Our First Season of Running a Campsite

What happens when the campsite is closed during Winter? After our first season of opening our campsite, over Winter, we took a bit of time to reflect on what worked for our campers and ourselves and wrote about it, so we wouldn’t forget to make some changes for our next season.

Campsite Vibes and Feedback There were many things that were so uplifting and pleasing that we discovered through running the campsite.

Seeing people enjoying themselves whilst soaking up our lovely location on the West Wales Coastline and hearing the chatter around the evening cook-up sessions off in the distance, knowing everyone was settled in whilst reconnecting with nature and the outdoors.

It was great to hear how much people enjoyed staying at Nantcellan Barns – we consistently got great feedback and constructive comments are so useful for us to make improvements.

We especially enjoyed our morning and evening strolls around the site chatting and meeting new people and also a few old friends that we hadn’t seen for years who came to check out our new venture.

Campsite Revenue Our first season’s fees were consumed in overheads and setting up the site. We will put money back into making the campsite better and improving biodiversity and lowering our carbon footprint year on year, we have a big project to pay for in getting some better toilet facilities in place but we hope we’ll be able to pay ourselves something this year.

Much of our family business discussions have been around toilets, you wouldn’t believe how much we talk about loos! The main issue is that we are using portaloos, for the most part, they were fine and we kept a close eye on keeping them clean and got some great feedback but we’d prefer not to use them. We have bought some more of our own portaloos to make sure that we can cover when the contractors are having to prioritise big events, bank holidays and local festivals.

We have met with several surveyors, business advisors, septic tank advisors etc. to find out what our options are, have gathered quotes and have many considerations based on our location, the environment and affordability.

Books After Ben and Helen visited Glen Brittle campsite on Skye in November (it was very wet) and utilised their little book library, we decided we would set up a little book library for our campers and glampers to use, as it was so nice to be able to just read and chill, those quiet moments reconnecting with ourselves are what holidays are all about right? Bring a book to swap or just borrow one. We’re hoping to get this going for the summer holidays, maybe sooner.

Rubbish Another hot topic around the family business discussions! We have been overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish that campers can generate and so much unnecessary waste. We all understand that being on holiday means giving yourselves a break but the amount of waste generated collectively is quite disturbing. There was so much food and camping gear thrown away that we have decided in order to minimise waste and in line with our ‘Nature Friendly’ ethos, we are no longer providing bins and we have also banned disposable BBQs. This means campers will have to take their rubbish away with them. We will of course be happy to take a little rubbish from campers arriving on foot or bicycle, if they ask us to.

Glamping This year we are hiring our bell tents without furniture to keep the overheads down and thus the price tag a little more affordable as we are all feeling the pinch now. We’re hoping that it will make camping a little more accessible and weather friendly. We now have three bell tents available to hire, you can find more info and book them on our camping page.

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