7 of the best glamping spots in the UK

Mar 7, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new infromation.

With the U.K.’s roadmap out of lockdown in place, we can start planning some adventures again. Finally!

From 12 April at the earliest, staying in a self-catering holiday home or campsite may be allowed again — though that date may be pushed back. While it’s not a hotel or spa situation, it’s certainly a start. Where’s your tent?

Traditional camping isn’t for everyone, myself included — pitching a tent, not having a loo, not being able to charge your devices easily — it can be rather challenging, especially if you have children with you.

So why not go glamping? “Glam camping” is basically camping with all the added luxuries and conveniences that would come with a hotel. Plus, you can sleep in some really unusual setups. From yurts to shepherds’ huts to treehouses to safari tents, you can be at one with nature without compromising on all those creature comforts. It’s certainly our preferred way to spend the night “al fresco.”

Here’s a round-up of our favourite options throughout the U.K.

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1. Lost Meadow Treepod — Bodmin, Cornwall

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)
(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

With Cornwall being top of many peoples’ staycation lists every year, this forest retreat in Broom Park Farm in Bodmin is perfect for true adventure seekers. You’ll literally be hanging from a tree in a giant sphere while you slumber. It’s been described as a “wild experience,” as you’ll feel the movement of the small, dark space when you’re curled up in your sleeping bag when the cool night air settles in.

The beds are in the pod, the loo and showers are across the woods and a kitchen hut and fire circle are nearby. This rental is ideal for travellers seeking a totally remote glamping experience, as there are 20-acres of woodland to explore, and there’s river fishing. You’ll also have the expanse of Bodmin Moor in one direction and the sea in the other. The owner can even organise a sightseeing flight over the grounds.

Price: £495 for a four-night minimum stay. Book at Canopy & Stars.

2. The Woodsman’s Treehouse — Crafty Camping, Chard, Dorset

(Photo courtesy of Crafty Camping)

This extraordinary tree-based abode has everything you could need and more — an upper deck hot tub, rooftop sauna and even a slide. Everyone needs a slide. No dodgy camping stove here, either — there’s an outside pizza oven and a BBQ. The place is awash with other magical touches, too, including an outdoor shower, hammock and a giant copper bath. The treehouse sleeps two and is located in a quiet corner of the Crafty Camping site near Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast. There are also other quirky glamping options to choose from including a shepherd’s hut, tipi and bell tents. All of the sites are isolated for maximum privacy. And a nice extra touch is that the Woodman’s Treehouse is sustainably built with no impact on the trees around it.

Price: £990 for a two-night minimum. Book at Mallinson Camping.

3. Curlew Lodge — Catchpenny Safari Lodges, Fife, Scotland

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

At Catchpenny, eight beautiful canvas lodges sit on a stretch of the coast looking over the Firth of Forth. This one comfortably sleeps six in a mixture of king size and single beds, so it’s a great one for the family. Each one is warmed by the central woodburning stove and the kitchens are made from the owners’ trees. As well as being super comfortable, what makes Curlew Lodge stand out is its location and proximity to wildlife. Watch dolphins leap in the firth, gannets and waders in the sea and there are miles of coastal wilderness to explore. Ardross Farm Shop us just 500 metres away for delicious supplies — including marshmallow you can toast while gazing at the stars.

Price: £395 for a four-night minimum. Book at Catchpenny. Note there is limited availability until September.

4. The Airstream at Wildernest — Ceredigion, Wales

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)
(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

There’s something pretty rock and roll about an Airstream — and this one at Wildernest in Cardiganshire has been described as “26 feet of sleek retro Americana” built in the mid-1960s and revamped twice since. There’s a bed and a pull-out sofa, a shower room with a flushing loo, a little kitchen and a wood-burner to make everything feel snug and warm. Wildernest is a lovely farm with 16 acres to roam and there is also a shared Long Barn with a trunk of board games and a piano.

Price: £211 for a three-night minimum. Book at Canopy & Stars.

5. Sangars Showmans Wagon — Lanreath, Cornwall

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

Back to the West Country, If you’re a fan of the circus, you must stay in this 19th-century restored showman’s wagon near the village of Lanreath. It’s a riot of colour and you’ll fall asleep under a hand-painted ceiling of swallows and hedgerow flowers, surrounded by bouquets, heirlooms and antique rugs. And, you guessed it, there’s a hot tub, too.

The area is super peaceful with just the local wildlife for company. The facilities aren’t in the wagon — there’s a woodshed at the back with a flushing loo and across the way is a cabin housing the kitchen and shower room. If you want to get back to civilisation for a while, the town of Looe isn’t too far away and there are a shop and a few pubs reachable on foot. The owners will greet you with prosecco and scones — and fill you in on some circus tales!

Price: £300 for a three-night minimum. Book at Canopy & Stars.

6. Hobbit Pod — Camp Katur, Bedale, Yorkshire

(Photo courtesy of Katur Camping)
(Photo courtesy of Camp Katur)

On this 250-acre woodland estate, Camp Katur is a real off-grid experience offering a range of unusual glamping options. Our favourite is a traditional wooden Hobbit Pod — totally rustic, full of charm and located within an enchanted woodland. The communal kitchen hut and loos are a two-minute walk away. All the accommodation in the glamping village is well spaced out and equipped with everything that you will need to enjoy your stay while having no difficulty complying with social distancing measures, according to the website. Activities available include quad biking, trekking, segway tours and a treetop adventure course.

Price: £130 for two nights. Book at Kapur Camping.

7. Shepherd’s Hut — Wriggly Tin, Hambledon, Hampshire

(Photo courtesy of Wriggly Tin)

Step back in time to a simpler way of life at Wriggly Tin. Set in a secluded meadow and surrounded by an ancient bluebell wood in the South Downs National Park, the huts and cottages are designed and beautifully decorated with a vintage touch. There are six huts to choose from (but according to the website, they book up fast) and two come with hot tubs. All huts have dear names — the one pictured above is called Butser, the camp’s first shepherd’s hut and is super romantic with a hot tub. There is a wood-burning stove and a comfy double bed and a clever pull-out dining table.

Price: £198 for a two-night minimum. Book at Wriggly Tin.

Bottom line

You will certainly have a staycation to remember with one of these really unique glamping spots. Camping can be uncomfortable, cold and a bit undignified. But none of those things will bother you here.

Featured photo by Jan Sztemon/Getty Images.

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