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A restorative glamping retreat in the green pastures of the Lincolnshire countryside

A restorative glamping retreat in the green pastures of the Lincolnshire countryside

I first experienced the Lincolnshire town of Stamford last summer, shooting in the home of the furniture designer Matthew Cox as we were slowly crawling out of the first lockdown. Not knowing much about the place, I was delighted to leave my London borough and discover a limestone market town, pretty enough for a Christmas card. Almost a year on and with a similar feeling of desperation for new sights and sounds, I was off to the same neck of the woods, to The Nest, a glamping site run by Emma and Archie Dennis on their family land next to the Riverford Farms.

Leaving the merciless A1 behind in favour of meandering country lanes, we passed through villages of stone cottages shrouded in clematis, satisfying all the clichés of the English countryside. Soon, we were on a dust track leading through meadowy fields to three secluded cabins hidden amongst the flora and fauna; a standalone group in miles of green. Following the sunken path through a canopy of leaves, we arrived at the newest cabin to join The Nest’s family, ‘Teal’.

The canvas cabin sits on stilted foundations and resembles something from Out of Africa, though the most threatening beast you might find is a befuddled grouse or fallow deer. Decking runs the length of it and each canvas wall has been drawn up to reveal three parts; a large living area with a woodburner and farmhouse table, flanked by a bathroom with a vast standalone bath on one side and a bedroom boasting a king size marshmallow-soft bed on the other. The Nest’s pride and joy, a glittering lake no more than 100m away from the cabin’s edge, is visible from every room.

Plan ahead and Emma can stock the fridge with home cooked meals, arrange hampers of locally sourced breakfast goodies and cater to alfresco dining requests. We were greeted with snacks from Stamford’s refillable goods shop, All Good Things, and a bottle of pressé, as well as a hamper for our dog. When supplies ran low, we made for the local market – held on Fridays – to restock with farm fresh produce (as well as some new records).

Treats seem endless at The Nest, from details as small as The White Company bath products to a ‘Seafood Sundowner’ – a platter of seafood delivered to your cabin as the sun sets. For an extra fee, Archie will come along and set up your own ‘Film & Fireside’ private cinema experience, with a projector and vast screen, topped off with a fire pit to keep you warm and ward off mosquitoes. Book in advance and local masseuse Laura can visit your cabin for a range of treatments and I can testify that relaxing on your lakeside balcony after an outdoor Swedish massage is a great way to extend the experience. Early morning dips in The Nest’s lake at the crack of dawn or after a sweltering day have the capacity to soothe and ground in ways that only wild swimming can, and if you don’t fancy a dip, then two canoes rest on the water’s edge free for all to use.

Though it can be awfully tempting to not leave your base camp, Emma has a wealth of suggestions for nearby walks, days out, good food and watering holes. Burleigh House is a mere fifteen minute drive away and on a hot day, would be an idyllic spot for a picnic in the vast grounds, before discovering the Garden of Surprises and cooling off in the great rooms.

Each cabin sleeps six with a master bedroom, twin suite and a most charming cabin bed. Time it well and you can hire all three cabins for a group camp scout experience – with the added luxury of hot water, electricity and rosé. Although The Nest is thoroughly family friendly, if you avoid the school holidays you are guaranteed a stay that feels like a retreat – utterly restorative and undisturbed. The cabins are cleverly staggered and thoughtfully situated so that the only signs of human life might be a swimming costume drying in the sun or a plume of barbecue smoke from a neighbour. Other than that, it’s just you, the lake and the deer.

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Published at Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:35:43 +0000