Family Days (Holidays) – Hilly Cow Wigwams

Those who know me well, medical will know I don’t really ‘do’ camping. That’s despite many a year of happy family holidays in our caravan as a child. But there was an unfortunate incident with a bird flying into our cosy little two man number in the early hours of the morning when I’d eventually decided to give it a go one summer with Super Daddy pre-kids, order and it left me resolutely refusing to camp out again. The more I shrieked, the more afraid it became and the more it pooped all over me and my shiny new sleeping bag. Plus, there was no where to plug in my hair dryer in.

But then of course, glamping became rather chic and I mellowed as I realised going on an adventure with kids in tow is the best kind of fun. Even more so when that glamping adventure is in one of the fabulous wooden wigwams at Hilly Cow Wigwams, Kirknewton, just outside Edinburgh. Hilly Cow has six wigwams set out beautifully with their own little deck at front, overlooking the best views of the Lothians. Set on a working farm, and run by Lesley & Stewart who are superb hosts, it’s a great location for a short break with kids. The wigwams are modern, clean, cosy and hugely comfortable, with the option of an en-suite for those not fancying a midnight wander to the excellent toilet & shower facilities in the main block. There’s a huge family kitchen, equipped with everything needed to prepare meals and eat. BBQ’s are however also available for outdoor cooking without the need for a boy scout camp-fire and for that special glamping touch, fairy lights can be added inside your wigwam for a small fee.

We chose to kick start our summer holidays this year with a surprise treat for the kids, and on the day schools were officially out for summer, we drove then short ten minute drive from ours to Hilly Cow. It took me longer to pack the car! Being so close to home was no issue whatsoever, because once at Hilly Cow, we could have been anywhere, but lucky us with the added benefit that if we’d forgotten the bottle opener we could hot foot it home and back again in no time. (NB. The bottle opener was the first thing I packed after the wine!) Whilst I’ve no doubt that Super Daddy would have loved a wigwam stay (and he’ll find out as we’re booked to go back again in September) on this occasion I took the kids along with a friend and her two boys. Excitement levels were off the scale all round!

Upon arrival Stewart greeted us with a warm welcome, showed us to our wigwam for the night, introduced us to Misty and Ziggy the friendly farm dogs and left us to it. Our wigwam was a matter of a few steps away from the fabulous kids park, so our mob were entertaining themselves there happily whilst the mums unloaded the cars. All of the wigwams are close to the park, and we felt very relaxed about letting our two 7 years olds and two 4 year olds play backwards and forwards between the park, our wigwam and the games room – also part of the main block. It became clear however that Misty was very much the star attraction for our gang, and for that night I felt she was part of the family. We chose not to BBQ, as to quote my camping companion ‘it was blawing a hoolie’ which I learned (despite being Scottish and having lived here for my 34 years) means very very windy! That didn’t take anything away from our burgers though which were as equally yummy cooked under the grill in the main kitchen facilities. Whilst there we met three other families, who were also on their second trip to Hilly Cow, and in the family dining kitchen we swapped tales of previous camping exploits over a couple of glasses of wine.

Bellies full of burgers, the little ones were treated to a tour of the farm by Lesley, who rounded up all the kids and took them off to see the piglets and the horses. On their tour they also learned that Oreo the farm cat had recently had kittens who were currently tucked up in the roof space in the games room.

We’d packed swingball, frisbees, hula hoops, kites and all manner of outdoor games, all unnecessary as simply running around outdoors, the novelty of our wooden tent for the night and the good old fresh air was enough to keep our crew entertained.

When bedtime came, sleeping bags were snuggled into, and snoozing came fairly easily given the comfort of the beds. I felt like I was ten again, and it was all good.

We’re back in September and simply can’t wait!

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Note – this review is based on my own personal experience and no pennies exchanged hands for this post. All views and opinions are my own.

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