Our Story

Bell Tent UK / Camping with Soul was founded in 2006 after a ‘eureka’ moment at a festival.

Quality canvas Bell Tents weren’t available in the UK apart from one made-to-order offering costing thousands.

Founder Tobyn Cleeves got a lighter and more portable sample made and used it as the bridal suite at his wedding. Several of his guests loved the tent and asked where they could get one so he seized the opportunity, formed Bell Tent UK and started selling them from his home.

The timing was right and the whole glamping phenomenon exploded in 2007 with the Bell Tent being the tent of choice for the discerning glamper.

After coverage in The Sunday Times Style Magazine, Bell Tent UK was confirmed as the go to Bell Tent company and with the introduction of bespoke accessories the Camping with Soul family was formed. Things were already moving fast when in 2008 we were asked by Glastonbury Festival if we rented out our tents – ‘we do now!’ we said, and our sister company Hotel Bell Tent was born.

The glamping revolution has changed the camping landscape and convinced even the most discerning campers that being in a field can in fact be luxurious and cosy and we’ve enjoyed being a core part of it for over a decade.

Photograph courtesy of Val Pritchard

We are a small company here at Camping with Soul, a team of people who are friends as well as colleagues and we love doing what we do.

We are all avid fans of Bell-Tenting and spend a lot of time at festivals or in a field somewhere during the summer months, testing and developing our core products. Combining this experience and customer feedback, we continue to tweak the traditional Bell Tent design. We utilise modern manufacturing techniques and materials to create the best product we can – we never compromise the quality of our tents, and have a premium position in the market as a result.

Camping with Soul prides itself on:

Originality

Camping with Soul has been selling beautiful canvas Bell Tents and associated accessories since 2006. There are now lots of copies out there, but they are not the same tent, not the same quality, and we do not supply anyone else. Differences include little things like:

  • Our main poles are thicker and stronger (4m = 28mm, 5m = 32mm).
  • Our Deluxe and Ultimate groundsheets are thicker and stronger.
  • Our mosquito nets are finer quality with a smaller mesh that also stops midges.

Quality

Although we love the classic design of a Bell Tent, we’re all about modern materials and manufacturing techniques, meaning robust stitching and cutting edge weaving techniques – so no more humping heavy pieces of canvas around!

You can also bid farewell to the days when brushing against the canvas in a storm would leave a wet patch, as our water-based three-part proofer protects the canvas against water, mould and even UV destruction. In fact, we’re so confident about the quality of our tents that we hold ourselves to a one year manufacturing warranty.

Customer Service

Although we are a small company that spends much of its time at festivals or in a field (hence the mobile number), we really care about everyone who buys from us and becomes part of our little Camping with Soul Family. We always try and answer the phone during working hours and will always get back to you as soon as we can. We take our manufacturer’s warranty really seriously, and if there is a defect to your tent within the warranty period, we will do our utmost to sort it out for you.

(Obviously, our warranty is not a blanket insurance policy against acts of nature like storms and really high winds but have a look here (link to warranty) for more information.

Years of Development

Ever since we launched Bell Tent UK we are constantly updating our tents to be better and more practical. We started out selling a Standard Bell Tent, and then added the Deluxe with a heavy-duty groundsheet. Then, listening to your feedback, you wanted the security of a heavy-duty groundsheet but with the versatility of still being able to roll the walls up, hence the Ultimate was born, with the Deluxe groundsheet with an added, hidden zip. We’ve also introduced different sizes and hybrids like the Emperor Bell Tent and Twin Door Bell Tents that offer better ventilation and the possibility of connection to other tents, vehicles or structures.

  • We are always researching developments in canvas and proofing and launched the PRO range of Bell Tents in 2013 to cater from professional users or people who want everything to be a bit more heavy duty.
  • We’re always happy to give advice to our customers, whether it’s about finding the right tent for you, how best to fit a stove or putting your tent up in unusual spaces.
  • We endeavour to respond to all customer queries within 24 hours, and take all feedback very seriously.
  • Responsibly Made
  • Our manufacturer in China, who we regularly visit, has been responsibly making our tents for the past ten years, not only because of their superior quality, but because good labour practices are very important to us.

Hotel Bell Tent

Camping with Soul was closely followed by Hotel Bell Tent who have been creating boutique camps at the UK’s best outdoor events since 2008. Their concept blends the magic and romance of sleeping under canvas with some of the special touches you might find in a boutique hotel, with a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and their unparalleled customer service – from booking to check-out and beyond.

They work at iconic sporting events, world famous music festivals and anywhere that requires adaptable, high-quality temporary accommodation, with the scope to create bespoke, small camps up to those that can accommodate thousands of people.

Get On My Land

Our latest project is Get on my Land, an initiative to build up a worldwide ‘off the beaten track’ online camping directory and network, helping people launch their own boutique camping business and offering online promotion for existing providers of luxury camping retreats. Moving away from the municipal, often crowded campsite experience, Get on my Land promotes unique and secluded luxury camping locations in canvas Bell Tents and similarly themed structures throughout the UK and the rest of the world.

Click here to see what our customers have to say.