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Derbyshire designer transforms award-winning glamping lodges into magical Father Christmas experience

Derbyshire designer transforms award-winning glamping lodges into magical Father Christmas experience

A Derbyshire designer has transformed his award-winning, luxury glamping lodges into a bespoke and affordable Father Christmas experience for local families.

Christmas-lover Carl Insley has spent the last 12 months bringing Driftwood Land in Dale Abbey, to life - and doors open on November 26.
Carl, who was a Channel 4, Four in a Bed winner in 2021, created Driftwood Lodges Luxury Glamping near Spondon, in Derby, in 2020.

Now he’s sprinkled it with fairy dust, invited Father Christmas and his elf, and created a magical, ticket-only Christmas event on his bespoke glamping site.

“I love Christmas,” said Carl.

“I am literally Mr Christmas, so I’d been dreaming of turning my glamping lodges into a festive, winter wonderland.
“I have transformed two of the lodges into a Santa’s Grotto, where they can meet Father Christmas and a Reindeer Room, where children are invited to mix their own reindeer food.

“I have designed and created every room to make them as Christmassy as I can. It has taken me months and months to source and buy all the furniture, make props and give the site the biggest Christmas makeover ever!

“I knew I could make a really spectacular Christmas experience for families and I am thrilled with it. I wanted to make the event affordable for families so I have kept ticket prices low. For me, it’s about putting a smile on people’s faces this Christmas and creating something magical.”

Santa’s Lodge - which looks like a little Hobbit house and overlooks the lake – has been designed by Carl and will delight young visitors. The surrounding woodland has been lit with festoon lights, decorated with six feet tall gingerbread characters and a traditional posting box has been installed for children to post their letters to Father Christmas. Each child will receive a gift from Santa’s treasure chest and a beautiful magic key so he can visit them on Christmas Eve.

Carl said:

“I am so excited for this. I have kept the event exclusive so families can take their time and enjoy what I’ve created.

“As the children walk through Driftwood Land, I want them to feel the magic. I want them to enjoy the excitement of Christmas as much as I do.
“Christmas magic is silent, you don’t hear it - you feel it and you believe it.”

Since Carl launched Driftwood Lodges Luxury Glamping he has been rushed off his feet with guests wanting to stay. But organising a Christmas experience for families was another dream for the former interior designer.

He said:

“I have loads of space here in Dale Abbey, and it was crying out for someone to wave some Christmas magic!

“It has been a labour of love and I can’t wait to welcome guests in November.”

Tickets cost £15 for children and £2.50 for adults. To book, visit the Driftwood Land Facebook page or click on

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