If you follow on my social media channels, as well as on here, you will know that we are a family that loves to be outdoors and exploring different parts of the UK. Holidays abroad are great, but we do like to have weekend trips away or visits away in the school holidays, to discover parts of the UK that we haven’t been able to before. Hiking and walks are one of our favourite things to do as a family, and just generally enjoying the outdoors. So places like the Lake District and the New Forest are great spots to visit for us.
I’ve got to hold my hands up though, although we love being outdoors and exploring, I am not someone who is very good with camping. When you have to live by torchlight and can’t charge your phone, are sleeping on the floor, or can’t straighten your hair, it is where I start to draw the line. Glamping however, is definitely something that I can get on board with. When you’ve got actual beds and a duvet, as well as electricity and plug sockets, it is fine by me! So this past weekend we headed down to the New Forest to explore a little more, and enjoy some glamping in the new camping pods at YHA New Forest.
When I have thought of YHA before, I normally think of shared or private rooms in a house, which they do have. But I had no idea about the variety of options that are available to you. Some sites have wooden camping pods, like the ones we stayed in at YHA New Forest, and some have landpods, tipis, bell tents, and camping barns, as well as the option to bring your own tent to camp. So there really is an option for everyone, depending on your preference and your needs.
For starters, I really liked how cute and quirky the camping pods were, as you get the amazing experience, but get to be warm and cosy with heating and being protected from the elements. Visiting in late October meant that the weather outside was quite chilly, but it we were snug and warm in the camping pod. The pods can sleep up to four people, with two single beds, slightly raised off the floor, meaning there is space for storing your things underneath. There is also a double futon bed, all of which comes with bedding and pillows, so there is no need to think about bringing camping gear and sleeping bags. So it means you can pack pretty light.
You get access to the toilet and shower block, as well as the hostel’s facilities, including cooking and a living room area, so again, you can pack so light as there are pots and pans, ovens and toasters that you can use. So for me, it is the ideal option. When you’re thinking of a short two-night trip away, you don’t want to have to take a lot with you. The children really loved the pod too, as it is pretty cosy, and we could read together and play games, and they quite liked the novelty of getting their wellies on to go to the loo before bed.
I know some people worry about there being too much noise on a campsite like this, but we didn’t hear a thing from our ‘neighbours,’ so that was great. I think that the only ‘complaint’ I would have had about it, is that we did have to queue and wait for a toilet and shower in the morning, as there are only two of each in the outside block. But it is to be expected really, so just something to bear in mind.
The hostel itself had a really quick and easy check-in and check-out process, and they do have food for sale, and breakfast to buy and so on. So you can really pack light and just get what is on-site if need be. I think this is a great option, as it makes glamping, and staying with YHA much more accessible. Plus, as YHA is a youth charity, staying with them helps them to further their work to help young people with challenging lives. I wasn’t really even aware that this was the case beforehand, so YHA is definitely somewhere I will look to stay with again. YHA New Forest was great, and the location is pretty perfect, so I’d definitely recommend it if you are looking for UK staycation that is a little different, as well as one that doesn’t cost a lot. It is a much cheaper option than a hotel, but more fun, if you ask me.
Have you ever stayed at a YHA site before? It would be great to hear what you think.
*this a collaborative post with YHA, where accommodation was gifted in exchange for review. All words and opinions are my own.