And they were designed by the company Tree Tents, created for the love of the forest and being surrounded by trees. The makers were looking to ‘redefine what it means to have a modern relationship with nature’, and I think they’ve been pretty successful in that goal.
Their inaugural prototype was hoisted at Red Kite in front of cast and crew of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, which can’t have helped matters – watch the episode to see how the makers accomplished the feat of stringing an enormous wood and metal sphere among the treetops. It was tricky at first, the topography of the land bringing additional hurdles, but oh it was worth it!
With their smart design and commitment to leaving a minimal footprint, Tree Tents have created an experience that ‘draws people into the timelessness of wild places’. With lessons learned from numero uno, they now pride themselves on their easy pop ups – aluminium space-frames supported by steam bent timber and draped in sully fitted canvas clothes that can be assembled and hoisted in a day. I loved the little nugget of info gleaned from founder and Innovation and Design Director, Jason Thawley; that each pod only uses wood from the same tree because each tree is different in age and moisture and structural properties. They get treated as individuals.
“In the woods you are no longer surfing time; you are deep inside time.”
Jason Thawley, Tree Tents
Leave the car and with every step into the forest, feel something drop away until you’re walking on air up to your suspended sleeping pod, detached from the modern day (in)conveniences that tied you down. Embrace the concept and enter a new way of whiling away the hours, pressing reset on your internal time clock and letting the natural world take over. There’s nothing quite like letting go.
But you’ve a safety net. This is luxury glamping after all. You’ll be cosseted and cosied up in the branches, the pods are fully insulated with soft comfy beds and fully fire-proofed wood-burning stoves. Necessary conveniences only steps away on the wooden deck; cross the drawbridge to an outdoor kitchen and hot water shower, the flushing toilet being neatly tucked away from eating and sleeping areas, a little further up the hill. But don’t presume it’s glamorous – the very nature of glamping is to get in with nature, feel the mud between your toes in a more real sense than you would at the spa and then have some respite in the form of comfy beds and flushing loos.
Remember Kevin Costner’s version of Robin Hood? The epic from the early 90s? If you’re too young, you should dig it out of your parent’s video box and watch it. They’ve created the ultimate treehouse world that inspired a generation into wishful, off grid, back-to-basic living. And these tree tents feel like the perfect mix of wistful, natural living adventures in the canopy with creature comforts to keep you from Mother Nature’s cruel side.
If you aren’t OCD about clean fingernails and like to feel the weather whipping up a storm around you, glamping in the middle of Welsh nowhere could be the best holiday you’ve never had.
Choose from the very first in Tree Tent conception and TV star, Ynys Affalon, or newer nest, the dragon’s egg that is Wy y Ddraig.