Want to explore the great outdoors this summer in style? Then read our ultimate guide to turning a regular camping trip into something much more luxurious.
A camping trip always sounds incredibly appealing, you get to fall asleep under the stars, spend time amongst nature and get plenty of fresh air. But you also have to make some sacrifices and a lack of running water and no hot showers or cooking facilities might make you think twice about a camping holiday.
If you want to experience all that camping has to offer – but without a leaky tent or sharing a sleeping bag with creepy crawlies – then try glamping instead.
What is glamping?
Glamping is a blend of the words ‘glamourous’ and ‘camping’ and combines the camping experience with lots of little creature comforts such as soft duvets, toilets, and armchairs. Glamping sites offer the same outdoor experience as a traditional campsite, but the facilities found in the glamping pods will far exceed anything most campers have ever experienced.
If you’ve ever slept in a tent when it’s raining, you’ll know that a soggy sleeping bag is not much fun. Glamping units usually have a sturdy roof that doesn’t leak – making it a great all-weather option for a UK holiday when Great British weather is often very unpredictable.
Most glamping sites offer bell tents, constructed from waterproof canvas and many have timber floors with proper beds, electricity, and bathroom facilities. Usually circular in design, bell tents have a high ceiling – so even taller members of your camping party won’t have to bend double when inside.
There are many other types of glamping accommodation – some sites offer luxurious treehouses built around the trunks of large trees, while remote shepherd huts offer a ‘back to nature’ experience in a self-contained pod.
Some types of glamping accommodation are also eco-friendly, with electricity provided by solar panels, LED lighting and water pumped from springs. Known as ‘geodesic domes’ they are a structure composed of a network of triangles that use fewer materials to create.
Glamping for families
Glamping offers a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones, with just the right amount of adventure! Kitchen facilities will ensure you can whip up a bowl of pasta and provide cold milk for breakfast – or if you want to enter into the camping spirit you can bake potatoes and toast marshmallows on your very own campfire.
Holidaying with teenagers can prove challenging – but glamping provides enough space for teens to have some privacy – and those all-important phone charging points and wi-fi access!
Glamping essentials to pack
One of our favourite things about luxury camping is that you don’t need to take much luggage as the accommodation usually provides all that you need. However, there are a few essentials that should be on your list:
- First aid kit
- Phone chargers
- Board games
- Sturdy walking boots
- Firelighters / matches
- Insect repellent
Best UK glamping locations
Now you know all about glamping – here are some of the UK’s best glamping sites to check out with the family this summer:
Ockeridge Rural Retreats
Nestled in the Worcestershire countryside, Ockeridge Rural Retreats offer shepherd huts with underfloor heating, king-sized beds and an en-suite bathroom for the ultimate in camping luxury.
Located next to horse-filled paddocks, this rural campsite really has a ‘back to nature’ feel, yet Worcester itself is within easy reach if you want to explore the county capital or visit a restaurant.
Wild Meadow, Raynham Estate
If you’d prefer a yurt for your glamping experience then Wild Meadow on the Raynham Estate near Fakenham, in north Norfolk should be high on your list.
Each off-grid yurt has rustic wooden flooring, wood-burning stoves, and leather armchairs for total comfort. The campsite is on the grounds of Raynham Hall, and tours of the grand house are available. Further afield you can visit the Queen’s estate at Sandringham or spend sunny days on the miles of golden beaches at Holkham Bay.
Ewe Love Camping Pods
For spectacular views from your accommodation, Ewe Love Camping Pods are hard to beat. Located in the Lake District at the foot of Blencathra mountain, each pod has underfloor heating and a modern kitchen, plus an outside terrace with a barbeque and seating.
While away the evenings on your terrace spotting the roe deer, rabbits and kestrels that also make this quiet and peaceful retreat their home. For the more adventurous camper, Blencathra provides a challenging trek to the summit of its 2,848 feet peak!
Bells, Cleavel Point
Water sports fans will love an action-packed break at Bells, with direct access to Poole Harbour where paddleboarding, kayaking and jet-skiing are all popular.
The accommodation is all bell tents, and while not as luxurious as some other glamping pods, they are all equipped with inflatable beds, toilets, and hot showers. The site also boasts a bar and shop where you can pick up some tasty treats to barbeque after a day on the water.
Ty Famau Geo Lodges
The geodesic domes at Ty Famau in Denbighshire offer high-end family glamping in a series of semi-spherical pods. Each dome is equipped with water, gas, and electricity – plus a hot tub on the deck for the ultimate in luxury.
The walls of the dome have large windows, so you can spend the evenings star-gazing from the comfort of your sofa. If you prefer a more rustic experience, each pod has a Dutch cooking pot and firepit outside. Outside the glamping site, you can visit Loggerheads Country Park or the nearby town of Llangollen where you can enjoy watching the stream trains or take a horse-drawn boat ride.
Wherever you’re heading in the UK this summer there is sure to be a glamping site to suit your needs – but book up quickly as campsites are filling up fast for 2022. Happy glamping!