This time of year has a way of making us feel like we want to run away from London and never come back (at least, until the sun finally comes out). The long, dark evenings seem to go on forever.

We’ve discovered a little secret that makes winter more bearable. Waking up really early, and getting out into nature. Everything just feels better when you start the day at sunrise – and an hour’s drive out of London, Colchester’s Lee Wick Farm Cottages & Glamping is just the place to do it.

For an extra £65, you can add private hot tub use to your stay...

Need to know: There are 12 new Lushna suites on the glamping site (plus a ton of other accommodation options), a short walk from wonderful sea views.

Some are perfect for two adults, others ideal for families of four. Rugged on the outside but super comfy inside, you can expect floor-to-ceiling glass walls maximising the panoramic coastal views. Big skies, big relaxation.

You bring your own food. The kitchen area features a microwave, electric hob, kettle and utensils – we rustled up filled pasta and toasted garlic bread, plus salty popcorn in the microwave to enjoy on the terrace.

For an extra £65, you can add private hot tub use to your stay (highly recommended). Bung some logs on the fire, and get the dinner on while it heats up – by the time you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine and finished the washing up, your cosseting outdoor bath is ready. Star-gazing, slightly sozzled, in total silence?A great way to start the new year.

What we love: The fact that you’re camping, with all the mod cons. Private (and clean) toilets and showers in each Lushna make the whole experience seamless, and you can choose to bring your own duvet, or pay a little extra for owners to make the bed up for you.

Stays come with a side order of spuds, which we think is adorable. The farm focused on potato production before branching out into holiday cottages, touring and cool camping, and potatoes are still grown on site. Say hi to Robert in the farm office at the top of the lane, where he’ll often be found fulfilling his role of potato merchant. You might also find him around the Livery yard – Lee Wick Farm has stabling for around 12 horses, which should keep equine enthusiasts entertained.

Other extras include a fishing reservoir, and free passes to the neighbouring Essex Wildlife Trust Colne Point Nature Reserve – the road beyond the farm leads directly to it.

Fancy going further afield? The Essex and Suffolk coastline, countryside and tourist attractions are all a short drive away. Get out into nature, take a deep breath, and enjoy. Spring will be here, soon enough.

Stays come with a side order of spuds!

Info: We booked through Love-glamping.co.uk, where you can find tons of cool camping spots to suit all sorts of group sizes.


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