Wenningdale Escapes, Yorkshire Dales – Review
By Karl Hornsey
The glamping phenomenon has been around for a good few years now, but it’s something that had passed me by until a stay at Wenningdale Escapes in High Bentham on the outskirts of Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales. And I can now declare myself a definite convert, such is the quality of the family-run operation that must surely see Wenningdale go from strength to strength having opened only last year.
Glamping is such an all-encompassing term that it can mean something different to everyone, but taking the basic concept as ‘anything that’s a bit better than camping’, then Wenningdale is certainly at the higher end of the glamping scale, as it’s a million miles away from the deprivations of staying in a tent. Set in the heart of Bentham Golf Club, the site offers a number of luxurious lodges that can sleep up to 8 people, and half a dozen smaller pods, accommodating two people. It was in such a pod that we spent a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful evening, with every comfort we could possibly desire.
“Feels roomy and welcoming”
Welcomed by the friendly and knowledgeable Isabel, we were shown to our pod, which boasts a magnificent view out over Ingleborough (through a wee bit of cloud admittedly) and an even more magnificent king-size bed. The pods, which were handmade and constructed from scratch by the family themselves, are cosy, but thankfully the temptation to skimp on the size of the bed has been resisted, and this one was just perfect.
All of the pods also comprise an en-suite toilet with wash basin and shower, wall-mounted 32” TV, microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery, dining tables (one inside and one outside on the porch), wardrobe and a heater that sprung into action as soon as we turned it on. I would say there’s everything but the kitchen sink, but there’s a kitchen sink as well. All of this, and still the pod feels roomy and welcoming. We didn’t get chance to see the inside of the lodges, but they offer the same level of luxury as the pods. As I said, this form of glamping is so far removed from camping that I’m all for it.
“Really is bliss”
The enterprise was extremely well organised from the minute we arrived to the moment we left, with the staff all having the aim of making you feel welcome and relaxed. It also had to be noted that the pod was absolutely spotless, with everything spick and span and of the highest quality. In fact everything about Wenningdale screams quality.
As well as the cleanliness, the other obvious thing that struck us was the incredible peace and quiet that such a break offers. With the nearest traffic a good few hundred yards away, the only noise comes from the local wildlife or the grass-cutting machine in the morning. And it really is bliss. In fact, with nobody next door to you, above you, below you, or banging doors, these pods are actually much more relaxing than your average B&B or hotel. And I never thought I’d find myself saying that.
“Lots of options”
The only thing that Wenningdales doesn’t cater for is an evening meal, but the village of Bentham, just 10 minutes’ walk away, has plenty of eating establishments for all tastes. The clubhouse, a two-minute walk from our pod, offered up lots of options for breakfast (or lunch), where we were joined by several golfers ahead of another taxing day out on the course, or there’s the chance to have a continental breakfast delivered to your door.
Despite having been up and running for less than a year, there’s an air about Wenningdale Escapes of confidence and knowledge that what they’re doing will take off, and that the public will buy into what they’re offering. Having now sampled it for ourselves, I have little doubt that we’ll be back for more as this is definitely my new definition of glamping.
Wenningdale Escapes, Robin Lane, High Bentham, LA2 7AG
From £59 per night