What Is Glamping? The Complete Guide

what is glamping

Glamping is for people who love the idea of camping under the stars, close to nature but want to relax and be spoiled in comfort too.

With more and more holiday parks extending their options beyond typical accommodations such as static caravans, we thought it was about time we filled you in on the ins and outs of glamping as a holiday option!

Glampers want the outdoor camping experience, the stillness and tranquillity, waking up to birdsong, the wind in the trees, warm sun in the morning, campfires and camaraderie, but they would also like privacy, hot showers and a comfortable real bed in a warm, cosy, bright space.

Glamping combines camping with glamour, so you enjoy all the benefits of traditional camping, fresh air, beautiful natural surroundings on the coast or in the heart of the countryside, but in comfortable, luxurious accommodation.

You can enjoy being in the countryside, in a wooded valley or by a secluded bay and come back to a quirky, beautiful space, a fire pit and a hot tub under the stars.

Glamping offers a complete escape and a taste of a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle in comfort.

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What Is Glamping?

The word “glamping” was first heard in the UK in 2005 and added to the Oxford English dictionary in 2016.  The name might be new, but the concept of luxurious camping is not.

In the 16th century, the Scottish Earl of Atholl organised a lavish glamping experience for King James V and his mother with fabulous tents filled with provisions from his own palace.

The Field of the Cloth of Gold, a diplomatic summit in 1520 between Henry VIII and Francis 1 of France featured probably the most extravagant example of glamping where 2,800 tents and marquees were pitched and there were fountains running with red wine.

In the 1920s, African safaris became popular among wealthy Americans and British travellers who were provided with everything from electricity generators to folding baths and champagne cases while they were on their adventures.

Glamping, also known as boutique camping, comfy camping, luxury or posh camping is an exciting outdoor adventure break in the most beautiful locations.

The Benefits Of Glamping

benefits of glamping
  • There are fabulous, quirky, cosy accommodation options including Mongolian style yurts, tepees, log cabins, glamping pods, magical treehouses, safari or hunting lodges, vintage caravans – and no need for wellies on a midnight hike to the toilets.
  • Most glamping sites are situated in unspoilt rural areas or national parks where the air is fresh, and the surroundings are idyllic.
  • Accommodation is all set up when you arrive, clean, with real beds and fresh linen, wooden floors and rugs, hot water and often an ensuite bathroom.
  • Glamping accommodation is more spacious compared with traditional tents.
  • It is more affordable than a hotel.
  • Offers more privacy and comfort than camping – when you consider that people spend most of their holiday budget on drinks, food and entertainment, a relaxing, pampering glamping retreat in a uniquely charming environment is well worth considering.
  • Glamping offers all the fun and benefits of camping, without the hassle.
  • You’re not tied to a hotel routine, home comforts are provided for peace of mind, and your body can relax and recharge.  So, when you go glamping, you go camping in luxury and style.
  • Glamping is also associated with a more natural, environmentally friendly holiday option, often constructed from wood and sustainable materials, with heating that has a minimal impact on the environment, such as log burners.

Glamping Accommodation 

Many UK and European holiday parks now offer a range of glamping accommodation options including luxury lodges and pods.

Depending on your holiday destination and dreams, you can let your imagination fly in enchanting treehouses, yurts, 1950s trailers and airstreams and authentic gypsy caravans, shepherd’s huts with hot tubs and cosy, insulated all-weather pods.

Some of our holiday park partners now have glamping options available for you to book for your next break!

Glamping Pods

glamping pods

For the full camping experience, freedom, fresh air, hiking, cycling, campfires and barbeques without the hassle of which pole goes where and who forgot to pack the pegs, a glamping pod means simply arriving, and relaxing.

Facilities may include fire pits, kitchens, luxury bedding, bathrooms and a hot tub.  From a simple wooden, insulated structure to something more like a 4-star hotel room in the heart of nature with en-suite facilities, a decked patio, a real bed and flat-screen TV, glamping pods can be found all over the UK, Europe and other countries worldwide.

Many large holiday parks, family farms and family-run sites offer glamping pods for an all-year-round weather-proof camping experience.

Glamping Pods UK 

  • Park Holidays, 7 locations in the UK
  • Hedgerow Luxury Glamping, Lancashire
  • The Secret Garden Glamping, Lancashire
  • Wingbury Farm Glamping, Aylesbury, Berks
  • Little Wold Away Glamping, Yorkshire
  • Wenningdale Escapes,   North Yorkshire, England

Glamping Pods Europe

  • Camping Merry-sur-Yonne, Yonne, Bourgogne
  • Yonne, Bourgogne
  • Camping de la Pointe, Finistère, Brittany
  • Camping Altomira, Navajas, Castellón, Spain


treehouse holidays

Treehouses are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of glamping, a unique, magical experience from your childhood dreams.  Modern architecture and stunning craftsmanship combine to create an awe-inspiring escape space with a bird’s eye view, literally.

Waking up in a comfortable bed to birdsong, creaking boughs and the rustle of the leaves, breakfast on the deck overlooking beautiful landscapes, treehouses take glamping to another level.

These beautifully designed structures in the branches, built to the highest safety standards, often have running water, electricity and bathrooms and can be found in some of the most spectacular locations in the UK and across the world.

Treehouse Glamping UK

  • Silver Tree, Coppertree and The Shrubbery at Shorefield Country Park in the New Forest.
  • The Den Treehouse, Pickwell Manor Devon: The fabulous treehouse escapes you’ve been dreaming of – with a jacuzzi tub on the deck, an outdoor breakfast bar and glorious treetop luxury
  • Rufus’s Roost Yorkshire, The Hideaway: A two-storey wooden castle on the edge of the North York Moors, with a hot tub, a pizza oven and a secret tunnel to the reading nook
  • The Treehouse at Woodland Chase Northumberland, Woodland Chase Glamping: Explore wild and beautiful Northumberland, come home to a sumptuous nest in the trees and slide into the hot tub sunk into the deck.

Treehouse Glamping Europe

  • Le Cèdre Gris, Corrèze, Cabanes de Salagnac, France: Breakfast on the balcony among the trees, afternoon tea in the local spa
  • Villasbuenas de Gata Treehouse in the Woods,  Cáceres, Spain:  idyllic camping getaway with pool near Cadiz, Andalucia


yurt holidays

Yurts are circular marquee-like structures which are among the most popular glamping accommodation for their peaceful space, warmth and quirky style.

A traditional yurt or ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by several nomadic groups in Central Asia’s steppes. Nowadays there are plenty of different yurt styles to choose from in a variety of locations, many with plumbing and electricity and far from basic amenities.

There are some incredibly luxurious yurts with king-sized beds, hardwood floors, wood-burning stoves, kitchens, dining table and chairs, en-suite bathroom and a hot tub just outside, and others equipped with handmade furniture, futons, a pizza oven and a barbeque.

Glamping Yurts UK

  • Yurt Glamping at Perran Sands, Cornwall
  • Dogwood Glamping, East Sussex: luxury in a lovely rural retreat
  • Cotna Eco Retreat, St Austell, Cornwall:  A unique haven of peace and tranquillity in Cornwall with comfortable eco-accommodation in yurts, a shepherd’s hut and a straw bale barn – all within a gorgeous 10-acre organic farm
  • Real Glamping Fir Hill, Newquay: North Cornwall glamping hideout with nine Mongolian-inspired yurts sleeping to six people, privacy and luxury, and family-friendly
  • Redwood Valley, Powys, Mid Wales: snug wood-burning stove inside and a firepit-cum-BBQ Lovingly crafted out of timber from the valley, it seems to melt from view, offering complete privacy.

Glamping Yurts Europe

  • Éco Vallée Yurt Camping, Dordogne, France.
  • Eco-Lodge Brejeira, Algarve, Portugal.
  • Teapot Lane Luxury Camp, County Leitrim, Ireland
  • Casas Karen, Los Caños de Meca, Cadiz, Spain.
  • Otro Mundo, Sierra del Segura, Spain

Luxury Lodges

glamping tent

Many of the UK’s top holiday parks now offer luxury lodges as a glamping alternative; some modelled on American hunting and African safari lodges.

Wider and more spacious than a caravan, comfortable, with hot showers, touches of luxury to come back to after the family enjoys all the entertainment and amenities on site.

Breakfast on the veranda, beautiful views and barbeques under the stars, lodges provide the full camping experience with all home comforts and more provided.

Glamping Lodges UK

  • Whitecliff Bay, Bell Tents, Isle of Wight
  • Safari Tents, Perran Sands, Isle of Wight
  • Bowbrook Lodges, Glamping & Safari Tents, Pershore, Worcestershire
  • Dovestone Holiday Park: idyllic location bordering on the beautiful Peak District National Park
  • The Sheep Lodges at Artlegarth:  stay in style and comfort in these cosy lodges in the heart of the Lake District National Park

Parkdean Resorts: Luxury lodges in peaceful woodland settings and fantastic coastal resorts with outdoor decking space to dine al fresco.  A number of our lodges also feature their own private hot tub.

You’ll find a great selection of lodges available at 32 Parkdean holiday parks, across 12 stunning regions in the UK:

  • Lizard Point Lodge Holidays
  • Landguard Lodge Holidays
  • White Cross Bay Lodge Holidays

Glamping Lodges Europe

  • Càmping Rural Montori, Costa Brava, Spain
  • Camping Les Murmures du Lignon, Tence, France
  • Vedetta Lodges, Tuscany, Italy


Cabins are a delightful, cosy, romantic option for an unforgettable, secluded break. A luxury glamping cabin comes in many different unique shapes and sizes, locations and degrees of luxury, some with open fires, modern bathrooms, beautiful fabrics and handmade furniture.

Glamping cabins are not just made of wood though; there are up-cycled shipping containers, train carriages and even a London bus!  Deep in the forest, high on a mountainside with panoramic views, or nestling on a hillside by the sea, glamping cabins are the perfect getaway for group holidays, secluded romantic breaks and get away from it all outdoor activity holidays.

Cabins UK

  • Cynefin Retreats, Hay-on-Wye – Hereford: Luxury romantic pods in Herefordshire with sweeping views and private hot tubs near the England/Wales border.
  • Hide Wales Cabins, Glamorgan, Wales: All the peace and quiet you could want a stone’s throw from the Welsh coast
  • Eagle Brae, Scottish Highlands: hand-crafted log cabins nestled in the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands.
  • Tolcarne Beach Cabins, North Cornwall: What could be more romantic than your own luxurious wooden cabin in the sands?

Glamping Cabins Europe

  • Pella Roca Cabane & Spa, Occitanie, France:  Luxury treetop cabins in rural, southwest France, with their own private saunas and exclusive, wood-fired hot tubs
  • Coup 2 Foudres, Aquitaine, France:  a wine lover’s dream – charmingly quirky super-sized wine barrel cabins, in a working vineyard in the heart of French wine country
  • Lakeside Petzen Glamping, Austria:  luxurious glamping site in Austria, marvellous scenery, comfy accommodation, and an array of outdoors activities.


teepee glamping

Back to nature teepee glamping is so much fun for the whole family.

Sleeping under canvas, in a proper full-sized bed, of course, you will be enchanted by these wonderful structures that date back 4000 years or more.

Tepees were used by the indigenous people of North America and the Sami people of northern Europe who lived in similar structures known as layyu.  Teepees are made of a collection of wooden poles tied at the top.

Nowadays, rather than an animal skin, a weather-resistant canvas is wrapped tightly around the poles leaving a hole at the top to release the wood smoke and there is a small door and sometimes a window or two.   Nowadays, modern luxury teepees are fully equipped for a memorable, exciting glamping experience.

Tepees UK

  • Indian Summer Teepees, Norfolk:  five traditional Sioux Teepees around the meadow, beautifully furnished with double beds, rugs, coffee tables and rustic touches.
  • Larkhill Teepees and Yurts, Carmarthenshire, Wales: cooking equipment, a log burner, blankets and colourful cushions electricity from a combination of solar, hydro and wind power
  • Cornish Teepee Holidays & Camping, Port Isaac, Cornwall: Teepees and tent pitches, masses of space, a fishing and swimming lake within close distance of North Cornwall’s best beaches
  • Waterside House, Ullswater, Lake District:  glamping Teepees look directly out onto Lake Ullswater with stunning views of the surrounding fells.

Tepees Europe

  • Domaine d’Escapa, France:  family-run glamping site, with super stylish accommodation, acres of space, sparkling emerald lake 
  • Altiplano Teepees, Andalucia, Spain

Shepherd’s Huts 

One of the cosiest, cutest glamping accommodation options, shepherd’s huts are bursting with charm and can be found scattered around the countryside in idyllic natural settings.   Glamping shepherds huts have come a long way from the old wagons that trundled down country lanes and across the fields in search of lost sheep.  Nowadays they come with steaming hot tubs, luxurious double beds, wood burners and crackling fire pits, fitted kitchens and en-suite bathrooms.  Many are handcrafted, vintage-chic a place to return to after a day out and snuggle up for cosy evenings.

Shepherd’s Huts UK

  • Greenhill Glamping, Dover, Kent: Impeccably restored late 19th-century huts, with king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves and views over the Kent Downs
  • Cwmberach Uchaf, Wales:   Situated on a charming family farm, set amid Wales’ majestic Black Mountains
  • Little Otchan Shepherd Hut, East Riding, Yorkshire: Quaint shepherd’s hut glamping, own private hot tub

Shepherd’s Huts Europe 

  • La Cambuse, Charente-Maritime, France
  • Le Domaine Vert, Troche, Corrèze, France

Airstreams and Trailers 

airstream glamping

Glamping in a trailer or airstream is retro glamping at its best, a nostalgic, one-of-a-kind experience.  Airstreams and Trailers can be found on a number of sites across the UK for a memorable, exquisite vintage experience.  American style trailers are styled in a cool American diner vibe with retro curtains and kitchen evoking a feeling of the 1950s.  Except that now there is luxury bedding, Wi-Fi, TV and all the comforts of the 21st century.

Airstreams UK

  • Hideaway Camping, Higher Melbury, Broadbury, Devon
  • Vintage Vacations Airstreams, Isle of Wight
  • Ty Cefn Tregib the 76er, Carmarthenshire, Wales
  • Tin Can Camping, Airstream Glamping in Norfolk 

Airstreams Europe  

  • The Airstream at Caserío del Mirador
  • Alicante, Spain
  • Caserío del Mirador

Barns and Farmhouses

Originally built as agricultural buildings on working farms, these restored and refurbished barns have been turned into delightful, comfortable and luxurious accommodation for a unique glamping experience. Wood furnishings and construction materials create a solid, weather-proof home from home in the heart of the countryside.  Cosy fires, fresh country air, rustic interiors and high beamed ceilings, a barn glamping experience is a wonderful all-seasons retreat for you and for an extended family get together.  

Barns and FarmhousesUK 

  • Boutique Bothy Glamping Barns, Dumfries, Scotland
  • Greenhill Farm, Dalbeattie 
  • Caldbeck Glamping Barns, Northern Fells. Lake District
  • Snowdonia Glamping Holidays, Wales

Barns and Farmhouses Europe

  • Toubies Montberaud,Midi Pyrenees, France La Ferme de la Folivraie, France
  • Normandie, Louvières: Formigny la Bataille, France
  • Belair le Camping: family run Glamping and Camping in North Dordogne

Gypsy Caravans

Sit under the stars on the steps of a beautifully restored, hand-painted roll-top gypsy caravans watching the fire die out and experience a sense of a time when life was slow and tranquil.  Traditional, quirky gypsy caravans are often located in flower-filled meadows, by a stream or in an orchard in an idyllic rural setting.  Of course, they’ve been glammed up for a dreamy night’s sleep, a hot shower and a cooked breakfast.  Some gypsy caravans available for glamping are horse-drawn and can be taken for a rumble down the country lanes. Journeys… with a horse, of course. 

 Gypsy Caravans UK

  • Rosie the Gypsy Caravan, Okehampton, Devon
  • Dorset Gypsy Caravan, Red, Farrs Meadow, Wimborne, Dorset
  • Mabel, Narbreth, Wales: An authentic gypsy caravan with private outdoor hot tub in beautiful Pembrokeshire

Gypsy Caravans Europe 

  • Les Roulottes Des Korrigans, Brittany 
  • Camping and Chalets Les Ormes, Aquitaine

Quirky Glamping

  • Bus & Breakfast, Dorset:  Originally a school bus in the Canadian Rockies, the “big blue bus” now rests in woodlands in North Chideock in Dorset, near the Jurassic Coast.  There’s a double bed, a hammock for one, shower, toilet and wood-burning stove among the many surprises.
  • Stonihoe, Dungeness, Kent: The Stonihoe is a converted train carriage which stands on the Dungeness National Nature Reserve, and is the perfect, quirky coastal hideout.
  • Cliff Camping, Gaia Adventures, Isle of Anglesey: suspended on a Welsh cliff-top portaledge above the waves, this is a once-in-a-lifetime camp-out with the Irish Sea, the stars, and an occasional dolphin for company. The team provides all you need, including dinner and breakfast.  Sleep well!
  • Galahad, Windmill Campersite, Isle of Wight: After serving as a ‘rescue’ helicopter in the Falklands, Galahad lives at this family-run campsite.  The original dials and wires remain alongside modern appliances including a hob, oven and fridge.  

Camping has long brought out the intrepid adventurer in British holidaymakers and is still hugely popular with campers of all ages and walks of life.  

The early camping equipment was extremely heavy but we’ve evolved now to light spacious tents which almost pitch themselves when you undo the zip. 

Once you’ve got the tent, the groundsheet, the cooking equipment, the chairs, the barbeque, the sleeping bags and everything else you can fit in the car or in the trailer, apart from the site fees, camping can cost very little.  

It can be hard work though, when you have to hike across fields to the campsite carrying your gear, pitch the tent and realise what you’ve forgotten.  However, most campers would say that the benefits of a campfire under the stars are worth the effort. 

But traditional camping with communal showers and few comforts is not for everybody, especially in unpredictable weather. Glamping is a more luxurious, comfortable way to enjoy the benefits of time spent in beautiful nature.  

It’s camping, without the hassle.  It’s like a hotel without the constraints, with privacy and stillness.  

You drive up to your pod or cabin and everything is ready for you depending on the degree of luxury you’ve booked.  Your bed is made up with fresh, your queen-sized bed is made up with Egyptian cotton sheets, the fridge is stocked with wine and food, there are fresh towels in the en-suite bathroom and the hot tub is ready to go. 

Glamping can be expensive.  But there’s no outlay and everything is included. You need to set your expectations clearly. There are so many glamping accommodations options, many of them large enough for an extended family or group of friends. 

Hardy campers breathe a sigh of relief when there´s no Wi-Fi and don´t mind when the showers are cold, most glampers, however, would prefer to have a more comfortable option.  

But there’s no competition between glamping and camping, the goals are the same: to relax, get away from it all, have fun and connect with nature in a beautiful environment.  It’s a matter of choice.  

So, are you a camper or a glamper?

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