A recurrent dream of mine is to rent a van and make it my home for a few months. A bit unrealistic, if you consider I don’t even own a driving license.
The good news is nowadays there are plenty of options for you to live the “van life” without actually having to rent a van.
Last week, for my birthday, after endless months of staying home, I decided to gift myself two days away. I was looking for somewhere interesting but small, so that I could visit it in a few hours and still take some time to relax.
After a (not so) brief research, my choice fell on Bath. More or less 100 miles from London, the small city was the perfect combination for us to wander around and still spend some quality time outside just enjoying the views.
After I picked the destination, it was time to find a place to spend the night. England has only lifted some heavy lockdown rules last Monday, meaning that when we travelled last week hotels and public structures were still not allowed to open.
However, self contained accommodations such as private apartments, cottages, camper-vans and motorhomes were open and accepting guests from England.
After having selected a few different accommodations (that I might even share with you in a future post if it’s something you are interested in), I ended up booking The Twig Wagon at Branch Farm in Mells.
A 30 minutes drive from Bath will get you to Branch Farm, an amazing land in the middle of nowhere with quite a few different accommodations and a duck pond, run by Daisy and Johnny the lovely couple that lives in the main house there.
The Twig complex includes a cottage, a treehouse, two cabins, two vintage caravans, one yurt tent and two lotus bell tents, all available for single rent or as a whole. If you’re planning summer holidays with friends or the whole family, in fact, you might want to consider renting out all the spaces for about £250 per night that can accommodate up to 20 people.
I have to admit, when I booked the cabin I had no idea it was gonna be just one of the many accommodations in the spacious fields, so that when I arrived there I had a pleasant surprise!
The Twig Wagon is the perfect place to spend a few days away from the hustle of the city in total relaxation.
The Twig is situated at the end of a private long drive and it is possible for you to park your car on the premises at no extra cost. Upon our arrival, Johnny was waiting for us with literally open arms. What I loved about our hosts is that you could feel they were as excited as us to share the beauty of their land.
He promptly showed us around and brought us to our place for the night, the Twig Wagon. We had a lovely chat before he left us and he informed us there were a few animals walking around, a couple cats that he didn’t particularly love and two dogs and a puppy that instead he absolutely loves. As soon as he was telling us this, one of the cats paid us a visit and entered our wagon. It took us quite some time to let him out, we even considered the possibility to sleep with the cat inside!
The Wagon had an electric stove on when we arrived, so that the atmosphere was warm and cozy and exactly what we needed after a day in the rain.
The look of it was so aesthetically pleasing that our initial plan of spending some time taking photos was replaced and we instead decided to take in the view and enjoy our night there in complete peace without phones and cameras.
The Twig Wagon is an old horse box converted into a van, with a bed on the right, a sofa on the left and a small kitchen in the middle. Outside on the left there is a smaller box with a bathroom, inclusive of a shower with hot water and a compost toilet. The outside space has a patio with two chairs and in the right corner a rattan sofa that we would have loved to use if it wasn’t for the awful weather that left it wet.
What caught our eye is the cure and the attention in the little details that Daisy and Johnny put to make our stay unforgettable. Everything was sparkling clean, they left us towels, blankets, pots and pans and even food and drinks in the fridge. We decided to have an early night and went to bed with the intention of enjoying the cabin and the space outside the next morning.
We had such a good night sleep that by 5:30am we were both wide awake and excited to spend some quality time there.
After a night of rain, the sun finally decided to pay us a visit so that we were able to explore the surroundings. First, since it was my birthday, we made some coffee and enjoyed a pretty good breakfast in bed.
Shortly after we woke up, Barley, one of the dogs Johnny told us about the night before, showed up at our window and started staring at us asking to come in. It had been raining all night and he was wet and probably cold, so we opened our door and let him rest on a towel next to the stove. Needless to say it took us two seconds to gain his trust so that he decided to spend all morning keeping us company and we couldn’t be happier about it.
At 11:00am we unfortunately had to leave our little cabin to head back home, but what the Twig Wagon gave us is priceless and lifted our moods 100%. It was the best comeback to travelling I could have hoped for, so much that we are already planning our next visit in the summer!
Have you ever slept in a van? Are unique stays something you would like to see more of on the blog?
In the meantime, if you’re thinking of visiting Bath or Somerset in general, consider The Twigs for some good nights sleep immersed in the nature, where the only noise you’ll hear is the chirping of the birds in the morning.