Mallinson’s Woodland Retreat

UK England South West England Dorset Lyme Regis

  • 10+ metres between camping pitches
  • Contactless check in
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • Deep clean between glamping guests
  • Individual toilets for glamping accommodation
  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Adults only
  • Hot Tubs
  • Adults Only
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Hot tubs
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
  • Beaches
  • Walking
Innovative, adults-only glamping in the West Dorset woods that has been perfected right down to the tiniest details

For anyone who has dreamed of finding that secluded, sylvan sanctuary, look no further than Crafty Camping. The brainchild of expert woodsman Guy Mallinson (of BBC's Mastercrafts fame), this entirely hand-crafted glamping Shangri-La sits snugly carved into several acres of West Dorset woodland.

Originally the base for Guy's woodcraft workshops, this herbacious hideaway was borne from his pupils' pleadings for camping in the forest. Thanks to the persistence of these novice whittlers, this tranquil, woodland paradise is now welcoming peace and quiet-loving adults for genuine fuss-free glamping, all year round.

Nestled seamlessly amidst this dreamy landscape are Guy's labour's of love: a tipi, two yurts, a bell tent and a shepherds hut. Adorned with reindeer skins, king-size beds with oak bedsteads (hand-carved, of course), hammocks and any other bits and bobs you're likely to need, these luxurious lodgings each have their own private decking area and pizza oven. All have a private proper flushing loo, as well as a private 'tree shower' beneath the forest canopy, while the bell tent has a woven willow shower and grass-topped 'his n' hers' loos.

After years in the making, the latest addition to Crafty Camping is The Woodsman's Treehouse. Grand pier-like boardwalk; double-ended copper bath; open-air tree shower; spiral staircase leading to a spa deck (complete with private hot tub and a sauna); even a rotating fireplace that can be pointed toward the bed, sofa or kitchen. This. Is. Glamping.

Space and seclusion are the common themes here. Wherever you stay, you'll be amazed at the serenity and stillness of the place. No man is an island though and for those of a social nature, Guy has conscientiously kitted out a communal yurt with comfy couches, a library and board games.

Guy likens it to "Avatar in summer and Narnia in winter" – a pretty apt description. We'll stump for a cross between Tolkein and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. With a woodland inhabited by buzzards, foxes, deer, and badgers, it's positively Edenesque. It will come as no surprise that there have been more than a few marriage proposals here. This is a real romantic retreat. Oh, and did we mention the sauna yurt?

The level of care, skill and attention to detail is astounding. The yurts (some of the finest we've ever seen) are made from the woodland's own coppiced chestnut, worked with nothing more than axes, drawknives and steam bending. "Everything is designed to return to nature without a trace if we were ever to leave the woods" – though something tells us Guy won't be leaving this woodland anytime soon.



All glamping units have their own private, flushing loo and private 'tree' shower. The Woodsman's Treehouse is brimming with luxurious features including copper bath, open-air shower, spa deck with sauna and hot tub – it really does have to be seen to be believed. Communal yurt with craft library, traditional board games and small shop and information/maps. Field kitchen has full catering facilities. Each glamping unit also has its own private deck with bbq, pizza oven, an ice-box fridge, a hammock, chairs, table and parasol, a kelly kettle and gas hob and a sink with hot and cold water. There is also a sauna yurt and a lovely central pond. The new tree house is entirely self contained and has everything you could possibly need (and more). Quite literally a house in a tree, it has proper wooden floors, rooms and an immaculate modern kitchen. Bicycles and electric bicycles can also be delivered to the woods.

Suitable For

Just the glampers. Tents, pitches, caravans or dogs – no. Maximum group size 14 (7 couples or 7 individuals). Quiet, peace-loving, adults only.


West Dorset has no end of charming coastal towns and stunning beaches – Chesil and West Bay. It's also Thomas Hardy country and there's plenty of spots on the Hardy trail for literary pilgrims: the Hardy Monument (01297 489481) and Thomas Hardy's Cottage (01305 262366). The epic Jurassic Coast (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is just 12 miles away at Lyme Regis. For walks, the views from Golden Cap (Dorset's highest cliff) take some topping.

Food & Drink

Look no further than the communal field kitchen. It has all the kit and caboodle you'll need for knocking up some classy camping cuisine. Or opt for an intimate cookout in your private clearing with the deck barbecue and your own pizza oven. Complimentary Dorset Cereals and tea and coffee are available to all glamping guests. For the finest local produce, head to Millers Farm Shop (01297 35290) in Axeminster – they also stock cider from Lyme Bay Winery and Perry’s Cider Mill. Bridport Market is the place to go for a bargain, with a farmer's market on the second Saturday of each month. The nearby River Cottage Canteen (01297 631715) and Hix Oyster and Fish House (01297 446910) are just two of the jewels in Dorset's foodie crown. The Tytherleigh Arms (01460 220214) is a cracking little 16th century coaching inn, just a short stroll from the site. The have a great menu of reasonably-priced Dorset fayre, and local ales the award-winning Otter and Branscombe breweries.


All year.

Social Distancing Measures

We have made some changes so that every space is now self contained and, in addition to the existing private, exclusive facilities (en-suite proper flushing loo, private tree shower, wood burning stove, BBQ etc), each unit now has the following:

  • pizza oven
  • fridge with ice box
  • sink with hot and cold mains drinking water
  • gas ring & kettle
  • large parasol for al fresco living

We've been running self check in and out for 10 years and already have hand sanitisers and electrostatic disinfectant fogging machines in use. All of our spaces are more than 10 metres apart in their own woodland clearing. For now, the communal spaces, including the sauna, are closed in order to offer an entirely entirely contactless facility.


Mallinson’s Woodland Retreat, Mallinson Ltd Woodland Workshop, Yonder Hill, Holditch, West Dorset TA20 4NL

Show Map

Getting There

The scenic route from Bridport: From Bridport go north to Beaminster on the B3066. Go through Beaminster and turn left at the mini-roundabout to Broadwindsor on the B3163. In Broadwindsor turn left at the village shop onto the B3164 along the rim of the Marshwood Vale (you can see the sea to your left on a clear day). At the crossroads go straight over on the B3165 (signposted to Thorncombe). At the next crossroads, turn left signposted Holditch. Keep bearing right at both of the next two junctions, keep in this lane when passing the red sign to Hewood and then turn left into Holditch Lane. You will see Oscar the owl at the entrance to the car park on the right after 200 yards, just before Higher Holditch Farm.

Axeminster is the nearest station. From there, you'll need to book a cab, though it's a good 10 miles away.


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