Situated in four acres of beautiful woodland and water meadow, in the heart of the Welsh/ English borders countryside, sits Dolbedwyn House and it really is as cosy as its afterthought tipi site suggests. Emma, the lady of Dolbedwyn is as warm and inviting as her home and, as she shows you around, you will learn very quickly never to underestimate a woman’s touch, especially when it comes to glamping.
Walking along the woody, earthy man-made path, you can’t fail to absorb all the feminine finesse oozing from the site. It is a woodland retreat like no other, a camping oxymoron: rugged, earthy daintiness; muddy, organised plots; rustic, frilly communal areas; and axes lying next to hammocks.
Instead of sticking to the traditional, white, Indian tipi, Cosy Under Canvas’ tipis are based on the Scandinavian Sami design, and have been fitted with 21st-century fabrics and construction techniques in order to combat whatever the Welsh weather throws at them. But never mind the external details, the cosiness of Cosy Under Canvas can be found inside the tipis. Dazzling white, fluffy sheepskin rugs, a hand-carved chest of drawers filled with goodies, a wood-burning stove to warm your tootsies on, and a beautifully alluring bed.
Should you decide to venture out of cosy-camping central, then you will no doubt stumble into the literary haven of Hay-on-Wye – the host town for the annual Guardian Literary Festival. Think Reader’s Corner crossed with the Tate Modern – every building looks like it belongs in a gallery, and every second door you pass will be the entrance to a bookworm’s paradise. And if you prefer the more active side of living, Hay also happens to be situated within the 520 square miles of the Brecon Beacons National Park. That’s 520 square miles of uninterrupted, unspoilt, and truly outstanding natural beauty. There is one fault to this camping gem, and that’s leaving. You may even be tempted to run home, pack up all your stuff, quit your job, and start soul searching from the depths of one of Emma’s hammocks.
Cosy Under Canvas is set in a beautiful woodland just 5 miles from the Welsh literary town of Hay on Wye.
There are three stylish tipis and two spacious domes each sitting on a wooden deck and to keep you toasty at night each is fitted with a wood burning stove. There's contemporary Welsh blankets, sheepskins and rugs provided to keep you warm and oversized beanbags that can be used on the decks outside.
Campfires are positively encouraged and there's a fire pit infront of each unit to huddle round and watch the stars shoot by. Cook over the fire with the Koitlich provided or rustle something up in the fully equipped shared camp kitchen.
Our impact on the environment is kept to a minimum and there's some tidy compost loos and washrooms plus wood fired showers with a canopy view.
Even a short stay here offers the perfect antidote to a busy hectic life. Once you're here we hope you won't want to leave.
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The site lies in the Brecon Beacons National Park (01874 624437), so any route you choose to take will be a walker’s paradise. Nearby Hay-on-Wye is brilliant for rummaging around boutiques and galleries. Or, for something more active, canoe down the River Wye, 5 minutes from Hay’s town centre (01497 847213).
Hay on Wye has a multitude of lovely pubs and cafes or try The Roast Ox at Painscastle for a great value and tasty traditional pub meal.
There are bookshops galore in Hay on Wye or stumble into some of the antique or boutique shops. There's also a fabulous deli, butcher and baker for those all important provisions.
There's a fabulous deli, butcher and baker in Hay for those all important provisions.
For a contemporary eatery, relax in the Globe (01497 821762) with a Penguin Classic from one of Hay’s many bookshops or try Richard Booths Bookshop Cafe for tasty locally sourced treats.
You can be as active as you like. Laze in a hammock or take a stroll across the fields from the site. Stride a section of the Offas Dyke Path which forms the border between England and Wales or climb a mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Take a family canoe trip down the River Wye or trek horses over the Black Mountains. For the real adventure seekers try gorge walking, kayaking, quad biking, climbing, caving or an assault course.