7 of the Best Family Glamping Sites in the UK

Many people tell me that they are not quite ready for “full-on” camping but do like the idea of getting more fresh air and a bit of outdoor living. To those people I say you must try glamping!

Glamping is the perfect compromise, particularly for families. You have all the benefits of being outside – fresh air, freedom for children to play and acres of space to explore. But you also have those home comforts such as a luxurious double bed, carpets and rugs underfoot and perhaps even a cosy log burner. On top of that, you don’t have to think about loading up your entire life into your poor, overloaded car but just need to take clothes and essentials – perfect!

There are many family glamping sites popping up across the UK as families are realising that this could be just the tonic they need after what can only be described as a “challenging” year. So, we have identified 7 of the best family glamping sites in the UK to help you on your search for the perfect, relaxing holiday.

1. Beavers Retreat Glamping, Pembrokeshire

This rather special glamping site will absolutely spoil you! Situated in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National park, you will relax happily in the quiet location with beautiful views. This family-run site knows exactly what families need from the large, luxuriously furnished bell tents to the range of fabulous geodomes with wood-fired hot tubs. Each unit has its own sheltered kitchen and cooking facilities as well as your own allocated toilet and shower. If you are dreaming about escaping and reconnecting with nature, family and friends then this could be just the place you need.

Geodome at Beavers Retreat

2. Harry’s Field, New Forest

This peaceful retreat in one of the most serene corners of the New Forest is the perfect place to get away from it all.  After exploring the local area including abundant wildlife from New Forest ponies and foals, deer and hedgerows teaming with birdlife, you can return to the comfort of luxuriously furnished bell tents. At night, you can cosy up around your own fire pit with twinkling fairy lights and lanterns to light the way. And if you don’t fancy cooking, regular visits from pop-up food trucks including pizza ovens, curries and cocktails, as well as Barista coffee, hot freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat at the weekends, should keep you going!

Harry's - night time

3. Longberry Farm, Kent

This stunning site is just an hour away from London but feels like another world! Nestled in the “Garden of England,” this family-run glamping site offers many accommodation options from luxurious, fully furnished bell tents to a cosy converted stable. Expect beautiful countryside views and every home comfort you could possibly need. Spend your days playing in the sunshine, gently rambling in the countryside; and then your nights gazing up to the starry skies, enjoying the peace and quiet while camped around your very own fire pit. Bliss!

4. Gorsey Meadow, Norfolk

This gloriously spacious glamping site is situated at the very heart of the beautiful county of Norfolk. With the welcome ethos of space and luxury, you will not find yourself on top of your neighbours You will have the opportunity to really escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and children have the freedom to explore and play. You can pick from one of 5 sumptuous bell tents to return to, each with excellent quality bedding, a double ring gas cooker with gas, crockery, cutlery, charcoal bbq, lantern, cool box and much more. In the evening, you can cosy up around one of our two fire pits whilst you chat about your adventures from the day.

 

5. Tinkers Bells, Staffordshire

This extraordinary site ensures you don’t have to worry about your neighbours at all as it is an exclusive use glamping site! You have sole use of 4 large bell tents, each beautifully furnished with real double beds and the option of up to two single Z beds so large families can easily be accommodated. You also have access to a fabulous kitchen cabin, outdoor seating area, fire pit with log seating and your own powder room. Your whole family can therefore truly relax and feel safe, children can roam happily, and you can take in the views of the stunning Staffordshire countryside.

6. Wye Glamping, Powys

This stunning site on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, offers a true getaway. Peace and space are guaranteed as there are only 5 locally built, canvas or wooden yurts available, each with superb attention to detail. Each pitch is totally self-contained with a large sundeck, a fully equipped kitchen hut, picnic bench, deckchairs, firepit/BBQ, private compost loo and a private shower room. With mountain views and beautiful dark skies at night, you will enjoy a fantastic family holiday relaxing and making precious memories.

Wye glamping views

 

 

7. Brocklands Farm Glamping, Hampshire

Accommodation here can only be described as exceptional. Provided via two spacious safari tents, each sleeping six with a king bedroom, twin bedroom and double cabin bed, the whole family can relax in full comfort. Every need is tended to – from the private bathroom cabin to the wood-burning range, the sofa and chairs to the solar-powered fairy lights. You will have a permanent smile on your face and will definitely not want to leave! With far-reaching views over the stunning Meon Valley in the heart of the South Downs National Park, you can suspend reality and make magical memories for the whole family.

Brocklands Safari Tent

5 Wonderful Welsh Glamping Sites

Holidaying in the absolutely beautiful country that is Wales is finally possible again. On July 13th, the welsh government permitted the opening of holiday sites with “self-contained accommodation.” This means that customers must have their own toilet/showering facilities rather than sharing them with other families. Whilst this might present a problem to some sites, for many welsh glamping sites, it did not. Many already had self-contained pitches where you have exclusive use of toilet/shower facilities and for others, they have adjusted to make sure that they have.

Glamping is the slightly more luxurious relation of camping. You don’t have to lug your whole life in your car/trailer/roofbox but can travel a little lighter. You also have the bonus of not having to set up your whole site on arrival – it is all ready for you to enjoy whilst still reaping the benefits of outdoor living. There are so many options available, it is impossible to list them all but you may come across bell tents, yurts, shepherd’s huts, geodomes, tipis, cabins, pods to name but a few.

We have selected 5 simply wonderful welsh glamping sites that have gone out of their way to ensure they are Covid-19 secure as well as having accommodation and views to make lockdown feel like a lifetime ago.

1. Wye Glamping

If stunning views are what you need after staring at your garden fence for the last few months, then you will truly appreciate what Wye Glamping has to offer. From the mountain views and idyllic babbling brook to the luxurious interior of a locally built yurt, a beautifully handcrafted cabin or spacious bell tent. The team at Wye Glamping pride themselves on their attention to every detail on their eco-friendly, small, family run site. Suitable for families and couples alike, the well-equipped, peaceful and luxurious glamping site will help you enjoy a memorable break in comfort and style.

Please check here for Wye Glamping’s Covid-19 update.

Wye Glamping
Luxurious and cosy interior

2. Beavers Retreat Glamping

If you are feeling a pull towards the Pembrokeshire Coast National park, then the wonderful family-run site of Beavers Retreat will help provide that getaway. Here, you can choose from family-sized beautifully furnished bell tents or cosy Geodomes with wood-fired hot tubs, each unit having self-contained kitchen and bathroom facilities. This eco-friendly site takes nothing from the grid as the water on site is taken from a natural spring, and the high-pressure showers are gravity fed. With views of the stunning welsh countryside, a peaceful location and close proximity to nearby beaches and coastal path, this is truly the perfect place to get away from it all.

Please check here for Beavers Retreat Glamping’s Covid-19 update. 

Beavers Retreat
Cosy geodome at Beavers Retreat

3. Pembrokeshire Barn Farm

Perhaps you would like to experience a cosy shepherd’s hut this year? Well, near to the beautiful beaches at Saundersfoot and Tenby, within the rolling, green countryside of Pembrokeshire, lies the little gem that is Pembrokeshire Barn Farm. This family-friendly, luxury glamping retreat offers cosy, well-designed and equipped shepherd’s huts for you to relax and replenish within. Set on a 15-acre smallholding currently kept as hay meadows with a wealth of wildlife, it’s the ideal place for families and friends to escape to for a holiday to remember.

Please check here for Pembrokeshire Barn Farm’s Covid-19 update. 

Pembrokeshire Barn Farm
The view out of Apple Tree Hut

4. White House on Wye Glamping

Maybe a luxurious tipi within a cider apple orchard would be the holiday of choice this year? White House Farm sits deep in the heart of the beautiful Wye Valley and is perfect for families to explore the nature around them including the secret pebble beach of the River Wye that flows for over a mile through the farm. The small award-winning family-friendly glamping site was featured by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s top glamping sites. This comes as no surprise given their extreme pride in their well-decorated, fully equipped and cosy tipis, surrounding area and ultra-clean facilities.

Please check here for Whitehouse on Wye Glamping’s Covid-19 update.

White House on Wye Glamping
Tipis nestled in a cider apple orchard

5. Hare’s Form

Fancy a break ALONE, AWAY FROM THE KIDS?

This fantasy could be yours with Hush Hush Glamping at Hare’s Form overlooking the stunning Radnor Valley. Set within 90 acres of family farmland, you can stay in their cosy wooden pod for two sharing with no other humans, only the friendly alpaca, sheep, red kites, the odd hare and the occasional deer nearby. You will find true peace and quiet here and be able to spend quality time with each other away from distractions.

Contact Hare’s Form for their Covid-19 update.

Hare's Form Glamping
Unbelievable views at Hare’s Form Glamping

If any of these gorgeous welsh glamping sites appeal, not only will you be having a wonderful holiday to remember but you will be supporting a family-run small business to survive in the most difficult year they have experienced! #supportsmallbusinesses

Getting Prepared for COVID-19 Secure Camping

Beech Croft Farm

We now know that camping officially starts in England from 4th July – woo hoo! As we went to press, sites in Scotland can open to those with their own self-contained accommodation (i.e. own shower/toilet) from 3rd July and shared facilities from 15th July. Sites in Wales may open on 11th July for those with self-contained accommodation only and are awaiting further guidance about those with shared facilities. Sites in Northern Ireland are already open.

Visit Britain Good to go logo
Visit Britain – Covid-19 Secure Camping

You might have seen this badge (“We’re Good To Go”) popping up on various websites, Facebook Pages, etc. This means that according to Visit Britain, the campsite has successfully shown that they have met Government and industry guidelines, are thus Covid-19 secure for camping and can safely accommodate their guests. You can be sure that this means a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to update sanitation facilities, mark out pitches, train staff, set out new signs and notices, draw up new rules, etc. So we say congratulations to the many sites on Gone Camping Co that have achieved this including Red Shoot Camping Park in the New Forest, Forest Glade Holiday Park in Devon, Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire, Beech Croft Farm in Derbyshire to name but a few.

Covid-19 secure camping at Red Shoot Camping Park
Covid-19 secure camping at Red Shoot Camping Park

So, what will Covid-19 secure camping look like?

1. Booking

All bookings will need to be made in advance this year – there will not be the opportunity of “Oo, this looks nice, let’s try here!” as you drive by, so be organised and book in advance. This is for several reasons: to minimise contact, to allow for electronic payments, to ensure guests are fully aware of rules and conditions before arriving and most importantly for campsites to ensure the number of people on site are limited accordingly. This is actually a good thing as it will mean larger pitches and more space this season. As you might expect, prices may have to increase as sites will have less guests and a shorter season.

Covid-19 Secure camping at Beech Croft Farm
Socially distanced pitches at Beech Croft Farm in the Derbyshire Dales

Now, we are great advocates for camping with other family groups as it really can be great fun. However, this year, campsites will not be able to accept such bookings. Beech Croft Farm in Derbyshire has reiterated the government guidelines in their Covid-19 update in that they “cannot accept bookings for more than 2 units together if you are from different households.” This will be standard across the industry for the time being, so it is a case of more time with your family I’m afraid!

2. Checking in and out

All guests have a responsibility to stay away and isolate as per the government regulations if they develop symptoms of Covid-19 in the run up to their holiday. Disappointing though this would be, we all have a collective responsibility to guard against the spread of the disease as of course, the quicker it can be controlled, the quicker life can return to some sort of normality.

A warm welcome and safe conditions at Cotswolds Camping

Cotswold Camping, Oxfordshire are also keen to make sure everyone is safe and have installed a fever detection system to check temperatures thus ensuring all guests are protected from Covid-19.

Checking in and out will also be contactless and outdoors. Alex advises that at Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire, whilst guests will be greeted on arrival, social distancing will be maintained, and the keys would be left in the door of the camping pod. Similarly, check out would be contactless and guests would be asked to simply leave their pod key in the door.

Covid-19 secure camping at Stanley Villa Farm
Camping Pods at Stanley Villa Farm

3. Distancing

Most campsites have limited pitches available to ensure they can maintain social distancing and rotate facilities as appropriate. Holden Farm in Hampshire, will ensure that only 10 families/households will be onsite at any one time in their wonderfully spacious camping field. This has the benefit of plenty of space to fly a kite, play a game of cricket or just enjoy the fresh air. They will also provide each pitch with a complimentary firepit – perfect for lazy summer evenings.

For Covid-19 secure camping, expect to see more signs than usual, indicating spaces for possible queues or a one-way system where there is likely to be a bottleneck. Signs will also provide reminders for hand washing, use of hand sanitisers and maintaining distances – you may well feel you’ve seen it all before, but as we all know, we have to continue to “stay alert.”

4. Sanitisation

You can expect cleaning of facilities to be more frequent and thorough this year. You may well be greeted by someone in full PPE as you approach the facilities and you may also need to be patient to allow them to complete the thorough deep cleans required.

Holden Farm have the excellent modern camping facilities on-site that you would expect: clean flushing loos, hot showers and good washing up facilities. The small numbers onsite will work to your advantage, thus avoiding the need for queues. Cleaning and maintenance have been increased further to the Covid-19 secure standard. They have also installed perspex dividers between wash basins so you feel safe when brushing your teeth. You will need to bring all of your own toiletries and expect to be given loo roll on arrival as it won’t be kept in cubicles. Furthermore, there are hand sanitisers dotted around the site so everyone can keep germ-free and safe.

Holden Farm
Plenty of space at Holden Farm!

Fallow Fields Camping, Kent are enforcing a 24 hour period between bookings of furnished bell tents, as scientific evidence suggests the virus does not remain on surfaces after 24 hours. They will carry out their customary deep clean between bookings as normal, and use disinfectant on all hard surfaces. Additionally, all furnished bell tents will have an anti-bacterial fogger used – this kills 99.99% of germs and stays active on surfaces for up to 30 days.

5. Sharing Facilities

There are some sites that have invested heavily into their showers and toilets to ensure minimal sharing. For example, Fallow Fields Camping have added additional mobile showers and toilets to the campsite to help with social distancing. They have also employed a local, professional cleaning company to carry out 2 deep cleans per day alongside regular wipe downs of touch-points throughout the day.

Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire have also added more shower units but will work these on a time slot basis, with cleans between each use.

Some have even gone so far as to allocated specific areas for guests so there would be no sharing. At Longberry Farm in Kent, the reduced capacity on site this season means that guests will have their own allocated kitchen/dining area and washing facilities that will not be shared with other guests. The hot tub option will also be private – how very lovely!

Longberry Farm
Pristinely clean bell tents at Longberry Farm

You may well need to pack more items than you normally do. If the site you go to usually has tea towels, crockery, washing up brushes, etc. it is highly likely that they won’t be able to do so this year, so check with them beforehand and as Mr Grylls would say “be prepared!”

6. Activities on site

Some playparks might be open but you will need to supervise children more closely this year rather than let them go “feral” and insist they use the abundant hand sanitisers before and after use.

But generally, you may well have to become more self-sufficient in terms of entertainment this year. Wonderful additions to your stay such as the “Kids’ Retreat Tent” or “Kids’ Cinema” at Fallow Fields Camping,  simply cannot be available at this time. So pack the bikes, tennis set, kite, football, hula hoop, Connect 4, Uno, etc and prepare to use your imagination to keep all entertained…sort of like you have done for the whole of lockdown really (sorry!)

A beautiful evening at Fallow Fields Camping

At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, it is extremely important that we adhere to the campsites’ rules and accept the changes to our “normal” holiday. These really are “unprecedented times” (had to say it) and the whole situation does not just affect us personally, but everyone around the country. If we want camping to return to normal, then it is vitally important to support the industry this year so that there are still campsites in business next year.

The alternative does not bear thinking about!

Why go Camping in 2020?

Park Foot

Well, 2020 has been fun so far hasn’t it?

Hmm, that might be stretching it somewhat! What with Australia burning, endless Brexit, a global pandemic and mass civil unrest to mention just a few of the fun times we have faced this year, you feel like ripping the year up and starting again at 2021! However, here we are, managing as best as we can with more than half of the year left to limp through. So, whilst Covid-19 is still raging, why on earth would we want to go camping in 2020?

Well, the fact remains that camping or glamping are simply the best types of holiday full stop (not at all biased). Many people are so committed that they have even camped during lockdown! No, not by breaking any rules but by the beauty that is…

1. Camping at home

Who else can remember the excitement of camping in your garden as a child? Well, camping at home became a thing this year and looks set to continue through the summer. Whether camping indoors, in gardens, on balconies and even on a trampoline – camping can happen anywhere with whatever equipment you have. Kids find it magical and it’s a real chance for family bonding and fun. You might even break a world record! Our family took part in the Scouts’ #CampAtHome record on 30th April and we couldn’t get the kids out of their shoddy blanket tent for another week!

For those that are desperate to get away from it all when camping in 2020 but simply cannot or do not want to whilst the threat of Covid-19 remains, why not try glamping at home? Tinkers Bells usually provide their gorgeous bell tents for use at weddings, festivals and other large social gatherings, so obviously, their business took a huge hit in the last few months. But have they come up with the perfect solution? After their initial shock, they took stock and diversified sublimely to now provide garden glamping whether you want the ultimate staycation, celebrate a birthday, anniversary or just have a change from your own Groundhog Day. You will be provided with a simply fabulous 7ft bell tent fully erected and furnished to your request in the safe confines of your own garden. Ali and Darren are wonderfully friendly to deal with and you can expect professional, meticulous standards.

Camping in 2020 - Garden Glamping
Garden Glamping with Tinker’s Bells

2. This Beautiful Country

For those that do wish to venture further for camping in 2020, without the pressure to go abroad, it is the perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful country. From the rolling hills of Devon at Langstone Manor Park to the stunning lakes of Cumbria at Park Foot Holiday Park , we are incredibly fortunate to have such diverse landscapes and fabulous campsites to view them in comfort. It might also be a chance to discover new parts of the coastline that you would not normally visit such as the sand expanses of Suffolk whilst staying at Haw Wood Farm. Or you might to choose to venture inland and meander through the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds whilst relaxing at Cotswolds Camping.

Camping in 2020 - Haw Wood Farm
Camping in Suffolk at Haw Wood Farm

It goes without saying that camping in 2020 and any exploring needs to be done particularly responsibly at this time – talk to your campsite owners about different places to go where crowding should not be an issue and report any evidence of the recent mob madness of leaving litter everywhere!

3. Change of Scenery

Most of us are proud of but thoroughly bored of our herbaceous borders, new fence, seats made out of pallets, fairy gardens, mud kitchens and other lockdown classics and simply need to see something/somewhere else. A fantastic site to explore the dramatic Jurassic Coast is The Dorset Hideaway who have come up with a comprehensive Coronavirus policy to ensure the safety of their guests whether camping, caravanning or in one of their fabulous glamping options.Camping in 2020 - Dorset Hideaway

Feeding the ducks at The Dorset Hideaway

Perhaps you are feeling adventurous about the type of accommodation you seek and decide to go for something really different like a Hobbit Hole in Hertfordshire, courtesy of Guilden Gate Glamping.

Hobbit Hole at Guilden Gate
The Hobbit hole at The Guilden Gate Glamping

4. Budget Friendly

David at Yurtcamp Devon, believes that camping or glamping could be the perfect holiday to turn to this year as many will be very wary of travelling overseas, and will be looking for a more budget friendly option to get away. Let’s face it, you immediately do away with expensive air fares and the costlier hotels, not to mention car hire, etc. And although prices may have to rise a little this year to take account of the additional changes campsites have to make, you still get incredible value for money. For example, you can camp in Cornwall at the picturesque Lower Penderleath Campsite for as little as £9.50/night/adult or in Somerset at Withy Water from just £10/tent (adult only).

Camping in 2020 - Lower Penderleath
Cornish camping at Lower Penderleath

5. Less People

There is no doubt that our holidays will look different this year and that campsites will have to limit numbers in order to ensure greater spacing. This is likely to mean that you will need to book in advance rather than turning up and hoping so you will need to be organised this year! The greater space will help to maintain social distancing and thus increase your peace of mind. It could also mean that camping in 2020 might be perfect for those who struggle with places that get too “peopley”.  The spacious site at Hale Farm, East Sussex has no set pitches, thus allowing plenty of space between tents and benefits from a separate glamping area. Similarly, Longacres Camping is set in 30 acres of peaceful Surrey countryside and offers different areas and fields to suit different tastes, ensuring campers can spread out with ease.

Camping in 2020 - Hale Farm
The huge fields at Hale Farm

6. Self-Contained Accommodation

You will be safe within your own family bubble whether in a tent, caravan or glamping option such as bell tent or yurt. Plus, the beauty of camp and glamping sites is that most have their own grounds and facilities. This means campers don’t have to worry about crowding local beauty spots, finding a car parking space and figuring out where to buy food. For example, at Yurtcamp Devon, there are 40 acres of beautiful woodland ready for exploration. You can easily return to your yurt for an open fire cooked feast, or a meal prepared inside your yurt given that you have full cooking facilities as well a cosy log burner. In addition, their onsite Woodland Café will be open for take out at least.

Yurtcamp Devon
Cafe at Yurtcamp Devon

For those with caravans or motorhomes, you might decide to opt for the wilderness of the Yorkshire Dales and venture to Thornton Hall Country Park. Here, Chris and Emma have diversified their onsite Farm Park into a Farm Safari Drive Thru to keep all their guests safe but still provide a change of routine. They also have quad biking available, ensuring each session is everyone from the same household with all helmets and gloves disinfected after use.

7. Mental and Physical Health

The good news about camping is that you will be in the fresh air, which we know lowers the risk of transmission of coronavirus, hence why some schools have adopted outdoor classrooms and why socially distanced small meet ups are now permitted as long as they are outdoors.

For those that need a touch of luxury to assist their mental health, The simply amazing range of glamping accommodation at Longberry Farm in the Garden of England, Kent is guaranteed to help you unwind and forget about your problems.

Ian from Big Hat Bushcamp, Devon is a firm advocate of the health benefits of nature particularly in this digital age. His business is another that has been hit by the Covid-19 outbreak and has pivoted to offer single-household bushcraft sessions. These provide excellent problem-solving challenges and allow families to develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills as well as learning survival techniques in the fresh air. And do not fear, as they are run by the friendliest of folk, keen to help you understand and be happy.

After weeks spent at the beck and call of electronic devices, a bit of “cold turkey” wouldn’t go amiss. It would certainly help people’s battered mental health.

Big Hat Bush Camp
Camp fire cooking at Big Hat Bush Camp

With all this on offer, camping in 2020 might not be so bad after all!

Support British Tourism This Year

Holiday in the UK

Holidays are on hold in the UK while the country is in lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, so it’s safe to say that tourism is one of the most affected sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s expected that small and medium businesses (which represent around 80% of the British tourism industry) will be facing huge challenges. We spoke to the team at White House on Wye Glamping who advised on the many things we can do to help out these businesses:

As someone who runs a small glamping site in Herefordshire, I can assure you that we’re definitely feeling the effects. April is usually one of our busiest months with the Easter holidays bringing in families looking to get to the outdoors. Instead, our tipis sat empty, apart from the few nights we spent in them on our ‘staycation’!

Relaxing at night - British Tourism
Relaxing at night by the Tipi

Although the lockdown is stopping you from going on holiday at the moment, there are many alternatives to help projects and businesses to keep afloat during these unprecedented times. I encourage you to do what you can to do to support the British economy this year. The Spanish beaches will still be there next year, so let’s make 2020 the year where we discover the adventure and beauty that is on our very own doorstep.

During the lockdown:

  • If you have a holiday booked, don’t cancel yet. Check your cancellation policies, and if this allows you to hold your booking, don’t cancel it. This will support the business and they will give you an alternative in the case the trip has to be postponed.
  • If your work hasn’t been affected, you can spend the money you were spending on commuting, going out, gym memberships on supporting small businesses instead. Many companies are offering vouchers to use when the pandemic is over, and tourism is up and running again. This will give business cash flow for this year and you will get your holidays for next year already paid with the “quarantine savings”- Let’s get something good from the quarantine! You can also use these vouchers for birthdays, anniversaries and gifts to your loved ones.
  • Book in advance! If you have something planned for 2021, it’s the time to plan in advance! Whether it is a hen party for your best friend who is getting married in 2021 or your parents’ 30th anniversary. You will get very good deals for booking in advance while supporting the sector.

At White House Glamping, we are allowing our guests to reschedule their trip for free, as we would love to see them when restrictions have been lifted, whether it is in May, July or September. We are also creating very personalised vouchers that our guests have been using for Mother’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries. It’s a perfect way to give an online gift (as you won’t be able to make a cake for your mum this birthday) for something to look forward to in the near future.

Outdoor living with home comforts
Outdoor living with home comforts

After the lockdown:

When social distancing is reduced, it’s time for you to discover your country! We know that many people will be avoiding travel, particularly international travel, but camping and glamping offer a much safer trip away from crowds.

Maybe this year won’t be the best time for festivals, massive parties or crowded beaches, so why not find an alternative to all of this? It’s time to reach out to your neighbours and discover Britain’s countryside.

In 2019, tourists from the UK spent £48 billion abroad in different countries like Spain, France, Italy and the USA. So if in 2020 and 2021, we all change our trips abroad from Mallorca or Tuscany to the nation’s beautiful spots like Herefordshire, Cotswolds, Dorset, Cornwall or Lake District the economy of the British Tourism industry will be very thankful.

Beautiful British countryside
Beautiful British countryside

Glamping is a fantastic idea. Avoiding masses, breathing fresh air and in contact with nature but without sacrificing your day to day small luxuries. After all, after being stuck inside for months we can surely all do with a large dose of fresh air. Here at White House Glamping, we are looking forward to seeing you all!

Hopefully, we will still be able to take a fantastic camping or glamping holiday later this year. To discover more gems in the beautiful British countryside and to help support small businesses, check out our directory.

 

6 Cosy Glamping Experiences

Well, although spring is supposed to be coming, it still feels decidedly cold and gloomy out there! With this in mind, perhaps you’re not yet ready for all-out camping just yet and still want that feeling of cosiness with a few home comforts? If so, why not try the luxury of glamping? We have found 6 gorgeously cosy glamping sites, where you can get your fix of outdoor living whilst relaxing in comfort by a log burner or even in a hot tub before retiring to a comfortable, fully prepared bed (and even have a hot water bottle!)

1. Beavers Retreat

Situated in the beautiful Welsh countryside in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National park, all your worries will drift away at this truly luxurious glamping site where every detail is tended to with the customary care of Beaver’s Retreat.

All family-sized, you can choose from beautifully furnished bell tents or the cosy Geodomes with wood-fired hot tubs! Both options come equipped with a comfortable double bed with crisp cotton bedding for a good night’s sleep as well as sofa beds, tables and chairs. The floors are carpeted adding to the homeliness and each unit has a private sheltered kitchen, full cooking facilities, cutlery, crockery and a fire pit to warm up around. The luxury Geodomes have the added bonus of an indoor wood burning stove so you are guaranteed to stay warm and cosy.

2. Marthrown of Mabie

Within the spectacular Scottish countryside of Dumfries and Galloway, you will find the hidden forest gem that is Marthrown of Mabie. All furnished with wood-burning stoves for a truly cosy glamping experience, you can choose from luxuriously furnished yurts, a Native American style tipi or even a Celtic Iron Age Roundhouse! There is a covered BBQ cooking area, usable in all weather conditions and complete with tables and chairs and electricity for lighting and music. And if you get chilly, why not try the authentic Finnish sauna or a wood-fired hot tub whilst gazing at the stunning dark skies?

3. Yurtcamp Devon

Set in forty acres of beautiful Devon woodland, you can choose from twenty-two contemporary yurts of different sizes and locations from secluded to “village” style at Yurtcamp Devon. All the yurts are fully equipped and luxuriously furnished for cooking, sleeping and relaxing in. Each has access to an outdoor fire pit, for campfires and barbecues and you can be sure of staying warm and cosy next to the log burner, even when it is cold outside.

4. Kiss Wood Cabins

On a family farm in Cheshire, surrounded by breathtaking countryside in the Peak District National Park, you will find luxurious and cosy glamping accommodation at Kiss Wood Cabins suitable for all seasons. Each pods is furnished with a comfortable double bed, sofa bed, en suite bathroom, kitchenette, T.V. and heating so there is no chance of getting cold! Outside, you can cook up a feast on the BBQ provided or simply enjoy the beautiful views from the hot tub with a glass of prosecco in hand!

5. Stanley Villa Farm Camping

Situated in the lush countryside of Lancashire, Stanley Villa Farm Camping offers a total of 24 cosy camping pods. These are all well-insulated with wool and come with 2 good quality single beds and mattresses for a comfortable night’s sleep. The beds can be pushed together to make a double and a further airbed can fit in for the kids. Each pod comes with its own firepit for nights around the campfire and you can hire free hot water bottles for that extra cosy feel. Take advantage of their March Madness Offer for any bookings made before 31st March 2020 for discounts well worth taking.

6. Wye Glamping

Wye Glamping, Powys is set in a simply stunning part of Wales offering a true retreat with mountain views and nature all around. A small family run site with only 5 pitches including a locally built yurt, a beautifully handcrafted cabin and 3 spacious bell tents, every detail is catered for so that all you need to bring are your clothes and food. Each come with a fully made-up king-sized bed, futons and a wood burning stove for cosy evenings in. Outside, there is the firepit and plenty of rugs, cushions, blankets to wrap up in and watch the sun go down over the spectacular views.

6 cosy glamping experiences:

Beaver’s Retreat, Pembrokeshire

Marthrown of Mabie, Dumfires and Galloway

Yurtcamp Devon, Devon

Kiss Wood Cabins, Cheshire

Stanley Villa Farm Camping, Lancashire

Wye Glamping, Powys

10 Reasons To Take Your Family Camping This Year

Family camp at Petruth Paddocks

Updated 23rd March 2021

Those that have taken their family camping before could no doubt think of at least 100 reasons to go again but others might not be so sure of the benefits: Is it worth ditching your usual home comforts? Won’t it be dirty? What if the weather’s rubbish? Won’t the kids be bored?

The thing is, family camping has come on a long way in the last few years. All of the above concerns are now easily dealt with at camp and glampsites that have excellent facilities ranging from washing, kitchen, entertainment, organised activities – really you can find whatever you want. But what is it about outdoors living that is so beneficial compared to just going to a hotel?

1. Fun

When you’re on the conveyor belt of life, you can forget what having fun as a family is all about. Well, camping provides the perfect chance to offload the weight of responsibility and get silly. From singing tunefully (or tunelessly, who cares?) round the fire to riding your 5 year old’s bike (and getting chased by him) or shamelessly beating young children at Uno, there are endless options. Campers are notoriously friendly people and kids will make friends as will you. Who knows when an impromptu game of rounders or football might break out? Or when the kites will come out?  You will find that the further into your holiday you get, the more you relax and regress until everyone appears to have the mental age of 9.

Campsite with lots of fun facilities: Stowford Farm Meadows, North Devon

2. Freedom

Freedom when camping comes in many guises:

For children, it is the freedom from the usual constraints of four walls – they can roam, run about, be by themselves or make ten new friends, discover wildlife, sing, dance, ride their bikes, basically whatever they want!

Freedom from routine. When on “camping time” you just do what you want when you want. There is no alarm to obey, no work to get to so just do whatever you feel like on that day. If you want to stay at camp, do it. If you want a day out, go. If you’re hungry, eat. Just don’t look at your watch, you don’t need that.

Freedom from electronic devices. These things are a blessing and a curse. I don’t doubt their usefulness in terms of researching, developing skills, etc. But is it just me that feels that whilst they are great for keeping connected generally, they also “disconnect” you from loved ones? Give a 3-year-old an iPad and you’ve lost them to Peppa Pig; give a 10-year-old an XBox and you’ve lost them to Fortnite; give a teenager a phone and you’ve just plain lost them. The good news is that camping allows you to find them again. You can have actual conversations with your teenager, play real games with your 10-year-old and make up stories with your 3-year-old. Your children are free to be children and you can make some wonderful memories as a family.

Campsite that values freedom: Petruth Paddocks, Somerset

Petruth Paddocks

3. Food and drink

Now, when taking your family camping it really doesn’t matter if you aspire to a gourmet banquet or a couple of sausages in a bap. I have a friend with a full-on converted trailer/kitchen who cooks up gigantic pots of loveliness for 20 guests and another who only takes pot noodles. It really is up to you. As far as the kids go, every meal is a picnic so you’re winning from the get-go. There’s just something so lovely about eating your meals outside. And the smells that come from a barbecue – bacon sizzling anyone? A lovely treat late at night is hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows around the fire. My main aim with this is to lull the kids into sleepiness so we can chuck them into bed and crack open the wine…works a treat!

Campsite with Farm shop and café: Haw Wood Farm, Suffolk

4. Weather

When the sun is shining, there is nothing better than camping! We had a glorious summer last year and wow, did we love our trips! The children had a feral old time, we did everything outside and everyone was happy.

Then the rain came.

Did it ruin it? Did it heck! There’s something about the rain falling on your tent whilst you’re safe and snug inside it that’s quite therapeutic. You just need to make sure you have some indoor entertainment such as books, playing cards, games, drawing and colouring pencils and away you go. Or you might have made sure you found a holiday park with lots of indoor facilities for when the weather turns. You could also take the opportunity to go on a day out somewhere or just embrace it – get your waterproofs on and get out there!

Campsite will all-weather facilities: Forest Glade Holiday Park, Devon

Family Camping at Forest Glade

5. Nature

For most people, the driving force behind wanting to camp out is to be closer to nature and the great outdoors. From drinking in amazing views to breathing in the fresh, clean air, there’s something about it that relaxes, replenishes and re-energises. Little pleasures such as walking through wet grass in bare feet, listening to birdsong, spotting a hare running for cover help to de-clutter crowded minds. Your children appreciate the freedom to roam and will no doubt find that most magical of things – the stick – and think of all sorts of uses for it: a sword, a fishing rod, a magic wand, beating their younger sibling…hmph! But they might also be entranced by a dragonfly, spot the trail of a deer or any number of creatures, particularly if you take them with you for an early morning dog walk.

Campsite for beautiful nature: Harry’s field, Hampshire

6. Campfire

A personal highlight is listening to and getting ‘lost’ in a good crackling fire. There’s a certain cosiness that comes with everyone sitting around a fire watching the sun go down. It encourages actual conversations where you remember that your partner is more than the person you order about and get cross with at home when you’re trying to keep to your manic schedule. It is a place to reminisce, to tell jokes and stories, to bond with friends and family and to make plans for your next adventure.

Glampsite with firepits: Longberry Farm, Kent

7. Family Time

With no work, school, clubs, appointments to get to, you will spend precious time together with your family. This might initially instil pure fear into you. However, do not panic! You will warm up to the idea as you gradually chill out over your holiday. You will not have to be a walking entertainment factory – the kids will doubtless run around happily and find their own fun. In fact, you will develop a self-satisfied glow as you watch them having a fabulous time, getting filthy (this is something you will just have to go with if you’re not used to it!) and racing back to you when they’re starving.

As with any holiday, it gives you a chance for days out together whether simply going to a beach, a bike ride, pony trekking or meandering around. At night, you can then snuggle up around the fire, discussing your wonderful day and remembering what a lovely bunch your family is when you aren’t nagging them to find their homework, their tie, or for the tenth time get dressed NOW!

Family friendly glamping site: Tinker’s Bells Family Glamping, Staffordshire

Tinker's Bells Family glamping

8. Exploring

We are very lucky to live in this beautiful country and you don’t have to drive far to explore a little piece of somewhere different. Whether you are looking for sea air, mountains, hills, valleys, vast fields, woodland, there is a campsite that will match it. Discovering new places is fun and refreshing and the change of scenery does us the world of good. When camping, you are always close to walks and bike rides for exploring the local area, making the most of the scenery. But you might also choose to jump in your car and go and find a castle, steam train, theme park or other such adventures.

You might choose to stay at your campsite and explore that thoroughly when walking your four-legged friend or letting the children guide you. They will be keen to investigate the stream, climb the trees, make a den and generally do their best to increase the burden on your washing machine…but heck! You don’t need to worry about that until you get back so just let them be feral and be glad that their immune systems are having such a boost as they wipe their muddy hands across their mouth!

Glamping site that is a great base for exploring the Pembrokeshire National Park: Beaver’s Retreat Glamping, South Wales

Beaver's Retreat Glamping

9. Peace and quiet

The peace and quiet that comes from outdoor living is totally different to that from behind double glazing. There is a serenity that allows you to relax right down – your mind empties of the usual worries and you can take the time to really appreciate your surroundings. From the beautiful scenery to the fresh, crisp air; it allows busy minds to just let go and rest. You become aware of unfamiliar sounds and start to look forward to them: owls hooting, birdsong, the breeze through the trees, the crackle of the fire, the satisfying sound of the zip. Even the sound of rain on the tent gives a certain smugness when you are cosy in your sleeping bag (and helps to lull you to sleep as well.)

Peaceful glamping site: Brocklands Farm Glamping, Hampshire

Brocklands Glamping

10. Simplicity

Outdoor living brings a certain amount of simplicity back to daily life. You ditch all the conveniences, routines, jobs and rushing around and strip it back to what is necessary: love, fun and food! Our family camping experiences tend to revolve around food (that might be everyday life too when I think about it…) and mealtimes are so much more social. You will talk more, you will have lots of comfortable silences, you will watch your kids happily without that usual dread that comes with confined spaces or crowds, you might even read! At night, you can watch the sun go down and then star gaze without the burden of light pollution. The usual hustle and bustle feels a million miles away.

Back to basics campsite: Brynawelon Touring and Camping Park, Ceredigion, Wales

Brynawelon

7 of the Most Picturesque Glamping Sites

The sun is out and spring is most definitely on the way! If you’re not quite ready for the vigours of camping but fancy some outdoor living, why not try the luxury of glamping? We have identified 7 of the most picturesque glamping sites for you to drool over – places where relaxing is as easy as it gets.

1. Wild Mountains Glamping

As the names suggests, Wild Mountains Glamping offers stunning views across its peaceful, rural site. Situated in the village of Cwmdu, West Wales, you are free to explore the hills, river and woodland and return to the home comforts of the beautifully furnished bell tents. If you are dreaming about escaping and reconnecting with nature, family and friends then this is the adventure you need.

2. Valley Yurts

Valley Yurts sits upon 10 acres of wild Welsh countryside, on the border of Herefordshire and Powys. You can expect 360 degree views of the beautiful Welsh countryside and all home comforts with a touch of luxury. With a firm focus on peace and relaxation in the countryside, you can explore the stunning surroundings at your own pace with your family and friends. From your beautifully hand-crafted yurts, you can stargaze at night through the crown in the centre, without any light pollution.

3. Eco Retreats

Aerial view at Eco Retreats

If you want to experience a real retreat off the beaten track, then Eco Retreats is just that! Situated 25 minutes off the tar road on a working organic farm, this eco-friendly site within the heart of Dyfi forest offers well-equipped accommodation in beautiful yurts and one tipi. With minimal noise and light pollution you can make the most of peaceful days and beautifully starry nights. You will feel far away from the stresses and strains of modern day living as you relax into the rhythms of the forest.

4. Moor View

At Moor View Luxury Canvas Camping, you are surrounded by stunning rural fields, woodlands and gorges within the area of outstanding natural beauty of the Mendip Hills. Enjoy long lazy walks through wild flower meadows, endless views over the Somerset levels, hammocks, camp fires and huge canvas bell tents fully kitted out for the ultimate luxury camping experience. Moor View is the perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend with friends and family.

5. Chapel House Farm

Chapel House Farm is hidden away in the little village of Craswall, close to the book town of Hay-on-Wye. The delightful site is spread over 15 acres of wildflower fields bordered by ancient woodland. In the spring and summer, the pastures are a spectacle with a show of bluebells and a host of other wild flowers. You can choose from exquisitely furnished yurts or a bell tent to relax and unwind, taking in the views of the Black Mountains nearby. Children are free to make dens, run in the woods and play games in the long grass.

6. Whitlingham Broad

Whitlingham Broad Campsite offers a relaxing countryside break in the stunning setting of the Norfolk Broads National Park. With scenic views over the country park and to the Broad, you have immediate access to woodland walks and beautiful waterways. With the choice of fully furnished and funky bell tents or cosy yurts complete with log burner or even a boutique shepherd’s hut, you can relax in true luxury whilst admiring the beautiful Whitlingham countryside.

7. Barnutopia

Suspend reality and make magical memories in rural heaven. Barnutopia is situated in the rolling Shropshire hills, on the Welsh border and thus has far reaching, simply amazing views. With a range of luxurious and comfortable glamping options from yurts to stables and cabins, you can enjoy rural relaxation without roughing it.

Glamping Competition with Round the Woods – The Winner’s Story

So, competitions on Facebook are all fake aren’t they? Well, we can’t confirm or deny for the rest of them, but we can certainly confirm that the competitions at Gone Camping Co are 100% real! In fact, we caught up with Jayne, the lucky winner of our recent competition to win a luxurious glamping holiday with the fantastic team at Round the Woods Luxury Glamping.

Here’s what Jayne had to say:

Gone Camping Co: What made you enter the competition?

Jayne: I saw it on Facebook and just entered it! I wasn’t following Gone Camping Co at the time but thought “oo I’ll give it a go.” I’ve never entered any of these Facebook competitions before and didn’t know if it was true or not!

GCC: Did you think you had a chance of winning?

Jayne: I didn’t even think it was real, so not confident at all! But here I am in the Norfolk sunshine enjoying it.

GCC: How did it feel to win?

Jayne: Really good – when I saw it up on the page, there was my name and I was shocked! It was a real prize!

GCC: Have you camped with your family before?

Jayne: A few years ago, we went with the children when they were small. We went to Matlock which was beautiful. It was quite hard with the journey and all the equipment we needed!

GCC: What about glamping?

Jayne: No, never tried it. When I saw the competition, I thought gosh, don’t they look nice to stay in. I was right! So comfy and…better than normal camping! The double bed was so lovely and comfy, I thought oo I’m going to take this mattress home!

GCC: What did you expect before you came here?

Jayne: I got a good idea from the website – looked at all the photographs and got an idea of the inside of the yurt.

GCC: Did your experience match up to your expectations?

Jayne: It exceeded them really, very happy!

GCC: Are you a glamping convert?

Jayne: Will definitely come again! We sent my sister some photographs and told her all about it so she wants to come, my children want to bring their friends…it’s just so peaceful!

GCC: Would you recommend this or a similar experience to family and friends?

Jayne: Yes, I definitely would! It’s a great thing to do with kids…the space and the outdoors. Better for them, so calming and less triggers for my little boy’s condition.

We are absolutely thrilled that Jayne and her family had such a great time living it up in Norfolk at Round the Woods Luxury Glamping. And even more pleased that Jayne’s experience was so wonderful that she will definitely be going glamping again.

So if you see a competition on this page, have a go! It will be real and we do follow through with our promises!

If you want to experience a glamptastic holiday, have a look at these beautiful sites: Round the Woods Luxury Glamping, Bôn CampingBeavers Retreat,  Becks Bay Camping,  Graig Wen, Riddings Wood Caravan and Camping Park.

Never give up on your Dreams! With Harriet Seddon, founder of Lotus Belle tents.

Hari founded Lotus Belle tents in 2012 (see Lotus Belle) after becoming a single mum and following a difficult start where she was told that her different design concept would “never amount to anything.”  Roll on a few years and she is so happy that she eventually decided to ignore this and push on with her dream! Few “Glamping” sites are complete without the beautiful curvaceous lines of Lotus Belle tents – a unique canvas tent design that boasts all the portability and usability of a standard bell tent whilst affording the roomy luxuriousness of a yurt.

It is constructed from the highest quality components with a high tech 360/380 gram canvas which comes ready with a premium water, rot and fire retardant treatment.

The entire tent packs into a bag 40cm x 40cm x 130cm requiring minimal storage space off-season and it fits easily into the boot of a car. Once pitched the 5 metre model has an astonishing 18 square meters of standing space inside with 1.8m of headroom minimum all the way to the edge. This means it can be fitted out with standard height beds and normal household furniture or standard camping fayre.

It’s also remarkably easy to pitch, literally a one-man job that takes barely 20 minutes.  It also comes at a very reasonable price point, making it accessible to families as well as glampsites and festivals.

Hari was fascinated by tents from a young age. She spent her early childhood making camping furniture out of Meccano or bits of wood she found as well as doing plenty of camping with family and with Forest School Camps. For her tenth birthday she received a Vaude dome tent which she absolutely loved. She would pitch it in her family’s back garden and sleep in it every night throughout the summer.

“To me there’s nothing better than the sense of freedom I get from being outside, I feel really happy being close to nature. Also having a small space that I can keep really clean, and knowing where all my belongings are, makes me feel secure and safe.”

As she grew older, her fascination with yurts and the idea of living within a circular space also grew. She made a Mongolian style yurt, aged sixteen, using sticks from the hedges around her parents’ house. On moving to Falmouth University, Hari shunned the usual student digs and converted a minibus so that she could continue her camping dream on the Cornish coast. In this, she produced a raft of designs for various types of tents or ‘tiny homes’.

This culminated in her dissertation which was titled ‘the importance of circular space’ resonating with the sacred Mongolian belief system about a circular space being soothing and embracing, promoting unity, equality and community as everyone can sit an equal distance from the centre and face in towards each other. Hari owned a bell tent at this time for camping trips and loved the look and feel of canvas; the simplicity of the design; how quick and easy they are to pitch and pack away. Her sketches homed in on circular designs marrying together the roomy aspects of Yurts with the ease and portability of Bell tents. Lecturers were less than enthusiastic and told Hari that her designs for the ‘Onion Dome’, as it was originally known, would ‘never amount to anything’.

This was disheartening and Hari left uni to do what many of us think we should do…get a sensible job! She thus completed a PGCE and worked as a textiles teacher in a secondary school in Weymouth. Her passion for tent making never went away, however and she found herself encouraging students in her class to design and prototype one-man tents.

Hari was twenty-three when she had Mani, her first child. Then just before Jago was born, life took a turn and she became a single parent. These were seriously tough times. Hari spent time juggling house moves, changes of jobs and area but realises when looking back, that the sheer desperation of those times forced her to reconsider her path and led her to where she is today.


Then came the rise of glamping, with families wanting to retain a touch of luxury but still experience outdoor living.  The ‘Onion Dome’ suddenly seemed viable and Hari revisited her design. She then contacted the man that she had originally bought her bell tent from who was overwhelmingly positive about the design and invited her to meet his factory where they made the first Lotus Belle prototype. After several revisions and a lot of hard work, a workable model was produced.

Hari took a leap of faith and invested her life savings into getting the first run of twenty Lotus Belle tents made. This was coupled with a realisation that no market research had been done and thus Hari spent a sleepless six months, constantly worrying that they wouldn’t sell. She needn’t have worried as trips to festivals to showcase the Lotus Belle tents evoked great positivity and the orders started coming in – firstly in trickles, then in bulk orders allowing Hari to breathe a huge sigh of relief!


Hari met her partner, Ben in 2013. He was in the process of selling his stage, sound and lighting hire business and was looking to move in a new direction, so he started to help in the business. In 2016, Hari fell pregnant with baby Elowen and they made the brave (plus a few other adjectives!) decision to start working together as partners in business as well as in life. This sharing of the load has made motherhood a totally different experience for Hari this time around and she also has the freedom to keep designing innovative new products like the Air Bud and the Lotus Mahal as well as lots of accessories and innovative new features to the original design like the Stargazer roof system and the Cocoon / Insulated linings.

Hari feels eternally grateful that the rise of Glamping coincided with the arrival of her Lotus Belle tents – the two have become synonymous. But she leaves the last work to her dad: “If you design something good, people will beat a path to your door.”

They certainly did!

Click here to learn more about these stunning and unique tents: Lotus Belle