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

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.

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!