If you’ve ever lost control of a camper van and watched in horror as it slowly ploughed through someone else’s (thankfully empty) tent, nearly got kicked off Duke of Edinburgh for hitch-hiking, or have simply watched Blair Witch one too many times to feel fully comfortable under canvas, then don’t worry – you’re not alone (and we should probably meet). Fortunately, glamping in the UK is one of the best staycations money can buy and there are plenty of quirky yet comfy options to choose from that won’t burn a hole in your charred AF wallet.
This summer, I had the pleasure of trying out two different glamping experiences – both special for different reasons as I’ll soon explain – and discovered that when food, hot showers and a comfortable bed are no longer an issue, you start to focus on the things that really matter in life… such as the age-old dilemma: what truly makes a glamping weekend – a yurt or a hot tub?
Glamping in the UK – Yurt vs Hot Tub
In the red corner, we have the beautiful Moonacre Yurt, near Frome. I’ve wanted to stay in a yurt for a long while, so it was particularly exciting when my boyfriend arranged it as a surprise. And after a long, leisurely walk (straight to the nearest village to stock up on cava), it was an even nicer surprise when he asked me to marry him.
But back to the yurt.
This was a pad that made me feel like a Khaleesi, with Persian rugs covering the floor, a wood-burning stove and a huge, cosy bed covered in plush blankets. Twinkling fairy-lights fired up in the evening and we had our own private outdoor space for dining alfresco as well as a BBQ and a fire-pit. Plus, we had a gang of chickens, a group of adorable pigs and a gorgeous sheepdog hanging around the grounds. This was idyllic country living to the max – without the cold beans out of a tin.
In the blue corner, was a late summer trip to The Garret, a cosy, countryside annexe in Topsham, Devon. This was another special trip because we were taking our little baby girl, Nala, along for our first holiday as a family of three. Our little well-travelled rescue pooch from Reunion Island was delighted to experience a bit of glamping in the UK and loved hanging out on the balcony, suspiciously watching the cows in the neighbouring field.
While exploring some of the dog friendly pubs and cafes in Topsham – another typical English village that seems to have a pub on every corner (nice to see they’ve got their priorities straight – and taking a nice long wander in the countryside was great, the highlight of our trip was the afternoon spent soaking in the hot tub with a bottle of bubbly. Nala was a bit confused about why the humans were having a giant bath outside, but she was more than happy to play with her toy pig in the garden and laze on the loungers like the sun junkie she is.
When it comes to glamping in the UK, I think these two heavyweights were pretty much a tie. In terms of wow factor and romance, I have to say I think the yurt had it… but when you’re tired of hot tubs and bubbly, you’re tired of life.
All pics by Alex