Brrrr-iliant! Campsite offering winter getaways in the city

Whitlingham Campsite, Trowse, Norwich

Linda Robey, co-owner of Whitlingham Campsite, Trowse, Norwich, where two new 'treehouses' are taking shape. - Credit: Danielle Booden

It might sound chilly but city folk are turning to the great outdoors for a much needed break this winter.

There has been a boom in winter camping on the edge of the city with people choosing canvas over a risky dash to the sun or a skiing trip this year as Covid continues to spark nerves for travellers.  

Whitlingham Broad Campsite offers a full range of winter camping experiences and although it feels like the back of beyond in reality it's just a stone's throw from the bright lights of the city centre.

Linda Robey, co-owner of the campsite, said: “Unlike many other campsites we offer camping and glamping all year. 

A winter evening view over the meadow at the Whittlingham Campsite

A winter evening view over the meadow at the Whittlingham Campsite - Credit: Alanna Baker

“We don’t believe that nights under the canvas need to cease with the darker nights.” 

One of Linda’s favourite things about winter camping are the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  

“Snuggled around a campfire watching them for me is one of the most magical things,” Linda said.  

Fergus Bootman and Linda Robey, the owners of Whitlingham Broad Campsite. Picture: Andrew Stone

Fergus Bootman and Linda Robey, the owners of Whitlingham Broad Campsite. Picture: Andrew Stone - Credit: Archant

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“The crisp air has so many benefits for our wellbeing and of course the peace that winter brings and the awesome colours of autumn are something to behold.” 

And don't fear - being cold isn’t an issue at Whitlingham Broad Campsite with campers encouraged bring their own log burners and there are also outdoor fire pits.  

The glamping options all provide wood burning stoves inside and fire pits outside.  

Roo enjoying a frosty morning in one of the converted goods carriage at Whitlingham Campsite

Roo enjoying a frosty morning in one of the converted goods carriage at Whitlingham Campsite - Credit: Alanna Baker

Linda added: “Sitting around a fire brings out something native in everyone and can provide a total reset.  

“Camping in winter gives an opportunity to leave behind the electronics and listen to the deer barking and the wind in the trees.” 

The campsite was set up more than 10 years ago and the site was developed by Linda and fellow co-founder Fergus.  

The entrance looked even more magical during a winter check in at Whitlingham Broad Campsite

The entrance looked even more magical during a winter check in at Whitlingham Broad Campsite - Credit: Alanna Baker

“The ethos of the campsite is based around how we like to camp – with limited structure," Linda added.  

“A family friendly vibe and the all-important campfire.” 

The campsite has become very popular as they restrict numbers to ensure all guests have the best possible break, and their campsite is also vehicle free to encourage guests to wake up next to the grass as opposed to a car tyre.  

Dinner cooking over a campfire outside the converted goods wagon.

Dinner cooking over a campfire outside the converted goods wagon. - Credit: Alanna Baker

A frosty morning visit from Elsie and Silky at Whitlingham Broad Campsite. 

A frosty morning visit from Elsie and Silky at Whitlingham Broad Campsite. - Credit: Alanna Baker

What are the benefits of connecting with nature this winter? 

City life coach and therapist Miranda Ellis thinks winter camping and adventuring is a sure way to combat the January blues.  

“I would most definitely advocate getting back to nature, especially in the winter," she said. 

“It is important to make the most of the still too short daylight hours while you can to boost the Vitamin D levels and fight off low mood.

“Be sure to wrap up warm, and go for a brisk walk.”  

Miranda Ellis is a life coach and therapist based within the city.

Miranda Ellis is a life coach and therapist based within the city. - Credit: Miranda Ellis Coaching

Miranda recalls how she used to bunker down indoors when it was cold but says she was surprised to find how warm she felt when she got moving.  

Other benefits of winter camping include: 

Escaping the crowds – summer months bring holiday makers of all kinds, whereas during the winter months people are far more likely to spend your entire stay without seeing any holiday makers.  

And If summer has always been a no-no because of mosquito bites and midges winter camping means no bugs to worry about.