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The beginner's guide to glamping

Glamping – what’s it all about? Well, essentially, it’s like camping, but someone sorts the accommodation out for you – be that a tent, a camping pod, a yurt, a shepherd’s hut, a treehouse…  Plenty of folk say that it’s the best of both worlds, mixing up the best bits of the outdoorsy life (the fresh air, the stargazing, the country views) with the comfort that comes from knowing you’ll have a roof of some description over your head once it comes to bedtime. So if you fancy an evening by the campfire but don’t want to give up the idea of a comfy bed, read on…

Picking your perfect site

Where your glamping style fits on the glam-o-meter is up to you: we’ve got everything from properly luxurious glamping with hot tubs (for those special weekends away with your beloved) to simple wooden camping pods (when you just need somewhere warm to hunker down for the night). For a truly memorable stay you might fancy a spot of glamping in a yurt, sorting a stay in a treehouse or cosying up in a shepherd’s hut.

Is there such a thing as family glamping? Of course! It’s a fab idea for a family holiday, often coming with the bonus of plenty of space for the kids to run about and abandon screen time in favour of marshmallows and mud pies. A shepherd’s hut might be a tad too cosy for your brood, but there are plenty of places around where you can stay in a safari tent or bell tent, or sort a lodge holiday. 

If family extends to four-legged members too, take a look at the options for glamping with dogs too – they’ll no doubt be delighted to have somewhere comfy to cuddle up between country walkies.

How does it work?

One of the truly nifty things about glamping is that is really cuts down on the amount of kit you need to bring – fab news for those who want to travel light, don’t want to invest in a whole heap of camping paraphernalia or have a car that’s already stuffed full of beach kit, bikes and other holiday essentials.

The exact details will vary from site to site, of course, but you can certainly count on being able to turn up without a tent or a sleeping mat. In camping pods you’ll most likely need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow; in other places you’re likely to find bedding and towels provided. At smarter places you can also expect to find such things as firepits, fully-equipped kitchens and ensuite bathrooms; you might even want to indulge yourself by glamping with a hot tub (you’ve earned it, right?)

Finding out exactly what’s in your chosen glamping spot is a cinch – each of our listings is designed to give you as much info as possible about what’s included, so be sure to check the details before you set off to make sure you don’t leave any vital components behind.. In many cases, you’ll find that the majority of stuff you need is supplied, making getting out to the country life a simple case of chucking a toothbrush, some walking boots and a couple of changes of clothes in your bag and hopping on a train (although possibly not if you’re bringing the kids…). 

What about food?

A vital part of any holiday, and a glamping break is no different. If you’re going for the full-on fresh-air life, pick a place that’s got a barbecue or one that allows campfires so you can burn cook your dinner over flames in the glorious open air. (Top tip: these are even better if you can find a local farm shop to supply the goodies – and you get a warm glow from supporting local business too).

But let’s face it, there may occasionally be times when the weather doesn’t give its blessing to such endeavours. This, friends, is where glamping really comes into its own. In many cases, you’ll find your chosen place has a kitchen of some description – be it a properly swish number with all mod cons or just a little corner with a microwave and kettle. Whether it’s a full meal created in a lodge kitchen or just a cuppa served out on the steps of your shepherd’s hut, it’s bound to be extra tasty because of that good dollop of fresh air.

Of course, you may also wish to say a massive ‘nope, ta’ to the idea of cooking and other associated chores. And why not? Handily plenty of places offer glamping near a pub – or you could go the whole hog and stay in a pub’s own glamping site for the ultimate in short staggers back to your pad.

Where can I go glamping?

The possibilities are endless… and the options are growing all the time. Given the, ahem, ‘changeable’ climate, glamping in the UK is a hugely popular choice. Farm stays, seaside stays, forest retreats – all with the promise of a comfy bed and protection from the elements? Sounds like a winner. Check out some of our choices for glamping in England, glamping in Wales, glamping in Scotland and glamping in Northern Ireland here.

Beyond that? Well, the world’s your (comfy, cosy) oyster. Why not spend your summer hols glamping in France or glamping in Spain? Or take your holiday in Croatia, Portugal, Colombia, South Africa… seriously, there’s plenty to pick from.

What about glamping in winter?

Sure, why not – we all need a fix of fresh air and nature even in the depths of winter, eh? Lots of our glamping sites are open all year, with handy features like woodburning stoves and underfloor heating to make sure you stay nice and toasty.

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