Kate Simon

Happy glampers

By Kate Simon 19/05/2013

Vote with your wellies

Fancy a night under the stars but hate the idea of roughing it? Kate Simon looks at some top spots.

Bell tents and tipis, their colourful bunting dancing in the breeze, have become a familiar sight in Britain’s meadows. Who knew that a few brightly coloured accessories and thoughtfully strewn cushions and rugs could get so many of us back under canvas – yet we’re voting with our Cath Kidston wellies in our thousands.

But glamping isn’t restricted to tent living. Gypsy caravans, shepherd’s huts, wooden lodges and tree houses, retro campervans and trailers are all part of the craze for featherbedded al fresco holidaying. The more novel the accommodation, the more we seem to love it.

And we’re not the only ones to fall for the upmarket allure of glamping with destinations including Spain, the Low Countries, Italy and Switzerland offering everything from American Airstream trailers to thatched straw houses complete with rustic wooden beds.

For staycationers, there's no need to venture far to find your outdoor nirvana. There are plenty of places in the UK to enjoy glamour under the stars – here are some of the best…

Back to nature

With campsites on working farms in England and Wales, Feather Down Farm gives young families a wholesome taste of the country, where the kids can get up close to animals. Accommodation is in large tents that include well-equipped kitchens and a master bedroom for the adults. Open all year, sleeps up to six, prices vary from farm to farm.

Go native

At 4 Winds Lake District Tipis, with sites at Ambleside, Wasdale Head and Hoathwaite in the heart of the Lakes, families can recreate life Native American-style in 12 wigwams, sleeping four to six. Open year round, from £255 for a four-night break.

Designer chic

Superior rooms with a view come in the shape of Ecopod, near Oban in Scotland. Here, three swish geodesic domes, each sleeping two, are fitted out with designer furniture and kitchens, digital entertainment libraries, and a cedar hot tub, where you can take in views of nearby 15th-century Castle Stalker on Loch Linnhe. Open year-round, three nights from £495.

Retro styling

Glamp on four wheels in a Sixties VW van sleeping up to two adults and two children with Cornish Campers. Available to hire year round, from £210 for three nights.

For the kids

You'll find a slice of paradise  in the heart of the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales. The Willows Abersoch features two wooden homes containing one double and two single beds, power points, heating and lighting. (You have to share the bathrooms with your fellow campers.) Open March to October, from £64 per night for two adults and two children.

Total luxury

For the ultimate glamping experience, Cornwall is the place to go. Tell Wild Canvas the location of your chosen campsite and they will have a luxury bell tent pitched and ready for your arrival. You’ll find a double bed dressed with a soft duvet (there are airbeds and futons for children), a fully equipped kitchen trolley, and table and chairs set under an awning. What’s more, they’ll take it all away at the end, too. From £530 for a week for two adults and two children sharing.

Where to start

The internet is the best place to start researching glamping trips. Visit campingninja.com; canopyandstars.co.uk; pitchup.com; or goglamping.net for the best options and destinations.

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