Now that lockdown has lifted and the summer school holidays have begun you may be left thinking on what to do with the kids for another six long weeks. The prospect of travelling abroad is still somewhat anxiety inducing so maybe a staycation is what you need.
Glamping combines the best of both worlds; the beauty of outdoor camping (minus the fuss) with a little luxury thrown in and all creature comforts as a bonus (think proper beds, flushable and sometimes even on-site restaurants). We’ve compiled our top picks but get in quick as availability is dwindling.
Medieval Glamping at Warwick Castle
Get medieval at Warwick Castle with an overnight stay in the glamping site. From themed lodges to four poster beds in the King’s tent and beyond – this glamping extravaganza is sure to make dreams come true for little knights and their families.
During the day you can enjoy everything that Warwick castle has to offer from the Horrible Histories maze to watching birds of prey and enjoying impromptu medieval shows throughout the site. Breakfast is included so knights will get their fill ready for a next day’s adventure (second day’s entry to the castle is included in the price). More info and booking via their website here. Also available via booking.com.
Blackberry wood is a small family run campsite in the Sussex countryside. Here you can sleep with your little ones in a double Decker London Bus, a fire engine or a helicopter. There are also a variety of treehouses and cabins on site.
Children are very much encouraged on camping trips and there is a small on site play area as well as plenty of outdoor pursuits to keep the whole family entertained including country walks, den making, outdoor cooking, cycling options and nearby adventure zoo park Drusillas. Brighton is a stone throw away and there is also the Bluebell Railway and the Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts as well as lots of cosy pubs, a vineyard and more. Booking via their website here.
Campwell at Cherry Wood
A secret campsite in the middle of the woods with a variety of yurts, roundhouses, tree houses and cabins. Magic eco toilets accessible by wobbly bridges, a shower with an open viewing platform, streams and communal cooking areas as well as private fire pits make this the ultimate eco escape. Read all about our magical experience here.
A yoga studio on site keeps you supple and flexible. Learn how to make sculptures or chairs with a woodworking class, rock in a hammocks and run around the green spaces to your hearts content. There is plenty to keep the kids entertained outside, from the secret lake (foremely a Victorian pleasure garden) where you can go wild swimming or take the wobbly canoe out for a paddle, to a Lama farm up the road and plenty of wild woodland walks. Bath is a 15 minute drive away so you can get your history, culture and art fix as well as enjoying the great outdoors. More info and booking via their website here.
Dome Garden is a magical eco-encampment in the heart of the forest in Gloucestershire. As well as looking uber cool (hello hanging suspended beds) they are comfortable with proper beds and fitted kitchen (as well as a fridge).
Kids can occupy themselves with the on-site zip wire, treehouse, natural rope swings, roaming chickens (complete with eggs to collect on site). There are also canoeing options, a Go Ape site, mystical Puzzlewood with petting zoo is just under 3 miles away and there is a maze and willow playground, Butterfly House and hiking with llamas.
You can cook food outdoors, or if you fancy wood fired food minus the hassle there is also an onsite seasonal restaurant. YUM. For 2020 they are running a reduced season so get in quick to book your stay via their website here.
The ideal glamping site that combines a working farm with rural sea view in Cornwall. Families can choose from a variety of accommodation options including gypsy caravans, safari tents, a bell tent and a camping lodge. Young Londoners and their families will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the farm animals on site from watching the cows being milked or collecting eggs for your breakfast.
Children will enjoy the sandpit and the weekly pizza night cookouts around a campfire. There are also lots of activities to get involved in just outside the camp like paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, wild swimming and horse riding. Closeby you have the open air Minack theatre at which runs storytelling sessions for children and is also a pretty sight to visit. More information on Boswarthen Farm can be found on their site here.
Low Wray Campsite
This National Trust camp site may be a bit of a drive from London in the Lake District, Cumbria. But its waterfront location as well as meadow and woodland views and so many activities for the kids to enjoy make it worth the extra drive confined in a small space with rowdy little humans.
Young Londoners will love the onsite adventure playgrounds and outdoor families can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating and rowing boats. There are lots of picturesque walks and nearby you can go horse riding or visit the Beatrix potter Gallery at Hawkshead.
Accommodation options include treepods, safari tents and glamping pods so you have a variety of options for all budgets and tastes. More info and bookings via their site here.
Valley Side Escape
An award winning glamping site with picturesque views over the River Exe in Devon. Expect luxurious accommodation with ensuite toilets, hot running water as well as electricity and WiFi. Most importantly here you can find a glorious bespoke mud kitchen and play area for the children to enjoy. Swings and slides, tyres to balance on, outdoor cooking options and outdoor garden games to enjoy together as a family.
Closeby there is the model railway, plenty of cosy pubs and National Trust properties Knightshayes or Killerton. Ride a monster machine at Diggerland in Devon or take a horse drawn barge on the Great Western canal. More info and booking via their website here.
For all the magic fans out there – welcome to the mystical North Shire. A stay in the StoryBook cottage, the Shire House or shepherds hut is not only an Instagrammer’s paradise but also magical fun for the whole family.
Children of all ages will enjoy the free roaming farm animals including chickens, miniature ponies and you may even cross paths with a peacock. As well as plenty of activities within the site, the village of Danby is 6 miles away and you can find local attractions such as the Danby Moors Centre, a lovely bakery with tea room and a good local inn. A short drive away is the historic fishing port of Whitby with long, sandy beaches, a cobbled market place and a pretty harbour.
The stunning landscape of the North York Moors National Park is a haven for walkers, with a network of footpaths close to this North Yorkshire cottage, whilst the numerous pretty coastal and inland villages are a delight to explore. More info and bookings via their website here.
Bear Lodge Kent
Bear Lodge in Kent is the closest you are going to get to a African safari adventure without leaving the UK. Nestled within the 600 acre Port Lympne Reserve, these ultra luxurious glamping safari tents come fully equipped with wood burning stoves, separate cosy bedrooms with crisp sheets and a private bathroom.
Your stay comes complete with entry to the reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park where you can see wild animals including a herd of elephants, a variety of cats and an interactive play area for the kids to enjoy. There is also an on site Dinosaur exhibit for any dino enthusiasts.
This is not a budget glamping experience as you would be expected to fork out around £350 per night. More info and booking via their website here.
There are 22 yurts to choose from, some within a village setting and others in private quieter nooks within the site.
Here you can enjoy a variety of family friendly activities including table tennis, zip wire, full size woodland assault course, fort, see saw and a sand pit. Having Dartmoor on your doorstep means, if you want to venture out of the campsite you can go pony trekking, wild swimming and rock climbing. There is also the Devon coastline close by so you can take a trip to the seaside. Other family friendly local attractions include the open air swimming pool at Bovey Tracey, Pennywell Farm and Woodland Leisure Park. Sold? We certainly are. More info and booking via their website here.
Explore the woodlands at Jolly Days as the kids while the hours away playing with the wooden on-site Wendy House or rope swings.
When it comes to accommodation, you’re back to basics in the woodland and lodge tents or the woodcutters cabin but you can expect touches of luxury such as king sized beds, proper sheets, own toilet and constant hot water. Other activities include bushcraft, woodworking, and candle making. There is a fairy trail close by complete with an adventure playground for little people to enjoy.
Local attractions include the Yorkshire Museum of Farming and a variety of adventure parks, mazes and theme parks. More info and booking here.
Brambells Glamping Farm
This Norfolk family run farm has a variety of bell tents with meadow views or woodland settings. Children can get back to basics on the farm as they enjoy feeding and petting the animals including pigs, ducks, goats and hens. If you’re lucky you may even be able to collect a few freshly laid eggs for breakfast.
The onsite mud kitchen will keep young ones entertained and the onsite play area is sure to tire them out. The site has plenty of attractions close by including crabbing at Walberswick, boat trips and local sandy beaches: Lowestoft and Gorleston. More info and booking via their site here.