Luxury camping: posh on a budget
There are still some uneducated types who go 'Wot?' when you mention 'luxury' and 'camping' in the same breath, but most people now know that the two terms can fit together as snugly as sheep wool insulation in a top of the range camping pod. (We refer to these people as 'Pitchup.com types'). Luxury campsites can have a restored gypsy caravan, a geodesic dome, a retro VW campervan, a lodge with double glazing and central heating, a tipi, wigwam, bell tent or yurt, and pretty much anything else.
If you're the type that normally shys away from a holiday with 'luxury' in the title, purely from necessity lest your bank manager hunts you down (again), luxury camping is probably the only type of luxury holiday you can do on a budget. A large yurt or camping pod can be as little as a tenner a night each if you're sharing with a few friends – and by 'a few' here we mean 'three or four', not 'having to get your entire extended family to chip in so you can afford the accommodation but end up sleeping in the sink', as might happen with other luxury type hols. Some of the yurts and wigwams around the country even come with four-poster beds, although it's not recommended for all six of you to crash in it to get 'the best luxury camping experience'. Unless of course that's your thing.
So, all ready? Hurrah! Here's the rundown on luxury camping.
If it's your first time going a bit more upmarket to camp and you're not sure what to look for, just browse through the categories on the Pitchup.com homepage. You can look for sites with tipis, yurts or wigwams – or check out our sites with camping pods or bell tents.
Or maybe you'd like a site where you can hire a lodge – there are several themes to choose from in our lodge sites and other accommodation, from lodges in a forest location to lodges by a lake or mountain. Our lodges listings are also where you'll find sites with other types of luxury camping, like gypsy caravans, shepherd's huts, jumbo tent pitches and even geodesic domes.
If you're looking for suggestions for specific sites, here are some you can try:
A bell tent in Norfolk: Any site called Magical Camping gets our vote. This site in the meadows at Park Farm has bell tents and tipis sleeping up to six from £85 a night. Nearby there's the North Norfolk Coast half an hour's drive away, the Dinosaur Park at Lenwade ten minutes' away and the Good Pub Guide Darby's half a mile away.
A camping pod in North Wales: Book one of the two camping pods at Bryn Dwr Camping Pods, an open all year site in North Wales. You'll be close to Chester Zoo, Chirk Castle and all the cycling and walking of the Offa’s Dyke Path, as well as clay-pigeon shooting and fly fishing if it takes your fancy. Pods sleep up to four and cost £40 a night.
A shepherd's hut in Dorset: Longthorns Farm at Wareham has shepherd's huts with woodburning stove, double bed and quilts, kitchen, fire pit and with all charcoal, wood and kindling provided. The Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is on the doorstep, or take a day out at the Tank Museum or Lulworth Castle. Huts sleep up to four from £80 a night.
And...a yurt or a bell tent in Cornwall: What's not to love about resident alpacas called Starsky and Hutch? Or an open air amphitheatre and a shower in a converted piggery? Little Upton Boutique Belltents has paddock or pony pitch bell tents five metres in diameter and comfortably sleeping up to four. You'll be near the Camel Trail cycle route, the lakes at Siblyback for fishing and watersports,, walking routes on Bodmin Moor and the hamlet of Upton Cross with its world champion cheese, Cornish Blue. The yurt is available on Pitchup.com for £50 a night and the bell tent £40.