From luxury yurts on a Scottish isle to a cosy cabin in Pembrokeshire, we pick the best sites for summer
1 The Lake
Row across the spring-fed lake or take a refreshing dip at this converted shipping container next to a disused clay quarry on Bodmin Moor. There’s a Scandi feel to the interior, with clean, simple lines combined with a fully equipped kitchen, double bed, french windows, LED lighting and a wood-burner. A solar-powered shower and eco-friendly toilet are at the back. There’s no fridge, but an ingenious cage hangs off the jetty to keep milk, butter and beer cool. Explore the vast, wild expanse of Bodmin Moor or visit Restormel Castle, with its 360-degree rural views.
Details Two nights for two cost from £200 (coolcamping.co.uk)
2 Secret Meadows
Hire your own hen coop and cook freshly laid eggs for breakfast during your stay at this brightly coloured gypsy caravan on a 115-acre farm. Set in a secluded meadow, it’s furnished in a vintage style with a fitted wardrobe, wood-burner, candle lanterns and a stable door. An adjacent and equally charming shepherd’s hut has a swish kitchen with a belfast sink, wood-burner range, table and chairs, sofa, a wooden built-in cupboard bed for two, and a shower room and WC. Hire bikes can be delivered to your door for exploring the countryside. Safari-style tents and a converted horsebox are also on site.
Details Three nights for four cost from £357 (oneoffplaces.co.uk)
3 Little Barn
This cosy cabin overlooking a pond on a 40-acre smallholding is the perfect place to get away from it all (there’s no phone signal or wi-fi). The bespoke wooden kitchen has a two-ring gas hob, but no fridge (a cool box is provided in warmer months) and there’s a wood-burner cooker. On balmy days barbecue on the wood or charcoal grill and enjoy the wilderness views (you may spot badgers or otters). There’s underfloor heating in the shower room, which has a bidet and loo, and an electric heater in the bedroom. Take the little boat out for a row on the pond, or visit the ancient market town of Cardigan, with its nearby sandy beaches and canoeing trips up the River Teifi.
Details Two nights for two cost from £350 (0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk)
Floor-to-ceiling windows let light flood into this camping pod which has cleverly designed beds that hook to the sloping ceiling when not in use (you can hire linen). A canopied veranda allows you to cook or store a bike, and there’s enough space for four people to eat alfresco. Hot breakfasts or dinners can be delivered to your door if you don’t fancy cooking. Hire a fire pit with a basket of wood. Shower facilities are at the nearby farmstead and an eco-toilet is 20 yards away. Powis Castle and the Offa’s Dyke long-distance walking trail are within easy reach.
Details One night for two is from £40, or from £60 for four (01547 510282, brandyhousefarm.co.uk)
5 Cherry Blossom Hut
This stylish shepherd’s hut is tucked away in a peaceful meadow bordered by wildflower hedges and a little stream. There’s a bespoke kitchen with solid oak fittings, belfast sink and full-size fridge, plus a wood-burner and en suite shower room. The double bed can be pushed up into the wall during the day for extra space. Additional touches include wrought-iron window fittings, and chic curtains and blinds. The pub, with some excellent food, is a short stroll away. Explore the beaches of the South Hams and the cathedral city of Exeter, both
within easy reach.
Details Three nights for two cost from £263.40 (01326 555555, classicglamping.co.uk)
6 Hesleyside Huts
The emphasis is firmly on the glamorous side of glamping at these reclaimed oak huts, the largest and newest of which — Holly — was built in the style of an American pioneer chapel, albeit one with a magnificent copper bath and a king-size bed. In the grounds of an 18th-century manor house, all four huts have electricity, well-equipped kitchens and a wood-burner with plenty of logs. Two feature king-size beds and a single bed for a child, while the third has a four-poster and separate bunk room; all have en suite shower rooms and eco-friendly loos. Explore the sprawling estate, where you can fish on the lake, or go sailing, waterskiing, zip wiring or kayaking at nearby Kielder Water and Forest Park. When night falls build a campfire and gaze at the stars in this dark sky reserve.
Details Two nights for four from £150 (coolcamping.co.uk)
7 Ty Donkey
Feed the pet donkeys Lily and Dida at this “upcycled” oak railway cabin in the Brecon Beacons. Inside it has retained its rustic look, with a handmade kitchen, sheepskin rugs and Welsh blankets and a wood-burner. Climb the ladder to a romantic bed in the eaves dotted with fairy lights. Downstairs are handmade cabin beds ideal for those under eight; older children can sleep in a tent outside. Bikes can be delivered to the door to explore the rolling countryside or to ride along the river to the local pub. Foodie Abergavenny and the bookshops and tearooms of Hay-on-Wye are within an easy drive.
Details Three nights for four cost from £320, a week from £580 (01873 890415, sugarandloaf.com)
8 Hobbit Holes
Enjoy magnificent views over Ullswater from the covered patios of these pads built into the hillside on a camping and caravan site. The 50ft-square interiors have a sleep ledge with mattresses, a bench, table, heater and electric and USB sockets. There’s also a toilet and wash basin. Porthole windows add to the Hobbit-like feel. Free solar-powered showers are available on this popular site, where many of the facilities — a shop, bar, children’s playroom — are housed in converted farm buildings.
Details One night for six costs from £65 (07768 727016, thequietsite.co.uk)
9 West Lexham Treehouses
King’s Lynn, Norfolk
There’s a bohemian feel to the interiors of these four treehouses, with splashes of colour in the quilted bedspreads, bunting and stained-glass windows complementing the natural wood. Sunrise Tree House has a large elevated deck overlooking a lake and french doors leading to an open-plan living area with a wood-burner. There are two double beds, one on a mezzanine, and a twin. A covered kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven plus a shower block with flushing vintage loos and basins are close by. The 21-acre estate has formal gardens, a tennis court and a lake for boating.
Details Two nights for six cost from £501.60 (01760 755 602, westlexham.org)
10 Acton Scott Safari Tents
Church Stretton, Shropshire
Tucked away in a clearing in an ancient 20-acre woodland are two new luxury safari tents with a large open-plan living space, one double bedroom and a bunk room and flushing loo. There’s a hot shower in an adjacent hut and one tent also has a hot tub. If you don’t fancy cooking, gourmet meals can be delivered to your door. Children can collect eggs, feed the lambs and pigs or watch the shire horses on this estate where the BBC series Victorian Farm was filmed.
Details Two nights for six cost from £270, £322 with the hot tub (01348 830922, qualityunearthed.co.uk)
11 Kittisford Barton
A paradise for small children, this new site has pigs and chickens to feed, a stream to splash about in and a lake, fenced off for safety. The safari-style tents have a double, twin and bunk room, fully equipped kitchen, and a shower and WC with hot and cold water. A fire pit on the deck keeps you warm when the sun goes down. Take the steam-powered West Somerset Railway to beaches at Minehead or Dunster, or do a circular walk taking in one of the child-friendly pubs en route.
Details Three nights for six cost from £480 (01638 779143, lanternandlarks.co.uk)
12 Coppicer’s Lodge
Children will love climbing a tree branch to reach their bed in the eaves adorned with fairy lights at this secluded canvas-covered cabin in a 100-acre ancient woodland above the banks of the River Rother. The main room has a double bed with linen, rugs and a wood-burner. A well-equipped kitchen with a gas camping stove is on the covered veranda, or you can cook over the open fire. A cool box is provided. An outdoor hot shower and compost toilet are around the back. Nearby attractions include the National Trust’s Uppark House, Go Ape and Jane Austen’s House Museum.
Details One night for four costs from £150 (07789 954476, adhurst.co.uk)
13 Soul Camping
near Port Isaac,Cornwall
The owner’s former career as a fashion designer shines through in this trio of bell tents near the north Cornish coast, ideal for a group of up to 15. Each tent has a king-size bed with a proper mattress, Egyptian cotton sheets and 15-tog duvets, with floors covered by hand-woven rugs. There’s a stylish wicker chest to store clothes and a proper tea set (there are even champagne flutes and an ice bucket). Three more mattresses can fit in each tent; each has its own campfire, tripod for cooking and compost loo. An off-grid field kitchen seating 15 and a living room tent decked out with rugs are ideal for socialising. A hot tub with a view is also available.
Details Two nights for five cost from £295, a week from £660 (01208 851127, soulcamping.co.uk)
14 Happy Days Retro Vacations
A sixth caravan joins the retro campsite Happy Days’ new location near the Suffolk coast this season. Upholstered in orange, the 1972 four-berth Avion (like an Airstream but not as common) is kitted out with a red fridge, vintage print fabrics, crocheted blankets and retro games. The site is ideal for young children, with a new fairy garden opening this summer. A little house, with doors and windows and set in the trees, will join a vintage play truck, giant trampoline and play poly tunnel. Grown-ups will appreciate the new wet-room style shower, and toilet block with underfloor heating. Aldeburgh, renowned for its fish restaurants, and Southwold, with its chi-chi pier, are an easy drive away.
Details Two-night weekends for four are from £220 (01728 603424, happydaysrv.co.uk)
15 Sapperton Yurt
Follow the path through ancient woodland to reach this secluded yurt, one of four dotted across a 70-acre site. Wallow in the warm waters of a roll-top bath in a converted horse trailer among the trees before relaxing in a hammock on the deck. There’s a covered kitchen and compost toilet, as well as access to flushing loos, hot showers and a laundry in the Old Barn, a few minutes’ walk away. Inside, the yurt is decked out with a wood-burner, sheepskins, rugs and a double bed with white linen.
Details Three nights for two cost from £440 (07847 517905, cotswoldyurts.co.uk)
16 Gypsy wagon
This green and red painted bow-top gypsy wagon is in a quiet spot on the edge of a village. It has a full-size double mattress, and cooking and ablutions are carried out in a neighbouring oak-framed lodge, with a sleek shower room, kitchen with granite worktops and hand-thrown bowls and mugs made by the owner. Cosy up next to the wood-burner or barbecue on the veranda, where you may spot buzzards, badgers and foxes.
Details Two nights cost from £170 (01348 830922, qualityunearthed.co.uk)
17 Runach Arainn
Isle of Arran
Glamping has arrived on this Scottish isle, with two yurts in the grounds of a 17th-century rectory. Both sleep up to six, with a double bed and two double futons. A wood-burning stove doubles as a cooker. Each yurt has a private bathroom with shower, a composting loo that resembles a flush toilet, and solar-powered lighting. Walk to Torrylinn beach, go mountain biking along forest tracks that crisscross the island or explore the coast in a kayak.
Details Two nights for six cost from £130 (runacharainn.com). Return ferry crossings from Ardrossan on the mainland cost from £52.80 (calmac.co.uk)
18 The Tabernacle at Frieda and the Moon
Built in the style of a 19th-century prefab travelling church, this quirky bolt hole for two has a screen made from reclaimed ecclesiastical shutters, a stained-glass window and a belltower. Inside it’s decorated with botanical wallpaper, Farrow & Ball paint, antiques and plenty of books and art. There’s also a king-size bed and wood-burner, as well as a gas hob and fridge. An en suite shower room has a double shower and flushing loo.
Details A week for two costs from £513 (01326 555555, classicglamping.co.uk)
19 Pitch My Tent
Majestic views across the Bristol Channel to north Devon unfurl in front of your pre-pitched bell tent. Based at the Oxwich Camping Park on the Gower Peninsula, you’re only a short stroll from Oxwich Bay with its sand dunes, salt marshes and coastal walks. Each tent sleeps up to four people and is equipped with air beds (including bedding), carpets and tables, while fairy lights and lamps light up cosy evenings. A gas stove is also provided for outdoor cooking.
Details Two nights cost from £150 (love-glamping.co.uk)
20 Haddy’s Hut
After a day’s walking in the Peak District National Park, return to this swish shepherd’s hut, with its underfloor heating, double glazing and wood-burner. There’s a bespoke bed, and a
wall-mounted TV with DVD player. The fully equipped kitchen has a belfast sink and there’s an en suite shower room. It’s very light and airy, with french doors maximising the views.
Details Two nights for two cost from £225 (01433 621955, oakerfarm.co.uk)
21 The Little Abodes, Clachtoll
Wallow in your hot tub on the deck of these twin pods in the Scottish Highlands that overlook the sea. There’s a kitchen area with a sink, mini fridge, microwave, cooking equipment and crockery. On balmy evenings you can barbecue on the deck. There’s also a shower room, table and chairs and a double bed with linen and towels, plus a TV/DVD player. Walk along the coast, where you may spot grey seals and dolphins, or tackle some of Assynt’s famous peaks.
Details Three nights for two cost from £270 (01571 855283, thelittleabodes.co.uk)
22 Gurt the Yurt
Your only neighbours will be sheep, horses and cows when you stay at this pretty yurt on a working farm. Inside are a double bed and camp beds suitable for two children, plus a wood-burning stove. Bring your own stove (and cooking equipment) or cook on the barbecue on the deck. A compost toilet and shower block are close by. It’s a short walk to the village of Ditchling, with its country pubs serving local ales. A farm shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays, while an on-site chef can prepare a special meal.
Details One night for two costs from £120 (airbnb.co.uk; ref 9278183)
23 Ecopod Boutique Retreat
These chic, light-filled geodesic domes sit on their own decks overlooking Loch Linnhe. The boutique hotel-style interior includes a designer kitchen, wood-burner and a sleek cedar bathroom. A separate bedroom has a handmade double bed with organic linen and a memory mattress. A complimentary luxury hamper might include scallops from Loch Linnhe, locally brewed beer and handmade chocolates, with the staples such as bread and milk. Go sea kayaking, take the ferry to Mull or Iona or go mountain biking at Fort William, then wallow in your cedarwood hot tub.
Details Three nights for three cost from £495 (07725 409003, domesweetdome.co.uk)
24 Caban in the Glade
Graig Wen, Snowdonia
Enjoy 360-degree views of pines through glazed panels in this octagonal wooden pavilion on the banks of the Mawddach estuary. Its double bed is adorned with Welsh blankets, plus there are colourful rugs, a wood-burner and camping stove. A new eco-loo and simple shower have been built for the Caban and guests staying at two yurts near by. Climb Cader Idris or cycle road-free to Fairbourne beach.
Details Two nights for two cost from £160 (01341 250482, graigwen.co.uk)
Sit on the deck around the fire pit and enjoy elevated views of Great Glen at this Loch Ness glampsite. After a day’s walking, cycling, fly-fishing or whitewater rafting, return to this cosy pod, with its underfloor heating, wet room with WC and kettle, toaster and fridge. Bedding, towels, crockery and cutlery are provided (each pod has its own barbecue). A cooked breakfast can be delivered to your door, and you can buy organic home-reared meat to cook on your barbecue.
Details One night for two costs from £65 (01456 450114, lochnessglamping.co.uk)
26 Notgrove Glamping Pods
Young children will love feeding the alapacas and donkeys on this 1,500-acre Cotswold estate. Hire bikes and explore the countryside or book a game of tennis on the estate’s court. The pods are surprisingly spacious, with a double bed and sofa bed, en suite shower and WC, plus a kitchenette with fridge, microwave and hob (you’ll need your own utensils and bed linen). There’s also a games room and free wi-fi.
Details Two nights for four cost from £170 (01451 850468, notgroveholidays.com)
27 Curvy Cabin
Blackberry Wood,East Sussex
For a campsite that has a double-decker bus and a converted search-and-rescue helicopter in its glamping portfolio, this new eco-cabin seems quite conventional. Inside the curvaceous wooden house is a large open-plan living area with a well-equipped kitchen, table and chairs and a double bed. Put the kids to bed in the separate bunk room (bring your own
bed linen, towels and pillows) before cosying up in front of the wood-burner. There’s also a sleek en suite shower room and a private outdoor seating area with a fire pit and barbecue.
Details Two nights for four cost from £180 (01273 890035, blackberrywood.com)
28 The Oddsocks
This former mobile theatre wagon has been transformed into a compact cosy retreat for two. Inside is a wood-burning stove, gas cooker, sink with running water, sofa bed with linen and a fold-down table. A compost toilet and hot outdoor shower are close by. Visit Ironbridge Gorge museum or explore the medieval town of Shrewsbury.
Details Two nights for two cost from £150 (01743 860576, millhousefarm.org)
Hustyn Mine Park,Cornwall
Try wild swimming in the spring-fed lake before warming up in the hot tub on the deck of this spacious safari tent. Set on a 15ft wooden platform, the tent has been beautifully put together, with slate floors, fleeces and comfortable beds (a king-size double, two singles and a cabin bed ideal for children). There’s also a shower cabin with great water pressure, a wood-burning stove and stone bowl fire pit.
Details One night for six costs from £100 (0117 2047830, canopyandstars.co.uk)
30 Acorn Glade
Go fishing on the lake at this adult-only, off-grid glampsite on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds. Choose from yurts, a log cabin or, new for this spring, a 100-year-old gypsy caravan with a pullout double bed, coal-burning stove and stained-glass window. The yurts and log cabin have double or king-size beds and wood-burners. The communal Chicken Shed has everything you need, including a gas hob, microwave, pots, pans, crockery and a shower room with WC. There’s no wi-fi, so just kick back and read a book, or socialise around the fire pit.
Details Two nights for two cost from £80 in the gypsy caravan. Yurts and the log cabin sleep two and are from £175 for three nights (01759 319151, acornglade.co.uk)