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Staying in a spaceship and getting back to nature: Why Marston Park is the staycation we all need

10 September 2021, 16:24

Marston Park is home to stunning views, creative opportunities and a unique spaceship placed in the middle of the wilderness
Marston Park is home to stunning views, creative opportunities and a unique spaceship placed in the middle of the wilderness. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Set in the beautiful Somerset wilderness, Marston Park is the perfect UK escape from your day-to-day life.

With the stresses and costs that travelling abroad now brings as the pandemic continues, you can't blame people for deciding to stay in the UK for their annual break.

And with so much beauty and culture to take in, people are starting to realise just how much Britain has to offer – and it's all right on our doorstep.

One of the magical places waiting to welcome visitors is Marston Park, a newly opened glamping spot described as a "playground for creativity with grown up food and drink".

Hidden in the wilderness of Somerset – a short drive from quaint Frome – Marston Park is the perfect place to unwind, get back to nature and learn to appreciate the simple things in life.

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Marston Park's accommodation is a collection of spacious and beautifully decorated bell tents, all dotted along the edge of the river
Marston Park's accommodation is a collection of spacious and beautifully decorated bell tents, all dotted along the edge of the river. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park
You can get back to nature at this staycation, located in the wilderness just outside Frome
You can get back to nature at this staycation, located in the wilderness just outside Frome. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

When I first arrived at the getaway, I instantly felt my body relax and my breathing becoming deeper as I took in the various shades of green, the cool fresh air and the sounds of nature.

My eyes went straight to the Victorian lake, which the site is built around, and the twinkly fairy-lights surrounding the bell tents.

On my first night, I stayed in one of the many canvas studios dotted around the edge of the lake, spaced out a perfect distance that you don't feel like you're encroaching on someone else's area.

The bell tents allow you to enjoy all the best things about camping, but with an added element of comfort, luxury and relaxation.

Complete with a log burner, a soft double bed, art materials, an external fire pit and pretty decoration, I found it hard to believe that this was still technically 'camping'.

The best feature of the bell tents? Opening the canvas doors up in the morning and staring out at the still lake from bed – nothing short of bliss.

I was also ecstatic to find that the site came with a number of flushing toilets and piping hot showers, complete with Bramley products, perfect for a pamper in the morning.

The bell tents come with a double bed, fresh linen, bathrobes, towels and art material
The bell tents come with a double bed, fresh linen, bathrobes, towels and art material. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park
Artistic classes are available at Marston Park, including life drawing, calligraphy for beginners and willow weaving
Artistic classes are available at Marston Park, including life drawing, calligraphy for beginners and willow weaving. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

For the artist in all of us, each canvas suite comes with a work desk, an easel and painting materials, a lovely touch for those quiet afternoons when the sunset is just too beautiful not to try and capture.

The Futuro House was a concept first dreamt up by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen
The Futuro House was a concept first dreamt up by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park
Nestled in the forest of Marston Park is this iconic piece from the 1960s
Nestled in the forest of Marston Park is this iconic piece from the 1960s. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

During my stay, I also stayed in the Futuro – accommodation too bizarre and cool to try to put into words. In short, I stayed in a spaceship.

That's right, nestled in the forest of Marston Park is this iconic piece from the 1960s, lovingly restored by artist Craig Barnes.

The Futuro House was a concept first dreamt up by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, who wanted to created a transportable holiday retreat.

The design was commercially launched in the late 60s, and while people loved the concept, very few of them were purchased, meaning that only 68 are known to still exist across the world today.

And at Marston Park, you have the opportunity to spend the night inside this unique UFO.

The food served at Marston Park is mindblowingly good
The food served at Marston Park is mindblowingly good. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

Barnes spent around a decade restoring the Futuro House after discovering it in South Africa, and before landing in Somerset, it spent some time in London's Central Saint Martins and Matt's Gallery.

Seeing the UFO sat amongst the natural setting of the park, I was immediately blown away by the contrast – something that shouldn't work, but it totally does.

When I stepped inside the Futuro House, the Scandi-style decor and the yellow and white colour scheme made me feel like I was in fact an alien, stopping off at Marston Park for the night.

When you arrive at Marston Park, you'll be able to book onto one of the many classes taking place
When you arrive at Marston Park, you'll be able to book onto one of the many classes taking place. Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

The beauty and creativity of the accommodation at Marston Park continues through to their new wild pool, the outdoor hot tub and the dining and music area.

You can enjoy delicious food at breakfast, lunch and dinner at the communal area, situated on the lake edge and complete with stunning views – especially at sunset.

In the evening, the adults can order drinks from one of their food and drink trucks and sit and enjoy the music, provided by a number of talented DJs and artists.

This site lives and breaths creativity, and because of that, there is an array of activities that visitors can take part in, whether it be yoga and meditation by the lake, calligraphy for beginners, hoops dance, willow weaving or life drawing.

You can also take a dip in their new wild pool or the much warmer hot tub!
You can also take a dip in their new wild pool or the much warmer hot tub! Picture: Courtesy of Marston Park

Now, the details:

  • Accommodation at Marston Park comes with access to the landscape and facilities including the performances, exhibitions, bar, restaurant and facilities

  • You can book any classes at reception when you arrive or prior to your visit

  • The hot tub, wild pool and pedalos are also available for visitors, but you'll need to book your time with reception

  • There are no facilities for cooking yourself, but delicious meals and snacks are served throughout the day at the communal area, so why would you want to cook?

  • Dogs are very welcome! You can bring up to two dogs on leads per booking

  • The Futuro House comes with its own shower and toilet facilities, while the canvas studios do not. But don't worry, there are enough around the site that you'll rarely have to queue! They're also kept spotlessly clean

  • Bathrobes, fresh linen, shower products and towels come in all accommodation

For more information, prices and booking, visit Marston Park online here.