BRIEF HISTORY ON THE CAMPING POD

Have you ever wondered where ashdown came up with the idea of the camping pods used at our picket pods campsite? 

Since its first appearance in 2008 the Pod has become a well established and much enjoyed alternative to the tent and the holiday home that is now a widely available feature on sites throughout the UK and Ireland as well as many countries in Europe.

The design copyright and branding is owned by Ian Bone, a former civil engineer who established Newfoundland Lodges Ltd. back in 2004. The company was originally formed to build residential specification lodges using ‘state of the art’ materials.

The Pod really was created on a blank piece of paper around the idea of a robust, eco-friendly, highly practical but affordable basic accommodation. The key to the Pods success is however it’s good looks. As a long time resident of the Lake District, Ian was acutely aware of the stringent rules applied by the planners in the National Park and the one thing that would matter more than anything else would be the appearance.

There is some ‘natural science’ incorporated into the design concept which is subtle but underpins the ‘wow’ factor that has made the Pod so popular.

After the prototype Pod was built in 2004, the question was then what to do with it. The big break came when the visionary new owners of a campsite in Eskdale decided to create a Pod ‘village’ as part of their redevelopment. Timing was everything – there had been some significant changes in the approach of the National Park planners who were keen to address the slow demise of camping in the Park. The Pod ticked a lot of boxes and LDNPA enabled the commercial use of the Pod with the decision that it would fall under ‘caravan’ legislation for planning purposes.

The market for Glamping is healthy and growing with all sorts of weird, wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful accommodation ideas becoming available to commercial operators in recent times. It is no longer just tents, touring vans, statics and lodges.

One unique aspect of Newfoundland’s success with the Pod has been the commitment to promotion in the media. The pioneering of the concept has involved a relatively substantial investment in generating both public awareness and the ‘zeitgeist’ of what is regarded by some as the ‘flagship’ of very ‘cool’ camping.

Ashdown then came along in 2011 and designed their very own version of the pod which is the pods that you will find at our Picket Pods Campsite today!