Feature: Our version of a digital detox…

Welcome to Campwell!

Okay, full disclaimer. I started to write this before we even left. But let’s face it, the last 12 months have been intense. And one thing that we have all relied on, been dependent on whilst also resented and been exhausted by technology.

Alongside our day jobs, meetings and social events (many still online), we now have a travel website that sees us on social media and google analytics 18 hours of the day… so a short break in the middle of nowhere was very much needed.

In fact, in the middle of nowhere is an exaggeration. We used Canopy & Stars (I’ve ogled for years and finally had the chance – and a reason – to book) to find Campwell Woods.

Campwell sits between Chippenham (where a good friend of mine happens to live) and Bath. Campwell Woods is made up of seven bedroom spaces centred around a central dining and kitchen, equipped with a wood stove, perfect for making pizzas. There’s wild swimming in the small lake, plus the option of wood-carving and yoga.

Relaxing on the yurt’s deck

Campwell is self check-in and upon arrival we loaded our bags into a wheelbarrow and headed to the Chief’s Den, the largest of the seven spaces. The yurt is actually three connected yurts – a living space, main bedroom, smaller bedroom and an attached space with bath and shower. The entire site is run on solar power, there’s limited phone signal and no wifi so it’s the perfect place to switch off. Aside from the additional space, private bathroom and privacy, one of the highlights of the Chief’s Den – a little more expensive than the other spots on site – is the huge terrace, including a pizza oven, firepit and a dining space, perfect for sundowners or a late-night fire. We loved the little touches provided by Campwell, including the replenishing of marshmallows to toast on the fire.

We booked this as a last minute stay through Canopy & Stars and Campwell only had the two nights available at the time, otherwise we would have been kicking ourselves for not staying longer. We may have wanted to extend our stay but even two days away from emails provided the R&R we needed!

So my top tips for taking even a short break from technology:

  1. If you can, let people know well in advance that you’ll be away to avoid meetings getting booked in
  2. Let your nearest and dearest know too – they’re likely to be used to hearing from you more thanks to Covid

    Finding wild flowers amongst the land

  3. Remind yourself of all of your other loves that aren’t on a screen – walking, talking to those you’re with in person, reading and/or writing – and use the time to appreciate and soak in your surroundings
  4. Seek out areas where signal or wifi is limited – knowing you can’t be reached can be liberating!
  5. Even if you need to be available for emergencies, be sure to mute all of those Whatsapp groups and at the very least turn your phone on silent and turn off notifications
  6. If you use your phone as a tool for other things, bring an alternative – your actual credit cards, alarm clock, notebook, torch, map… We survived without them for years so we can do it again!





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