With you know what lingering on, camping breaks, glamping holidays and road trips have seen a huge popularity revival. And I am not afraid to say that I have firmly jumped on the glamping breaks bandwagon. In this article I will explain what glamping is and how and where you can find epic glamping breaks with an extensive resource list (for UK, USA and Europe). I will also detail your glamping essentials and show you some of the most incredible and unique glamping holidays around the world.
What Is Glamping?
Glamping derives from the name Glamorous Camping and it is more popular than ever before - encompassing things like treehouse glamping, yurt holidays, airbnb glamping breaks, and glamping tents like tipis. And that is not forgetting the wooden cabins, geodesic domes, dreamy shepherds huts, old school airstream caravans, hobbit holes and quirky additions like old railway carriages, aeroplanes and double decker buses. The list of glamping ideas is endless but the one thing they all have in common is the feeling of being transported back to nature without getting back to the basics of camping. Glamping holidays are all about immersing yourself in your surroundings, breathing in the fresh air and dissolving your stresses away.
Is Glamping Right For You?
Having already earned its place in the Oxford Dictionary, glamping has been formally described as
‘A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.’
Glamping breaks combine all the creature comforts of a guest house or hotel but with the simplicity of camping and being in the great outdoors. It takes the stresses out of camping (like fighting with your tent poles!) and retains all the magic of sleeping under the stars.
In my opinion glamping holidays can suit everyone. From your city slickers seeking a little nature escape, to those who really enjoy switching off and waking up to the sound of birdsong. Of course, there will be some who believe glamping is a little excessive or a cheat on the traditional camping. But whatever ‘camp’ you sit in, glamping is becoming a welcomed respite from our increasingly fast paced and technology driven lives.
What Can You Expect When You Go Glamping?
It really depends on what glamping break you decide to take. As I mentioned above, there are many different types and the very nature of how glamping holidays have evolved is that there is something for everyone, on every budget. If you are not into camping but love nature and getting away from it all, enjoying a glamping experience could be perfect for you. Here is why I love glamping breaks:
Pre-pitched and often luxurious accommodation
When you go camping, I find you spend most of your time wrestling with your tent poles. But with glamping, you just turn up and settle in. And because the competition for glamping sites has grown massively in the last few years, hosts tend to go all out with the accommodation for unique and exciting glamping holidays. For me, the quirkier and more luxurious (but on a budget) the better. Some have designer interiors, while others have outdoor heated showers, show stopping copper roll top baths or wooden hot tubs with unbeatable views. If you prefer something more basic, there are some glamping breaks that offer incredible locations with a minimalist vibe and structure. There is literally something for everyone.
A real and comfy bed!
Lets face it, when you go camping, you never sleep well - unless you have invested and found a blow up bed that doesn’t deflate during the night (if you have this - please DM me where you got it from!). But with glamping holidays, you can bag a four poster bed and snuggle down under a duck down duvet while you stargaze through the skylight above.
When you camp, especially if you Wild Camp, the magic is in really getting back to basics - like fumbling out of your tent in the middle of the night to find somewhere for a nature wee while trying not to get stung by stinging nettles (read more about wild camping here!) But glamping is nothing like that. With most, if not all, glampsites, you can expect fabulous facilities. From fully stocked kitchens with stoves and sinks to freshly smelling toilets and heated showers - all your basic needs can be met and exceeded. No more boil in the bag rice for you, instead you can cook and enjoy your meal al fresco.
In addition to this, often one of the perks of glamping holidays, is the welcome hamper on arrival and they are amazing. Think - butter shortbread, wine, local cheeses, home baked brownies, milk and more. Many glampsites also have an honesty fridge or small farm shop where you can stock up on farm fresh ingredients and locally sourced goods.
Heat and light
Whether it is twinkling fairy lights showing you the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, a wood burning stove, a pre made fire pit or mains electricity, glamping breaks will always offer light and warmth.
An epic location
But above all, glamping breaks are about the location. What makes glamping holidays so unique is often the location and the immersion in wild places, allowing you to get back to nature while enjoying the creature comforts you are used to. One of the biggest lures for glamping is being able to sleep under the stars in a comfy bed and speaking from experience, there is nothing quite like it - especially with the crackling of the wood burner in the background slowly soothing you to sleep.
What Are The Different Types Of Glamping Holidays?
Glamping Tents - Bell Tents, Tipis & Safari Tents:
Glamping tents are probably the most traditional glamping accommodation, but rest assured, glamping tents are nothing like regular camping tents. These tents are often much bigger, beautifully decorated and found in unique destinations like these safari tents in reaching distance of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona or this luxury eco safari tent in California.
Many luxury glamping sites offer tipi (or teepee) tents. Teepees are triangular cone shaped tents made from wooden poles and covered with a cloth or canvas material. Similar to Bell tents but just a different shape. Tipis are the traditional home to American Indians but for travellers seeking a unique experience, tipis have taken the glamping industry by storm. Check out this one in Norfolk, or how about this one in the Peak District with its very own hot tub.
Airbnb Glamping Holidays:
Did you know that on Airbnb you can search for unique places to stay with glamping breaks in mind? Such as treehouses, trains, domes, boats, tipis and more! There is such a huge choice on this platform. Here are a handful of unique glamping breaks that blew me away:
The Joshua Tree House, Bridgwater, Virgina
Riverfront Resort Glamping "Safari for the Soul", Texas
Unique and Secluded AirShip with Breathtaking Highland Views, Scotland
Beautiful Woodland Roundhouse/Fairy/Hobbit house, Wales
Cabane Lov'nid SPA Comète, Joncherey, Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France
The Chulavista Dome, Cantabria, Spain
Yurts are circular trellis-walled shelters that come in many different sizes, and they are often portable. They have Russian and Turkish origins, and the design has been around for centuries. The circular nature of yurts is what sets them apart from other glamping tents like the tipi. I love using Canopy and Stars for researching different glamping options and they have a great selection of yurt holidays. But hands down for me, my favourite so far has to be Deers Leap, based by the Quantock Hills in Somerset. You can read all about it here.
Treehouse glamping is my favourite type of glamping break but it is often most expensive. But with that being said, for the experience of waking up in the trees and listening to the birds all around you, I think it is worth it - especially if it is for a special occasion. It is a truly magical form of glamping. Just imagine relaxing in this copper roll top bath with that view (Photo credit: Canopy and Stars), or relaxing in this hot tub style bath overlooking the hills in France, or enjoying your breakfast with this view in Cumbria, or how about a night in a UFO in Sweden?
Cubes, Domes and Eco Pods:
Cubes, domes and pods are some of the most sophisticated glamping tents around. These accommodations often come as a single room, round or square, structures and some are incredibly unique, such as this one, suspended in mid air!
But if being suspended in the air isn’t your thing, you will also find cubes and domes secured firmly to the ground in picturesque settings like the domes at EcoCamp in Patagonia, Chile.
Other Quirky Glamping Breaks:
There is no end to the new glamping accommodations that are popping up around the world, from aeroplanes, helicopters, railway carriage, shepherds huts, hobbit holes and double decker buses, there is a whole exciting glamping world out there to explore!
The Holicopter, East Sussex, UK
The Big Green Bus, East Sussex, UK
Hobit Holes, Dunblane, Scotland
The Jet Star, Pembrookshire, UK
Shepherds hut with roll top bath and glass ceiling, Devon, UK
How To Find The Perfect Glamping Experience:
Resources to help get you started:
Glamping Essentials: What to take with you:
All glamping sites are different, but from the glamping holidays I have taken in recent months, there are a few things I have learnt to take with me.
Glamping essentials: Cooking and Cleaning
Washing up, cleaning products, tea towel
Food storage bags and tin foil
Lighter / matches
Food and drink for your stay
A cool box and ice blocks can be really handy
Refillable water bottle and large water (5 Litre - incase there is no access to a tap close by)
Tea, coffee, sugar and any condiments you might like
Potentially gas stove - but check with your accommodation first
Glamping essentials: Clothing and Other
Soft indoor shoes / slippers
Head torch / torch
Travel towel (although they may have towels included)
Wellies / walking boots
Waterproof coat and clothing if you are going walking
Warm jumper for the evenings, cozy clothing
Flip flops / sandals and bathrobe
Backpack for day walks
Battery pack and chargers for electrical devices
Glamping Essentials: Entertainment
Deck of cards
Books / magazine
Arts and crafts
Speakers for your music
Ipad with downloaded movies
As all glamping sites differ in what they offer, I would suggest speaking to your host before you set off to find out what is included what you will need to take with you. Remember glamping provides an amazing opportunity to leave your tech at home and really get back to nature. Swap your laptop for a good book for your glamping break.
Questions to ask prior to your arrival:
Is bedding and towels included?
What are the cooking facilities like?
Is there a fridge or cool box to store our food?
Are their logs and firelighters available? And do we need to pay extra / bring cash?
Is there electricity?
Is there WIFI?
What are the shower / washing facilities like?
Final thoughts on Glamping holidays:
I hope that was helpful. glamping holidays offer such an incredible experience and the options of where to go as well as the style of accommodation are endless. Glamping is also much better for the environment than most hotels because they are often created with the use of sustainable materials and facilities that have a minimal effect on the world around us. Additionally, if you are using glamping as a staycation, that means you are not flying which also reduces your carbon emissions - a win win for you and the environment. Glamping is also a great way to support local farmers and producers as many of the honesty shops and stalls only sell local produce. And on top of all of that glamping suits every type of budget!