Blog post

Glamping at Gravel Pit Farm – Luxury Safari Tents in Marden, Kent

July 12, 2020

Price: From £175 / night

Sleeps: up to 6 adults

Location: Marden, Kent

Gravel Pit Farm is so much more than just a glamping site. First and foremost it’s a working farm and home to owners Annabel and Simon. Having raised their own family on the farm they were keen to share their love of the great outdoors and evenings spent around the campfire with a wider audience. After months of research and fine tuning Glamping at Gravel Pit Farm finally opened in June 2019.

Location

Gravel Pit Farm is found in the pretty village of Marden in Kent. Despite feeling very rural the village is directly connected to London via rail making the farm all the easier to escape to for a weekend getaway. By car the site is also easy to reach thanks to the M20 which can be accessed 25 minutes away at Maidstone. This location also works as an ideal stop over for crossings into Europe at either Folkestone or Dover.

The Tents

There are just 2 safari tents at Gravel Pit Farm meaning that the vast space they sit in is pretty much exclusively yours. Both tents sit behind the main farm in a large paddock with wide, sweeping views looking towards big skies. The sun sets directly in front of the decking allowing for long evenings spent on the porch. Annabel explained she chose Clear Sky Safari Tents as they offer fantastic year round safari style accommodation – and are rather conveniently based down the road in Paddock Wood. Annabel has custom designed the interior to include some really unique touches such as the cupboard snug beds (which the children loved!), the four poster bed in the double room and the vintage decor throughout both tents. The result is a luxurious fun space that offers the perfect blend of feeling close to nature whilst maintaining all the comforts of a high end stay.

Living spaces

Each tent accommodates up to 6 people with interiors made up of 3 bedrooms (one double, 1 twin and 1 double cupboard, snug), there’s also a bathroom with hot shower and flushing toilet and a large kitchen / diner / lounge area. An additional toilet / washroom is available for each tent in a separate out house to allow extra privacy at busy wash times. The tent feels bright and spacious with good quality lighting throughout. There’s also WiFi, fridge, hob and super smart wood burning stove for chilly nights.

Sleeping

The bedrooms are about as private as you can get under canvas thanks to sturdy sliding door paneling. The double bed is a pretty four poster draped with netting for a real sense of the Serengeti. Next door is a twin – both bedrooms provide ample storage with beds made up with crisp white sheets and additional blankets. The sleeping highlight is definitely the cupboard snug which offers an additional double sleeping space in a magical cupboard adorned with fairy lights. All beds are fitted with electric blankets and there are hot water bottles a plenty to ensure guests are kept toasty through all seasons.

Bathrooms

The tents both have an en suite bathroom with toilet, shower, and sink. Wash products and fluffy towels are provided. There’s a radiator to keep towels warm and dry while keeping the room snug and cosy even on the coldest mornings. Each tent also has it’s own additional toilet and wash space in an external cabin ensuring that guests are guaranteed privacy and free access to facilities as and when needed.

Outdoor Spaces

The space, views and country living are what really make a stay at Gravel Pit Farm. The space is vast yet safe and enclosed. If cooking al fresco is your thing there’s a dedicated outdoor cooking space with a two-tiered BBQ for each tent. There’s a communal timber covered area next to the BBQ’s making cooking outdoors an option even when it’s wet. The children loved exploring the surrounding fields and bridleways before spending the evening sat around the campfire toasting marshmallows and making s’mores. We, on the other hand were able to sit back and enjoy a glass of bubbles and enjoy their antics, giggling as the evening drew in. Bliss.

Farm life

Annabel and Simon are incredibly welcoming inviting guests to help themselves to freshly laid eggs from the hens nesting boxes. The children were fascinated to see the process of choosing an warm egg straight from underneath the hen to eating it 15 minutes later. You can’t get much fresher than that! There’s also horses in an adjoining paddock and the farm dogs pottering about. Dogs are welcome to stay in the tents and are provided with their own ‘Dog Pack’ which includes their own dog bed, bowls, crate and lead.

Covid-19 Adaptations

We were invited to stay at Gravel Pit Farm at the time of re-opening post lockdown. The adaptations Annabel and Simon have made are obviously there to make both guests and hosts feel safe during their stay, and in all honesty once we were on site we barely noticed the changes. So what has been put in place?

  • Bookings need to be made as a family or bubble group.
  • Adhere to social distancing rules around the hosts and guests outside of your party whilst on site.
  • There is an antibac station at the site entrance. Guests are asked to clean their hands on re-entering the tents.
  • At the end of the stay guests are asked to strip beds and places linen and towels directly into a laundry tub to save cleaning staff from unnecessary exposure.

Verdict

We loved our time at Gravel Pit Farm. The accommodation is up there with the best with clear attention to comfort and functional practicalities. The cupboard snug was an absolute highlight for us – it meant that the children felt like this place had been designed for them! They were in their element both indoors and out relishing in the freedom of the wide open spaces and cosy hidey-holes. As adults our stay was about as stress free and easy as it gets. The kitchen and wash facilities meant that nothing was a chore – the kitchen comes fully equipped meaning that if camping style cooking seems a bit much every night there’s a straight forward alternative. To top it off Annabel and Simon are incredibly welcoming and accommodating as hosts. It really makes a difference when you are greeted with open arms and made to feel more like family friends that guests – that’s how we felt at Gravel Pit Farm.

A huge thank you to Annabel and Simon for inviting us the experience a stay at Gravel Pit Farm in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. If you’d like to find out more about Gravel Pit Farm please visit their website here.

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