive away.

After such a fun-packed morning, it was time to knuckle down to a bit of strategy in the afternoon, which, when you’re surrounded by such beautiful views and scoffing locally-made award-winning pasties (and a few other cheeky bits and bobs) really didn’t feel like work. We even had prosecco and Bella’s homemade lasagna to look forward to afterwards which always softens the blow, right?!



This summer, as we mentioned in a previous post, several of our places will be suddenly thronging with precision engineered, steel-wired machines and their bikes. We got very excited by the fact that these masters of pedal persistence would be passing through Yorkshire, but of course, the bulk of the race will, as ever, take place on French soil. 

The winding, thigh-popping route passes by several of our places and you could be strolling out with a picnic and watching them go by. If you walk really quickly, it’ll be almost as much effort as taking part!*

Here is our selection of special spectating spots:

Stage 12 (17 July 2014) - La Serve, 20 miles from Saint Didier sur Chalaronne.

Stage 15 (20 July 2014) - Alfonso’s Wagon, 25 miles from Nimes.

Stage 16 (21 July 2014) - Chateau de Fajac, 30 miles from Carcassonne.

Stage 19 (25 July 2014) -Ecovalleé and Chateaux dans les Arbres, 17 and 19 miles from Bergerac respectively.

Stage 20 (26 July 2014) - Cabanes de Vaure and La Maison Ronde, 15 and 20 miles from Périgueux respectively.

So that’s it for our options for Le Tour de France. They might be slightly more relaxed than actually competing, but you could always plot an itinerary along the route and drive it in comfort instead. While eating ice cream. We’re willing to bet that most of the competitors would secretly be really jealous.

*This, as was the claim about passive exercise, is not at all true. We’ve learnt nothing.



For those who instantly wonder if the guy at the front got lost and everyone else has just blindly followed him across the channel, the tour has been leaving French soil for over 30 years of it’s intense, exciting and often fractious history.

This year’s event passes close to a few of our lovely places. You can take a nice break and do exercise by proxy as you watch some insanely fit people undertake a sporting event so tough, you get fit just watching!*

Here’s where the tour passes by:

Stage One (5 July 2014) - The Mollycroft, 12 miles from Leyburn Bivouac, 4 miles from Masham and Copper Beech Glade, 5 miles from Ripon.

Stage Two (6 July 2014) - Jollydays, 8 miles from York, the starting point of the second day. Brampton Barn Shepherd’s Hut, 14 miles from Sheffield, the end point of the second day.

Stage Three (7 July 2014) - Coppice Woodland, 13 miles from Little Shelford (with a nice hot tub so you can rest those sympathetically weary legs); The Gypsy Camp, 10 miles from Braintree; Woodpecker Yurt, 16 miles from Braintree and The Raft at Chigborough, 13 miles from Chelmsford.

So there you go! Get a glimpse of the tour as it passes through Britain. If nothing else, it’s one of the few times you can wear lycra in public without feeling a bit odd! 

*Completely not true, sorry.



Take a social detox, get your sea legs on land, bag a boar or start a commune…

We’ve scoured the land, crossed the seas and taken to the air to bring you the newest, most luxurious, best on a budget and most bonkers glamping experiences for 2014. Fourteen fabulous forays into the great outdoors that we think you should tick off your list in 2014. Presenting the Canopy & Stars wish list….

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