A POWYS glamping company that specialises in safari tents has scooped a top award at a ceremony celebrating the rise of new businesses.

By the Wye, a family run off-grid glamping site hidden in the heart of rural Mid Wales, won the Tourism & Leisure Start-Up of the year award at the Wales StartUp Awards earlier this month. The site, based in Hay-on-Wye, offers five safari tents within five acres of ancient woodland running along the banks of the River Wye. Safari tents come with roaring campfires, beautiful beds, sumptuous sofas, flushing toilets and fully equipped kitchens. It is considered the ultimate in luxury glamping and enough to tempt even the most reluctant of campers out into the woods.

Outside the glamping tents is a covered deck area with seating to make the most of the incredible riverside views; there is also a separate picnic table and fire pit for alfresco dining and cooking, except for ‘The Ivy’ which has a BBQ on the deck instead on a firepit.

Owner Dawn Farnworth said: “It’s an honour to win this award and to have our achievements over the last 18 months celebrated.

“It’s been an unprecedented and challenging time to launch a new tourism business. Winning this prestigious award makes it feel as though our hard work and effort was worthwhile.”

Opened in August 2020, By the Wye was fully booked in-between each lockdown and has been full since they reopened at Easter. There is planning permission for an additional four safari tents plus a treehouse and they have just registered their off-grid converted shipping container reception to be licensed to hold weddings.

For more information about the business, visit the website at www.bythewye.uk, call Edith on 01497 828166 or email hello@bythewye.uk.

So, what exactly is a safari tent?

As the name suggests safari tents have their roots in African-style safari holidays. They have been used in Africa and across Asia for centuries and are well suited to hotter climates, offering light, airy canvas shelter that allow the breeze to pass through and keep things as cool as possible.

On many safari tents you can roll back large areas of the canvas to open the place up to the elements, quite literally creating a room without any walls. They are also associated with the style of military-style tents and medical tents, owing to their long, wide, characteristic shape and large amount of interior space. Both in this military and medical use, as well as on safaris, one of the key features is the fact that the tents are easy and quick to erect, yet provide sturdy, solid structures and ample space.

When it comes to glamping, the appeal is much the same (though the length of time the tent takes to put up is irrelevant since this is glamping, all that hard work is done for you.

It's easy to see why safari tents are popular: the beautiful, natural look of the wooden frame and taught canvas tent makes it the perfect choice for natural settings, but they are also extremely durable. It's the amount of space that safari tents afford, however, that is the real clincher. Inside, separate canvas curtains can divide the tent up into individual rooms, making them ideal for dividing living, cooking and sleeping quarters, while families love the fact that children can be put to bed early in a separate room.

Throw in some luxury furnishings, a well-equipped kitchen, perhaps a hot-tub, towels and bathrobes and you've got yourself some seriously luxurious living.