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‘Luxurious apartment in a muddy field’ - business ups its luxury factor with ‘glamour glamping’

PUBLISHED: 12:24 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:17 04 March 2020

Amanda Benton is the owner of Thompson Hall Retreat, a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

Amanda Benton is the owner of Thompson Hall Retreat, a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

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Glamping getaways have become a popular choice for holidaymakers, as sun cream and sandy beaches are swapped for bell tents and wellies.

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson

And a growing Norfolk glamping site says it is upping the luxury factory for guests as it introduces "glamour glamping".

Amanda Benton is the owner of Thompson Hall Retreat, in the village of Thompson, in between Thetford and Watton, where she said visitors go to "get back to nature" and enjoy Norfolk's countryside in a cabin or hybrid bell tent.

She says business has boomed since their appearance on Channel 4's television programme Four in Bed, where business owners stay at, and rate, each other's properties.

After filming with Channel 4 back in September 2018, the Four in a Bed episode featuring Ms Benton's business aired for first time in April 2019 and has since been shown a further three times.

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson

Ms Benton said: "Before we went on it I said we won't win this because obviously we are very different, we are a glamping site and I don't think a glamping business has ever won four in a bed.

"But we came second with 94pc, only half a percent behind the winner and since then I never expected it to take off like it has."

Ms Benton, who also lives on the estate, along with her 15 horses, decided to open up her home to the public in 2017 after visiting the Norfolk Showground, where she bought three shepherd hut cabins.

But the Norfolk born and bred entrepreneur says they have taken glamping a step further, as guests enjoy "luxurious" outdoor living, with a kitchen, sitting area and private bath on the veranda of each cabin, along with a communal hot tube and spa area.

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson

She added: "I wanted to create a luxurious London apartment in the middle of a field. It's not glamping it's the next step up, we call it glamour glamping.

"But it still allows you to get back to nature and switch off. It's a popular place for walkers, the wildlife is phenomenal, and we don't have wifi."

And Ms Benton said she plans to expand and introduce new glamping pods and tree houses. For now, though, she is taking bookings for this summer and is set to host the site's first wedding, after receiving its wedding licence.

Amanda Benton is the owner of Thompson Hall Retreat, a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford. Photo: Emily ThomsonAmanda Benton is the owner of Thompson Hall Retreat, a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson

You may also want to watch:

Thompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily ThomsonThompson Hall Retreat is a glamping site in the village of Thompson, inbetween Watton and Thetford, and featured on Channel 4's Four in a Bed TV programme. Photo: Emily Thomson


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