Glamping—short for glamorous camping—has become the “in” thing to do in the last few years. This slightly-more-upscale take on camping is perfect for people who like to be closer to nature when they travel, but don’t relish the idea of roughing it in sleeping bags thrown on the ground. If you’ve ever considered glamping, but were prevented because you couldn’t find autism-friendly facilities, start packing your binoculars and sunscreen because we just discovered Leafy Fields Glamping.
Leafy Fields has just earned an “autism friendly” award from the UK’s National Autistic Society. Its owners, Dannie and Andrew, told us they built the site “to be a supportive and non-judgmental environment for families like ours,” as they have “three members of our family on the spectrum.” Further, they know “how hard it can be for families like ours to relax on a holiday.”
Located in Devon, U.K., Leafy Fields opened in June and features two kinds of lodging—bell tents and safari lodges—depending on your desired level of comfort. The bell tents sleep up to four and come with bedding and basic amenities such as a stove and cold-water sink. Each tent has its own family shower room in a converted stable block, where the shower heads have color-changing lights. There is also a family-friendly toilet facility where older children “with toileting needs” can have privacy. There are two grades of bell tent—deluxe and luxury.
The safari lodges sleep up to eight, and have a kitchen and individual shower room. They also have cubby play areas that can be used as “a chill out area.” While the tents are only available until mid-September, the lodges are open most (but not all) of the year.
Leafy Fields also has a basic sensory room, and the owners are currently working on upgrading the design of a sensory garden. There are miniature horses to meet on-site, and the entire grounds are surrounded by a fence with locked gate. Dannie and Andrew are very hands-on and approachable, and want to make sure all visitors get the most out of their stay. Feel free to ask them for their list of autism-friendly local attractions and activities, too.