Oak Lodge Retreat is run by Emma, Paul & Julie (Emma's mother) who upped sticks in 2016 after a life spent in Essex and moved to the countryside to live in Brome, Suffolk and take on the mammoth task of creating, from scratch, what Oak Lodge Retreat is today.
At the start of their journey, Emma's father Steve had a massive input getting the site up and running, he sadly passed away unexpectedly midway through their first season. On site you will find Steve's Shack in memory of Steve and his love of good liquor and great food.
The ethos of Oak Lodge Retreat has always been to have a place to escape away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a place welcoming families, friends and couples alike. A place to do nothing other than spend precious time with your friends and family.
Today, Emma, Paul & Julie welcome happy glampers and intrepid explorers to Oak Lodge Retreat from April through to October every year – many of whom return the following season with friends and family members in tow. Emma & Paul have two boys, Archie and Charlie who can be seen helping out with the daily tasks, Julie has Molly, a brindle Staff, who can often be spotted lazing outside in the sunshine or meandering across the fields.
Oak Lodge Retreat owes its success to all of the hard work that goes in to the running and maintenance of it, onsite and behind the scenes. They also receive lots of feedback from guests that they value dearly, they always welcome suggestions and ideas that would help make your stay more enjoyable. This is the reason that they are rated so highly on Tripadvsior and other review sites.
Oak Lodge Retreat has become one of 'the' original glampsites that still offer that unique experience. Glamping has always been glamourous camping, yes, camping, sleeping under canvas, not a pod, not a cabin, not a lodge but true glamping in a tent off grid, away from electrcicity & central heating.
The idea of not pitching your own tent, not being able to stand up in the tent, not having to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags, not having that little flame trying to boil some water is still very much alive and we are the ideal place to come and try the original glamping experience.
We have learnt over the years that kids still want to camp under canvas whilst parents still crave that little bit of comfort, we believe we have the right balance of each, happy kids, comfortable parents.
Originally farmland the plot of Oak Lodge Retreat sits on the communal area of the 490th Bombardment Squadron which were based at Eye airfield (Photo opposite).
Eye was a standard Class A airfield for heavy bombers. The U.S. Army 829th Engineer Battalion began construction of this WWII air base in September 1942, with the 827th Battalion arriving that December to assist. The 859th Battalion arrived in May of the following year when the 829th Battalion left. The bulk of the work was done in the summer of 1943 with the 827th setting records in pouring concrete while the 859th made their mark in building construction. Additional work was performed by British contractors.
The airfield was declared operational and turned over to the U.S. Army Air Forces on 7 December 1943, two years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On 1 April 1944, the entire airfield was complete and occupied by the 8th Air Force, which designated it AAF Station 134. RAF Eye was one of the last wartime airfields to be built in the area and some of the equipment used in its construction remained for many years after the war.
For lots more info please visit: www.490th.co.uk
The Communal site (Oak Lodge Retreat) was the first of the dispersed sites along Nick's Lane when approached from the west and only a short distance away from the Administrative site. Today sheep are grazing where the NAAFI, the grocery and local produce store, and the tailor's, barber's and shoemaker's shop once used to stand. In later years a mink farm was established here. It no longer exists although it is still marked on current maps as Mink Farm, and numerous long and narrow wooden buildings where the animals were kept can still be glimpsed amidst a wilderness of brambles and sprouting shrubs which are in the process of reclaiming this area.