Packed away your tent for the year? The experts at coolcamping.com share the cosiest UK glamping sites to help you get outdoors in winter.
The clocks have changed, the temperatures have dropped and the last of the autumn leaves are beginning to fall from the trees. And, as much as we love the outdoors (the clue’s in the name), even we’re willing to accept that camping under the stars during November isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But parting with your tent until 2018 need not spell the end of your outdoor fun, especially when the UK now boasts pods, shepherd’s huts and cosy Mongolian yurts you can sleep in. So we’ve been in touch with the experts from coolcamping.com for their pick of the very best winter glamping sites perfect for an active break…
As the name suggests, this newly opened glamping site on the edge of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is an ideal spot for star-gazing. With the sea to the southwest and a National Nature Reserve next-door, light pollution is minimal, while the vast, wild grounds of the Stackpole Estate, now managed by the National Trust, offer miles of footpaths to explore and wildlife aplenty (including otters). The glamping site itself has two yurts open in winter – double beds, wood-burning stoves and excellent showers among the highlights – and there’s a fully insulated en-suite pod too. The hardiest folk should bring wetsuits to take on the winter surf or stick to dry land with a walk along the renowned coastal trail.
Hidden away in a private garden in the west of the New Forest National Park, this pocket-sized glamping hideaway has just one shepherd’s hut and an enchanting gypsy caravan. Each has a wood-burning stove inside to keep you snug in winter months, with double beds, bedding, dressing gowns and towels all provided. Strike out to explore the New Forest footpaths – try the hour-long route to The Red Shoot Inn (with it’s own micro-brewery) keeping your eyes peeled for deer and New Forest ponies along the way – or bring bikes to make the most of the national park’s network of traffic-free cycle routes.
There are few finer glamping spots than these new loch-side pods in the heart of Scotland’s first national park. Sir Walter Scott rightly described Loch Katrine as “the scenery of a fairy dream” and, while the waters have been attracting visitors for centuries, it’s only now that you can kip beneath the stars just a few metres from the shore. There are four en-suite pods in total – so advanced booking is recommended – along with four wooden lodges with shared facilities. Activities abound: catch boat tours across to beautiful Stronachlachar, walk a section of the West Highland Way, hike to the peak of Ben A’an or cycle the car-free route beside the loch.
It’s always surprising to find such a wild, green and secreted-away spot within such easy reach of London. Covering 15 acres on the wooded fringes of Westcott village, Surrey Hills Yurts offers all that and more, with six eco-friendly yurts that include chunky, handmade wooden furnishings – double beds, bookshelves, cabinets, tables all made locally – and toasty wood-burning stoves. Campfire cooking is a must, with home-reared meat available to buy from the site’s smallholding that hosts Sussex cows and rare breed pigs. The surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty boasts innumerable lovely walks and cycle routes, including Box Hill, Leith Hill, Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Combining the traditional Mongolian design (including ample insulation) with a few modern touches like springy king-sized beds and electricity, this well-known Dorset yurt retreat is all about 21st century relaxation. Each yurt can sleep up to six people, with a log burning stove in the centre, while a perspex crown allows you to stargaze from bed. There’s also an excellent communal barn with a kitchen and living area, plus a games space for kids. Extending over almost 100 acres, the family-run farm is home to several friendly horses, sheep and goats. You can saddle up, too, at one of the two local horse-riding centres, or take a stroll through charming Shaftesbury (five minutes away), home to Gold Hill where the famous Hovis ad was filmed.
Based on their leading guidebooks, the Cool Camping website now offers an online collection of the very best camping and glamping sites in the UK and Europe. Discover their full collection of glamping sites open all-year-round here.