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How to Make Your Glamping Pods More Accessible - With David Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays

Updated: Mar 17

It’s 2020, and the glamping industry shouldn’t be excluding anyone. David Brown is the owner of Hoe Grange Holidays, a Derbyshire glamping site that specialises in catering to the disabled and other people with additional needs. In his presentation at the Virtual Glamping Show in September, David set out why improving accessibility makes sense both ethically and financially, as well as offering some tips on how to go about this. Read on if you’re a site owner or a glamping accommodation manufacturer to see David’s recommendations for setting yourself apart from your competitors and serving an often marginalised community.



Who benefits from accessible glamping accommodation?

Accessibility goes far beyond obvious physical disabilities. It encompasses:

  • Parents with children in pushchairs.

  • People with limited mobility.

  • The elderly.

  • The infirm.

  • People with broken bones.

  • The visually or hearing impaired.

  • People with learning disabilities.

Some stats

  • Only 9% of the disabled use wheelchairs.

  • 80% of disabilities are invisible.

  • In 2019, 480,000 UK adults didn’t take a holiday because of a lack of accessible provision.

Why should you make your accommodation accessible?

  • It gives those who are often neglected by holiday providers the opportunity to enjoy the glamping experience.

  • It opens sites up to a whole new market, as demonstrated by the wide range of people who benefit from improved accessibility.

  • It boosts guest loyalty. Hoe Grange Holidays have witnessed a 40% repeat booking rate on their site.

  • Hoe Grange Holidays have found that those with additional needs tend to book their stays in the quieter periods, where custom is harder to find.

  • It adds a USP to your site or your glamping pods. This is crucial if you want to stand out from the competition.

  • It’s fantastic for word-of-mouth marketing among disabled groups, ‘mum groups’ and other communities.

  • If you’re a pod manufacturer, you’ll be in demand from sites looking to make their options more accessible.

What minor adjustments can you make to improve accessibility?

These are some basic adaptations that are cheap and easy to make and will boost accessibility levels.

  • Step-free access.

  • Minimal door thresholds.

  • Careful choice of path surfaces.

  • Good lighting.

  • Spacious layouts with minimal clutter.

  • Wide doorways.

  • Accommodation located near the site’s car park.

What are some larger adjustments that can be made for a truly accessible experience?

These adaptations are a little trickier and more expensive to implement, but will truly set you apart from your non-accessible competitors. Great effort should be made to make them subtle and to avoid making them look clinical. Adjustments that can be removed as and when needed are best.

  • Wet rooms.

  • Anti-slip floors.

  • Grab rails.

  • Adjustable sinks.

  • Adapted kitchens.

  • Hoists.

  • Access equipment.

What does it take to run an accessible glamping site?

As big as the rewards are, it’s not easy to run a site that caters for people with additional needs. Things you need to be prepared to do include:

  • Detailed planning when deciding upon accommodation.

  • More interaction with guests in pre-booking conversation.

  • The provision of information in different formats with different disabilities in mind.

  • Rearranging/removal of furniture before the visit (choose furniture that is easy to move).

  • Trained staff on hand to assist (requires investment in staff training).

  • Purchase, storage and maintenance of specialised equipment.

  • Best if the site owner lives on site so someone is available at all times.

  • Important to meet and greet and be a good host.

Final words and contact details

It really doesn’t take much to start the process of improving the accessibility of your glamping pods, and the rewards are potentially huge. For more information on this topic, visit the Hoe Grange Holidays website or contact David directly (01629 540262; 07737 926165; info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.). Do you manufacture glamping pods, shepherd huts or any other form of glamping accommodation? Are you interested in speeding up your production process and lowering your costs with CNC-cut timber frames? Click here to find out how we can make your life easier.

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