A new ‘glamping’ site aimed at those who want a taste of the great outdoors without waving goodbye to all of life’s little luxuries is preparing to welcome its first guests.
In The Stix, based on a picturesque 30-acre farm in Greetham, Rutland, is due to open just in time for the Easter weekend.
Four spacious geodesic domes, which can sleep up to six adults, have been built by husband and wife team Darren Blackwell and Alex Cowie.
Each contains its own bathroom complete with flushing toilet and hot shower – putting an end to the late night treks to dingy toilet blocks often associated with traditional camping.
Each dome also has its own field kitchen containing a log-burning oven for cooking, a two-ringed gas hob, a dining table and chairs plus all the pots, pans, utensils and other essentials you could possibly want.
In The Stix has been five years in the making and was inspired by visits Darren and Alex made to other glamping – or glamorous camping – sites elsewhere in the country.
Darren, 43, a former Royal Navy chef from Hambleton who now works as a tour manager in the music industry, said: “We had both seen really nice sites and loved what they were offering.
“Rutland is a beautiful county and we were convinced a site like this would do well.
“It wasn’t easy finding the right location, but when we found Brook Farm we knew it was perfect.”
Alex, 41, who works in property and interior design, said a huge amount of work had gone into the site.
She said: “Being outside in the fresh air is great, but camping doesn’t appeal to everyone.
“What we have done is keep all the positive aspects – taking people back to nature, keeping the good bits of camping, but losing the bad bits.
“Having to take a child to the toilet in the middle of the night, across a muddy field, to a toilet block is not great. Here, each dome has its own proper toilet.
“They also have showers with hot water – just what you want after a long day out in the country.
“Also, when camping you have to take all of your cooking equipment and supplies with you. Here, we have everything you need. All you need to bring is yourself, clothing and wellies, and some food.”
The domes all have log-burners for warmth and solar-powered lighting.
But power sockets and WiFi have been deliberately left out.
Alex added: “We want our guests to abandon their phones and tablets for a few days and spend some quality time together.
“People live such busy lives these days it can be lovely to take a step back, switch off and relax.”
In The Stix is just a stone’s throw away from Greetham Valley Hotel and golf course and a 15-minute walk from Exton Park.
It is marketed as a perfect base for exploring all that Rutland has to offer.
Darren and Alex have three boys between them, aged between six and 11, who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to try out the domes.
In The Stix operates a minimum three-night booking policy. A Friday to Sunday night stay in April, for four adults, starts at £380.
Although the business is still in its infancy, Darren and Alex already have planning permission for a further seven domes and plans to add even more facilities for guests.
For more information, visit www.inthestix.co