The Bells of Hemscott, Northumberland
Hello there! We've returned from our latest camping adventure, this time in glorious Northumberland. We're absolutely shattered, but we've had the most brilliant week. And the sun came out for the entire time we were there. I have taken many photographs (over 400!), but I've broken them down into separate posts. The first one is all about our stay at the wonderful pop-up glamping site The Bells of Hemscott.
Located near the village of Cresswell, the campsite is based on a farm but from September it will be returned to working land. The glamping site is made up of ten bell tents, in three different sizes, which are nestled in the sand dunes. In addition, there is a beautiful small, cosy Shepherd's Hut for two. There is also an area for wild camping, if you prefer to take your own tent. The beach is less than a minute's walk, spotless with white sand and stretches as far as the eye can see. It's also practically deserted, so there is plenty of room to play, to picnic and to swim. (If you can brave the cold of the North Sea!). The facilities on site are quite basic, but clean and regularly maintained. The hot showers were spot on and much needed after a day on the beach. Alison, the owner is very friendly, welcoming and an excellent host. I've been trying to decide whether or not to buy a bell tent as I do love them, but wasn't sure which size to go for. Alison spent some time with me showing the different sizes and brands that they had which was really helpful and she also gave me some great tips in how to look after them.
We stayed in 'Poppy' one of the five metre bell tents. Each is furnished with a super comfortable double airbed (and single airbeds for the kids), duvet and pillows. We also took our sleeping bags and blankets and we definitely needed them at night as it got so cold. But it was so relaxing falling asleep listening to the waves hitting the beach behind us.
There is a little kitchen with pots and pans, stoves, kettle and even an espresso maker. Or you can cook at your tent, which we did the first night, with the firepit giving us some much needed warmth and lots of tealights to make it cosy. The wind got up the next day, so the rest of the time we cooked in the kitchen.
The campsite is so chilled out and very quiet. A twenty minute walk takes you to the village and there is a little ice cream shop and a great local cafe, The Drift where we ate a couple of times. It has a good menu, lots of friendly staff and a nice little courtyard to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. You can also borrow one of their thick woolen plaid blankets and vintage books on wildflowers and birds to enjoy in the courtyard too. A really nice homely touch.
This was the holiday where my son declared he was the happiest he'd ever been in his life. This is the boy who likes to spend his time making movies with his Lego characters, reading comic books and playing video games. The moody twelve year old who doesn't like to come out of his room and complains or moans if you ask him to do anything or go somewhere. (I see my friend Modflowers is having similar issues.....what is it about turning twelve that means you suddenly have a demon living with you?). But somehow being on this holiday awakened the child within, and he embraced the games, the sea and the sand. Once on the beach, it was practically impossible to get him off it again.
Every morning we woke up about 6am and saw the sun rise over the beach. It was truly spectacular. As the sun set, we watched a beautiful red sky above the tents. Sadly it was always cloudy and we didn't get to do any star gazing. But like magic, on our last evening, there was an almost full moon right over the campsite. It rounded off the most beautiful week of camping in the sand dunes and it's a memory that will stay with me forever. x