Red Kite Tree Tents
Calling all campers: we've officially entered the dawn of an exciting new camping era. The elusive tree tent is born: a spherical canvas structure suspended by rope high up in the trees. Sounds ominous? Actually it isn't. Instead it's sort of beautiful, in a futuristic orb kind of way. The tent is located on the outskirts of a dense woodland – in the grounds of the similarly alluring Red Kite Barn, as it happens – and as you walk down the gravelly hill towards the site, your new accommodation starts to take shape right before your eyes.
First you'll see the handmade wooden stepping bridge, then the babbling brook followed by the wooden stumps leading up to your very own kitchen and shower, which sits on raised decking. Turn around, and you'll be face-to-face with the tree tent, which comes with a super comfy circular bed and wood-burning stove. We could bore you with the facilities and practical aspects, but all you need to know is that this is an experience like no other. It's not for the faint-hearted by any means, especially being so high up, but if you're prepared to go with the flow (and follow all the detailed instructions left out for you), you'll love it.
There's a fire pit next to the brook, and they even leave out campfire cooking utensils. At night, the tree tent gently rocks you to sleep to the sound of the brook – although the gentleness depends entirely on how windy it is that night. The next day, you might feel that similar wobbly sensation you get when you've been on a boat. The nearby woodlands are great for hiking and there's plenty of nearby things to do at Hay-on-Wye. If you're up for venturing out a bit further, the beautiful reservoirs of Elan Valley are only a half-hour drive away.
Why book with Cool Places?
- Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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- Trusted for over 10 years
- A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions
The Owner Says
You'll get a goody pack sent to you once you've made your booking. The pack explains everything the tree tent comes with, plus what to do in the surrounding areas. You also get a welcome hamper, with rock salt, olive oil, black pepper, posh tea bags and coffee, eggs, butter and milk. The tent comes with duvets for the bed, plus towels for washing. The kitchen & shower comes with hot water and there's plenty of kitchen utensils and crockery. The flushable toilet is a up a small hill near the kitchen. There's also loads of additional camping essentials scattered about the place, including playing cards, torches, soap and firelighters & kindling to help get the wood-burning stove lit. Our advice is to read the information pack that gets sent to you, as it explains everything onsite. Once you're at the tree tent, there are plenty of instructions and advice guidelines to help you.
Our favourite spot
Each Tree Tent, as well as The Conker, sleeps up to 2 adults and is glamping only. Kids over 10 are welcome (under 10 by prior arrangement), but pets are not permitted.
The local area
Though you may easily see them circling overhead the private forest, the best place to watch red kites close up is at Gigrin Farm Feeding Station (01597 810243) near Rhayader. It's just under 12 miles from the Red Kite Estate and is excellent both for seeing the birds and learning a bit more about them and the success of their breeding in Wales. The dams and reservoirs of the Elan Estate (01597 810880) are situated within an AONB a half-hour’s drive from the site. As you approach the town of Rhayader you will see the road signs to The Elan Valley Reservoirs. Visit the coffee shop that's open seven days a week (10am–5.30pm) and take a scenic walk around the reservoir. Try out some wild swimming at Pen-doll Rocks, Builth Wells: a lovely stretch of the Wye just outside Builth Wells with a variety of flat rocks and wooden planks that connect them and fairly easy access to the water – 7 miles from the site. Visit Henryhd Waterfall, the highest fall in South Wales located in the Brecon Beacons.For Sea, beach and dunes Try Borth, just north of Aberystwyth on Wales’ western shoreline. Heading north along the coastline through Borth itself until you come to the Dyfi National Nature Reserve – great sand dunes to explore, with beach and water on each side. You can park up on the beach itself (£2 charge) and watch kite surfers and horses alongside ice cream vans and paddling children. Or for those more interested in the written and spoken word, try Hay-on-Wye's myriad of second-hand bookshops, and The Willow Globe's utterly charming and unique outdoor theatre (01597 811487).
Best local places to eat and drink
It's a long-ish but pleasant three mile walk over the moorland and down the lane to the oldest pub in Powys, The Red Lion (01597 860204) at Llanafan-fawr, where there are real ales on tap and hearty meals on the menu. Nothing fancy but a real pub atmosphere – Wednesday night is the one for steak and wine! Be warned, it does close for a short while after lunch service and reopens in the evening. Four miles away at Newbridge-on-Wye, next to the New Inn (and owned by the pub landlord; 01597 860211), is a rare breeds butcher shop. They have rather random opening times but if the pub is open (which it is at lunch and dinner Mon–Thurs and Sunday, all day Fri and Saturday) then ask at the bar and they will open the shop for you.
Why stay with us?
Each tree tent features a double bed (bedding, linen and towels provided) which folds into a sofa bed during the day, a log burner (logs provided), lighting and a side table. Outside, raised decks feature a table and chairs, a well-equipped outdoor kitchen and, on ground level, an outdoor shower and a toilet hut. The Conker features a unique double bed (bedding, linen and towels provided) which folds apart into a dining table with surrounding soft seating, lighting, electricity, bluetooth speakers, a (very) compact kitchen with a hob, a sink and all the utensils you need. Adjacent there is a timber cabin with a shower and composting loo. Outdoor dining terrace and a campfire pit. Campfires and BBQs permitted at each unit.
The Red Kite Conker
Prices range from £330–£425 for 3 nights to £550–£710 for 7 nights.
Available all year.
The tent is located down a single track in a village called Newbridge on Wye, near Builth Wells and Llanafan-fawr. You will be sent a lovely booklet once you've made your booking, which includes full detailed directions from Newbridge on Wye. Just remember that the single track path does go on for quite a bit, so don't give up – you'll be on the right track! If in doubt, there's a lovely pub called the Red Lion which proudly claims to be the 'oldest pub in Powys' – they'll be able to direct you.
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