Some people like to rough it when they go on vacation and others only want five star service, but most people probably prefer something that bridges the two extremes. For the less intrepid adventurer, The Dome Garden nestled in the lush Forest of Dean offers nature immersion that also includes some of the creature comforts of home. Located just 2 hours outside of London, this "glamping" spot is an earth-friendly destination that can be enjoyed year round thanks to super-insulated domes, a wood burner in each unit fired up with locally-sourced materials, and an en suite bathroom that makes it unnecessary to brave inclement weather for that early morning visit to the loo!
There are 10 domes in all and they come in four different sizes. Depending on the size of each family and budget, visitors to The Dome Garden can request a 12, 16, 20, or 24 ft dome. The skeleton is made from either coppiced ash or galvanized steel – depending on the size – and then wrapped in watertight PVC. All of the domes are equipped with wood burners, water for the shower is heated by super-efficient boilers, and excess heat that rises to the top of the dome is fed into a recycled glass box at the base, which keeps the rooms nice and cozy overnight.
Solar panels are currently being installed to provide electricity, but rocket stoves are already used for cooking, and ambience tends to dictate the little electricity is used anyway. The stoves use very little wood, the peaceful garden is irrigated using rainwater harvested from the main building’s roof, and drainage for the decks is comprised of buried recycled glass. Although staying in the domes is not as cheap as regular camping, all fees and amenities are included, and there are all kinds of ways to stay entertained without spending another pence! Asked to describe what it’s like to stay there, The Dome Garden folks said “like the Eden Project but smaller. Okay, much smaller.” But still – you get the picture.