I love holidays so much that I started a holiday planning service, in the middle of a global pandemic. But I’m not a complete idiot and I think that for most people in the UK, going on an international holiday this summer, is something that we can hope for, but not guarantee. Last year, I know that lots of people went camping, as a way of getting out of their houses and seeing friends. I know I did, and although the campsite wasn’t quite up to our expectations, it was still an excellent way to gather to hang out and to let the kids have a chance to let off some steam.
So I thought it may be useful to you if I put together a small but perfectly formed list of UK Glampsites – I’ve specified glamping because frankly, actual camping (in my eyes) isn’t a holiday as such – it is a break and there’s a lot to be said for putting up your own tent and surviving a night in relative comfort on an airbed.
But a real break or holiday comes when you can rock up, put your bag down and start enjoying your time away, straight away. This also means that you are catered for so where possible, I’ve found places that offer some kind of food throughout your stay – be it a meal when you turn up, eggs delivered to your tent in the morning or breakfast as standard.
- Top of the woods in Pembrokeshire. This site provides safari tents and domes as well as a few pitches for tents and one pitch for a camper van. They also provide food on a Friday night, breakfast in the mornings and a Saturday stew, for those who want it. Dogs are allowed and they also do exclusive hire, for those of us who like big gatherings
- Whitlingham Broad Campsite in Norfolk. An excellent base for exploring the broads, with plenty of kayaking and canoeing opportunities. The site offers bell tents (bring your own bedding) and a yurt which comes fully furnished – there is also a shepherds hut for a smaller family of three. The café next door serves food and there are also plenty of local delivery companies who bring your orders to your tent – an great option for those who want to eat outdoors, without having to cook it your self.
- Haddon copse farm in Dorset. A small site, with a few safari tents available to hire as well as pitches for your own tent. It’s based on a farm and their produce is fresh and organic – they can bring you round eggs and bread and butter in the mornings, as well as sausages and chicken for the evenings. They do not want groups or dogs here, but this would be an lovely option for a get away with just your nearest and dearest.
- The Batch Campsite in Somerset. There is just the one yurt to hire here, as well as a wild camping field, but it caught my eye because it just looks so idyllic. The team can bring you local produce to your tent and help you with a fire if you need it, and they also get rid of your rubbish for you (anyone who has ended up with a bag of rubbish in the car after a weekend camping will know that this is a fairly valuable service!)
- Church Farm Ardeley in Hertfordshire. This is quite a big operation (170 acres to be precise), with glamping, huts and camping all on a working farm which runs activities alongside everything else. There is a café and a farm shop on site, so all your catering needs have been thought of, and in non Covid times there is also a pub onsite. They have allocated private areas so you can camp alongside mates, although they do specify that they are a ‘quiet’ campsite.
- Nantseren in Wales. This place deserves a special mention, because it looks so fabulous. They have 4 pre-pitched accommodations (one of which is a bell tent, all sleeping 4 people) a communal barn, with cooking facilities and a wood burning stove AND a wood fired hot tub. The place is off grid in the Brecon Beacons and although there are no obvious food options they are near several lovely market towns. This would be an excellent place to come with a group of mates – it would make a very special place to re-connect.
- The Green Escape in Surrey. I wanted to mention this place because again, it looks so great. A site consisting of shepherds huts, which in total sleep 22 people in 7 huts (there are 15 beds and they can also put up a bell tent sleeping an extra 3 people) so it would need some figuring out if you were a few groups of families. There is also a building for communal gathering area for the evenings, as well as a zip wire and a wood fired oven for the best pizzas. There is something very appealing about this site and it would make an ideal place for a group of mates to gather to reconvene after some time away from eachother!
It goes without saying that each individual site has their own Covid regulations and opening times and dates – all info should be on their websites. You may also have noticed that I haven’t included the well-known sites like Eweleze and Wowo – I figured that a lot of you may know about them already! However, if you do think there is a glaring omission, please do let me know and I’ll add it on!
Thanks for reading x