Glamping is far more than a tent with a heater these days. The growing popularity of staycations means top-end tipees, safari tents with hot tubs and all manner of treehouses, eco pods, train carriages and beach huts are now renovated, packed with home-away-from-home luxuries and ready to rent.
Glamping is a great and economical way to head off with the whole family. With special offers, midweek discounts and lots of venues to choose from you can find places to glamp for less than £80 a night for four of you.
Hidden away in glades and woodland lie these four romantic yurts. The yurts have wooden decks and hammocks (perfect for sunsets) and inside there are cosy sheepskin rugs, double beds and wood-burning stoves. The Shepperton Yurt has a romantic open-air roll top bath as well.
Each yurt is located at the edge of its own secluded glade taking advantage of the sunny aspect, the valley views, ancient woodlands and flower-rich hay meadows.
Short breaks start from £290 for two people, extra guests cost £45. The yurts can accommodate up to four people.
Set in the grounds of Leeds Castle, these eight tudor tents boast one of the best backdrops of all glamping venues.
The castle was once used by King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and has over 500 acres of parkland and a large traditional maze.
The striped pavilions have four-poster beds, fur throws and wood-burning stoves and can accommodate a maximum of two adults and two children. Prices start from £100 per night and the rental season runs until the end of September.
Perhaps the quirkiest place to stay in the UK, and also the coolest.
This treehouse in Northumberland has a triangular loft roof that you can open up for the ultimate view of the stars and sky.
Sky Den was created by Channel 4 presenter George Clarke, for his Amazing Spaces show and features innovative furniture hidden in the walls and a bi-fold glass window opening onto the deck in the tree tops.
There’s also a wood-burning stove and corrugated iron lookout point.
Located at Calvert Trust Kielder within the award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Park, guests have nature on their doorstep and can enjoy a host of outdoor activities including watersports and climbing. The Sky Den sleeps four and can be rented from £150 per night.
A great choice for families, the farm lies on the edge of the Forest of Bowland and has hens, dogs, cats, ducks and rabbits and guests can even help feed and milk the goats. The River Wyre is nearby and perfect for a swim or a paddle. There’s a communal chicken coop, where guests can collect their eggs, and the farm caters for large groups and parties.
The large canvas tents at Dolphinholme Farm are well stocked, have hideaway beds in cupboards (as well as proper beds in the master) and one of the tents comes with a hot tub. Tents from £269 for a four-night midweek break.
Knightstone Farm Safari Retreat, Exeter
Set in an idyllic farm, this spacious two-bedroom safari tent lies in the heart of the Exeter countryside and has its own hot tub. Guests can look after their own chicken coop and collect their eggs for breakfast in the morning and the farm even allows guests to bring their own horse or pony to keep on site!
The owners can have campfire packs and BBQ packs ready for your arrival and guests can hire fishing tackle for an afternoon fishing on Knightstone lake. The safari tent sleeps four and is priced from £80 a night.
This family-run Tipi campsite is set in the picturesque Wye Valley by the waterside and combines camping with canoeing expeditions. Guests can also go horse riding, cycling and fishing. The luxury tipis have comfy double futons, outdoor fire pits and a hamper full of camping accessories. The minimum age for canoeing is 4 years old.
The tipis sleep up to seven and are priced from £220 per night.
Where to find the best glamping holidays
Whether it’s a romantic gypsy caravan you want or a lodge, treehouse or cabin in the woods, there are several websites that have a great range of places to glamp. Sawday’s Canopy and Stars offers Europe-wide options and is a great place to get inspiration and see some quirkier glamping venues. You can also search for hen parties, select just treetop options and find places that will cater for larger parties.
Go Glamping has good deals and a huge range of properties in the UK and Europe, we particularly like the available searches for dog-friendly glamping spots.
Cool Camping also offers reviews and a Europe-wide database and lists nearby campsites and amenities.
Chantal Borciani is travel editor at High50, responsible for food, travel and business. She reports on destinations and wellness and specialises in travel trends for over 50s. Twitter: @ChantalBorch