Glamping in the time of Corona

British Summer Time has started, the evenings are getting so much lighter and cheery daffs are in full bloom.  So far so normal but as we all know this year is anything but normal.  Usually we’d be sprucing up the vans, putting twinkly solar fairy lights in the trees and laying fresh paths in readiness for what would have been our 8th season launch next week.  Instead the covers are still on and like you we’re wondering what the forseeable future in lockdown holds for us.  We hope you are safe and well and weathering the Corona Storm.  In the meantime, thank the glamping gods you can’t lockdown Spring, here’s a little taster of life on site last week, complete with chirruping birds.



Focus on all the Parties we’ll have on the other side

We don’t know when we’ll be able to open our van doors but we’re crossing everything and hoping it will be in time for the summer holidays, if not earlier.  In the meantime we’ve been working hard to reschedule all our Spring group bookings either to later on in the year or we’ve moved them to next year.  If the Olympics can be shunted back a year, so too can weddings, hen parties and important birthdays ending in big fat zeros.  

We love that you want to celebrate with us and we are here to help make your weekend glamping party one you’ll remember for a long time.  We generally say numbers for whole site private hire start from 12 upwards but if you are a smaller group of 8-12 it’s also worth enquiring.  We offer all sorts of delicious homecooked food from one pot campfire dinners and hangover brunches to 3 course wild dining feasts in our candlelit vintage mess tent.  And there’s masses to do in the area by day – from canoeing down the River Wye to mountain biking in the Forest of Dean or just hang out on site and play a game of tennis before treating yourself to a range of holistic treatments in our lotus belle massage tent.  It’s never too early to get in touch if you’re planning a big get together with friends or something special. 

Glamping Dish of the Day

I don’t know about you but our team of largely teenage kids are eating us out of hearth and home.  The fruitbowl – and that includes unripe kiwis – is gone in a day and as for bread and any form of baked goods, more like the blink of an eye.  Enter store cupboard dinners that can be made over a campfire or hob ring.  This one is super simple, super filling for fast growing teens with hollow legs and brings to mind cowboys cooking over an open fire, Yee haw:

Kick Ass Beans

Ingredients, serves 5:

Good glug of olive or rapeseed oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/minced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

Handful of fresh herbs – rosemary & thyme leaves only

1 tsp smoked paprika

400g can chopped tomatoes

I tbsp black treacle 

Splash of sherry vinegar 

2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained & rinsed


  1. Heat oil in pan and add onion, garlic & chilli.  Stir & fry for a minute or so until soft and beginning to colour.
  2. Season with salt & pepper and add the rosemary and thyme followed by the paprika.  Mix then add the tomatoes, treacle and water from rinsing out the tomato tin.  Then add the vinegar and butter beans.
  3. Let it all simmer for 10 mins and serve on hot toast or a baked potato.

A Greener Future

Hopefully we will emerge from this crisis a little bit wiser, with increased respect for our planet and renewed energy to do things differently.  It has been amazing to watch pollution levels fall around the world.  Will airline travel ever be the same again?  Surely the likes of zoom have made us realise we don’t need to be racking up the air and road miles to get business done.  When you book a glamping break here at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans you are ticking the off grid, eco box.  We try to ensure that everything we do is as environmentally friendly as possible.  On site you’ll find a composting loo – and a very fine one at that complete with Victorian throne seat – and all our cleaning and shower products are made by a company called Splosh over in Hay on Wye who have been doing their bit to rid the earth of single use plastics.  Owing to a surge in demand there’s currently a bit of a wait but it’s worth having a look at their range and thinking about making the switch once and for all.   Their products smell delicious too.

I’ve always had a healthy respect for Tom Hanks (so polite in interviews, absence of ego) who nailed it in a recent tweet, ‘Going to take awhile, but if we take care of each other, help where we can, and give up some comforts, this, too, shall pass’.  Amen to that.  You can book your glamping summer holiday here safe in the knowledge that we are totally flexible and can reschedule your booking or refund you if you prefer.  Stay safe and we very much hope to see you on the other side for laughter, campfires, shooting stars and new glamping adventures.  


Jo & Sacha xx

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Vintage Glamping in the Forest of Dean

Glamping is big business. Every man and his shed is joining in with the craze these days, so in order to really stand out, you need to add more than soft furnishings and a log-burner to your glamping experience.

You need to sprinkle a little magic on proceedings… which is precisely what Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans Glamping in the Forest of Dean has done.

Read the full the article on Weekend Candy

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Let The Glamping Fun Be Gin

2018 was a bumper year for glamping with endless weeks of unbroken sunshine and heat.  For the first time ever we had to request no fires outside the caravans – just for a few weeks mind but it felt every inch the Mediterranean.  Scorchio! The vans are now wrapped up in their winter coats to protect them from the elements whilst we turn our minds to our 2019 season.  We are already taking whole site bookings for the precious spring and summer weekends

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Summer Bucket List

The Summer Holidays (capital S, capital H) are fast approaching as every parent will be only too well aware.  Endless days stretching out for weeks on end which needs filling. What to do?  Where to go (without remortgaging your house)?  How to avoid the centuries-old cry ‘I’m Bored’ and how long before you’re screaming at them to put down their (evil) Devices and Go Outside?  Sound familiar?  Well, delighted to say glamping and summer are a match made in heaven – rather like strawberries and cream, gin and tonic or Ant & Dec… hmm, make that Meghan & Harry.  So here goes with our Mad Dogs Summer Bucket List to help ease the load and remind you what Summer Holidays are made for:

Snuggle Up Together in a Charming Vintage Caravan     

Gertie Caravan with a Summer view

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Glamping Magic of May

May is our favourite month here at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans. Bluebells carpet the copse and the glamping meadow is covered in frothy, lacy cow parsley.  Spring is at its zingy green best and the evenings are light and long.  To top it all this year we have been blessed with halcyon days of glorious sunshine.  Glamping conditions have never been better *Sigh*. A year ago photographer Katie Spicer came to stay in Gertie to celebrate her wedding anniversary.  You can feast your eyes on her beautiful pictures of the glampsite and read Katie’s blog capturing the essence of glamping at this time of year.

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Family Holidays Made For Adventure

Soon the Beast of the East will be a distant frozen memory and it will be time to whip the covers off Monty, Gertie, Sybil and Elsie in readiness for this, our 6th season of glamping adventures… Bring it on.  One of the things we love most about life here on the Mad Dogs glampsite is how each season offers different perks and a family glamping trip during the Easter holidays can be super rewarding.  The copse, home to the Mad Dogs campfire log circle, shower shack and cosy Mess Tent, is a blaze of green and tiny yellow Spring flowers, the mornings are crisp and the evenings are light. 

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How to have the best hen weekend ever

Over the years we’ve hosted many amazing glamping hen parties – from hens wanting a festival vibe to lovers of all things vintage sporting glam 50s outfits to groups wanting an action-packed adventure weekend.  We are ideally located in the Wye Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with stunning sunset views west to the Brecon Beacons.  Take over the whole glampsite for a magical glamping hen weekend at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans.  We are here to help you plan and prepare your hen party weekend and in the words of Montell Jordan ‘This Is How You Do It’ Sacha & Jo style…

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Party Party Party

Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans is the perfect place for a party.  This year we’ve loved watching guests take over the whole site to celebrate landmark birthdays – we’ve had Helen’s 30th last month, Keavy’s 40th summer bash, Richard’s 40th ‘lost weekend’ (anyone seen Pid?) and twins Wendy & Lindsey’s family celebrations for their joint 50ths.  We’ve had a marriage proposal in Monty (and reader, it was a ‘yes’), honeymooners in Sybil and a steady stream of hen parties popping prosecco corks and glamping the weekend away.  Then there were vintage enthusiasts Amy & Tom who arrived in Audrey, their beloved Morris Minor, and spent a week in Elsie living a 1950s lifestyle complete with stunning retro outfits and hairdos. In Amy we have found our Mad Dogs 50s pinup (by the way hens take note, you can hire the services of Amy and there’s nothing she can’t do with pins and a curling wand).

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Mad Squirrels & Chestnuts

Autumn turned out to be a cracker: sunny, mild, dry conditions made for a spectacular display of colour here in the Wye Valley. Perfect conditions too for a bumper crop of chestnuts from our ancient Sweet Chestnut in the copse (affectionately known as the Faraway Tree). This year there were so many even the squirrels were willing to share them.  It made a wonderful season finale watching glampers gather round the campfire to roast them.  

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