There are many great things about working at Glampitect, but the best bit of our job is seeing our clients’ glamping sites open for business. That will very soon be the case for Lord Edmund Limerick’s new Sussex-based glamping business, Chid Glamping.
We first met Lord Limerick at The Glamping Show in 2020, and we were instantly taken in by his vision to start a site on the glorious Chiddinglye estate in the High Weald. Situated in regal surroundings, with a microbrewery, swimming pool and tennis court all on the same grounds, this is the perfect place for a thriving new glamping business.
With our help, Lord Limerick’s fledgling idea is soon to become a reality, with the final touches now being put to the site. But how did it get to this point?
Where Did The Glamping Idea Come From?
The estate had long been home to a microbrewery and a festival and weddings business, which led to lots of visitors requesting accommodation. Lord Limerick wanted something higher-end than a public campsite, but he wasn’t sure exactly what form this would take. Eventually, he opted for glamping pods, sourced from the ever-popular Lune Valley Pods.
We always advocate for unique selling points, or USPs, on glamping sites. These are the things that separate your site from the competition and encourage guests to come and stay. Activities are a great USP, so having a microbrewery onsite will work wonders when it comes to attracting guests.
Glamping pods are currently all the rage, so the choice to use them (and particularly a trusted supplier like Lune Valley Pods) was a wise one. We typically recommend that clients aim for the luxury end of the market, and heated pods with kitchens and ensuite bathrooms will allow Lord Limerick to do this.
What Was Required Along The Way?
As with any glamping business that plans to operate for more than 56 days a year, planning permission was required before building works could commence. Lord Limerick approached Glampitect to acquire planning permission on his behalf, a process which involved lots of drawing, writing, persuading and back and forth with the local council!
Eventually, the council gave the project the green light, and the building work is now nearly complete.
A glamping business is a commercial operation that requires sizeable investment, and it’s important not to take half measures when applying for planning permission, which is typically the most difficult and stressful stage of the setup process. Using planning experts, and particularly planning experts who specialise in glamping sites, is a great way to maximise your chances of approval.
What’s The Target Market?
Chid Glamping will be aimed at brewery visitors during peak season. During the quieter months, Lord Limerick is hoping the site will be home to writing groups, painting groups and other retreats. However, he’s prepared to pivot if needed.
Identifying a target market is an important part of starting a glamping business that often gets forgotten. Without a clear idea of who your ideal customer is, you won’t be able to speak to them directly in your branding and marketing. Lord Limerick is also wise to find a niche to target to during the off-season, as this is the period where glamping sites struggle to maintain occupancy. By targeting specific groups of people, Lord Limerick will present Chid Glamping as an attractive proposition for writers, artists and the like.
In any business, it’s important to be flexible, and the fact that Lord Limerick is prepared to adjust his strategy if it doesn’t work as planned is a positive sign. Sometimes the best-laid marketing plans simply don’t pay off, so you should be open to adapting where necessary.
Are There Any Plans To Expand?
Lord Limerick is planning to add more glamping pods later down the line if the initial few are successful.
We typically recommend to clients that they start small then expand, rather than going for the maximum number of units all at once. This has several benefits, one of which is the greater likelihood of acquiring planning permission for a smaller site than a larger one. If the smaller site is successful, the council are also more likely to grant permission for an expansion, as they now have evidence that the site is meeting a demand for tourism in the area.
What’s Lord Limerick’s Advice For Prospective Glamping Site Owners?
Take a lot of good advice before you start. Talk to people who have done it before. Employ the right consultants. We engaged Glampitect and we've been very happy with the advice we've been given.
Lord Edmund Limerick