Priory Bay Yurts, Isle of Wight
If you're looking for somewhere that really puts the 'glam' in glamping site, then look no further than the newly opened yurts at Priory Bay on the Isle of Wight. With a fully-fledged butler service, it bears little resemblance at all to camping. Except for in one respect: the fact that you can wake up in the morning, throw open the door of your yurt and practically step straight out onto the nearby beach. (The Priory Bay Hotel has its own private beach, and as a yurt-dweller you get much more privileged access to it than ordinary hotel guests.)
Catering for pretty much everybody but with a particular penchant for hen parties, Bloomsbury’s in Biddenden in Kent have teepees, yurts and a 1967 airstream caravan for hire. While you’re there you can also record your own CD, catch a gig with some top musicians, relax in the hot tub, have a beauty treatment and shop in the garden centre, all without leaving the premises. Oh, and if you don’t fancy cooking, there’s a fully licensed restaurant on site that serves up delicious food and drink, and is particularly renowned for its breakfasts and Sunday lunches.
Ecopod Boutique Retreat, West Coast of Scotland
If you want to well and truly get away from everything, then the Ecopod Boutique Retreat on the West Coast of Scotland is the place. It’s not cheap but, not only are the pods super-luxurious - with internet, a film and music library, 60s and 70s furnishings in a beautiful dome-shaped structure letting in plenty of natural light - but they're also extremely energy efficient (using around 20% of a ‘normal’ building of similar size). Two and a half hour’s drive away from Glasgow or Edinburgh, and you could be lying in one of the pod’s hot tubs, staring out at the Isle of Mull or Castle Stalker with a glass of locally brewed beer in your hand… Now that’s worth travelling (and paying) for.
The Yurt Retreat, Dorset
At just half an hour’s drive from the Jurassic Coast, The Yurt Retreat in Somerset makes a brilliant spot to stop over and break the journey on your way to Devon or Cornwall. But it’s also a lovely holiday location in itself, giving the impression of being completely isolated and yet not more than half a mile away from the gorgeous country village of Hinton St. George, home of the fabulous gastro pub, The Lord Poullet Arms. Run by two brothers who live in nearby Bridport, The Yurt Retreat is, fairly unusually, an adults-only campsite with four yurts and two oversized shepherds’ huts.
Hollings Hill Farm, Herefordshire
Hollings hill Farm in Cradley is one of Featherdown Farm’s 30 farms with glamping sites. Set in the stunning Malvern Hills, Hollings Hill remains a working dairy farm with goats, cows, ponies and chickens as well as six tents, each sleeping six people, which, when the cost is split are extremely reasonable. There are wood burning stoves, bread ovens, barbecues and camp fires, or if you prefer not to cook you can order home-made meals from nearby which will be brought directly to your tent-door. Then, when you’re ready to venture out you can visit the spa town of Malvern, Eastnor Castle or go walking in the hills. If a good night's sleep is all but guaranteed after that, it's worth bearing in mind that the sound of a tractor might wake you up a little earlier than anticipated…
And one more glamping site for luck...
Fear and loathing toward tents - carrying them, pitching them, even understanding the pitching instructions to these unwieldy contraptions - must be one of the top reasons people don’t go to more festivals. Hotel Bell Tent, top purveyor of swanky festival accommodation, thoroughly supplants these obstacles. The company sets up spacious, top-quality canvas bell tents at all the major UK festivals, making for a warm, easy welcome to some of the summer’s most exciting events. Their four- and five-metre tents are tall enough to stand up in, and come equipped with air mattresses, Egyptian cotton bedding and bath towels, rugs, low coffee tables and tea-candle chandeliers - all of which casts a flattering light on the entire concept of festival-going.
Like our pick of the best glamping sites in the UK but fancying something with a few more home comforts? Check out our pick of Europe's best boutique B&Bs.
Or if you're still looking for your festival accommodation arrangements and fancy splashing out, see our edit of luxury tents.