At Zuzan's farm campsite in the Dutch region of Salland, spend a night in a wooden A-frame cabin, complete with fire pit and a zinc outdoor bath!
The small farm campsite run by Campspace host Zuzan is located in the Dutch region of Salland (province of Overijssel), surrounded by horses and meadows. Not only can you spend your night at this mini campsite with a tent and your own camping equipment, but you can also sleep in a vardo wagon (pipowagen in Dutch), a retro caravan, a bell-tent or a wooden A-frame cabin, which comes complete with a fire pit and a zinc outdoor bath! The latter is called the Stable Home. My name is Kirsten, and I recently spent the night in this very unique accommodation. A back-to-basics but mega-cosy spot in the meadows that can only be reached by a sandy path along the horse paddock.
A bit more about me: I’m a photographer and the person behind the Dutch travel blog Where She Goes. Where She Goes is a travel blog for everyone who loves the outdoors, camping trips and unique places to sleep in nature. I’m often on the road exploring and photographing all kinds of dream spots and unique (sustainable) accommodations, such as forest cabins and treehouses. You can expect articles from me, as a Campspace columnist, with handy camping tips and articles about the coolest camping and glamping spots.
For Campspace host Zuzan, it all started with her enormous love for horses: “I really get a lot of enjoyment seeing one of the horses lying in the sun.”
Stal Cura was founded years ago: a stable and a retirement home for horses in a beautiful spot between the meadows and the forest. After starting the stable, Zuzan went through a couple of really tough years, but giving up wasn’t an option. Zuzan fought tooth and nail to keep her operations running. She decided to use her camping permit, which had been lying in the cupboard for years, to set up a small-scale campsite.
Next to the farm, the stable and the retirement home for old horses, you will now also find Zuzan's small, cosy farm campsite. When you arrive, you’ll be welcomed by Zuzan, a dog, a cat, chickens and 25 horses.
The campsite has nine camping spots. You can also stay in a vardo wagon, a retro caravan, the off-grid Stable Home and in the Bell Experience. The Bell Experience is brand new and is a large bell-tent, suitable for 2-4 people, with charming seating areas, a wood stove and an oven for baking bread.
A field for tent pitches is located in front of the stables (the only accommodation that is situated behind the stables, separate from the pitches and rentals is the Stable Home). From your pitch you can say hello to the horses through the stable hatches while they’re resting.
Zuzan has created a covered terrace with a firepit for her guests to enjoy, where you can sit by the fire and enjoy the outdoors even when it’s raining. There’s a second covered area where you can find walking- and cycling maps and games to play after dinner. Eggs from the free-range hens are sold at the campsite, as are firewood and scented candles.
Not only does Zuzan have an enormous love for horses, she also has an eye for unique places to sleep.
“I knew I had to create something unique on this spot behind the horse meadows,” she told me. And so she did.
She proceeded to conceive and build the off-grid Stable Home, a wooden A-frame cabin for two persons. The cabin is surrounded by horses (and the neighbour’s cows) and is situated in a lovely green spot. Secluded from the rest of the campsite and the stables, it is as unique as it is rustic. No electricity, but a campfire for cooking, solar lamps and an outdoor zinc bath. The Stable Home is quite basic, but conveniently furnished and focused on outdoor life. I’d say the most appealing factor is its romantic atmosphere.
“The off grid way of life appeals to me. It really is a way of life. It means that you can take care of yourself and nature simultaneously. We often live so excessively, even though you can create so much beauty out of simple things.”
In the wooden hut next to the Stable Home you’ll find a dry toilet. If you prefer to use the sanitary facilities of the campsite, that’s also possible.
The zinc outdoor bath makes this accommodation even more special. Behind the Stable Home, shielded from the outside world and amongst all the greenery, you can soak for hours in this zinc bath. When it’s cold outside, you can light a fire under the tub to warm up the water. During warm summer days, the sun will heat up the water and you can use the bath for a refreshing dip.
In the cabin you’ll find two single beds and pots, pans and crockery so that you can cook your own meal. You can book bed linen and towel packages or you can bring your own sleeping bag and pillow.
No electricity and no hot water also means lighting fires. The Stable Home has a firepit where you can make tea and prepare a tasty meal in the Dutch oven. And you really don’t have to make it very complicated to experience that real outdoorsy feeling. Heat up some soup, with a baguette and some tasty dips, finish it off with a fruit salad and you’re done.
When the fire burns out and the evening sun disappears, it’s time to curl up in your sleeping bag or linens in the Stable Home. You can close the large hatch with a pulley. When the nights are warm, it’s an even better idea to keep the hatch open and experience the feeling of sleeping in the open air.
“I’ve been through some really tough times. That’s why I’m proud that I run this campsite on my own and get enjoyment from it every day. As a host, you get so much energy from the guests' enthusiasm.”
Zuzan has run her campspace for three years now. Every year something new is added to the campsite. This year Zuzan created the ‘Kokhuus’ on the camping field, the covered area with a firepit. The best thing about running a campsite is meeting and receiving guests and making sure guests have a good time, according to Zuzan. Guests particularly appreciate the small scale of her campsite, the tranquillity and the green environment. It’s in the small things: recently, a girl was overjoyed because she can finally spend the night next to the horses. She also came to the rescue to help a guest whose tent was soaking wet. Zuzan’s campsite offers the benefits of nature without the discomfort that one must sometimes tolerate with wild camping. Another popular feature at her campsite is the bread oven that guests are free to use. “The campsite only has nine pitches and this means I can give a lot of personal attention to my guests. There’s always a pleasant atmosphere amongst the guests themselves as well. When someone bakes, the freshly baked bread is regularly distributed throughout the campsite and some guests decide to barbecue together.”
“For me, sustainability means that whatever you do does not harm nature and that you respect your environment.”
A lot of materials were recycled for the construction of the Stable Home. Biodegradable cleaning products are used as much as possible on the campsite. In many places the same water used for drinking water is used to flush the toilet, but at Zuzan's campspace, groundwater is pumped up and used to flush the toilets. In this way, no drinking water is wasted.
As a guest, you can walk around in the vegetable or herb garden and harvest your own vegetable and enjoy fresh organic eggs from Zuzan’s chickens.
The camping pitches, as well as the Bell Experience, the vardo wagon, the retro caravan and the off grid Stable Home can be booked through Campspace.
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