Myself, my partner Seb & our young boys, Elliot and Dylan run Round the Woods (website ) a luxury glampsite in the heart of Norfolk. We love sharing our beautiful yurts and watching our guests losing themselves in the natural beauty of our site.
We’ve found that we’ve come full circle back to rural Norfolk having met at school here 17 years ago. When we finished school at 18, we were both desperate to move away, to seek new experiences and discover new places: our lives followed a well-trodden path – university, far flung travels & attempting to keep up with the bustle of London. Throughout this time, we felt the pull of a different lifestyle and found ourselves visiting inspiring projects and working to gain experience in both tourism and environmental stewardship.
The birth of Elliot, our first child, prompted us to take positive steps to transform our lives. Seeking to spend time as a family outdoors and to share our love of nature with others, glamping was the logical combination of our experience and passions. We realised that Norfolk was where we truly wanted to be – it really is a county with so much to offer. A short drive to gorgeous beaches, a beautiful cultural city on our doorstep, fresh air to breathe, countryside to explore and the space to live our long wished for smallholding lifestyle.
So, when my parents began looking to move back to Norfolk after more than 20 years away from the region we pooled our resources and the search began for somewhere big enough for all 3 generations and our glampsite plans. What we found was better than we could have imagined and we immediately fell in love with the beautiful and expansive site, particularly the woodland that is such a central part of our lives here. Having so much wonderful natural space for guests to explore and for our boys to grow up in is truly special.
It took us 18 months from the initial hatching of a plan to being open for business. A hectic time with very little sleep! It involved seemingly endless research into the glamping industry, the options available and what we needed to offer to make our business work; packing up our small rented London flat and moving across the country; achieving planning permission and setting everything up for our first guests. We had the added bonus of a toddler “helping” us & #2 on the way.
We knew from the start that we wanted to provide luxury glamping accommodation in beautiful structures; it’s essential for our guests to be comfortable and to get a good night’s sleep. As parents of 2 young boys, we like to think we’re now experts on the value of sleep! The natural light that flows into our yurts adds to the relaxing atmosphere of being in a round space with your loved ones, it’s really magical.
We focus on offering our guests a warm welcome and great customer service and it’s really important to us that we remain small and offer something truly special. We also knew that environmental sustainability would feature prominently – our yurts are off-grid with solar lighting, a cosy woodburner for heating and charming, private compost toilets. We’ve reclaimed and repurposed lots of materials and furniture, electricity to the shower building is provided by solar panels on sunny days and our water comes straight from the ground (don’t worry, we make sure it is clean!)
Our yurts and site are loved by all our guests and we currently open between March & October. We’re embarking on a plan to build a couple of year-round cosy structures made of beautiful natural materials in addition to our yurts. Guests will be able to enjoy and experience all four seasons at Round the Woods, including the crisp snowy meadow, awe-inspiring star filled wintery skies and the beautiful display of daffodils in early Spring, as well as the wonderful summer months.
Take the opportunity to treat yourselves to a relaxing luxury break with plenty of opportunities to explore and reconnect with nature and your loved ones at Round the Woods.
By Kate Symonds, Co-owner of Round the Woods