Bonnybridge eco-friendly campsite expands on back of staycation boom
An eco-friendly campsite just outside Bonnybridge is expanding after the rise in ‘staycations’ saw bookings soar.
Bonnybridge Eco Camping & Glamping, which opened in 2019, was forced to close for the whole of 2020 due to the pandemic- but since reopening, the boom in people looking to holiday in the UK has meant it has been busier than ever.
Planning permission has now been granted for the site – part of a 15-acre smallholding, two miles south of Bonnybridge – to expand.
But it will remain ‘off-grid’, something that is for many visitors as big a draw as the panoramic views it boasts.
While there is no mains electricity or water, the site is fully sustainable – harvesting rainwater and using wind and solar power to be able to offer facilities that include hot showers, a drinking fountain and USB charging points.
“A lot of customers come to us because they want to see how we manage being completely off-grid,” said owner and manager, Karyn Robb.
“Lots of people are interested but they don’t know where to start, so we get lots of questions about how we’ve managed to make it work.
“We’ve not had any grants, we’ve done it all ourselves with a lot of trial and error.”
Being off-grid was also a life-saver during Covid restrictions as the site did not have huge overheads, which helped them make the difficult decision to close for the whole year.
The site has one glamping pod, but the main focus is on tents, including large bell tents and a modern tipi, which can be hired, in addition to camping pitches.
As tourism in and around Falkirk has soared in recent years, Karyn says more and more visitors are aware of what the area has to offer.
“We’re also in a great position for the whole of the central belt,” she said. “It’s a great wee location – and we’ve got great views!”
Expansion will not only mean Karyn can stop having to turn down bookings, but also allow the site to continue social distancing measures for as long as is necessary.
“We’ve got bookings for next year, and we’re doing events such as birthday parties.”