When we last spoke with Derry, owner of The Secret Garden Glamping, just over a year ago, he was already making waves in the glamping world.

Now, in the span of 12 months, he has not only welcomed a newborn daughter but also expanded his glamping site by adding five more units, reaching maximum capacity on his current land.

Reflecting on his journey, Derry shared, “It feels like the end of an era. Four years ago, this crazy adventure started when we were all in lockdown and my kids wanted to camp in the garden. Now, everything has changed. It’s unbelievable how far we’ve come.”

the secret garden glamping

The Secret Garden Glamping now boasts 13 luxury units, with the latest addition being The Luxe. “The Luxe is a combination of all the best bits of the other 12 units,” Derry explained. “It took around three months to build and was a big investment, but now we’ve achieved the ultimate unit.” This unit, which sleeps up to six people, features an outdoor bar and kitchen, hot tub, outdoor cinema, indoor and outdoor TVs, and a cold plunge pool for those who feel brave enough.

“We’re fully booked consistently, even the Hideout, which was my first unit with the kids,” Derry said with a smile. “This OG unit has just had a renovation too since it’s been five years. That’s what we’ll be doing with the others as well; a total revamp every few years to keep things looking fresh.”

Derry emphasised that The Secret Garden Glamping is an experience provider with accommodation, not just an accommodation provider. This philosophy means the possibilities are endless, and the team can continually innovate and enhance the guest experience.

Following his emotional appearance on Dragons’ Den earlier this year, where he received offers from every single Dragon, Derry’s horizons have truly broadened. “The response we’ve had has been amazing,” he said. “I didn’t even anticipate they’d use my speech about fair pricing during school holidays, but that’s the part that seemed to generate the most love and support.”

Despite suggestions from Sara Davies and Deborah Meaden to charge double or even triple over half-term, Derry remains committed to his principles. “I’d never give up my morals just to make money,” he asserted.

Since Dragons’ Den, inquiries have poured in from 67 countries, including France, Spain, North America, and Australia. However, Derry plans to expand closer to home first, with new sites in Cornwall or Northern Ireland being potential top spots for the next expansion. With investment from Deborah Meaden, The Secret Garden Glamping is set to open more sites across the UK.

Does this mean moving for Derry? Absolutely not. “Despite all these exciting new UK openings, I’d never move. I’m a Lancashire lad through and through!” he proudly declared.

Admittedly, Derry has experienced moments of imposter syndrome. “All these opportunities are phenomenal. I’m calling the shots to people running million-pound businesses, all whilst I’m sitting at home like a normal bloke with the kids running around me,” he laughed. “It’s surreal!”

Adding another string to his bow, Derry might soon be involved in local government, championing and promoting the UK glamping sector. “The UK staycation market is really big at the moment,” he noted. “I’m passionate about getting people to spend money in the UK to drive the economy in our local areas, especially through glamping and unique accommodations.”

Every day brings new opportunities for Derry and his team, and we can’t wait to see what another year brings.

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