THEY could be holiday homes for a hobbit from Middle Earth - but in reality they’re aimed at Middle England.
A new Sheffield company is manufacturing sleeping pods boasting all mod cons for the burgeoning ‘glamping’ (glamour camping) sector.
The SkyLodge has bunkbeds, electricity points, a skylight, insulation, dampproof course and a shingle tiled roof from Finland, according to boss Philip Betts.
And their combination of rusticity and modern features is proving a hit with people wanting a trendy halfway house between a static caravan and a tent.
Woodhall Country Park in Lincolnshire snapped up the first 12 and interest is high, says Philip, aged 58, a former food wholesaler and Rib Shack restaurant owner.
He added: “The launch has been very exciting and hard work, like these things are, but the time is right. It’s staycation year thanks to the Jubilee and the Olympics. Glamping is the way forward.’’
Philip got the idea after attending a woodland festival at Clumber Park. He has partnered with Sheffield shopfitter Kevin Garretty to launch SkyLodge Innovations.
The firm employs 12 on the production side in Regent Works, Burton Road, Neepsend.
A four-bed SkyLodge sells for about £5,000 and Philip is looking into the domestic market where they will be marketed as an extra room that is cheaper than an extension.
And he claims that because they are an ‘upmarket shed’ they won’t need planning permission.
SkyLodges are built around an alloy frame, which is also made in Sheffield. Woodhall Country Park manager, Ian Edmondson, said: “Our SkyLodges allow people to enjoy glamping without having the hassle of having to put up a tent. We are delighted with them.”