Staycations are certainly set to be big this summer and, with more of us than ever making the most Britain’s great outdoors, we bring you some of our favourite luxury camping experiences, from safari tents to cosy cabins.
1. The Private Hill, North Yorkshire
Perched on the edge of the North Yorkshire Wolds and bragging miles of unspoiled views across the Vale of York, Private Hill’s luxurious, bubble dome accommodation offers the perfect post-lockdown getaway. Proudly a low-density destination, you’ll be staying in one of just four geodesic glamping pods — like space-aged safari tents — each providing a truly self-contained, luxury camping facility, complete with a wood-burning stove, bathroom facilities and a compact kitchenette. Not that you’ll need to self-cater: there’s a licensed café, bar, and restaurant on-site, but if you don’t fancy mingling with the handful of other guests, your private chef will freshly prepare breakfast, light lunches, traditional afternoon teas, and three-course dinners, all of which can be delivered to your door.
2. The Treehouse, Somerset
Everyone’s favourite treetop hidey-hole is no longer just for kids. Arboreal adults can now live among the trees in considerable style, and while rope ladders have been replaced here with a show-stopping spiral staircase that corkscrews through this award-winning property, its lustrous exposed-timber interiors reflect both its wooded setting and its nostalgic theme. This treehouse offers a welcome hamper, its own private hot tub, a roll-top bath, leafy balconies, TV, WiFi, fluffy bathrobes, and Egyptian-cotton sheets in the romantic master bedroom.
… Or try a treehouse stay in the New Forest
3. Bluebell Yurt, Essex
Set amid a working fishery in the South East of England, Bluebell Yurt is just a few paces from its own private fishing dock, making it an essential stay for keen anglers looking to avoid the shoals of summer holidaymakers. With chickens and geese roaming around its riverside setting, it’s a great spot for nature lovers too, and you can watch the world go by as you soak in your own private hot tub. Glamping accommodation amenities include wired internet, a barbecue, an outdoor dining area, and a private bathroom, and the beautiful bell tent itself is filled with quirky furniture and offbeat hippy-chic decor.
4. Alpaca Glamping, Cornwall
If having adorable alpacas for holiday buddies makes you think, “Alpaca suitcase” (sorry!), then this Cornish luxury camping holiday is most definitely for you. Situated on a working farm in the South West of England, and populated with rescued animals, this glamping site is just a 15-minute drive from St Ives, and a mile-and-a-half prance from Penzance. Some of the country’s best beaches are within easy reach, and the campground itself offers in-tents views over St Michael’s Mount, the iconic, ancient castle-topped tidal island that plays counterpart to Normandy’s Mont-Saint-Michel.
5. Woodside Bay Treehouse, Isle of Wight
Blending the diminutive, open-plan living you’d associate with a wood elf’s cosy, forest home, with luxe, modern conveniences, Woodside Bay Treehouse sleeps just two, making it perfect for an adult-only escape. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge on the island’s serene north-eastern shoreline, this sylvan stay offers stunning views over the Solent from a lush woodland setting. Despite these back-to-basics vibes, however, this treehouse is decked out with a contemporary kitchen, a curved-screen TV, and Amazon Echo Dot, among other amenities. The double bathroom comes equipped with twin copper sinks and a monsoon shower, and there is — of course — the obligatory outdoor Jacuzzi just beyond its French doors.
6. The Tin Barn, Gloucestershire
The Tin Barn might look like a humble shipping container from the outside, but this sumptuous stay — cleverly constructed from reclaimed materials — surprises with a chic, modern-rustic interior. Rich, masculine Farrow & Ball hues are draped with crushed velvet portières; the teensy kitchenette still finds space to accommodate a fathoms-deep butler sink; the Victorian bathroom brags a roll-top tub, and the bedroom is blessed by an ornately carved four-poster bed so gorgeous you might be tempted to skip planned hikes around the Forest of Dean and stay indoors instead.
7. Showman’s Wagon, Gwynedd
Something wicked this way comes! Whether you’ve ever dreamed of joining the circus, or your stomach lurched when the carnival came to town, this renovated, 1950s, genuine fairground travelling-van is sure to delight anyone looking for an extraordinary getaway. Situated at the head of the beautiful Cwm-Mynach Valley, overlooking the Mawddach Estuary in the southern reaches of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, this centrally heated van conversion sits in its own small, enclosed garden, and sleeps two adults (no kids allowed, we’re afraid!). It squeezes a shower room, living room, dining area, and galley kitchen into its compact interior, so being ringmaster certainly comes with its little luxuries.
Not quite your style? Discover lots of other unique retreats.
8. Cosy Fisherman’s Hut, East Sussex
This teeny, tiny fisherman’s hut, located in a peaceful spot just 10 miles from Tunbridge Wells, is the perfect place for a stripped-back escape. Less luxe and much more rustic than a lot of overblown glamping experiences, this compact hut is located directly on the bank of a lake, and you’ll feel like you’ve just pulled up in your own, classic Gypsy caravan to catch your own supper, or for a refreshing, wild swim. Indeed, shower facilities are provided nearby, and your room consists of little more than a bed and a fully equipped kitchenette, so there’s not much to worry about other than eating, sleeping and relaxing.
9. Log Home Village, Cumbria
What could be more cosy than a log cabin in the Lake District? These lovely lodges — sprouting grass on their roofs like Hobbit holes — offer the quintessential lakes retreat experience, from their exposed beams and wooden walls to the wood-burning stove and rustic picnic tables. Wonderful for summer, and ideal for winter — with their Santa-grotto stylings — these cabins are fully equipped homes away from home, stuffed with chintzy furnishings that will engulf you like quicksand. And relax.
10. Little Silver Owl, Devon
Dyed-in-the-wool glampers know that no list of rustic retreats is complete without a stylish shepherds’ hut, so unknit those furrowed brows and feast your eyes upon this delightful, russet-coloured hut, perched beautifully beside an orchard overlooking the Taw Valley. As one of just three such shepherds’ huts spread out around these beautifully manicured gardens, you’ll be certain of some peace and quiet — not least because this is an adults-only retreat. High-quality Sennheiser headphones accompany the record player and vinyl collection you’ll find inside your cabin, so everybody else can enjoy the silence while you listen to Depeche Mode or vibe oh-so-quietly to Björk. Other mod-cons include an en-suite shower, Belling Cooker, Smeg fridge, Nespresso machine, and a smart speaker pre-programmed with top tips for exploring the local area. Naturally there’s your own Jacuzzi hot tub from which to stargaze sans light pollution, and you’ll even get your own private golf buggy to get you around the grounds. Beep, beep, Bo Peep!
11. Finn Lough Bubble Domes, County Fermanagh
On the very upper end of the glamping spectrum are these show-stopping bubble domes, nestled in woodland on a large estate overlooking the lower reaches of Northern Ireland’s Lough Erne lake system. Perfect for a romantic escape, staying in these fairytale, soap-bubble bedrooms is like living inside a toasty snow-globe, and from your four-poster bed you’ll have panoramic, 180-degree views of the surrounding forest and the starlit night sky. Room facilities stretch to an en-suite bathroom, breakfast, and a Nespresso machine, but with a reasonably priced haute cuisine restaurant on site, a cinema room, a spa, an aromatherapy sauna, afternoon teas, and cocktail-making classes, you’ll hardly be brushing up on your bushcraft skills. While the domes are currently closed due to the pandemic, we advise bookmarking them for an autumn getaway when they reopen.