Glamping in England has become a popular way to take a relaxing holiday and live a little more outdoors. The term “glamping” is used for a form of camping and escapism that is more glamorous than traditional camping in a tent. The range of accommodation varies widely from tepee’s, yurts, buses, shepherd’s huts, and I’ve even seen a boat moored in a field with not a drop of water in sight!
Still not sure what glamping is? Here are some dictionary definitions:
wikipedia.com: “glamping is a portmanteau of "glamorous" and "camping", and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with "traditional" camping”.
merriam-webster.com: “outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping”.
dictionary.com: “the activity of camping with some of the comforts and luxuries of home: Imagine glamping in a carpeted tent with a comfy queen-size bed”.
When it comes to glamping, it seems that anything goes, and the weirder or wackier the better. Perhaps there are some bragging rights for the most unusual place and accommodation to sleep in. Here are some examples, starting with our own experience.
Well, we had to give it a try!
The Prince Regent is cosy romantic retreat that was once a fairground showman’s carriage that toured the west country from 1894. It has been beautifully restored with many original features and is set against a large raised covered deck area that has stunning views across an apple orchard towards Bodiam Castle in Sussex. The decked area also gives access to your own kitchen and bathroom. We stayed for a week in the middle of September and could not fault the site, accommodation, or the views. It was wonderful!
With its mix of being outdoors while still having a kitchen and bathroom, it certainly didn't put us off the idea of going glamping. Very recently, we stayed in a glamping pod in northwest Scotland during our October North Coast 500 road trip - and there's a good chance that we'll seek out other unusual forms of "holiday accommodation" in the years to come.
This is more of a family experience and would top off a great day out at Warwick Castle. The Knight’s Village is set in sheltered woodland within the Warwick Castle estate and continues the medieval theme from the castle. The glamping accommodation is based on the tents used by medieval knights, but with the added luxury of wooden floors and electricity. On site is a restaurant styled as a medieval banqueting hall and in the evening, there is family entertainment from Warwick Castle’s knights. Surely a great adventure for the whole family!
Another take on glamping is to have luxury accommodation, but without the electricity. Feather Down Farms have sites all over England and their philosophy is to go off-grid and slow down. Cooking, heating, and even relaxing in a hot tub are all wood-powered, so by the end of your stay you’ll be expert fire builders!
All the glamping sites are on working farms, so there is the chance to meet the farmers and get up close with some of the animals. You can even choose your holiday location by what animals are kept at the farm!
If you want to have a great glamping experience just a stone's throw from the beach and have all the activities that a holiday park offers, then Haven may have just what you want. The type of glamping accommodation varies from site to site, but includes Safari Tents, Yurts, Geo Domes, Supertents, and Pods. The level of equipment depends on the site, and some even have TVs. Sounds like a great way for a young family to escape and have happy adventures outdoors!
Just look at these two Yurts, aren’t they wonderful?
The interior of the Secret Island Yurt appears so comfortable, I can see us move right in! The Yurt sits beside a quiet lake and has its own private hot tub. There is even a rowing boat to use. Fantastic for a quiet getaway!
As for The Roundhouse... that certainly reminds me of the reconstructed roundhouses I’ve seen in history programs, though it's far more luxurious inside. It would be a difficult decision to chose between these two great examples!
When we pick holiday cottages, we usually hunt for the characterful or downright quirky. And it's nice to know that character and quirkiness are just as available when it comes to glamping in England.
I love the Bluebird Bus. This is another off-grid example, in Devon this time, tucked away on a secluded, family-run farm next to a vineyard. This former 1970’s Canadian school bus has been converted into a bright and surprisingly spacious holiday home, and has the benefit of a cosy log burner. Wow, what a place for a holiday!
Staying with the vehicular theme, what about holidaying in a vintage horse box? I can just see people’s faces now as I tell them where we are staying!
Joking aside, though, as Hattie the Horse Box in Hawkhurst in Kent, looks like a very interesting conversion. The interior is cosy, and the outdoor area offers a fire pit and hot tub. This will make a lovely quirky holiday, especially since it is located in a beautiful part of Kent with lots of things close by.
Glamping in England is definitely not a "one size fits all" proposition. You can choose between modern and traditional, functional and quirky, tucked away or more easily accessible. Glamping hosts are clearly letting their imagination run riot when it comes to offering accommodation - and if you'd like to escape and spend more time outdoors, then you can find all sorts of objects that have been converted into holiday accommodation.