We’ve all got a lot of catching up to do this summer, and each of these idyllic glamping sites can be hired out partially or even exclusively for reunions and celebrations with family and friends.
As well as lashings of fresh air, you’ll find plenty of fun activities on offer and enough luxury thrown in that the grandparents might even be persuaded to stay too.
Just a Tube ride away on the wild outskirts of London
One of the tents at Home Farm Glamping in Elstree, which is set amid 150 acres of woods and historic parkland
It bills itself as the closest glamping site to North London, yet once you arrive it’s hard to believe you’re just a ten-minute drive from a Tube line. Part of the Aldenham Estate in Elstree, Hertfordshire, Home Farm Glamping is set in 150 acres of woods and historic parkland and features a private lake.
Jess Allen-Back set up the site in 2015 as an addition to arable farming on the land her family has lived on since 1620. Majestic trees silhouetted against huge skies and green fields as far as the eye can see means you’re spoilt for space for a group gathering.
The bell tents and yurts, each on its own decking platform with a fire pit and barbecue, are arranged in a large semi-circle with a huge camp fire festooned with fairy lights in the centre, designed for congregating as the sun goes down. There’s also a barn with ping-pong table, squishy sofas, board games, books, fridge-freezers and a tea urn. Yoga classes, massages and facials are also on offer in the beauty tent.
While you may be content just to take in the tranquil surroundings, for the more adventurous guests Wilderness Foundation offer forest bathing sessions and bushcraft lessons.
On our visit, the children were in their element learning how to light a camp fire with only a flint and kindling picked from the woodland floor. We put those skills to the test over supper, firing up the barbecue for a fabulous meaty selection from on-site caterers Sainlo Events. For groups of ten or more, the company can provide a range of bespoke meal options.
We rounded off our stay with a hearty breakfast at the site’s Meadow Cafe (which also offers lunch and afternoon tea hampers), before a stroll around the Aldenham Country Park nature trail.
How much: Weekend exclusive hire of Home Farm Glamping is from £5,000 per night and can accommodate more than 40 guests (£125pp) in eight bell tents and four yurts. Visit homefarmglamping.com.
Yurts with all mod cons in the grounds of a stately home
Wild Meadow on the Raynham Hall estate in Norfolk is a small but perfectly formed site featuring four cosy yurts
Wild Meadow is set in the 800-acre grounds of the beautiful stately home Raynham Hall in Norfolk. This small but perfectly formed site features four cosy yurts, each with a super-kingsize bed with luxury bedding as well as a wood-burning stove, barbecue and outdoor seating area. The yurts are connected to the mains so also include bedside lamps and mobile-phone charging points.
A communal dining and cooking tent is the best spot for eating together.
How much: To book all four yurts (for a group of approximately 18) for a three-night weekend in summer costs £1,680 (£31pp per night). Visit coolcamping.com.
Outdoor ‘rooms’ with the services of a grand hotel
There are 50 ‘rooms’ at the Cadland Estate’s Pop-Up Hotel in Hampshire. You can have meals delivered to your tent, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘room service’
There are 50 ‘rooms’ available at the Cadland Estate’s Pop-Up Hotel, which promises to combine the romance of nights under canvas with all the perks you’d expect from a boutique hotel in Hampshire.
A range of tents and sprawling suites are set in a stunning wildflower meadow just above a private beach in the New Forest, while there’s a bar and clifftop restaurant with views across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight.
You can also have meals delivered to your tent, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘room service’.
Activities include a wellness retreat offering yoga, massage and meditation, and you will find watersports, bike hire, bushcraft sessions, lessons in woodland orienteering and a laser-tag battlefield in the woods.
How much: Breaks are Monday to Thursday night inclusive, or Friday to Sunday night inclusive, and prices are from £499 for two guests in a Classic Tent to £1,599 for six guests in the exclusive Raj Tenthouse Suite. Visit thepopuphotel.com.
Got 62 friends? Get together round the pizza oven
The quality interior inside one of the 12 spacious yurts at Fir Hill Estate in Newquay
The 62-acre Fir Hill Estate Glamping site in Newquay has 12 spacious yurts overlooking the stunning Porth Reservoir and swathes of Cornwall’s countryside.
Its top-notch communal facilities are made for group gatherings and include a terrace with barbecue and pizza oven, plus a converted barn and cowshed games room/ leisure area should the weather turn. Nestled among woodlands, guests can explore on foot or by mountain bike, or go fishing and birdwatching at the reservoir – a designated bird sanctuary.
How much: Exclusive group hire of the Fir Hill Estate starts from £1,770 per night (for a minimum of three nights) and can accommodate a maximum of 63 guests (£84pp per night). Visit thefirhill.co.uk.
Ultimate party pad with a home-from-home feeling
Glamping pioneers Feather Down Farms has 32 sites across the UK, known for canvas lodges with home-from-home-style luxuries including comfy beds, wood-burning stoves and en suite bathrooms.
They are also ideal for a get-together, with a ten per cent discount when you book the entire site. Moor Farm, in Gloucestershire, has six tents, each sleeping up to six. There’s an indoor pool, fishing nearby and a cycle trail. The large ‘party’ barn is a brilliant space for group festivities.
How much: From £3,096 for four nights for up to 36 guests (£86pp). Visit featherdown.co.uk.
Let the kids run wild while you relax in a world of luxury
A free-standing bath in one of the three stylish abodes at Luxury Glamping in Lincolnshire
The three safari tents at Luxury Glamping, a 15-minute drive from pretty Stamford in Lincolnshire, are pitch-perfect for free-range family groups.
Build dens around the farmland, learn to fish or wild swim in the lake, or pile into the back of the owner’s Land Rover and be whisked away to spot wildlife.
You can ask for a home-cooked dinner to be delivered to your deck, set up a projector for a family film night under the stars or enjoy a long soak in your free-standing bath before cosying up in bed under the White Company duvets.
How much: Three safari tents which each sleep four to six can be hired exclusively from £516 a night. Visit kiphideaways.com.
Giant teepees that’ll get your family back together in style
New for this year, Kymani Getaways offers luxury glamping retreats across the UK. Its beautifully furnished bell tents come with wood-burners, and at the centre of each sociable site is a giant teepee with a banquet table for communal dinners.
The Suffolk site is located in the grounds of a moated Tudor manor house, while its Godstone one has stunning views of the rolling Surrey hills. On-site activities include sports day kits, archery and treasure hunts. Expect a resident chef on hand to provide swish barbecues and a range of themed dining evenings.
How much: A full site takeover for 20 guests is from £3,950 for two nights (£98.75pp, per night), including breakfast and dinner. Visit kymanigetaways.com.
Something for everyone, no matter how old they are
Cloud Nine Glamping in Dorset is open for six weeks over the summer, with a choice of accommodation including bell tents, teepees, safari tents and Airstream vans
Cloud Nine Glamping is open for six weeks over the summer and magically transforms the historic grounds of stunning St Giles House in Dorset, with a choice of accommodation including bell tents, teepees, safari tents and Airstream vans, some with their own hot tubs.
Last summer was a sellout and you can see why – there’s a plethora of activities on offer to keep every generation happy. There’s also a babysitting service and a wellness sanctuary with hot tubs and massages. Groups can camp together around communal campfire areas.
How much: From £132 per family, per night. Visit cloudnineglamping.com.
Meet owls and alpacas at New MacDonald’s Farm
The new owners of Macdonald’s Farm took on the site in Cornwall during lockdown and have spent a year sprucing it up.
It’s a ten-minute walk from the stunning sandy beach and rock pools of Porthcothan Bay. It features three bell tents with wood-burning stoves which share a communal kitchen and dining area ideal for groups.
Children can ride on one of the farm’s friendly ponies and meet alpacas, rabbits and the resident spotted African owl in the animal petting area, while parents enjoy a drink at the Sundowner Bar.
How much: Bell tents are from £75 per night. Visit macdonaldsfarm.co.uk.
Pitch perfect Safari tents on the banks of the River Brock
Right on the edge of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this bijou site of five safari tents in Bleasdale in Lancashire is surrounded by woods and lies just above the River Brock.
Each tent accommodates six guests in three bedrooms – one with a king-size bed, one twin room and one with bunk beds. There’s also a fully equipped kitchen area.
How much: From £2,475 for all five glamping tents for two nights. Visit glampinghideaways.co.uk.