How to go off grid  in style at Godwick Hall – By Andrew Hirst

I think that it is best if we get one thing straight… I am a very reluctant camper. The thought of setting up home in a field and doing battle with the outdoors has no appeal to me whatsoever. The wild, the weather, the wasps; what is there to like. I have glamped several times before, but not in a tent. My last foray under canvas was many years before and was not a great success; uncomfortable sleeping arrangements coupled with bad weather and a distinct lack of facilities, all whilst surrounded by a sea of other tent enthusiasts. Not my idea of a relaxing break. My wife on the other hand loves to camp. The idea of going on an adventure and setting up shop in a field is her idea of bliss; opposites attract as they say. My youngest, Henry, is very much like my wife, whilst newly turned teenager Harrison shares my reluctance to go outdoors.

We headed to North Norfolk to stay in one of the two luxury Stargazer Lotus Belle tents which have been recently added to the overall offering at Godwick Hall. Also available are three Shepherd’s Huts in the meadows surrounding the hall. It is worth mentioning that you can stay in Godwick Hall itself as well as The Old Stables for a slightly more conventional stay. But that wasn’t why we were here. We were going to sleep under the stars. 

It took us just over an hour to drive from North Suffolk and was easily located a few miles South of Fakenham. Parking is easy, position your car next to the wheelbarrow with the name of your tent written on it; and then use the wheelbarrow to ferry your belongings to your tent. We didn’t bring that much with us, but the wheelbarrow saved the multiple journeys. 

The tent was amazing with plenty of facilities. A wooden framed superking bed with high quality linen and we opted to add two single put up beds for the children; built in woodburner and basket of kindling and logs; hand selected soft furnishings to making you feel at home; solar powered lighting; clothes rail and full length mirror; private toilet facilities; mini fire pit; camp kitchen with washing up facilities and mini mobile fridges and hair dryers; as well as camp shower facilities.

For me it was at night when the camp came in to its own. The glow of the solar lights and the stars; which you can view through the transparent tent canopy.

Godwick Hall also caters for weddings. I must admit that whilst enjoying a morning coffee before anyone else had stirred, I romanticised about what a wonderful location to hold such a celebration. The free run for the children and the tranquility for the adults. What could be better? I am a reluctant camper, but this is something I could do again and again. The peace and quiet. The togetherness. The lack of distractions from everyday life is something worth returning for. I know it might not be real camping, putting up a tent or sleeping on the ground, but who really wants to do that? This is the best of both worlds, off-grid luxury. By the time my stay at Godwick Hall’s Belle tent had come to an end, I had been converted to a tent lover… the luxury kind anyway.