Google usually provides a good indication of ‘what’s hot and what’s not’, so the staggering search volume for the term ‘Glamping UK’ – of between 30,000 and 70,000 searches per month, depending on the time of year – confirms that the UK has taken Glamping holidays in the UK to its heart.
Image: Glamping Lodge at Love2Stay resort in Shropshire.
The term glamping originated in the UK, and combines the words ‘glamour’ and ‘camping’ – in case you didn’t know. What was once considered a niche type of holiday only a decade ago is now well and truly booming, as more Brits switch onto the benefits of staying in the UK and embracing nature, without missing out on comfort.
It appears that the glamping holidays explosion has been at the expense of traditional UK hotel breaks. British city hotels are now not the only place to get a great night’s sleep, enjoy a first class dining experience and see new sights. More of the country is being explored as the rural getaway replaces the urban break as the ‘staycation’ of choice in the eyes of holidaymakers.
Glamping’s rise in popularity in recent years has been credited with being a major factor behind growth in the outdoor hospitality industry, a sector which research from IBIS Worldwide shows has now grown to a value of £3 billion. As the pound has taken a hit against foreign currencies following BREXIT - offering more reasons for Brits to stay on home soil for their hols - the focus on glamping has continued to increase.
Kudos has been lent to glamping holidays by a host of celebrities – and even Royals the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who stayed in a luxury tent at Uluru, Australia, a landmark also known as Ayers Rock.
In this article, we look at the reasons why glamping has the edge over a conventional UK hotel break, get an expert view on the glamping attraction, and bring you up to date with the some of the newest twists on glamping – enjoy!
What can glamping give you that a traditional UK hotel can’t?
Image: Interiors in Glamping lodge at Love2Stay resort.
Everybody will have their own reasons for shunning a conventional British hotel break in favour of a glamping trip, and there are a plethora of factors which point towards going glamping. Here we cut straight to the chase, and look at exactly what glamping is offering holidaymakers which a normal hotel can’t:
- The excitement of a break from the norm
Imagine if you could harness the excitement which you felt on childhood camping trips, and translate it into a luxury environment where you weren’t exposed to the elements and could relax in comfort. That’s what glamping provides; it’s a ‘no filter’ experience which puts you right in the midst of unique and unconventional locations, without sacrificing living standards.
- The peace and tranquillity of your own space
While hotels do their best to respect the privacy of guests, that 11am knock from the cleaner isn’t always welcome, especially if your idea of a holiday is to do things at your own pace. Whether it’s a lodge, yurt or pod you are staying, you are the boss for the duration of your stay, meaning you can come and go as you please. You are not subject to any lock out times, and can play music or socialise without the fear of disturbing fellow guests.
- The opportunity to immerse yourself in nature
With the exception of bed and breakfasts, very few hotels are able to match the ability of glamping sites to put you right in the middle of rural landscapes, allowing you to feel at one with the great outdoors. You might find it takes longer to reach a glamping resort than a city hotel, but once you are there the opportunity to ‘go green’ and disconnect from the everyday rush is a priceless one.
- Space for the whole family
Choose a glamping accommodation option such as a cottage or one of the larger lodges and yurts, and you might have room for as many as six people under one roof. It is very rare for a hotel to offer rooms or suites that large, and the shared experience you can enjoy from bedding down close to each other in the middle of the wilderness can really bring a family together.
- A front porch
Whether you call it a porch, terrace or veranda, there are plenty of glamping lodges which offer them. There is surely no better way to spend the long summer ( or winter) evenings than in your own outdoor space, relaxing while a barbecue is cooked, the drinks are flowing, and the day’s events are discussed. The closest you might get in a conventional hotel is gathering outside reception! Check out the private sun decks in Love2Stay’s luxury lodges for a great example.
Glamping in the UK: From the expert’s mouth
How about some top-level insight on why glamping can represent so much more of an enticing UK holiday option than a standard hotel stay? Steph Curtis-Raleigh, editor of International Glamping Business Magazine, had the following words:
“Glamping provides all the comforts of a traditional hotel break with the adventure of the great outdoors and this is a wonderful luxury for most of us, who spend so much of our time inside, or in a town or city.
“To be able to wake up with the birds and look out onto fields or woods, instead of traffic, sets glamping apart from most other forms of accommodation. The novelty of lighting fires, cooking outdoors or maybe even sitting in a hot tub under the night’s sky brings out the child in even the most jaded traveller and reconnects us all with nature. And for families the attraction is obvious - in our increasingly screen-based lives, we all appreciate the chance to let kids run wild in a safe environment, and to find pleasure in the simpler things that life has to offer. “
2018 glamping holidays trends
As the movement of glamping in the UK has taken shape over the past few years, we have seen a number of trends come to the fore. While ‘luxury camping’ can be traced back to royal conventions centuries ago, glamping in its modern form is a relatively new concept, and each year glamping resorts are launched with a fresh take on this form of high-end rural accommodation.
So let’s have a look at some of the brightest new ideas and popular glamping solutions to emerge. One thing’s for sure, the glamping concepts below offer a totally different world from the one you would find in a traditional hotel!
- Treehouses –
Image: Snøhetta in Sweden
if anything encapsulates the childlike excitement which glampers can enjoy on their holidays, surely it is the luxury treehouses which have begun to emerge. Engineering techniques have come on a lot since the rickety structures which we might associate with treehouses from our youth. Blending in with nature like nothing else, a range of versatile treehouse designs have sprung up in locations as far afield as the US and Sweden – they are beautifully crafted and are not lacking in luxurious fittings and furnishings.
- Oasis glamping domes –
Image: Asilia Africa Ngorongoro in Tanzania.
every pondered that the one thing lacking from glamping is the ability to fall asleep gazing at the stars? Now it’s possible without braving inhospitable weather or attracting swarms of mosquitos. After being pioneered by Vytautas Puzeras, the Lithuanian designer, transparent domes which create a bubble-like sanctuary for glampers are now available. They are entirely portable and offer inhabitants a spectacular 360° view of the night sky, or the sky at any time, for that matter.
- Airstreams –
Image: Touring pitch at Love2Stay touring resort
until recently not widely available in the UK, the iconic American Airstream is a luxury caravan with a quirky, distinctive look. Some glamping resort operators have been saving themselves the job of building permanent structures, and instead parking these high end vehicles around their glamping site, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy staying in the high spec, fully equipped trailers.
That’s the wrap on our look at why glamping in the UK makes so much sense when weighed up against the option of a conventional hotel break.
So book your glamping holidays at one of the country’s most in-demand resorts, Love2Stay and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!