Unusual glamping experience in Chalke Valley awash with early bookings

A glamping experience in the Chalke Valley, crowned the best place to live in the South West by The Sunday Times, has been inundated with suspiciously early bookings. Chalke Valley Camping, an exclusive glamping site just outside the village of Bowerchalke, has responded to the holiday boom with the addition of two chic new geodesic dome tents.

After opening the site in 2015 providing pre-furnished bell tents – mother and son team Fiona and Hector Coward have noted an increase in demand for unusual forms of glamping accommodation. Thinking about how to keep up with demand, Fiona said: “We thought of a few options including pods, shepherd’s huts and yurts, which have become noticeably more popular since 2020, with fewer people taking holidays abroad.

In 2019, Cranborne Chase AONB (Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty) became the 14th reserve to be designated in its entirety as an International Dark Sky Reserve. “A lot of the feedback we get from guests is about the incredible night sky in the area, so the geodesic domes with their transparent stargazing ceiling were the perfect choice,” she added.

READ MORE: Chalke Valley voted best place to live in the South West by the Sunday Times

Inside one of the new geodesic domes

Demand for UK-based holidays doesn’t seem to be diminishing either. Hector says: “We expected a slowdown in 2022 as the last year has been exceptionally busy coming out of various lockdowns with people desperate to get away. Surprisingly this year the majority of weekends are now sold out, which is significantly earlier than usual.

“There has also been greater demand from people further afield, with over 23% of our bookings coming from Londoners (compared to 16% last year). We even had one booking from Australia, now that international travel has been opened up for them too.”

Geodesic domes are a step up in comfort from existing bell tents. Each is equipped with a gas heater, a double bed, a small dining table, an outdoor seating area and a fire pit for barbecues. Hector adds: “We think the new domes will be very popular and hopefully they might persuade a few more people to go camping, especially those who need a little more comfort at home!”

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