You’re sure to have seen the UK’s most booked glamping site splashed across your socials and even on your telly screens (the multi award-winning site has featured on Channel 4 and Channel 5), and now here they are in Cheshire Engaged!

We catch up with Derry, the brains behind the business that’s become the only official 5 star glamping site around.

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Weird & Wonderful

“This is the dream job my 10-year-old self would’ve designed for me. I get the ultimate freedom to design all the weird and wonderful things I want. And luckily, due to the overwhelming success The Secret Garden Glamping has seen, I’ve got no budgets or restrictions!”

Just A Dad In Lockdown

In his previous career working for a transport company, Derry spent most of his time in Spain and France, but a little thing called Covid left him stuck in the UK…

“It was during the first lockdown heatwave that all this began. I’d made a little outdoor unit for myself and the kids to play and camp out in. It was only ever supposed to be for us. Then people started asking to stay, which I really couldn’t believe. I made the decision to put the unit on Airbnb even though I had no idea what I was doing, and within days it was on Airbnb’s homepage and we were fully booked for two years.”

The likes of UNILAD and LADBible soon picked up Derry’s story, featuring him in an article about what a dad built in lockdown. Unsurprisingly, things only picked up the pace from there.

It Started With A Mirror

On top of the eight accommodation options now available at The Secret Garden Glamping, Derry has plans for three brand-new units set to open in April, July and October this year.

“The Oasis will be our next new addition to the site. Visitors will disappear in the woods into two futuristic, giant mirrored pods. My whacky idea for this one literally started with a mirror. We bought a new mirror for the house and I imagined how cool a building would look covered in mirrors! I invent all the ideas and themes myself, and they all start with something small from the most random of places – just like this one!”

“I finish every build and wonder how I’m going to top it, but I always manage it.”

On The Box

In the past, Derry and his team have appeared on various TV shows such as Four in a Bed, Celebs Go Dating and Hot Tub Brits – it’s not the last you’ll be seeing of them either!

“We’ve just finished doing the BBC’s Money For Nothing and The Greatest Auction; a new show coming in the spring which shows us buying quirky items for the site.

Going For Gold

In the last year alone, The Secret Garden Glamping has won big at the Lancashire Tourism Awards, SME Awards, Start Up Awards, and GB Entrepreneur Awards.

“I still find it hard to believe we only properly started the business 18 months ago, it’s massively blown up! If I’m
out and about in my branded hoodie I actually get stopped in the street – a random dude stopped me in London not long ago to tell me how much he and his girlfriend wanted to book a stay with us, it’s so mental.”

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A Family Affair

“I have a team of 12 amazing staff now and I treat everyone as family rather than employees. I live on site, it’s my home, so I want everyone to enjoy being here. I really couldn’t do it without them.”

Doing Better

“UK staycations are on the rise and the whole industry needs to work together to keep it that way. I’m an open book, if anyone asks me how to do something or where I buy something, I tell them. It’s no secret hospitality and glamping have suffered over the last couple of years and it’s an easy trap to fall into doing the same thing or what feels comfortable. I want to encourage people in the same field as me to think outside the box and follow in our footsteps – it’ll only make it better for everyone.”

“We support the local area and community a lot too, which is very important to me. Where possible, everything we buy is from within a 20 mile radius, and everyone we employ is from nearby. I want to improve the local economy, this is where I live after all!”

The Tree Tops

Derry’s most ambitious unit to date,The Tree Tops transports visitors up into the canopy of the trees. Nestled in whimsical woodlands, the new unit is a space for friends, families and couples to enjoy. Up to six people can soak in the hot tub, indulge in the outdoor bar, relax in the luxury treehouse bedroom, soak in the ensuite bathroom’s luxury rose gold bath and gather around the Love Island style fire pit. It’s truly an experience like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

You better act fast as The Secret Garden Glamping is already booked up for most of 2024 and some of 2025. But rest assured, it’s definitely worth the wait.

BOOK HERE