Caravantasia is run by Tom and Heather Pollard. The couple live on a 23 acre farm in County Tipperary, Ireland, and keep sheep, ducks, chickens, pigs and geese.
Tom's a stonemason by trade and the couple run craft workshops at festivals in Ireland such as the Electric Picnic and Body and Soul with Greencrafts. Staying at a festival usually involves sleeping in a tent for extended periods of time and after one eventful night staying in a leaky tent on a popped airbed, the idea of buying a caravan began to seem like a very good idea.
Being children of the 70's, they both had fond memories of caravanning.... endless summer days, ice creams (and inevitably, that comforting sound of rain on the caravan roof). It was all going to be so perfect!
After scouring the internet, they found a 1970's caravan for the bargain price of €200. Could it be any better?
Well, yes is the answer to that.
One rainy day in March, they collected the caravan from somewhere in County Clare, near to where Father Ted hangs out. It was dark by the time they got there and in the cold light of day the following morning, they realised that the caravan would be better described as a 'renovation project' than a 'caravan'.
A very steep learning curve followed, involving the replacement of woodwork, welding the chassis, rewiring, cleaning, sanding, painting and upholstering. After a lot of blood, sweat (but luckily no tears), the result was a rather comfy, groovy little 70's haven.
And that was it, they were hooked.
The idea of opening a vintage caravan glamping (posh camping) site evolved over time. There's a field on their farm, in a valley, that they planted with native trees about 9 years ago. The trees are now semi mature and the field has a lovely peaceful feeling to it. There's a ringfort next to it, which they're reliably informed is home to badgers and fairies. It's the perfect spot to relax, unwind and forget about the world outside. Having a maximum of 6 vintage caravans would keep the site quiet and exclusive.
The site would cost a lot to develop, so they applied to the South Tipperary Development Company for funding, and the local Council for planning permission. In August of 2013 they were delighted to be granted planning permission and grant approval. Work then started to develop the areas for the caravans, together with a lovely wooden structure with a green roof that is used as a communal area (the Green House) and a place to hold workshops/get togethers.
They are lucky to know some talented artists and crafts people, who over time have been involved in adding a little bit of magic to the site.
They now have a collection of 5 vintage caravans that have been restored back to their former glory. They are all classics from the 1960's and 70's - a time when style and comfort mattered more than making stuff as cheap as possible to get the maximum profit. A sixth caravan and a 6-person bell tent are new additions for the 2017 season.