The Clarty Hen is a new collaboration between Clarty Events and my favourite Bells of Hemscott so when an invitation to the launch at Calico Barn, Bells of Hemscott, in Northumberland came my way mentioning the words, cake, party and Alpacas I thought it would be a splendid way to spend a day and I took Stacey and Harriet along for good measure.
Calico Barn is the newest addition to the thriving Northumbrian business Bells of Hemscott, where as the bell tents are still available to hire for the summer season, Calico Barn, a swish bunk barn will operate all year round with the Clarty Hen stepping in for hen weekends, it's a move in a different direction and as the wedding market in Northumbria continues to grow and thrive I think it's a valuable addition, something different to do. I've noticed a trend over the past few years of hens wanting to do something a little different from the old style going out, getting dressed up and often falling down because of tipsy shenanigans. The Clarty Hen is a much more exciting prospect.
The Clarty Hen is a weekend spent in a luxurious bunk barn, for just £175 per person (minimum 12) it includes a continental breakfast each day, a lunch on the Saturday, an activity pack for the Friday nigt and 4 organised activities on the Saturday, Clarty activities ranges from team games like Sheep herding (don't you think that Harriet and Stacey make a good sheep and sheepdog? I have blindfold anxiety so I was the shepherd herding the blind sheep to safety with the help of a blind sheepdog) to clarty arty, a crafts based activity or if neither of those are your thing then why not add on an alpaca walk, I'd like to just say at this point that I've seen alpacas at farms but until last week I'd never cuddled one and now I have and I can tell you it's the most special experience, they are like a cross between a 3 year old child and a huge teddy bear, they are adorable and gentle and time spent trekking with them is a magical money can't buy type experience, Alpaca walking is available at £20 per person for an hour and you don't even have to be a Clarty Hen, the bunk barn is also available for events, families and individuals throughout the year and I'm going back during summer so I can give you a full low down on the experience of sleeping in a bunk barn, something I've never done but now I've seen the luxury I really want to try it.
Such attention and care has gone into the decoration of the bunk barn, pretty patchworks hang from all of the walls, a tribute to Alisons mum who made them all over the years when it was her barn, Alison wanted to create something really special in memory of mum and I think she's achieved much more than that, I'm not quite sure what I expected to find in an old barn at Druridge Bay but it certainly wasn't the luxury we experienced last week. Cosy sofas, usb charging points and wifi, this isn't camping as you used to know it but then that's the Bells of Hemscott for you, it's not camping, it's comfortable camping and all in the surroundings of a working farm, new arrivals in the form of piglets have arrived since my last visit with their little muddy paws and noisy oinks, to spend an hour on that farm you feel like you have left your cares and woes behind you, to spend a weekend in the company of your best friends with laughs and drinks and cakes and activities, well that's got to make for the most memorable hen weekend ever. I can't wait to go back myself with my daughters and Harriet so we can enjoy the quiet beauty of Northumberland, the lapping of the nearby seas and golden sands that stretch as far as the eye can see, on a warm July afternoon you could be anywhere in the world it's so inspiringly beautiful and oh, oh, oh those huggable, loveable alpacas who stole my heart and calmed my mind, the Bells of Hemscott is truly an escape from the stress of reality.