Last Wednesday afternoon we packed up the car and set off to meet Chris’s brother Ronnie and his fiancé Jo, along with their Boston Terrier (Yoda).
We met at West Wittering beach to give the dogs a leg stretch before continuing on to our back to basics mini break.
A trip to the beach was Jo’s idea, and what a great idea it was, for all the dogs had a wonderful time and got rid of a lot of energy, Bunter by chasing a windsurfer alongside the waves, and running like a mad thing across the sand with Shiva.
Meanwhile Yoda enjoyed entertaining himself with a buoy!
Once the dogs had had their fun we continued on our way.
Where we were headed was not overly far from home which was ideal for a couple of nights away.
Hidden in a secluded meadow nestled in the Hampshire countryside, (Hambledon to be precise) is a very special and uniquely blissful haven. This Haven is called Wriggly Tin.
Now in its 7th season, Wriggly Tin appears to be going from strength to strength and it’s easy to see why. As a result of Alex the owner’s vision and attention to detail, from the moment you step out in to the meadow you know instantly this is a special place, a place whereby nothing has not been thought of to ensure happy campers all-around.
Wriggly Tin comprises of a six exquisite shepherds huts separated out from one another, each with its own character and equipped to an extremely high standard.
Each hut consists of a double bed, (a very comfortable one at that), fluffy towels, wood-burning stove,
along with all the wood you desire to keep you snug.
Further all the huts have a kitchen, kitchen utensils and store cupboard necessities as well as some thoughtful extras!
Although there is no electricity on-site there are loos and hot showers located in a separate shepherds hut out in the meadow.
All the huts are kitted out with candles and hurricane lanterns which offer a romantic and cosy night time feel.
I chose for Chris and I to stay in the very special 100 year old “Old Winchester” Hut which has a Royalist theme and is set in the most remote location of all the huts. We were fortunate enough that the woodland still had albeit a faint purple, carpet of bluebells surrounding it.
The perfect spot to put your feet up
Old Winchester also boasts the use of its own stunning wood-fired hot tub.
This turned out to be the most perfect of huts for the dals for it had a HUGE under the bed storage space which turned in to their very own den where their beds fitted impeccably.
Ronnie and Jo stayed in Butser which just so happened to be the hut closest to ours and it worked out well for all our campfire hangouts. Their hut in my mind is by far the prettiest of them all and was the very first of the huts to be welcomed in to the Wriggly Tin family.
The first night with the dogs watching over us we cooked up a yummy chili over the campfire.
Unfortunately Jo and I turned our backs on the boys for a few minutes who in turn turned their backs on the chili once taken off of the fire and a very naughty Shiva and Bunter tucked in before we did!
Yoda took to exploring a little too far in to the woods on one too many occasions and lucked out when he was clipped on to a lead.
Bunter just wanted to join the boys.
After our supper and a glass or two of wine we made our way over to the hot tub to finish off the evening before retreating to our cosy hut.
During the night the rain came down on our little tin roof, yet come first light the sun was once again shining in our favour and we were awoken by the sound of birds singing in the woods.
The hut was chilly first thing so the fire was stocked up and the kettle filled for tea to be made on the stove. The first cup was enjoyed while snuggled up in bed.
We began cooking up a delicious breakfast thanks to the breakfast hamper Alex delivered which was full of tasty local produce, such as bread, butter, milk, bacon, sausages, apple juice and a mix of pastel coloured eggs.
After breakfast we picked up the map Alex had given us detailing a few local walks all of differing lengths and points of interest.
Settling out on walk 3 which was the longest of the walks at 8 miles we took in stunning views, a couple of pubs stops one for lunch (the Bat and Ball) and another for a refreshing cider in the quaint village of Hambledon before heading back up the hill to Wriggly Tin.
By the time we reached the first pub Bunter was ready for a kip.
As you know walks with us always end up off of the beaten track, this walk even with a map in hand (the boys hands, I would like to point out), was no different. We took more than a few wrong turns and ended up places we should not have to the point we re-entered Wriggly Tin via a gate which had long ago been swallowed up by stinging nettles and brambles. As I was the only one wearing appropriate clothing I was sent in first to tread these down for the others. The dogs all had to be passed one by one over the gate; the last to come across was a rather wriggly Shiva who caused both her and Chris to disappear in a collapsed heap amongst the vegetation!
By the time we arrived back from our day’s walk it was around 6:30pm and we were all hungry and ready for supper.
The dals took themselves of to bed after their dinner.
If only for a short while until they got a whiff of our own supper of campfire nachos and more chili.
When they woke Chris picked up the dog beds so that they could join us by the fire, again Shiva caused Chris problems by walking under his feet while he was exiting the hut from the top step. I could not help but giggle hysterically despite the fact he could have hurt himself, I think a few heated words were thrown in my direction at this point.
We finished off a long day indulging in hot chocolate while toasting skewers of marshmallows and strawberries drizzled with salted caramel sauce over the fire.
We then said goodnight to Yoda, Jo and Ronnie, tucked Shiva and Bunter up in their den and jumped in the hot tub while chatting under a starry night sky.
The next day when we saw Alex in between his wood chopping, (he works hard to keep his campers stocked up)! he asked us what we had done the previous day, we spoke of our walk and the overage miles we had done, for Alex to retort that he suspected the walk was actually over 8 miles as it was. I therefore expect we did close to 12 accounting for all our mishaps!
This was my first time glamping and will not be my last as I loved every minute of it as did the dogs, and even Chris, despite his initial horror when I booked us up for a stay. As soon as we drove away we were already discussing our return!
When we came home we did not realise how much we smelt of camp fire, but this was fine for we had collected moments that would always be remembered and thought of fondly.
For anyone wishing to have a digital detox and truly switching off to enjoy the simple way of life and getting out in nature, I cannot recommend a few days away here enough.
Love for now Emma, Chris and the Dals xxxx