Review: An x-citing glamping trip to the Cheshire countryside

Staffordshire Living was invited on a glamping trip to the Cheshire countryside driving the new Toyota AYGO x-cite. Read our latest travel review below 

Last weekend Staffordshire Living hit the open road in the new Toyota AYGO x-cite to make our way to Lower Withington near Congleton for a stay at Welltrough Hall Farm, a 270 acre working farm set in the beautiful Cheshire Countryside.

First of all the car! On Friday afternoon I turned up at Pinkstones Toyota Stoke to pick up the AYGO x-cite! I have to admit I was ‘x-cited’ to get behind the wheel of  the Magenta beauty because I am a huge fan of Toyota and even own a Yaris myself!

Read more: Staffordshire Living reviews the Toyota Yaris.  

In comparison, the AYGO is smaller than the Yaris, but it has a big personality and a smaller price tag to go with it – the standard model is priced from £9,295 compared to £13,320 for the Yaris. The upgraded x-cite version I was driving is still a bargain though, with prices starting at £12,975.

First released back in 2005, the AYGO has come along way in terms of the shape and design. I remember my mum having one and I was embarrassed to be seen in it. However, the 2018 model is a sleek and exciting city car, and with its new plumped out look, it looks sturdy and ready for action.

The AYGO X-cite in Magenta Fizz

The AYGO x-cite includes all the mod-cons you would expect from a modern day car. I am a particular fan of the reversing camera and I love that I can actually select the temperature inside the car as opposed to blasting the heaters or air conditioning and hoping to find the perfect temperature. You can literally set it to 30 degrees if you wanted to! And of course, I love the colour – Magenta Fizz – which is exclusive to the AYGO x-cite.

Classy interior matches a new chic look to the exterior

The Drive

As it was a Friday afternoon I decided to avoid the boring, grey car park of a motorway or dual carriage way and opted for a more scenic route through Leek and Macclesfield (to be totally honest part of this was by mistake as I may of missed a turning or two) and it was an absolute pleasure. For a smaller car it has plenty of room especially up front and a really comfortable driving position. I feel the need to point out that my partner joined me on my adventure and at 6 foot 2 had no complaints about his comfort nor did he complain about the lack of leg room. In fact, he loved the car more than I did, if possible.

The car did the journey with ease and keeping up with the 60 mile an hour speed limits were a breeze. It may be small but it does have some power even though it’s only a 1 litre engine. The AYGO handles extremely well, especially on the winding country roads and lanes.

my partner joined me on my adventure and at 6 foot 2 had no complaints about his comfort nor did he complain about the lack of leg room

I keep referring to the AYGO as being a smaller car but there was plenty of room for us and all our belongings. Our glamping trip called for us to take bedding, as well as the usual clothing and toiletries, and we also stocked up on the food and drinks we’d need for a relaxing stay. It’s surprising how much you need but it all fit comfortably in the car. We did use the back seats for the bedding but everything else fit in the boot. Not only is the car stylish but practical too!

Glamping

We arrived at the working farm around 6.30pm and found the hut easily enough with the directions on our booking confirmation email. The fields and pitches are clearly signposted so this made life extremely easy! No key was necessary as we were given codes to access the areas of the site which meant that we didn’t have to wait to check in and could just arrive at any time and kick start our weekend of relaxation.

Welltrough Hall Farm’s Shepherds Hut

From the outside the hut looks small but this is extremely deceiving. Once we opened the stable door we were welcomed by a stylish, comfortable and cosy space. Nick (the owner) had very kindly put the heater on for us so it was lovely and toasty when we arrived. There is everything you need for a relaxing stay – an extremely comfortable double bed at the back, a television, plenty of kitchen cupboards with crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment, a full size fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a toaster and a fold out table with a couple of chairs for a dining area. My favourite feature was the log burning stove for those cool winter nights. There is also an electric heater for ease. The hut sits within its own gated area with a picnic bench, gas bbq and a matching his and her style wooden seat. There is also your own private sink and toilet in a summerhouse right next to the hut.

A cosy and comfortable space

We unloaded the AYGO and decided to try out the local pub, The Red Lion, for dinner. I had the steak and kidney suet pudding with hand cut chips, garden peas and gravy, I am literally salivating as I write this as the suet pudding was huge and extremely tasty. My partner opted for the house burger, in a brioche bun, relish, salad and skinny fries. I think he enjoyed it, he practically inhaled it. I would most definitely recommend a visit to the pub while you are in the area. Full and happy we headed back and settled in for the night with the television and a cold bottle of Prosecco. And relax!

The next morning we woke up fairly early and refreshed and decided to explore the farm area and do the 3 km mown grass walk around the farm. The sun was shining and the temperature warm, so off we went. We had a peek at the farmhouse and found an onsite farm shop selling frozen meats. There is also an onsite shower room with a rather large cubicle housing a full size shower which was clean and tidy and there were a couple of toilets and ‘Elsan’ emptying points dotted about the site if you are bringing your own caravan.

The 3 km grass walk on the farm

The pitches for caravans with an electric hook up looked lovely, tidy gravelled areas with a mowed lawn area next to it. We even had a peek at the Welltrough Pod – this is next on my list when we visit again. The area where the pod was just so happened to lead on to the grass walk. Walking around the whole site was so peaceful, maybe it’s down to it being an adult-only site, and the farm walk was no exception, even though as we walked around we could see the tractors sewing in the fields but it seemed as though even they were silent. I would definitely recommend partaking in the farm walk. I have it on good authority that in spring there is a particular spot where wild garlic grows and the scent is supposed to be divine.

The BBQ

Owner Nick mans the farm shop as well as working full-time on the farm – it’s clear to see that a farmer’s work is never done and this man never stops! He had mentioned in the morning that he pops back up to the shop every hour and as we’d worked up an appetite we text him to meet us there.

The farm shop sells Welltrough’s own beef so we opted for his beef burgers and sausages. A pack of four burgers was £3.99 and a pack of 10 sausages was also £3.99. We had a problem getting the BBQ working, but after a message to Nick asking if he could pop up when he got chance, he appeared very quickly and sorted it for us. Nick is so attentive and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

Sat in the sun I sipped more Prosecco, while the smell of BBQ meat filled the air, I think we were the envy of the site. We tucked in to a thick juicy burger obviously with cheese and sampled a beef sausage or two. You definitely need to try both on your trip, lets just say by the end of the day we polished both packs off!

The rest of the day consisted of relaxing in the sun, playing with our neighbours pooch, eating and drinking. As the temperature dipped we went back inside for more of what we had spent the day doing and you know what, it was exactly what the doctor ordered; the beautiful countryside, plenty of fresh air, time to ourselves and comfy surroundings.

I can’t wait for our next visit!

To book yourselves in visit www.glampsites.com

Mini Spec of the 2018 AYGO x-cite:

15″ Black Alloy Wheels
LED daytime running lights and LED tracer lights
Electric front windows
Leather steering wheel with audio and telephone controls
Tyre Pressure Warning System (TPWS)
Electrically adjustable body-coloured heated door mirrors
Automatic air conditioning and auto headlights
x-touch multimedia system with 7″ colour touch-screen, DAB, Bluetooth® and reversing camera
Smartphone integration powered by Pioneer, is compatible with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
The Bi-tone Magenta Fizz paint with rear privacy glass is exclusive to the AYGO x-cite grade

To book a test drive Click Here.

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