Stunning location, Snowdonia
Two yurts and an octagonal “caban” (pictured above) accompany a handful of tent pitches at Graig Wen on the banks of the Mawddach estuary. Each is furnished with Welsh blankets and wood burners, and windows in the cabin walls provide a 360-degree view of the pines beyond. It’s a short walk for the most dramatic river views, and you can cycle road-free all the way to Fairbourne beach, climb Snowdonia’s Cader Idris directly from the site, or drive the 10 minutes to Snowdon.
• Yurts for two/five people from £100/£190 for two nights, caban (sleeps 2) from £160 for two nights midweek, more at weekends, 01341 250482
Down on the farm, North Yorkshire
In a Yorkshire Wolds valley, the diverse Humble Bee Farm offers bell tents of various sizes, wigwams and yurts alongside regular camping pitches. It’s family-orientated facilities include a play area and a baby-changing bathroom, and children can pet the pygmy goats, collect eggs from the chickens and take part in nature weekends. A farm shop sells local sausages, bacon, and ice-cream; and you can drive 15 minutes to the expansive sands of Filey Beach or walk via the nearby Wolds Way.
• Wigwams (sleep up to 5) from £20/£12 per adult/child per night, bell tents (sleep 4 or 5) from £80 or £85, yurts (sleep 4) from £60, two nights minimum, open all year, 01723 890437
Treehouse on castle grounds Cotswolds
Cotswolds Camping, in the historic north Cotswold village of Whichford, Warwickshire, is in a field where a Norman castle once stood (the remaining moat is home to carp, ducks, moor hens, and geese) and was believed to be a sacred Neolithic site. Yurts are furnished with Moroccan rugs, sheepskins and embroidered wall hangings, but it is the tree house that stands out here – a simply furnished wooden structure sandwiched between a collection of birches. Inside there is a double bed and wood burner, while toilets and showers are shared between all accommodations (there are also bell tents and regular camping). The Norman Knight, a classic Cotswold pub, and Whichford Wood, a site of special interest, are both within walking distance.
• Bell tents (sleep 4), tree house (sleeps 4) and yurts (sleep 6) all from £65 per night, open all year, 01608 684239
Shepherd’s huts, Kent
The three marsh-side shepherd’s huts at Elmley Nature Reserve are akin to luxuriously furnished bird-hides – fitted with beds, wood burners and an outdoor, gas-heated shower. There are bird watching books and binoculars for peeping out across the wetlands, and the Victorian farm buildings behind house a kitchen and games area, along with information about the reserve: 4x4 tours, wildlife walks and photography courses are available. These stylish huts sleep two but children can be accommodated in extra bell tents pitched alongside.
• Shepherd’s huts (sleep 2) from £75-£100 per night (depending on length of stay), open all year, 07786 333331
Right on the coast, Norfolk
Deepdale Backpackers & Campers’ six tipis, four yurts and a shepherd’s hut are tucked behind converted farm buildings, just yards from the north Norfolk’s coastal footpath. Tipis are the most sparsely furnished (sleeping mats, firepits and folding chairs) while family-sized yurts and the shepherd’s hut feature proper beds and wood burners. All share a well-equipped communal kitchen, and there’s a small cafe right next door for those less keen on cooking. Holkham Hall and beach is 10-minutes’ drive away, while the White Horse pub (with exceptional marsh views) is a five-minute stroll.
• Tipis (sleep up to 8), yurts (sleep up to six), shepherd’s hut (sleeps up to 4) from £40-145 per night (two nights minimum), depending on the time of year and the number of people, open all year, 01485 210256
Camping pods, Suffolk
In a private segment of woodland fringing Thetford forest park, four en-suite West Stow Pods each feature a double bed, sofa and fitted kitchen, along with a television for rainy days. Campfires are not permitted but brick barbecues accompany each pod. Den-building and rope-swinging occupy children, while West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village – an archaeological site and open-air museum – is within easy walking distance. Visit before the end of May to catch bluebells in bloom.
• £65 per night for two people then £25 per extra adult (maximum of four adults) or £10 per child (maximum of three children, first child under three is free), two night minimum, 01284 728136
Farm retreat, Carmarthenshire
Welsh-made yurts, sheep’s wool-insulated eco-pods and a 19th-century Romany Gypsy wagon are scattered around the Ceridwen Centre’s 40 acres of wildflower strewn meadows on the slopes of the Teifi valley. Each has a nearby compost loo, or walk to the converted farm buildings where proper showers, toilets and a communal living space are found. There are regular pizza nights, a bar selling local ciders and National Trust-owned Dinefwr Castle is a 30-minute walk away. It’s possible to book the entire site and organized a retreat from yoga to creative writing.
• Pods (sleep two adults and one child) from £134 for two nights, yurts (sleep two adults and two small children) from £144 for two nights, open all year, 01284 728136
Eco-pods, the Cairngorms
Ten miles from Scotland’s busiest ski resort, Aviemore Glamping offers year-round glamping geared towards outdoor enthusiasts. In the grounds of a B&B, four en-suite wooden pods sleep two, with tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge and a campfire pit outside. Don’t expect sprawling fields, this is compact town-center accommodation, but a hearty breakfast in the main building and immediate access to the town are the benefits. The Cairngorms national park surrounds; hiking, mountain biking, canyoning and loch kayaking can all be arranged at the information center, a 10-minute walk away.
• Pods (sleep 2) from £45 per night, open all year, 01479 810717
Pods for the Peaks, Derbyshire
On the edge of the Peak District, Mulino Lodge Farm houses Mulino Pods, three stylish oak-carved glamping pods that offer chic interiors and a host of local info, maps, games and the like. There’s also a well-equipped outdoor kitchen plus plenty of space for washing muddy boots, bikes or dogs. The historic town of Kniveton is well worth a visit (scattered with independent shops and cafes) while hikes, cycle trails and water sports are all on offer on the pod’s doorstep. Owner Craig can also give farm tours and gather goods for a barbecue.
• Pods (sleep three adults or two adults and two children) £230 for three-night weekend or £140 for two nights midweek, open all year, 01335 216220
Futuristic domes, Devon
Set between undulating hills and the wild North Devon coast sits six-acre Loveland Farm, a 19th-century farmhouse tents, tipis, yurts and campervans as well as five modern geodesic domes, all designed by fashion designers Jeff and Karina Griffin. Domes range in size and include king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves and mod cons like Wi-Fi and movie projectors. There’s substance behind the style, with solar panels, compost loos and eco-showers, as well as milk provided by exotic alpacas and Asian water buffaloes! Prise yourself away for historic villages, charming cobbled streets and North Devon’s most popular surf spots, Woolacombe and Westward Ho!.
• Domes start from £230 for two people for two nights plus £20/£10 per extra adult/child per night (under-5s free), 01237 441894