If you don’t fancy camping, glamping sites offer the chance to enjoy beautiful rural surroundings in comfort while still experiencing the great outdoors. Here is our pick of the best glamping sites across the UK for a unique holiday.
Best glamping sites in England
Yurtcamp, Newton Abbot, Devon
This village of 22 yurts is set around a green where kids can play while parents relax around a campfire. The onsite activities include a zipwire, woodland assault course, rope bridges and a wooded fort. Every yurt is fully insulated and equipped with real beds, a log burner and fire pit. Prices from £576 for four nights in August.
Camp Katur, Bedale, Yorkshire
Camp Katur is the perfect place for active families, with quad bike trekking, segway tours and a treetop adventure course with a climbing wall. There’s also a rope bridge and sky-high zip wire. Safari tents sleep four.
The Challoners, East Sussex
Set within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Challoners is made up of two beautifully-crafted oak huts, a shepherd’s hut for sleeping and an adjacent cabin for living space.
The property sleeps just two, and is ideal for anyone just dipping a toe into the world of glamping. Inside the shepherd’s hut you’ll find a luxury bedroom and stylish bathroom, hidden behind hand-carved oak doors, all kitted-out with under-floor heating. The living cabin is similarly chic, with a small but well-equipped kitchen, cosy corner seating area and a second bathroom with a hot shower.
Nink’s Wagon, Shropshire
Owned by a former circus performer, Nink’s Wagon is a vintage showman’s wagon, once known as ‘a palace on wheels’, that’s nearly 100 years old. The interior is highly decorated and features an original panelled sitting room and cut glass mirrors. There’s a cosy built-in bed, a modest kitchen, a wood-burning stove plus, a heated bathroom hut with a proper loo and shower.
The farmland is within the grounds of a former country estate, complete with a peaceful lake and lots of pretty country walks. Visit Medieval Shrewsbury, with its museums, restaurants, castle and theatre, or Llangollen, Chirk and Whittington Castles, all just a short drive away.
Bensfield Treehouse, Sussex
This luxury treehouse set on 44 acres of private Sussex farmland is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway at any time of year. Built around a magnificent oak tree, the house is reached via a swinging rope-bridge that leads into the open plan circular living space.
Featuring a king-sized bed, en-suite and wide screen TV, guests can enjoy a life of luxury. It even comes with WiFi and crucially for winter visitors, is centrally heated too. Visitors all receive a hamper on arrival, filled with lovely organic produce including local apple juice, sausages, bacon, bread and eggs.
Surrounding fields and woodlands are free to roam in, or Wadhurst and Royal Tunbridge Wells are just a short drive away, if the peace and quiet gets too much! The Treehouse sleeps two.
Lynher and Tamar, Cornwall
Set in the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, with dramatic views across Plymouth Sound and the docks, Lynher and Tamar are two handsome shepherd’s huts, each sleeping up to four. Each bespoke hut has been hand-crafted from the finest English oak and is furnished inside with a distinct 1950’s style that echoes a simpler time.
Both huts include a double bed and bunks, a wood-burning stove and a movable kitchen pod for self-catering. Alternatively, cafes and restaurants are available within the park. Bathroom facilities can be found just a short walk away. The cosy huts are off-grid, so lighting is provided by solar panels and candles, and on a clear winter night the fire pit outside is a perfect spot for star gazing.
There’s plenty of history to explore, from formal gardens, stately Tudor homes and a Bronze Age burial mound, to coastal paths and deer parks boasting inhabitants descended from Henry VIII’s donations.
The Apple Tree House, Somerset
The Apple Tree House is a large and luxurious Treehouse nestled in the boughs of two mature lime trees on a small farm in Somerset. Combining chic boutique styling with creature comforts including a private hot tub, wood burning stove, free Wi-fi and smart TV it provides a picture perfect escape.
The property has three bedrooms plus a large living room with comfy leather sofas, a dining area and a shaker style kitchen. Guests can also use the farm’s indoor heated swimming pool.
The Railway Carriage Cottage, Somerset
Located beside the West Somerset Steam Railway Line, the Railway Carriage is a unique replica railway carriage designed to look like a period GWR Brake Van. Perfect for a unique and memorable getaway, guests can spend evenings on the decking verandah or enjoying a drink in the hot-tub while watching the trains chug past.
Enjoy walks on Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the South West Coastal Path or choose from one of the many other outdoor activities close to the property including: horse riding, quad biking, coasteering, clay pigeon shooting and mountain biking.
Shepherd Huts, Bluegrass and Ryegrass
Situated between the magnificent Northumbrian coastline and the Cheviot Hills, Beacon Hill Farm is surrounded by 50 acres of ancient beech woods, and 300 acres of parkland and grass fields.
Both luxurious Shepherd’s Huts Bluegrass and Ryegrass are located in a south-facing wildflower meadow. The 30 feet long properties feature three rooms and a westerly-facing terrace, with heating and hot water provided by a gas boiler, plus with radiators and a cosy log burning stove, they’re toasty year round.Modern comforts include Wi-Fi, Bose bluetooth speaker for use with smart phone or tablet, and a digital radio. The bedroom in each hut boasts a luxurious bed and a Smart TV..
The properties are on the doorstep of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, and Beacon Hill has its own purpose built observatory with a range of telescopes for viewing the magical night skies plus a spa with indoor heated swimming pool.
Hop Pickers Hideaway at Hop Pickers Rural Retreats, Worcestershire
Tucked away in the woodland overlooking the fields towards the magnificent Malvern Hills is Hop Pickers Hideaway, a lovingly hand crafted Shepherd’s Hut.
Inside is a fully fitted kitchen, underfloor heating, wood burning stove, king size bed with fine linen, fluffy towels and bathrobes. Outside is a decked balcony with outdoor furniture, fire pit and hot tub.
It’s just six miles from The Malvern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and home to the famous Malvern Theatre and Morgan Motor factory and is close to plenty of National Trust properties. p
The Tree House, Lavender Hill Cottages, Somerset
Situated on the edge of the beautiful conservation village of Halse near Exmoor, the fairy-tale Tree House promises an unforgettable glamping holiday for a family of four. The five-star boutique property’s gorgeous master bedroom is entered by climbing a magical spiral staircase, and children can glimpse at the starlit Somerset skies from the skylights and quirky triangular windows.
Guests will love the property’s little luxuries such as under floor heating, wood burning stove, outdoor hot-tub, Wi-fi and TV. Activities nearby include: cycling and walking, steam trains to the seaside on England’s longest and best heritage railway, cheddar gorge and caves, family beaches and themed adventure playgrounds.
The Shepherds Hut, Durham
Newly opened this summer is The Shepherd’s Hut located in beautiful unspoilt rolling countryside in Lower Teesdale on the Durham/Yorkshire border. Perfect for a romantic getaway, it’s extremely well equipped with a luxury two-seater sofa, Hobbit wood burning stove, Neff hob, granite worktops, spacious shower, and king size bed.
Conveniently situated within easy reach of Northern England’s most beautiful scenery and historic sites with an abundance of walking and cycling routes available right from the door.
The Shepherd’s Hut, Cornwall
Offering peace and tranquility in its own private grounds and situated close to many spectacular locations on the Lands End peninsula. The Shepherd’s Hut is positioned to both the afternoon and evening sunshine.
Guests staying here can get close to nature without giving up life’s luxuries as the Shepherd’s Hut is equipped with a king size bed, log burning stove, underfloor heating, fully integrated bathroom including a large drench shower, plus full sized cooker, fridge and television.
Discover St Loy’s Cove just a short walk away through an enchanting wooded valley and explore the South West Coastal footpath or the rugged moorland of West Penwith in Cornwall with all its myths and legends. The Shepherd’s Hut sleeps two guests.
Yurts at Uppergate Farm, Yorkshire
Nestled in 10 acres of secluded woodland, the craftsman-made Yurts at Uppergate Farm offer a luxurious break with a difference. The two yurts are brimming with mod-cons including a fully equipped kitchen and shower room, plus under-floor heating and a log stove.
On the spacious deck is a private hot-tub and BBQ, and the heated swimming pool is a short walk away. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the Peak District National Park and Holme Valley, and after a day discovering Yorkshire’s hidden gems, guests can indulge in a hearty meal at the nearby pub.
Tarset Tor, Northumberland
Stay at Tarset Tor in Northumberland in stylish two floor bothies. The fully furnished mini houses come with en-suite bathrooms, kitchen areas, woodburners, TVs, DVDs, ipod docks and can sleep up to eight people plus dogs. They are insulated and heated and have a private veranda for sunnier days. There is plenty to explore nearby including Kielder Water and Forest Park, Hadrian’s Wall and the Northumberland coastline. pitchup.com/campsites/England/North_East/Northumberland/Hexham/tarset-tor/
Best glamping sites in Wales
North Wales’ slate region will receive its official nomination as a Unesco World Heritage site later in January. Martin Smith, of glamping specialist Campsites.co.uk has picked out a selection brilliant places to stay and explore the area.
Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
The Llechwedd Slate Caverns near the mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia are one of North Wales’ most famous slate attractions and provide a window into this region’s extraordinary heritage.
The above-and-below ground adventure includes hilltop tours to old mining sites and a descent on Britain’s steepest cable railway to discover caverns and tunnels below ground. Pitched on the steep hillside are six safari lodges with terraces offering views across the rugged landscape and quarries. The glamping site won a Visit Wales Gold Award in 2018, and despite the rocky setting the lodges sleep up to five and have solid wooden floors, welcoming beds, their own showers and flushing toilets. Wood burners keep things cosy. coolcamping.com/glamping/uk/wales/north-wales/gwynedd/blaenau-ffestiniog/670-llechwedd-glamping
Coed Helen Holiday Park, Caernarfon
The Snowdonia Slate trail runs for 83 miles in a circular route through the mountainous terrain of North Wales. Those who want to dip into a short section of the fabulous trail can stay in one of the brand new luxury glamping pods at Coed Helen Holiday Park, which is just five miles from the trail at Waunfawr, where a six mile section of the route takes walkers through wooded hillside to open moorland for views of the extensive slate workings at Nantile Valley. The luxury glamping pods at Coed Helen offer the perfect chance to rest up, with space for six thanks to a mezzanine level and decking with a fire pit. campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/caernarfon/coed-helen-holiday-park
Glanmor Isaf Farm, Bangor
The National Slate Museum in Caernarfon is a frozen-in-time picture of the lives of Victorian quarrymen and engineers. Combine a visit with a stay at Glanmor Isaf Farm, just 10 miles away in Bangor, in a spacious safari tent hideaway pitched in an apple and pear orchard. The atmosphere on the traditional family farm is incredibly relaxed, with the views of Snowdonia and the Carneddau Mountains unchanged from the days of the slate miners. The luxurious glamping tents sleep up to five adults and one child with a double bed, bunk bed and cupboard bed. campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/bangor/ogwen-bank-country-park
Ogwen Bank Country Park, Bethesda, Bangor
The Bethesda stretch of the National Slate Trail offers three different routes of discovery. Head north to Bangor for an easy six mile jaunt to the sea; go south west to Llanberis for a seven mile trek along riverside paths and wild moors through the heart of the old slate industry, or head south east for a longer 11 mile stretch to Capel Curig, discovering the blue cascading slate tips of the Penrhyn Quarry and the beautiful Nant Ffrancon valley. Ogwen Bank Country Park is perfectly located for starting all three routes – for a stylish stay choose the modern VIP pod which has an outdoor hot tub for soaking away sore feet. campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/bangor/ogwen-bank-country-park
Henbant Permaculture Farm and Campsite, Caernarfon
Inigo Jones Slateworks was established in 1861 and is one of the last surviving examples of a fully operational slateworks in Caernarfon. Today the workshop is a thriving local business supplying slate products across the world, and visitors can see craftsmen using traditional skills and machinery to cut, shape and polish slate slabs into a host of products. Stay in the off-grid Woodland Roundhouse at Henbant Permaculture Farm and soak up the views of meadows and woodland, mountains and sea. The roundhouse sleeps five and was built from materials found nearby. campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/caernarfon/henbant-permaculture-farm-and-campsite
Pen y Bont, Bala
Bala Lake narrow gauge railway follows a pretty nine-mile return route alongside Bala Lake, with mountain views of Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy. Guests ride steam locomotives that are more than 100 years old and were first used in the Dinorwic and Penrhyn slate quarries. Pen y Bont is a campsite just 100 metres from the shores of Bala Lake. Couples can stay in a charming bow-top gypsy caravan, which is warm, cosy and glamourous. Outside is a BBQ, fire pit and picnic bench.campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/bala/pen-y-bont-touring-park
Smugglers Cove Campsite in Aberdyfi
Smugglers Cove Campsite is set in an old slate works on the edge of the River Dyfi opposite Ynyshir Bird Reserve. There are three spots for camping, but adventurous couples can choose the quirky glamping boat The Boy John. There’s room for two, the interior is comfy and cosy and the views are stunning – keep an eye out for the famous Dyfi ospreys catching their fish dinner. campsites.co.uk/search/campsites-in-wales/gwynedd/aberdyfi/smugglers-cove-campsite
Gorse Yurt, Ceredigion
Set in the heart of the Ceredigion countryside, not far from the beautiful coastline of Cardigan Bay, Gorse Yurt is a hand-crafted rustic yurt on a remote smallholding surrounded by open farmland, wooded hills and abundant wildlife. Inside, almost all of the furniture has been hand-made, including the huge comfy bed, futon, table and chairs and the ‘wardrobe’, which is actually a cleverly-concealed compost loo! The main yurt sleeps three and there’s plenty of outdoor space too with a large shady deck with a bbq and a separate fire pit for huddling around to watch the dramatic night skies. There’s a private hot shower in an adjacent shepherd’s hut, with washing-up facilities and charger points in a converted stone barn next door. Two well-behaved dogs are also welcome at no extra charge. Forest mountain biking and hiking trails are right on the doorstep, with abundant wildlife including owls, red kites, herons, hares and red squirrels. qualityunearthed.co.uk/glamping/wales/cardigan-bay/yurts/gorse-yurt
Best glamping sites in Scotland
Chesters, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
Deer, pheasants and partridges roam the grounds on this site, and there’s also a tree house for kids, a mini beastie-safari, climbing nets and river fishing. Plus, there’s a fruit and veg garden where guests can pick their own. The pet-friendly canvas lodges sleep up to six and have their own hot tubs, shower and toilet. Four nights starting 12 August costs £650. www.campsites.co.uk/go/28152
Ecocamp Glenshee, Blairgowrie, Perthshire
On the edge of Perthshire’s Cairngorms, Ecocamp Glenshee has biking, kayaking and mountaineering on its doorstep. If camping isn’t your thing, other accommodation options include a restored 1940s Goods Wagon with a double bed, or a shepherd’s hut, so there’s plenty of options for a comfortable stay. And, on site there’s solar power and no light pollution, making the site great for stargazing. Four nights from 12 August costs £440 for four sharing. www.campsites.co.uk/go/23934
Loch Tay, Highlands
Tucked away high on a hill with breathtaking views of a Central Highlands loch, Loch Tay Highland Lodges provides a luxury glamping experience amid some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland. Facilities include Wi-Fi, a TV and games room, and the on-site Boathouse restaurant. Looking over the Ben Lawers mountain range and Loch Tay, there is a choice of accommodation here including the funky looking one bedroom geodesic domes. Each dome comes with wood burning stove, reindeer hides, bean bags and oil lanterns. However, visitors will need to bring along their own bedding, towels, crockery and cutlery. The domes do not have electricity, toilets or cooking facilities but guests will find all they need for this in the communal amenities block and camper kitchen. Two night stays this September are currently on offer for £135, down from £150. Domes can sleep up to four people. Book at Pitchup.com