Summer! It’s all about the kids…

Under the Oak Glamping is the perfect get away from it all escape for families or couples looking to get away from it all. The pace of life slows down as soon as you head up the track towards the beautiful safari tent. Many of our guests don’t want to leave and while away their days relaxing in the hot tub, having a glass of wine on the huge veranda and taking in the amazing views of the rolling South Wales hills. Younger guests enjoy hunting for wildlife at the water’s edge, or gathering mud, sticks, stones and leaves to get creative in the mud kitchen. There’s also a rather awesome tractor tyre sandpit.

But for those families who do want to explore a little further afield, we’ve put together a few handy suggestions of local gems which are well worth a visit…

  1. Basil and Rusty’s Ice cream parlour. Just 10 minutes up the road on a neighbouring farm, Basil and Rusty’s offers tea, coffee and cake as well as, of course, their own rather delicious ice cream. There’s covered seating for damp days and a small play area for kids. We love it there and always recommend our guests pop in there.
  2. Mountain View Ranch. This has become one of the most popular attractions in the area in just a few short years since it opened and continues to get bigger and better every time we visit. With high ropes, animals, adventure playgrounds, the Gruffalo trail and loads more, it’s a full day out and one not to be missed!
  3. Big Pit provides an amazing experience of Wales proud industrial heritage. The highlight of the visit is the hour-long underground tour, led by ex-miners, which takes you down in the pit cage to walk through underground roadways, air doors stables and engine houses built by generations of mineworkers.
  4. Caerphilly Castle. We’re lucky to have one of Wales’ best known castles right on our doorstep. There is already plenty to explore but there are grand plans in place to transform Caerphilly Castle. The epic make over will see Wales’ largest castle become even bigger and better with the installation of and interactive maze and a mystical dragon’s lair. Watch this space!
  5. Lido Pony. The park and  lido at Ynys Angharad Park in Pontypridd have gone through a transformation over the past few years. The kids’ play area, based on our mining past and boasting a massive sandpit, is one of the best we’ve visited. And the lido has been restored to its former glory, offering awesome and affordable family fun. Booking ahead is essential for the lido – the park is free!
  6. Maxime cinema, Blackwood. This small and beautifully formed art deco cinema is a throwback to the days before multiplexes took over. The prices are also a throwback too, compared to your average cinema prices,making it an excellent choice for families looking for somewhere to go on a wet day.

These are just a few of our personal family favourites but there is so much more to explore around the South Wales valleys and coast. Check out the Visit Wales website for loads more ideas…


What a difference a year makes…

We are feeling rather reflective here at Under the Oak Glamping. It is a year since we started idly looking at glamping  pods on ebay, with a vague idea to ‘stick a couple up by the pond’! After all, we are lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of South Wales, with beaches, mountains and cities all within easy reach. Maybe people would want to come and stay here to explore all Caerphilly has to offer. It kind of gathered momentum after that and turned into an incredible, stressful, expensive, life-changing and rewarding adventure for all of us…

So we headed off to the glamping show to get inspired and do some research. We saw pods, yurts, domes, shepherd’s huts, tipis and tents. But when we saw the safari tent, it was love at first sight and we never looked back! We loved the self contained luxury it offered and our guests have been loving it too. One reviewer loved the  ‘fabulous accommodation where every detail has been carefully thought of -even the design of the safari tent is just beautiful!’

We planned and prepared all through the long hard winter. It rained relentlessly and then it froze and snowed-a lot! It seemed the weather was not on our side and opening for Easter was not looking likely. Sure enough, Easter came and went in a wet, muddy bog, but then at last, the sun came out.  We held our grand opening in glorious sunshine then nervously welcomed our first guests the next day. They loved it and we never looked back!

It has been an adventure, a rollercoaster and every other cliche you can think of but more than anything, it has been so much fun. We have met so many lovely people who have come from far and wide and loved their stays with us. And the happiness that brings us makes it all worthwhile. So we look to next season now with excitement and some ideas to give our guests an even more unique and incredible experience… watch this space!

The reason you need to go glamping…

Ok, so you may have tried camping before – you may even like camping – but when it comes to planning a relaxing break, it can all be a bit too much like hard work! Packing the tent, putting the tent up, packing the other 4 tonnes of equipment that you will definitely need into the boot, roof box, trailer, or even all three. Then cramming the kids, dog and grandma in on top…it’s so much stress before you even leave the house.

More and more people are turning to glamping as a much more civilised alternative, and I can’t say I blame them. Our one camping holiday was cut short by chilly nights, excessive spam consumption, deflating airbeds, billions of creepy crawlies and the final straw, one small child vomiting on the head of another in the middle of the night. We came home…

So when we came to create Under the Oak Glamping, we knew what we would want from a glamping holiday and we were determined to make sure our guests had it all. Our safari tent has its own kitchen with fridge, hob and running hot and cold water. Our spacious bathroom has proved a big hit, with a hot shower, luxury toiletries and towels provided and a pretty spectacular view!

The cosy Welsh box bed is everyone’s favourite and families fight over who gets to sleep in it. Underneath the little den is a perfect place for our smaller guests to chill, read, play or hide.

Outside there is something for everyone. The hot tub is the star of the show. Families can spend the day dipping in and out and once the kids are tucked up in bed, the tiny solar lights come on and couples can enjoy a spot of star gazing  with a glass of wine in hand.

There is space for football or bat and ball games, or maybe a board game on the huge veranda – it’s all about spending time with loved ones doing the things you don’t usually have time to do. Kids adore the mud kitchen and tractor tyre sand pit and might even be busy there long enough for parents to have a little rest.

We are lucky enough to be perfectly placed to explore so many amazing parts of South Wales so for guests who want to get out and about, the choice is almost endless. Beaches, mountains or city life in Wales’ vibrant capital city of Cardiff are all just a short drive away.

So there you have it. Glamping provides the perfect mix of relaxation and excitement. Couples can relax together, kids can run free and families can explore and make incredible memories together. And apart from your clothes- you don’t need to pack a thing. Perfect!

Amazing days out in South East Wales…

Some people visit Under the Oak Glamping to experience total relaxation. To soak in the hot tub, watch the baby ducklings on the pond and truly get away from it all. But if you do fancy a day out, there is so much to see an do, right on our doorstep. We’ve put together a list of our favourite places to visit, all under an hour away. And whether you’re a couple celebrating an anniversary, or a family in search of adventures, there’s something for everyone!

  • St Fagans is an open-air museum celebrating the architecture and traditions of Wales and a wonderful day out for the whole family. There are over 40 original buildings here to explore including a post-war prefab, a Workmen’s Institute and a reconstructed Iron Age Farmstead. The Museum is brought alive through events hosted throughout the year.
  • Mountain View Ranch is a short drive away and is great for kids wanting to explore and run wild. The adventure playground and Gruffalo Trail will delight smaller visitors and there are high ropes and segways for those needing their adrenaline fix. There are always plenty of activities happening so check out their website for up to date info.
  • Pen y Fan roughly translates as Top Spot. At the summit, walkers perch on the cairn to grab a selfie. The bragging rights are not to be sniffed at – this is, after all, the highest point in southern Britain, with Mid Wales swirling around it like a carpet of green. So if you’re up to a challenge, bring your hiking boots and pick one of the four routes up to the top – it’s definitely worth the effort!
  • Barry Island is famous for being home to Gavin and Stacey but we were all visiting long before that. The beach itself is a fabulous big sandy bay and the promenade behind is lined with old fashioned amusement arcades, fish and chip shops and ice cream parlours. It’s the ultimate, traditional seaside day out.
  • Head to Escape Rooms for a day out with a difference.  It’s a real life escape game for 2 to 6 players. You’ll need to work together to find hidden clues and solve the puzzles in the themed rooms before the timer runs out! You will need to think quick, think smart and work as a team if you want to make it out !  
  • Big Pit is one of the most evocative heritage venues in the world, paying tribute to the sweat and grind of miners through a blacksmith’s forge, a miners’ canteen and an explosive magazine. You’ll be able to imagine hard-hatters using the lockers and shower rooms, kept intact at a place which has won multiple awards and, amazingly, is free of charge.
  • The National Showcaves of Wales are definitely worth a visit. The caves themselves -discovered in 1912- are breathtaking, especially  the awe-inspiring Cathedral cave. But there are so many other things to see and do, including over 200 life size dinosaurs, an iron age farm and fabulous adventure  playgrounds!                                     
  • Llancaiach Fawr manor house brings Tudor history to life. You are greeted by the prospector for the house, who was in charge of the Manor while the owner, Lord Pritchard was involved in the Civil War. All the servants stay in character throughout your visit, and you really get a feel for how families would have lived in 1645. A memorable day out for visitors of all ages!
  • Dunraven bay is one of many beaches we are blessed with but I picked this one out because it has a bit of everything. Parking is easy, there are toilets and ice-creams. The beach itself has awesome rock pools at low tide, rocks to search for fossils, and sand for building castles. The cliff top walks are beautiful and Dunraven castle, set just back from the beach is perfect for an afternoon stroll, with its pretty walled gardens.
    There are so many more places to explore – we’d love to hear your recommendations! Why not post your own pictures of fabulous days out in the area on our facebook page?


Competition time!!!

Today we are launching a very exciting facebook competition to win a two night, half term glamping getaway in the beautiful rolling South Wales hills.
To celebrate our successful opening month, we’re giving you the chance to win a luxury break for up to four people in our fabulous safari tent, with it’s own private hot tub. 
Details of how to enter can be found on our facebook page. Here are the boring but important bits…
The prize is a 2 night stay on May 30th and 31st in our luxury safari tent.
Competition is only open to over 18’s.
The winner will be selected at random at 8pm on Sunday May 13.
The winner will be announced on our facebook page and notified by message.

Exciting additions…

We have been very busy this week at Under the Oak Glamping adding some exciting new facilities, especially for our younger guests. The tyre sandpit is sure to be a massive hit – we had trouble getting our own kids out of it!

And as if that wasn’t enough, we built an awesome mud kitchen and stocked it full of bowls, cups, spoons, all ready to get nice and muddy! Our small guests this weekend are testing it out for us so we look forward to their feedback.

It’s a perfect weekend for exploring out about. We’ve been exploring the woods and climbing trees. The children love having the freedom to roam about and all the fresh air should wear them out for a good night’s sleep!

We still have a some availability for half term but dates are booking up quickly so if you want to get away from it all in our luxury safari tent, don’t hang about! Whether you want to explore the castles, beaches and beautiful countryside  of  South Wales or just relax in the hot tub and unwind in total peace and quiet, you’re sure to have an unforgettable glamping holiday with us.

Grand opening and special offer announcement…

Our grand opening was a huge success this week. We invited local councillor Liz Alldsworth to perform the opening ceremony, along with neighbours and friends who have supported us on our journey from dairy farm to luxury glamping site.

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It was a glorious day, which really showed off the Safari tent in all its splendour, along with the magnificent views of the rolling South Wales countryside.  But there was no time to sit back and bask in the success of the launch event, as our first guests arrived the very next day!

Now that Under the Oak is up and running, we have decided to run a spring special offer so you can enjoy a luxury glamping  holiday in our safari tent at an exclusively low price.

Book a break with us, arriving on a Monday and get three nights for the price of two, or four nights for the price of three. That’s a saving of up to £140! Available on dates until half term in  late May.

It’s the perfect time of year to get out in the country side and watch spring bursting into life all around you. And what better place to do it, than in your own private safari lodge, with everything you need for a luxury break. Settle back in the wood fired hot tub, with a glass of wine in hand, and watch the buzzards soaring over head.

This is sure to be a popular offer so check out the booking section of our website to secure your dates now!


Grand opening…

We have had a long hard winter, with many highs and lows, as we have worked on building our new glampsite. But today the sun is out, we are open for bookings, and all is right with the world.

We are incredibly proud of our first lodge, which is pitched right on the water’s edge. The pond is home to plenty of ducks and a few pesky geese at the moment so we are hoping for some baby ducklings very soon. The view from the sheltered veranda or the hot tub is absolutely stunning.

To showcase our new project, we are planning a launch event on April 19th, where we will be joined by friends, neighbours and people who have helped us on our way.

After that we will excitedly await the arrival of our first guests. Then the real fun can begin!

Top tips for virgin glampers…

Here at Under the Oak we are new to this glamping malarky but we’ve done our research and we think we’ve got a pretty good grasp of what it’s all about.

Glamping is not camping. You will sleep in a proper bed, with proper bedding – not a sleeping bag in sight! You will have a toilet, which flushes, and a proper hot shower. You won’t have to exist on a diet of spam and beans, rustled up on a teeny calor gas stove.

But it’s not a hotel so you will be getting back to nature and settling into a more relaxed pace of life. Here are our top tips to prepare for your adventure.

Remember your wellies…

And warm jumpers, and waterproofs, and bathing costume, and suncream. Remember that whatever the season, our good old Welsh weather can be a little unpredictable so come prepared for scorching hot days and chilly evenings. Essentially, be prepared to experience and embrace the great outdoors!

Ditch the devices…

Ok so you probably won’t leave your mobile behind. And yes, there is often 4g but some people do chose to go ‘electronics free’. It’s a frightening thought for most of us but you’ll be amazed by the feeling of freedom it can bring – like a detox for the soul.

Think about food…

If you are planning on cooking a lot then barbeques are a natural choice. For a little variety, why not plan some hearty one-pot meals which you can rustle up on the campfire or the camp kitchen. A warming chilli or stew always go down well or in warmer months, salads and pastas. By keeping it simple, even the camp chef should get a little time to unwind.

Bikes or boots…

However you like to explore an area, come prepared with your hiking boots or your mountain bikes. There are so many beautiful areas to discover without having to jump in the car. Just a fifteen minute walk from Under the Oak brings you to the top of the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway with astonishing panoramic views across the Bristol channel and up to the Brecon Beacons.

Go with the Flow…

Days out are great but allow time for down time. Allow the pace of life to slow down. Watch the birds and the clouds. When it gets dark, fire up the hot tub to soak away the stress under starry skies. Or snuggle up around the campfire for a few drinks and maybe even a sing-song. Whatever takes your fancy, make time to recharge and reconnect. Glamping is a break like no other and the experience is sure to leave you wanting to return very soon!