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Camping business emerges from the ashes of lockdown




Amidst the turmoil of Covid-19, an Attleborough couple have managed to pull off the impossible by setting up their own luxury camping business – proving that innovation can emerge from within the hostile conditions of lockdown.

After seeing her ambitions as a dog trainer thrown into disarray by the pandemic, Helen McCombie, 33, was forced to consider how she and her wife Lou McCombie, 37, could support their four children during the current crisis.

Drawing from their own passion for glamping – a portmanteau for glamorous camping – the pair created Glamp and Tipple, and soon began acquiring bell tents, hot tubs and other luxury items to set up in people’s gardens for the ultimate lockdown camping experience.

Helen McCombie set up Glamp and Tipple after the lockdown crippled her ambitions of becoming a dog trainer.
Helen McCombie set up Glamp and Tipple after the lockdown crippled her ambitions of becoming a dog trainer.

“It was in April when I realised I needed to put my thinking cap on and decide what I wanted to do,” said Helen.

“I sat down with Lou and said we needed to do something that could survive the quite difficult economic environment we are in.

“I’ve always enjoyed planning and organising events, and that’s where the idea came from.

The company offer bell tents, which can be pitched up in people's gardens for a luxury home-camping experience.(37019174)
The company offer bell tents, which can be pitched up in people's gardens for a luxury home-camping experience.(37019174)

“Some people like the idea of camping, but not the idea on having to sleep on the floor.

“Children, in particular, love it because they love the rustic camp site, but they also like to have some creature comforts as well.”

In addition to bell tents and hot tubs, the business offers food hampers, fire pits and even a bouncy castle – all of which are delivered to homes, assembled by the couple, and collected again at a later date.

Since March, the pair have delivered to almost 100 different households, taking orders from Diss to as far away as Surrey.

“It’s been unbelievable,” said Helen.

“It all started snowballing really quickly. I don’t think we could have foreseen how busy we’ve been. I’ve never had something that’s seen to be so desirable.

“Coronavirus has taught us that there’s a lot more we can do at home, and also that it’s nice to do things in your own home.”

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