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LUXURY CAMPING may be taken for granted now. But step back in time for a moment.
This all began in 2004 – a summer of adventuring and and our first experiments with luxury camping. We had a tipi and three small children. We were too big for a small tent and the tipi was a radical idea to replace it. We had the most wonderful trip but we had no idea it would eventually lead us to where we are now.
6 years later after a stack of new adventures and still looking for something new, we built our first dome, a snow dome, a proper igloo built on a hill with a gang of mates and mini helpers.
The igloo was a delight and big enough to hold ten people! Now, a few years, down the line, the snow has long melted and up from the floor of the Forest of Dean has appeared The Dome Garden – a luxury camping benchmark site, big enough to hold 60 people.
Like we said – from little things, bigger things can grow.
Confusing isn’t it.
So much contradiction, so much politics, buried in half truths and rumour. In the interests of harmony, and practicality, rather than faddism or fanaticism – we have included a number of sensible, mild green, environmental ideas throughout the site. Passive and practical solutions to a few simple things.
So, the domes are insulated (derr!), and we use thick feather (and hypo-allergenic) duvets for bedding so, no matter what, you will be snug as a bug in a – well – duvet! The roof of the main lodge is covered in solar panels which produce about 50% of our electrical needs – which includes powering over 100 super-low-wattage LED replacement bulbs, which light up the site and the main building.
Each dome does have it’s own en-suite shower and loo, but the water is heated by you from a boiler in the back of the stove using logs that are harvested in the forest just yards from the site. (That’s the famous carbon neutral thing – right there.)
The paths are built up on foundations of recycled glass which began life as the beer and wine bottles from the neighbours Mayday celebrations back in 2010 and the kitchens and the fences are made from scrap offcuts from another sawmill just down the road…
There’s more too, but we think you get where we’re going with all this. And, like most of the gags in this website, everything that can be recycled is recycled.
Apparently “the geodesic dome is an extraordinarily potent, geometric composition, which mirrors the structure and form of the very cosmos itself.”
Not only that but “It’s a physical manifestation of the philosophy of Sacred Geometry and a demonstration of the driving mathematical principles of all living cells”.
Something to consider (or maybe not!) as you sit in your dome looking out over the forest and – like every other philosopher before you – pondering the relationship between you, the universe and – well – everything!
Some say… when you speak or play music in the middle of a dome it’s not the strange and eerie acoustic you can hear but the music of spheres.
Others say… it’s the sound of your own soul echoing from within!
Not quite how Kant would have put it but then again… he wasn’t exactly Doctor Who now, was he?
“The one thing we always say about childhood is that we seemed to have more time back then”.
So said the best selling Dangerous Book For Boys. “Not only were the summers longer, but the days were warmer.”
We couldn’t agree more. The sand, or grass, or twigs beneath our feet defined the seasons and filled the gaps between the changing terms before the accelerating speed of the life lead us away and dampened our senses.
The Dome Garden is an attempt to slow the hand of time, to recreate the wonder of youth and recapture “those Sunday afternoons and endless summers.”
It’s partly how we find our way back to where we came from and how we keep in touch with our youth. It might also be how we help our children learn where they are going and how to get there.
If we don’t take advantage of stuff like this then we all risk growing old too young.
That is what The Dome Garden is all about.
Bring a gang of friends or family, go canoeing or cycling or llama trekking. Make camps, take it easy and enjoy the slowing of time with no phones or tvs or emails to distract you. And then you might remember more about the gentle course of the carefree summers of your youth.