Glamping fan Victoria Galligan donned her camouflage suit and strapped on a parachute to review a night in a helicopter at Ream Hills Holiday Park in Lancashire…
I love camping – as long as it involves a proper bed, some form of heating and a working TV. When I told people we were staying in a Lynx helicopter for the evening, most of them did a double take. Not because I like my home comforts, but because as far as glamping goes, this is one of the most unusual forms of accommodation out there right now!
This former forces aircraft has been converted to offer military nuts and transport enthusiasts a quirky place to camp out. The staff on the park say it’s a firm favourite of young children and the wonder on their faces is a picture when they see the helicopter – even a few of the parents struggle to wipe the grins off their faces when they arrive, apparently, and are equally as enthralled!
And there’s no doubt it’s an impressive, Insta-worthy place to stay. The helicopter at Ream Hills sits alongside the rest of the regular caravan pitches, in the perfectly manicured grounds. It’s got its own decking area outside which is perfect for enjoying a picnic or a drink on a sunny evening.
It may have been first built in 1977 but inside you have all the mod cons you’d expect in a caravan – a double bed, a pullout-bed suitable for another sleeper (or a couple of small people) makes up the rear of the helicopter. It even has a small cupboard in the ‘bedroom’ big enough for your bags. As you learn pretty quickly staying in the helicopter, tidiness is a must so you can take advantage of every space available.
Which is what the designers of the interior have done – every nook, cranny and surface has been used cleverly so that a flatscreen TV, sink, fridge, microwave, bin, dehumidifier, kettle and cupboards for pots and food can fit into the small “cockpit” space. The pullout-bed doubles as a sofa so there’s somewhere to sit. The only thing it can’t accommodate is a toilet but a modern, spacious shower block on the park offers the facilities needed and is a three-minute walk from the Lynx.
As we visited in March, when the good old British weather delivered a nice evening of rain and wind, we decided to head off to the nearest pub for a meal. And you’re well placed here for easy reach of south Blackpool, Lytham and St Annes, and the surrounding villages. A 10-minute drive got us to Weeton, where the Grapes pub served us an excellent meal and a couple of drinks before we headed back to the park.
A variety of glamping and camping options
Ream Hills is a popular choice for caravanners and the pitches were almost all occupied even early on in the season – so book ahead! The park is also home to a range of luxury wooden lodges, available with hot tubs – a new, huge lodge was being built when we visited – and can accommodate various tent sizes in its camping field. This makes it a great destination for family groups as every budget can be catered for.
Not only that, but the park boasts a lovely children’s play area, a seasonal cafe bar, a shop at reception and its lakes are the site of Blackpool Wake Park – so if you fancy being strapped on to a surfboard and zip-wiring across the water at great speed, then get involved! There’s also a giant inflatable assault course to be tackled – imagine the TV show Total Wipeout and you’re halfway there.
With all this fun on site and the seaside towns within easy reach, Ream Hills is the perfect location for a UK break. We’re certainly planning on returning – but I think I’ll leave the lake-skimming to the kids. Those hot tubs look ever so welcoming!
Regular touring pitches with electricity – £21 to £34 per night
Fully serviced touring pitches – £24 to £38 per night
Tent pitch on grass tent field with electric hook-up – £22 to £44 per night
Helicopter bookings – from £110 per night with discount on 2 nights or more
Book your glamping break at Ream Hills by visiting reamhills.co.uk