We were the first people to stay in the Aquarius pod at Wootton Park. The very first! How exciting is that?
I used to go camping in the countryside when I was younger. Which I loved but grew to have mixed feelings about. I mean, I love being at one with nature. But putting wellies on at 2am, and grabbing the torch (whilst hoping it doesn’t run out of battery), because you’re desperate for a wee and can’t sleep due to constantly thinking about it, isn’t something I was keen for. I also did a little glamping last year, when I stayed in a larger wooden lodge with the family at Forest Holidays. But this was a lot bigger – more a portable home with everything.
I was dying to do something in between. Something a bit more rural, but where I had everything I needed for a good nights sleep, and to be able to get ready properly in the morning and feel fully fresh. This was it. We had such a fab night, I’m dying to book a return stay. Here’s the lowdown so you can see why…
Wootton Park is in Wootton Wawen in the West Midlands, about 10mins from Henley-in-Arden and 20mins from Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s a family run business, based on 360 acres of the land which has been in the McCall family for four generations and used to play host to a dairy farm. There are still farm animals (horses, chickens, goats) as well as alpacas. The grounds are home to a lake and the most incredible views and walks. There’s a wedding venue onsite too, in a converted building, where couples can get married on a barge on the lake (it looks like one stunning location). The listed farmhouse, which is at the centre of everything (quite literally the heart of it where the family stay) has 8 rooms (B&B) and a bridal suite too.
The Aquarius is the latest to join the family of glamping pods onsite Wootton Park. There are already 4 mini pods, 2 tree pods (which look so cute!) and 2 more spacious mega pods.
Yep, they’ve built something truly amazing on the grounds at Wootton Park! We had the warmest of welcomes by Melanie when we first arrived for our stay at Aquarius.
The Aquarius pod is a superpod designed by Ian McCall himself. There’s a living area with kitchenette and breakfast bar, twin room with bunks, main bedroom with king sized bed and cute bathroom inside, with everything you might need for a stay self catering. Yes, there’s even an iron, towels and toiletries and a few tea and coffee sachets to get you going! Outside on the veranda is the pod’s very own hot tub, a dining set and chest with outdoor games. We were very tempted – if only we’d arrived a little earlier. There’s also a hammock, fire pit and soon-to-be a BBQ built alongside the veranda too.
It’s compact, but spacious enough for a family – especially with the outside space too.
But it’s great for couples who just want a bit of extra space too. We used the twin room to store our bags so they were easy to access, although there is under bed storage in the main bedroom!
I immediately got in the hammock when we arrived and lay there going on (and on) about the views, the horses, the fresh air, and feeling secluded even though we weren’t actually too far from the other pods. You really do feel like you’ve got your own space!
We popped into Henley nearby for some food, and whilst we would have loved a BBQ, it was a little late so settled for fish and chips to enjoy on the veranda. It wasn’t then long before we were in the hot tub, with a glass of vino, enjoying the evening to its fullest.
The hot tub was fab. It was pretty big and had high and low settings for the bubbles – so you could turn it down for a bit too when it got too steamy. We loved it. It was a fantastic end to the week to be able to just relax in the bubbles, with a drink in hand, watching the sunset. Very romantic too!
Unfortunately, as we were the first people there were a few teething problems with the electrics and from late that evening until the next morning we were without power. However, there were torches for emergencies, and this has since been sorted. Ian and Melanie also did absolutely everything possible to make sure we were still comfortable!
Waking up to the countryside, the birdsong, fresh air and peace was something you really can’t do justice with words.
It really is dreamy. As soon as I was awake, I jumped into my slippers and robe and headed out to enjoy the morning air. We made the most of dining set once more as we sat down to enjoy our breakfast at the most leisurely pace we have I think ever, taking in the atmosphere and feeling very relaxed.
Before heading off, we went for a stroll through some of the land. Ian was dying to show us the wedding venue which was dreamy – the lake looked stunning. The venue itself was really big, and had plenty of space for everything – for anyone considering it now. We wandered past in awe at his doves too. Yes Ian has doves, and they can be part of the ceremony too!
The one thing we did wish we’d stayed to do was wakeboarding. Wootton Park has a purpose built wakeboarding park, with two ponds/lakes, a zipwire and ramps. It looked SO fun! It’s actually where some of the UK’s competitions take place – and the first purpose built pond with two levels in the UK. Beginner sessions start at £30 and we’re definitely heading back for that!
Overall, we had an absolutely fantastic stay at Wootton Park. Ian and Melanie made us feel part of the family, and the service really was second to none. The Aquarius pod was a great size, and had everything you could think of plus more. It felt secluded, yet you knew you weren’t too far form civilisation, which was lovely.
The hot tub was superb and eating out on the veranda was just another highlight – those views were insane. Honestly, I’m dying to go back for another stay and a morning in the wakeboarding park. Prices vary, but a week’s stay in low season is about £700 for Aquarius, going up to about £950 for a whole week in high season. For the space and amenities, we think it’s not too bad! As mentioned, we’re hoping to go back.
Have you been glamping before? Would you do a glamping pod?
*We were invited along for one night stay at Wootton Park. All views my own.