Earlier this month I went to Port Lympne Reserve for the opening of their new Pinewood Camping Pods – and very swish they are too.
Port Lympne Reserve
Port Lympne Reserve is a wild animal park in Kent in the South of England. The park is home to a range of animals including lions, tigers, giraffes, ostriches and black rhinos. The park is part of the Aspinall Foundation, an animal conservation charity.
Pinewood Camping Pods
The ten new wooden camping pods are in a grassy woodland area which is opposite the cheetah enclosure and close to the lions and tigers. The pods look cosy and comfortable and the compact design of the interiors and the clever use of space made me think of a ship’s cabin. Each pod has twin beds and a double futon and can sleep up to two adults and two children.
The pods have exterior decks and barbecues and there’s also a clubhouse with a pool table and some chairs. A few metres from the pods is a toilet and shower block which looked clean and functional. The pods are a minute’s walk from the park’s welcoming café which serves hot food and drinks and which has a woodburner in one corner. There are no fridges in the camping pods so I guess that guests would take cool boxes and rely on the café to freeze ice packs for them. The pods have power and lighting and there are spare sockets so that you can recharge your phone and other devices.
Port Lympne Reserve covers over 600 acres and is the only reserve in the UK which is breeding critically endangered Black Rhino to be returned to the wild. You can go on an African Experience Safari at the reserve to see black rhinos, giraffes, ostriches and zebras roaming freely. I didn’t have time for a safari when I visited but I did see these tigers being fed:
Port Lympne Accommodation
There are several other types of accommodation on offer at Port Lympne besides the camping pods. Livingstone Lodge is a safari lodge where guests stay in luxury tents overlooking the area where the African animals roam free and with views as far as the Kent coast. Elephant Lodge is a glamping site overlooking the cheetah and elephant enclosures. Livingstone Cottage is a luxurious three-bedroom cottage which comes with a personal chef. The Mansion Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel in an Edwardian country house. There are also plans for a Treehouse Hotel to open later this year.
Howletts Wild Animal Park, also part of the Aspinall Foundation, is around 18 miles away from Port Lympne by road. It has the UK’s largest herd of African elephants and a family of Western lowland gorillas.
Family travel lowdown
The Port Lympne Pinewood camping pods are open all year round and cost from £79 per pod per night. Guests staying at the camping pods will have free entry to Port Lympne Reserve including access an hour before it opens to the public.
Nana Ajeiwaa-Siaw says
i really love your photo
Gretta Schifano says
I LOVE the sound of these, I don’t really like tents so I think this is the only way I would camp! x
Fritha recently posted…big softies
Clare Nicholas says
These look fab, I hate the idea of camping so this is a good compromise for the kids who are desperate to go
Clare Nicholas recently posted…Planning For Our Summer Wardrobes
I just love the look of these pods, both inside and out.
I can almost see myself in it 🙂
agatapokutycka recently posted…Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral
Mummy's Little blog says
they have some awesome places to stay at port lymme not that i have been i ust looked on the website lol, love howletts too
Mummy’s Little blog recently posted…Messy play for beginners – part 1 shaving foam
Jess Howliston says
I have seen these pods cropping up in several places recently and I think they look fantastic! I must admit I imaged them to be quite expensive but at just £79 these seem such a reasonable price.
Jess Howliston recently posted…Giddy Bowl **REVIEW**
Gretta Schifano says
It is good value, I agree – £79 for a family of four per night.
Cherished By Me says
Oh what a fab idea! We live fairly close to there so I will look into it as the children would be thrilled to do something like this. Thanks for the information.
Cherished By Me recently posted…Cadbury Dairy Milk Oat Crunch
Gretta Schifano says
Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) says
Wow I have never seen camping pods like this. I couldn’t mind staying in those at least the creepy crawlies would stay out.
Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk) recently posted…Photography backgrounds~Diy Tutorial
Port Lyme is one of our favourites and we would love to stay in one of their Camping Pods – almost like a home from home safari
Kara recently posted…Fishy Fun One to One!
I cannot believe that those pods are only from £79 a night! That’s amazing. And those tigers! Ohhhh…. I would love to stay here, I was so shocked when I read it was in England, it’s just beautiful.
Sara-Jayne recently posted…QUINNY VS. BABYWEARING – THE TEST DRIVE
Ryan Costello says
Im lucky enough to have camped under the stars with masai warriors in Kenya, in the wild and any little taste of that I could get is appealing to me. I would love to hear the big cats as I sleep.
Ryan Costello recently posted…Spring has sprung – Outdoor Fun
wow I would love to take the kids to stay in something like that for a night.
Emma recently posted…Saving for a holiday
Anna Su says
Looks awesome, thanks for sharing!
Amy Squires says
I love these little pods, and would love to stop in one! Looks like it was a great weekend!
Jaime Oliver says
wow Gretta i have never seen anything like this .. i used to love camping but my damaged pelvis means its now out the question .. but these look like all the fresh air of camping but with proper beds! .. love it!
Jaime Oliver recently posted…The Great Oliver Cake Off
Now this sort of camping I want to do, it looks absolutely amazing x
Rachel recently posted…Exclusive Benefit Mascara Masterclass with Birchbox
Cathy (MummyTravels) says
Beautiful tigers! I heard about the pods and thought they sounded great, interesting to see your review.
Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…Credit cards to collect air miles
Lucie Aiston says
Those pods look amazing!!! My kids would love to sleep somewhere like this! Wonderful photos!
Lucie Aiston recently posted…Everything is going to plan!
I love the look of these and what a great price too. They look so cosy!
Globalmouse recently posted…The Elms Hotel, Abberley, Worcestershire
Wow they look fantastic! Definitely my type of camping! xx
Mina Joshi says
Wow love the look of those Pods. I am not keen on camping but wouldn’t mind staying in one of those pods!
Mina Joshi recently posted…Mixed Vegetable with Rice Noodles
Phoebe @ Lou Messugo says
I’m a sucker for anything that makes camping a little bit more comfy and a little bit more glam and these pods certainly tick that box.
Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Easter in France: chocolates at the pâtisserie
angela hamilton says
they look amazing. I would defo like to spend a night in one x
angela hamilton recently posted…First Sunny Day
lisa prince says
these really do look rather comfortable and perfect for glamping
Erica Price says
How lovely! I love the storage for the pods – very sweet.
Erica Price recently posted…Settling Pets Into A New Home
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse says
I am green with envy. These look so much fun and a great place to visit too
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse recently posted…20 Easter egg decorating ideas for kids
Louise Edwards says
these pods look super luxurious! I love the gorgeous photos of the tigers too, sounds like a fabulous weekend x
Louise Edwards recently posted…Beano fun with friends #playatbrewersfayre @brewersfayre #beano