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Feature: Glamping in the UK for the bank holiday weekend

Monday, 23 May 2013 11:44 AM

Sleeping on a creaky blow-up air bed, waking up to a donkey nuzzling your hair, then having to walk through dewy grass to use a toilet: camping is not glamorous. The cold morning air, disgruntled children screaming, and late night-party music from neighbouring campers can leave you wanting to pull your hair out and run to the nearest bed and breakfast. But have you ever heard of glamping? Sometimes referred to as posh-camping, this innovative and modern form of the traditional summer-time activity means you can arrive at a site with a tent already erected! Although most of the time it isn’t a tent. Most of the time the tent will be a yurt, tipi, eco-dome, wooden caravan or luxury lodge.

The long, late-May bank holiday is under a week away, so we’re thinking the perfect way to spend a holiday in the UK is under the fine spring stars. And instead of washing in communal showers, why not have your own hot-tub? Well now you can, as we have found the most luxurious glamping sights in the country so you don’t have to lift a finger.

The eco-pod

The rugged west-coast of Scotland is a scenic retreat in its own right. With forgotten castles, mossy mountains and stark lochs in all directions, the destination is perfect for a short holiday. Ecopod Boutique Retreat is a collection of two geodesic domes containing naturally crafted and sourced interiors. Sleep on a sheep-skin rug and eat from the hand-made wooden kitchen. Each pod has a large window with stunning views of Loch Linnhe and the mountains of Mull. Surrounded by birch trees, soak in the cedar soaking-tub on deck, or relax with the 37” flat-screen TV and iPod docking station. On arrival, feast on a welcome pack which may feature hand-dived scallops, local ale, hand-made chocolates, and malt whisky! Prices start from £995 for a week.

Welsh safari

Although most people wouldn’t consider Wales as a safari destination, an entrepreneurial family inspired by tours through African game parks think otherwise. Set in North Wales, Hot Tub Safari Glamping is a collection of safari-style tents with under-floor heating, freestanding baths, king-size beds, and a walk-in vanity unit. Also included is a private terrace hot-tub for viewing the wild North Welsh countryside. There is no need to cook as owners Bre and Graham will do that for you with vegetables grown in an on-site garden. Other features include complimentary slippers and dressing gowns, a TV, and use of a salt-water heated swimming pool. Prices start from £80 per person per night.

The yurt

Set along the beautiful north Cornish coastline is a farm with a difference. The 18-acre Pencuke Farm is strewn with flowers and gorgeous views of the Atlantic Sea. It also offers a few Central-Asian styled yurts for you to stay in! These conical, tipi-like tents come with wooden floors and oak framed beds, making this a luxury camping experience you will not forget. With the comfy rugs, wood burning stove, wooden tables and dressers, the experience is more like that of a boutique resort. Communal fire pits dot the yurt village, and guests are encouraged to cook on them. A self-sustaining market garden is being created, but the hens are constantly laying eggs for you to feast on. Other facilities include a personal BBQ, gas stove, and communal washing and cooking facilities.

Woodland retreat

The woodlands of the south of England have to be some of the most peaceful countryside settings in the world. The large numbers of oak and ash trees, abundant flora, and British gems like the fox, badger, and deer, live in large numbers. For a secluded retreat with this all to yourself, head to The Wood Life in Devon, which features a single safari-style tent with a wooden patio. With a wood-powered shower for washing, sleep in a comfy king-sized double bed and cook from a wood-fired oven. Electricity is supplied by solar power, a compost loo is on hand, and there is a tree-house for children. Prices start from £400 for a weekend break.

Cottages made of Canvas

Leicestershire is a beautiful county. Picturesque market towns dot the gentle rolling hills and forest-lands. The Dandelion Hideaway is a set of five canvas cottages on the edge of Charnwood Forest. Perfect for a luxury family break, the tents sleep six people in wooden beds, and each comes with all the mod-cons of a traditional cottage. Each is surrounded by hedgerows, and the interiors boast a spacious living area, farmhouse kitchen, and a cozy bathroom. With two bedrooms with one bed in each, a third bed is located in a secret wooden cabin that couples or children will love. And for sunset-lovers, a shaded canopy is located at the front of each cottage.

This range of innovative and unique luxury camping ideas are perfect for a weekend break. The beds are so comfy you won’t even think you are camping!

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