No need to head to Dorset or Devon for quaint villages, walks and pubs – this west Hants site, now with revamped narrowboat, offers rural bliss without the crowds
‘The Rat’s Sleek Machine” reads the sign on one of three parking spots just inside the gate. Though our battered Toyota wasn’t ever sleek, we know that’s our space, as we are to be the first guests in the Magic Rat, a brand new unit at The Meadow Glamping, near Broughton in rural Hampshire.
Giddy with pleasure at being out of London, and at the prospect of sleeping somewhere other than our bedroom after too many months, we gaze across the sunny field and spot our billet among weeping willows by a small lake. The Rat is a small narrowboat that owner Kate McAllister has added this year to the Meadow’s two other glamping options: Wild Billy’s, a traditional red-and-yellow-painted Gypsy caravan; and Mary’s Place, a hybrid comprising a brightly painted summer house and a catering wagon made into a luxy bedroom with thick carpet, metal bedstead and fairy lights.