Glamping may not be something you have considered as a wheelchair user. Camping, in general, is not something I would personally consider to be accessible for me due to muscle wasting condition. So would glamping be much better? Well, after my recent experience the answer is a massive, yes! It absolutely is.
When the lovely owners of Canvas and Campfires invited me to test out one of their new wheelchair accessible glamping safari tents, I jumped (not literally) at the opportunity. In this post, I will tell you everything about our time at Canvas and Campfires and what wheelchair accessible glamping in a safari tent is like as a power wheelchair user.
Wheelchair Accessible Glamping at Canvas and Campfires
Canvas and Campfires is a family-run business situated in South West Wales in the little town of Lampeter. Nestled amongst the beautiful landscape and Cambrian Mountains are five gorgeous luxury glamping safari tents. The surroundings are some of the most peaceful and beautiful we’ve had the pleasure of being amongst whilst staying at an accommodation like this.
You feel like you are a million miles away, which is amazing, but in fact, you are never too far away from anything you may need during your stay. There are shops, pubs, restaurants and supermarkets nearby (six miles away). However, some of the supermarkets like Tesco and Asda will deliver your shopping to the site so it’s there when you arrive.
Golden hour was creeping in just as we arrived on site. We really couldn’t have asked for a better evening to arrive. Everything was touched by the golden low sun which just added to how stunning it was.
We were excited to see inside our tent. Ellie, Dan and their two beautiful daughters gave us a warm welcome and took us inside the tent, which would be our home for the next four nights.
Wheelchair Accessible Safari Tent at Canvas and Campfires
There are five luxury safari tents, two of which are wheelchair accessible. The accessible tents are called Enfys and Dyffryn. As we entered Enfys through two wide sliding doors we were delighted to see that it was huge inside and so beautiful.
Huge high ceilings draped in canvas material provide a cosy feel. Each tent is a nice distance from the other, so you don’t feel like you are being looked over by the neighbours.
Ellie gave us the grand tour and showed us how everything worked in the tent, including the log burner and camping stove. Dan brought us rechargeable lanterns, solar lighting and an extension cable so I could charge my power wheelchair. We had everything we needed and were set for a great stay.
Edit 2022: This accessible tent now has electricity and a fridge.
Inside you will find a lovely open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area. I loved how spacious it was, giving me the freedom to move around freely in my wheelchair. I was able to go anywhere as it was all accessible to me. The wooden floorboards were also great for moving around.
The safari tents sleep six people and come with all the amenities. Ellie and Dan have really thought of everything, but if there is anything at all you need, they are incredibly lovely and will be more than happy to accommodate your needs if possible.
The lounge is a lovely open space featuring a sofa, coffee table (with board games inside) and a chair. It’s a nice spot to relax with family and the views from out the windows or through the open sliding doors.
My personal favourite was during sunset. It was amazing and I loved the golden light that came streaming through into our tent.
Our stay at Canvas and Campfires came on the heels of the Fusion Festival shambles so initially I was having to speak with reporters, respond to emails/messages etc, so not having a phone signal was somewhat bad timing.
However, I soon forgot about that, switched off and fully immersed myself in the glamping experience. It was a blessing in disguise. It made me stop working and enjoy being content in each other’s company.
Besides, there is no time for phones when there is so much beauty surrounding you and relaxation to be enjoyed. It honestly felt great having a break from the online world for a little while.
Canvas and Campfires are self-catering safari tents with fully-equipped, hand-crafted kitchens complete with all the essentials. The kitchen worktop has a roll-under sink and shallow basin for easy wheelchair access.
We loved that the sink has running water and the single-ring gas burner – perfect for endless cups of tea.
The kitchen also features a Chilli Penguin log-burning stove with an oven and hot plate. This is luxury glamping after all. Pots, pans, plates, glasses, mugs and cutlery were also provided.
The two pull-out work surfaces are great for preparing food. Other great accessibility features were the open shelving unit and the hands-free sensor-operated bin.
The dining area was where we spent most of the time during our stay mainly because it was so cosy sitting next to the fire. There is also a wood-burning range cooker and a beautiful handcrafted dining table with benches and chairs.
The wood-burning range cooker is the heart of the safari tent. It provides warmth, cooks food and boils the kettle. We loved how cosy it felt sitting around it and we were amazed at how much warmth is created.
Dan stopped by each day with a fresh crate of logs for the fire so we were never low.
Some of our favourite moments were at night when cooking our meals on the log burner, especially the nights we had pizza and burgers. Then later played board games (we relived our childhood by playing Guess Who? Loved it) or watching movies and documentaries we had downloaded on the laptop.
When you think of glamping, you probably imagine a larger standard camping tent with a few luxury extras and a bit more room to move around. Well, Canvas and Campfires accessible safari tents, have not one but three bedrooms! Sleeping up to six people, Enfys is perfect for a family with children, a group of friends or like us, a couple.
The super king room is the main bedroom and the one we slept in. Although a super king, the bed can be split into singles to make a twin room if you’d prefer. This room was excellent for us and provided access on both sides of the bed for wheelchair/bed transfers.
The bed height is 575mm (57.5cm) which I personally found to be suitable. With space underneath the bed for a portable mobile hoist (which must be booked in advance if required, unless you bring your own). There is also the option to move the bed if needed.
Profiling beds can be hired from a local mobility supplier (please speak directly with Canvas and Campfires who will help with this.)
There was a small bedside table on each side of the bed with a light, hot water bottles and a makeup mirror. Extra blankets were also provided.
I have to say the bed was incredibly cosy. Maybe even too cosy as I struggled to get up each morning. I would have been content laying under that super comfy duvet all day. It was magic at keeping the cold out. We had to keep reminding ourselves that we were in a tent. A super cosy and warm bed in a tent.
We absolutely loved lying in bed each night listening to the owls. It was amazing to hear. All the blinds are blackout so you shouldn’t get woken up at the crack of dawn with light streaming through.
Next up is the bunk bedroom which has a central partition separating it from the main bedroom. The partition can be rolled up to create a larger space if needed. Since it was just the two of us, we used this room for storing our suitcase, clothes and bits and bobs. There was plenty of space for my wheelchair to turn and move around.
The main bedroom and bunk bedroom both have sliding doors leading into the wetroom bathroom. More on the bathroom in a little bit.
As if two bedrooms aren’t enough, there is also a double cabin bed which looks awesome tucked away in the lounge behind barn-style wooden doors. There is even a little step up into the cabin bed so may be really fun for kids to sleep or even play in. I can imagine my nephew loving the cabin bed.
Wheelchair Accessible Glamping Bathroom
This accessible safari tent is the most luxurious and awesome glamping accommodation I’ve ever seen. It’s so luxurious and awesome that it’s difficult to even call it glamping. The awesomeness carries on through to the bathroom because guess what? It has hot running water and a flushable toilet in the attached accessible wetroom. Woohoo!
Not only that it also has a roll-in shower with an adjustable/folding wall-mounted shower chair. It’s like winning the lottery! There is even an emergency exit door in the bathroom too!
Oh, it has electricity too so no need to worry about going to the toilet in the dark. The ceiling light was fantastic and a huge bonus. I’ve stayed in a glamping tent a few years ago at Glampotel Dundas Castle which was nothing like this one (now permanently closed.). It didn’t have any lighting so I felt unsafe every time we went to the bathroom which made wheelchair transfers extremely dangerous.
Ellie and Dan have done a brilliant job with the accessible safari tents and bathrooms in particular. The bathroom was ten times better than many big chain hotels I’ve stayed in.
The toilet was a good height (480mm) with grab bars and a small hand wash basin within reach. The hand wash basin was long and narrow so it didn’t stick out and get in the way when being transferred on/off the toilet.
If you are a long-term reader of Simply Emma, you’ll be aware of how important a roll-under sink is for me. It’s so frustrating whenever I stay in hotels and I can’t access the bathroom sink. However, this sink was great though and I was able to fully roll underneath without any problems. There were grab bars on each side of the sink.
I have to mention the roll-in shower again because it is blooming amazing for a glamping tent. It really doesn’t look like a bathroom you’d get when glamping does it? The adjustable shower chair is able to move sideways as well as up and down. An adjustable shower riser, water controls and shower caddy are all within easy reach with a grab bar also positioned close to the shower seat.
Outside and Decking
Our accessible safari tent had its own dedicated parking area with plenty of space for getting in/out and loading/unloading luggage or equipment. From the parking area, I was able to drive up the wooden ramp to the entrance of the tent.
The large deck area is perfect for sitting outside, even in the rain, if you wish as it is covered providing shelter. It would be lovely to sit outside at the table and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner or maybe all three.
There is even a raised fire pit outside the tent which is great for alfresco dining. The views are stunning and the sunsets are breathtaking. Canvas and Campfires are situated on the edge of a Dark Sky Park so it gets incredibly dark at night. Look out and enjoy the stars.
My Safari Tent Favourites
It’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the safari tent as it was all amazing. If I really had to pick, I’d say our favourite parts were:
- Warming up next to the cosy log burner
- Cooking pizzas and burgers on the log burner
- Listening to the owls ‘twit twoo’ call at night
- The heavenly warm bed
- The wet room bathroom with a roll-in shower
- A flushing toilet
- Electricity in the tent
- The stunning views
- The peace and quiet
- Being off-grid
On-site Honesty Shop
The honesty shop on-site has a good selection of items you may need including tinned foods, pasta, sauces, rice, jams and toiletries.
This is also where you will collect the ice blocks for your cool boxes and swap your lanterns for a fully charged one.
Ellie and Dan are happy to help collect ice blocks and lanterns if you find the honesty shop isn’t accessible for you or difficult to manage.
Canvas and Campfires have a small range of equipment available free of charge if you wish to borrow. Alternatively, they can hire equipment from their local mobility supplier. Items available at Canvas and Campfires are:
- Moveable and adjustable freestanding shower chair
- Perching stool
- Grippa pillow alarm
- Boomerang-shaped transfer board
Additional equipment that can be hired includes profiling beds and hoists. If you require another piece of equipment, I would highly recommend speaking to the owners of Canvas and Campfires as they are incredibly accommodating and will do what they can to best support your needs.
For more accessibility information about the safari tent check our Canvas and Campfires accessibility section HERE.
Canvas and Campfires are located in a beautiful spot on an eleven-acre smallholding. There are many animals such as badger-faced sheep, orchards, chickens, and wild rabbits as well as a pond with amphibia. You are welcome to help the hosts feed the animals and harvest the fruit and vegetables and get involved in the general tasks of running the farm. There are also red kites, buzzards, sparrow hawks and garden and woodland birds flying around the site.
Things to do at Canvas and Campfires
We managed to fill each day with activities and things to do while staying at Canvas and Campfires. The scenery is absolutely amazing and we loved exploring the surrounding areas. We spent time at Aberporth beach, Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, New Quay and more. You can read more about the wheelchair accessible things to do in West Wales below.
Wales Travel Vlog: Canvas and Campfires Accessible Safari Tent Adventures
Canvas and Campfires is a fantastic place to stay with amazing wheelchair accessibility. As a full-time power wheelchair user, I had no problems or difficulties during our four-night stay. A massive shout out to the incredibly lovely owners, Ellie and Dan. They made us feel welcome and comfortable from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.
Everything was considered and taken care of, and nothing was a problem for them. We were extremely impressed by the wheelchair accessible safari tent. It’s stunning, luxurious and accessible. Can’t get any better than that really.
The wet room bathroom with roll-in shower, flushing toilet, roll-under sink and electricity is fantastic. I would never expect to have such facilities at a glamping site, but Canvas and Campfires do and I’m delighted they do. An accessible bathroom can make or break a holiday for disabled people. This one was suitable and met my needs.
We were sad to leave the safari tent and miss it already so we will definitely return for another stay at Canvas and Campfires. Another thing that is certain is Wales is incredibly picturesque. We fell in love with the scenery, the beaches, the colourful houses and the countryside. We will be back! Thank you again to Ellie, Dan, Lyra and Isis.
Canvas and Campfires season opens from April to the end of October.