As much as I love camping, I don’t particularly enjoy squashing all of the associated kit and equipment into the car and cleaning all of the stuff afterwards. Trying to dry out a soggy tent is particularly tedious. Glamping offers all of the benefits of camping without any of the drawbacks and glamping with kids is particularly appealing: there’s far less stuff to pack for a family glamping trip.
What is glamping?
Glamping, or glamorous camping to give it its full unabbreviated name, is a relatively new concept but one which is growing at quite a rate. Instead of pitching your own tent, you can arrive at a site and all of the hard work has been done for you.
A lot of people are put off camping by the thought of a bad night’s sleep. Glamping is the saviour of sleep: many glampsites off good quality mattresses and some form of heating so that you don’t wake in the middle of the night looking for extra layers of clothing.
Glamping can cover quite a broad range of experiences from simple glamping huts to luxury glamping domes. Facilities are rather varied too. Some glamping accommodation will offer a flushing loo or composting toilet while more modest affairs really only offer a static shell for the night and a communal toilet block.
Glamping is a brilliant concept for farms looking for a spot of additional income. Many glamping sites are simply one or two units in a secluded field. You might find yourself bedding down in a gypsy caravan, a converted London bus or even a treehouse. Glamping has become an umbrella term to cover anything that isn’t a traditional hotel, cottage or a bring-your-own tent.
Why go glamping with kids?
If you’re holidaying with children and you don’t fancy straying too far from home, there are family friendly glamping sites all over the UK. If you’ve never been camping and you don’t want to invest in all the associated kit, family glamping is a great compromise: it’s testing the camping water without leaping right in.
Glamping is a great idea for families with kids both young and old. Little children will relish the thought of sleeping in an unusual setting, being able to spend all of their time outdoors. Teens meanwhile might discover that spending time away from modern life and all of its associated gadgets is quite liberating. Being outdoors, or at least being in close proximity to it, it good for the soul. We just need to be reminded of that sometimes.
And let’s not forget why parents will enjoy glamping with kids: you can let your offspring run free in the great outdoors while you sit back and relax with a cuppa or a beer. Unlike camping, you won’t need to pack half of the contents of your attic and your kitchen. If you want to bring the bare minimum in terms of equipment pick a glampsite which provides bedding and cooking facilities. Just bear in mind that the more stuff you want to leave at home, the more you’ll need to pay.
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How much does it cost to go glamping?
Just as the quality of the glampsite can vary greatly, so can the cost. A simple wooden glamping pod might set you back just £50 per night whereas an all-singing all-dancing glamping safari tent can cost several hundred pounds a night. But don’t worry, there are plenty of moderate options in between.
How to choose the right glampsite for your family
When you go glamping, do you want to pack as little as possible? Some glampsites will include pillows, sheets and wine glasses. Others will only provide a roof over your head. Here’s a list of things to consider when you’re choosing a glampsite:
- How far is the glampsite from home?
- What’s included in the price?
- Is there a minimum stay requirement?
- What facilities are on the glampsite?
- Is there cooking equipment in the accommodation?
- Do you need to bring your own bedding?
- What is there to see and do nearby?
- Are there en-suite facilities?
- Does the glampsite allow campfires or BBQs?
- Are dogs allowed?
What to pack for glamping with kids
Some glampsites literally provide everything, so check before you pack. However, even if your glampsite provides a comprehensive package, there are one or two things that every glamping trip needs. Here’s a list of handy things you might need to pack for a successful glamping break.
- Waterproof clothes, wellies and flip-flops
- Warm clothing: even in the height of summer, it can get pretty chilly in the evenings, particularly if you’re staying somewhere rural and exposed.
- Usual camping essentials: torch, matches, loo roll, marshmallows, washing up stuff.
- Food and drink: you might find the glampsite offers a food pack of local produce or they might recommend a nearby farm shop for provisions but it’s a good idea to pack a few essentials nonetheless.
Glamping with kids: family blogger recommendations
If you’re looking for some tried and tested glamping for families, I’ve put together the following list with a little help from some fellow family travel bloggers. Let me know if you have your own recommendations for glamping with kids and I’ll add them to the list.
Family glamping in the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire
Far Peak Camping: glamping near Cheltenham
If you’re after Cotswolds glamping with kids, Far Peak campsite is located in the heart of the Cotswolds, mid way between Cheltenham and Burford and within walking distance of Northleach. We stayed at the site last summer with several groups of friends. Although we were camping, we had a look at the glamping area and made a mental note to return without our tents. The location is beautiful with views of the Cotswold countryside as far as the eye can see.
What drew me to book Far Peak however wasn’t so much the views as the facilities. Within the campsite, but run by an independent company is a climbing centre with indoor and outdoor climbing walls. There’s also a cafe and a small shop. As well as bouldering and simple climbing walls which small children can use (the instructors were brilliant), there are plenty of more demanding routes for advanced climbers. Our kids loved it. There’s also an outdoor ropes assault course in the woods which proved very popular.
Back to the glamping, Far Peak offers three different types of Cotswold glamping experience. There are three good value family-friendly tipis along with a couple of shepherd huts which can sleep two adults and a child. Personally, I have my eye on the luxury glamping domes which come complete with ensuite shower and toilet, a BBQ and a fire pit. These can sleep up to four and are billed as having the best view in the Cotswolds. I can attest that the view did indeed look very good.
Campden Yurts glamping with kids in the Cotswolds
By Anna of Twins and Travel
Campden Yurts is in the beautiful Cotswolds, on the outskirts of Chipping Campden in its unique corner of the Gloucestershire countryside. With just two glamping yurts which are surrounded by fields, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the countryside.
Campden Yurts is ideal for family glamping as the facilities are amazing. The yurts comfortably take a family of five, with a main double bed and futons for the kids. Each yurt has a log burner to keep you warm as well as plenty of blankets. You have full access to their own bathroom (which is amazing!) for the duration of the stay with a heater, and hot shower. With two kitchens, indoor and outdoor seating areas, and fire pits, this really is perfect for holidays with toddlers or indeed children of any age. Oh and I can’t forget to mention the pizza evenings which are wonderful and very delicious.
Campden Yurts is well located being close to many child friendly attractions, walks and picturesque towns, it is easy to get out for the day to explore. There are so many stunning villages where you can go for a wander with little shops and cafes. Bourton on the Water is a real favourite for us, Birdland was a real hit too. You can also take a lovely 20 minute walk down to the local village of Chipping Campden with its many pubs and shops.
Croft Farm Water Park family glamping in Gloucestershire
By Claire Hall of Tin Box Traveller
Water sports fans will love glamping at Croft Farm Water Park in Gloucestershire. The glamping pods here overlook the campsite’s lake where you can try windsurfing, kayaking and paddle boarding. There’s also swan boats if you fancy a gentler paddle around the water.
We stayed in a pretty four-berth glamping pod which had a double bed and a day bed with a fourth bed that rolled out from underneath. This doubled up as a sofa in the day.
The pods are light on facilities and very much designed as somewhere to lay your head in between enjoying the lake. There’s no cooking equipment and only a small fridge. Bring your own camping equipment and stove or barbecue if you want to cater for yourselves. The pods have their own toilet block which is a few metres away.
Next to the water park’s reception there is a club house with bar and cafe, a gym and beauty salon. This is a five minute walk around the lake from the glamping pods.
Croft Farm Water Park is on the border between Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Tewkesbury is a few minutes drive away and National Trust Croome, where you can find an RAF museum, and Cattle Country Adventure Park are within an hour’s drive.
The Glamping Orchard in Gloucestershire
by Heather Cole of Conversant Traveller
Tucked away in the picturesque Severn Vale on a working farm deep in rural Gloucestershire, The Glamping Orchard is a quiet, family-friendly site to spend a holiday in the UK.
There are two separate units that can be hired individually or as part of a larger family group – a retro Warwick Knight caravan sleeping four that once featured on George Clarke’s ‘Amazing Spaces’, and a pretty bell tent called ‘Belle’ that sleeps five and has everything you could possibly need during your stay. Each has lots of private outdoor space as well as a hot shower cabin and well-maintained compost toilet.
Days here are all about seeing the animals, collecting eggs for breakfast and taking leisurely walks along the Severn river (keep an eye out for the natural spectacle that is the Severn Bore wave). The owners offer horse and carriage rides along the lanes too which is great fun on a sunny day!
When evening comes it’s time to have a BBQ and toast marshmallows over the fire, before retiring to the caravan roof terrace to watch the sunset over the surrounding countryside. There are lots of market towns and quaint villages to visit, with castles to explore and tea shops to sample. The Cotswolds are an easy day trip where there are plenty of fun activities for the children, such as the wildlife park, water park and even a falconry centre.
Glamping in Hampshire
Watercress Lodges and Campsite near Alresford
Fancy a family glamping break which you can reach from London by train? And not just any train but a steamie?
Well, here’s how: if you plan ahead, you can hop on the train at Waterloo to Alton. From there you change onto a steam train on the Watercress Line down to Ropley where you’ll discover a selection of interesting holiday accommodation choices. At the Watercress Lodges and Campsite there’s good old fashioned camping, a couple of tipis and two safari tents. If you’d prefer not to rough it, there’s also proper holiday cottages including one called Flat Spaces which is fully accessible for wheelchair users (and has the best views of the lot).
The two safari tents can sleep up to four people – they’re open plan with a king size bed and a sofa bed along with a wood burning stove. On the veranda is a small kitchen with a fridge and a stove plus table and chairs. Each unit has a BBQ.
The tipis are more basic – essentially you’re booking a large circular tent with the option of hiring blow up mattresses (handy if you decide to take the train). The tipis can sleep up to six.
There’s a small modern wash block opposite the tents so it’s not far to walk if you’re in need of a wee in the middle of the night.
Once you’re here you’re in railway heaven. The tents overlook the railway line and you’ll hear and smell the steam engines. You’re free to wander down to the yard to look at the engines being restored and there are rural walls directly from the campsite. There’s only space for a few tents alongside the glamping so the site will never feel busy (although the train station will be at certain times of day).
If you decide to drive to the Watercress Lodges and Campsite, you’ll find there’s a host of wonderful attractions on your doorstep. Endless country pubs to discover, the South Downs to wander across and Winchester is just a 20 minute drive away. We particularly enjoyed the Science Centre.
Family glamping in the Peak District
Secret Wood Glamping with kids in the Peak District
by Jenny Lynn of Peak District Kids
Situated in a secluded woodland just outside the Peak District National Park boundary, Secret Wood Glamping offers families the space to relax, unwind and reconnect. The main bell tent – the Emperor Bell Tent – sleeps six with three double beds, and there is also a second five metre bell tent available for extra guests or as a play space for children. Bedding is provided, as well as toiletries and cooking utensils. Everything is eco friendly where possible with bamboo plates, eco friendly toiletries and toilet paper, and the solar powered fairy lights make the evenings magical!
There is no electricity on site. So either pack lots of battery packs, or take the opportunity to completely switch off. And don’t worry, there is still a loo on site (a compost loo), as well as a gas powered woodland shower!
With no other guests around you have the entire woodland to yourselves to explore. There’s a fire pit to roast marshmallows, and kids love paddling in the stream and building dens in the wood. But the over-riding appreciation is that of absolute peace and quiet… except the singing of the birds.
Grand Chatsworth Estate is only a 15 minute drive away. Here you can wander the grounds for free, or take the kids in to the farmyard and adventure playground. If you’re looking for a lovely Peak District walk, head up to Curbar Edge for impressive sunset views. Check out our ultimate guide of things to do in the Peak District with kids.
Glamping with kids in Wales
Penhein glamping near Chepstow
By Cathy Winston of Mummy travels
The perfect solution for those who love the benefits of camping but don’t fancy the thought of roughing it, the spacious Persian alachigh tents at Penhein have proper beds and your own toilet attached – not to mention a kitchen, living area and a proper heated wash block nearby.
Similar to yurts, the tents rise high above the bed but heat up impressively fast thanks to the wood-burning stove, plus you can gaze up at the stars or the dawn breaking, the only sounds those of the nature around you.
Set on a 400-acre farm, it’s paradise for kids. Within minutes, my daughter had made half a dozen friends and roamed around exploring – while I could relax knowing the only real threat was a bramble or two. With a natural playground and a tree swing, as well as wildflower meadows to run through, it’s the perfect place for families to unplug (in fact, apart from the cheat’s kitchen, there’s nowhere to charge any devices).
There’s also a communal tent with occasional activities and board games, plus walking routes right on the doorstep not to mention the attractions of the Forest of Dean, Tintern Abbey and a string of castles, thanks to its position near the border of England and Wales.
In the cheat’s kitchen, there’s an honesty bar with local cider, plus beer, wine and jam, and you can order other food from cakes to wood fired pizza if you don’t fancy cooking in the firepit outside your tent. Best of all, I got to sink into a huge comfortable bed at night in the knowledge that we wouldn’t find ourselves blundering to a toilet in the dark. It’s possibly the most relaxed I’ve felt.
Llechwedd Glamping in Snowdonia
By Bec Wyld of Wyld Family Travel
Located just out of Blaenau Ffestiniog, you will find the most amazing glamping in Wales and it has the most epic views you can imagine. Sitting on the side of a hill overlooking an old Welsh slate mine is the Llechwedd Slate Mine glamping site.
After the slate mine was closed it seemed there was nothing that could be done to revive the mine, until glamping, zip-lining, mine tours and mountains bikes revived the old mine and what it would be now known for.
From the luxurious glamping tents, you can get amazing views over the old slate mine. Many think it would be grey and dull but with the ever and fast-changing weather in Wales, the colours will differ from hour to hour. The facilities vary in each of the tents but they can have up to six people in them. The wood fire keeps the room warm on the cold nights. The deck is a great place to watch the sun go down and enjoy a hot drink or even a cold one.
When you are staying at the Llechwedd Slate Mines you can do many of the activities that are offered there. The kids may love to ride around the old slate mine and listen to stories about how the mine was so important to the local community in the back of a big truck, bumping and bouncing along. They may love to have a go at the zip lining or go deep underground on the mine tour. Or you can use the time to sit back, relax and enjoy your time away in Wales.
Glamping with kids in Norfolk
Wardley Hill Campsite near Bungay
We stayed at this off the beaten track little place several years ago for my older son’s fifth birthday. Although it is hidden away deep in the East Anglian countryside, it’s a good location for visiting the beaches of both Norfolk and Suffolk. We used it as a base for the giant expanse of sand at Gorleston on Sea and the charming seaside town of Southwold, both around a 30 minute drive away.
As with quite a few of my suggestions on here, we pitched a tent at Wardley Hill. However, if you’d prefer not to rough it, the site has a really good range of family friendly glamping accommodation as well as some rather fun looking ready-pitched tents. If you fancy sleeping in a tent suspended in the trees (just sleeping two), this is the place to come! Other glamping options include a shepherd’s hut, a bell tent and a yurt. Check out the site’s too posh to pitch page for more options.
What I loved about Wardley Hill was the seclusion and the simplicity of the site. The loos are compost, and sections of the field are left unmown. It feels very peaceful and rural. We joined forces with our camping neighbours over the fire drum (a recycled washing machine drum) and our kids spent most of their time running through the grass with other little people. It was very relaxing.
If you’re after off the beaten track glamping in Norfolk, Wardley Hill is well worth considering.
Family glamping in Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire
Bush Farm Bison Centre camping and glamping in Wiltshire
We go camping as a group of four families each year. I always find a campsite with an element of glamping for the less enthusiastic members of our group.
Bush Farm is a wonderful spot. It’s close to Stonehenge and the atmospheric Old Wardour Castle but it’s also such a lovely site that visitors can happily spend a whole day there without heading out to explore the surrounding area.
As well as the woodland and meadow camping pitches, there’s also a single wooden pod on the edge of a field. This is a great option for a family or an individual who would like to have the benefits of camping without having to pitch a tent. The pod is simply furnished with a double and a single mattress and is very good value.
Campfires and BBQs are popular at Bush Farm and the resident bison are both a visitor attraction and a delicious zero miles delicacy – bison burgers went down a treat with our gang.
Lantern & Larks glamping in Somerset
By Ting Dalton from My Travel Monkey
We spent a wonderful weekend glamping with kids at Lantern & Larks Kittisford Barton in the quaint county of Somerset. Not only was the countryside idyllic, but because we were also on a working farm, the kids enjoyed being able to interact with the animals, as well as collect fresh eggs.
At Kittisford Barton there are 260 acres of ponds, woodlands, fields and trails to explore, too. We loved being able to use the fire pit for evening BBQs, exploring with our torches and getting ready for bed together in the dark. It really did feel like a home away from home – and having no electricity wasn’t a problem. After all, we were staying in a fully equipped tent which had a toilet, shower, and proper beds.
There were a few insects in the tent, but it was cosy spending our evenings watching the flames dancing and the wood crackling in the burner; actually having a conversation instead of watching the TV or checking our devices; and a real sense of adventure for the children, too. They really enjoyed it. And with so much to explore close by including Cheddar Gorge and even the coastal areas of Devon and Somerset, it’s also the perfect spot for a family adventure.
Crealy Meadows glamping in Devon
By Claire Hall of Devon with Kids
If you are looking for a glamping site that offers a bit more than a playground to amuse the kids then Crealy Meadows in Devon ticks all the boxes.
It is a campsite with its own entertainment complex and family activities, and it has its own fast track gate into Crealy Adventure Park right next door.
Crealy is one of Devon’s top family days out and has something for children of all ages, from soft play to massive adventure play areas and rollercoasters. There’s also a farm, bumper boats and a splash park.
Back on the campsite there are well equipped safari cabins and medieval pavilions that sleep up to eight people. These are a short walk from the campsite shower block which has heated floors, family bathrooms and hair dryers.
Each glamping tent comes with electricity, a fridge, cooking facilities and full sized beds. All you need to bring is your food and bedding (including pillows).
If you book glamping accommodation you get discounted tickets to the adventure park. Other things to do close by include visiting historic Exeter, boat trips from Exmouth and days at the beaches at Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton.
In the summer holidays there’s entertainment in the onsite club house and a programme of children’s activities like games in the site’s multi sports court and arts and crafts.
For more family glamping in Devon, check out Claire’s post about the best luxury camping sites in Devon for families.
Nettwood Farm camping and glamping in Somerset
Nettwood Farm is one of my top picks for camping and glamping with a view. The farm has far reaching views over the Chew Valley with rolling hills and lakes in the distance. It is a truly bucolic spot.
Nettwood Farm is a small campsite with a range of glamping options for families. There’s a safari tent with ensuite compost toilet and kitchen as well as a cosy woodland pod and two spacious bell tents which sleep up to six.
Nettwood is sufficiently rural to be an excellent spot for star gazing. The local astronomy group were camping next to us during our stay and they let us explore the night sky through their telescopes.
Although it feels remote, Nettwood is just a short drive from Cheddar Gorge where we spent a really fun day out. Bath and Bristol are also within day trip distance. We visited the SS Great Britain during a day out in Bristol, our kids loved it.
If you’d prefer not to stray too far from the campsite, there are some lovely country walks close by. The kids enjoyed den building in the farm woods and there’s also a great pub up the hill with a particularly good play area in the spacious garden. The campsite also has a little play area next to one of the washblocks.
Glamping with kids in Yorkshire
Dale2Swale Glamping near Richmond in North Yorkshire
Tucked away amid rolling farmland are the luxury safari tents of Dale2Swale. We enjoyed two nights family glamping at Dale2Swale at the end of July 2020. It was bliss.
The luxury glamping tents are well equipped with everything you could need, from duvets to flushing toilets. It’s glamping with an eco-conscience too: the waste is disposed of environmentally and the electricity is solar-powered.
The tents are set in a large field, a great space for burning off energy by day and excellent for stargazing at night. The tents have three bedrooms, one of which is an elevated cabin bed: our kids loved this little hideout.
There are no recreational facilities laid on at Dale2Swale and we liked it that way. The glamping site was incredibly peaceful. The kids were happy exploring the fields and I loved sitting on the decking outside our tent with a cuppa or glass of wine, enjoying the scenery. My other half enjoyed cooking on the BBQ. Dale2Swale has an arrangement with a local farm and can arrange for a pack of BBQ food to be delivered to your tent.
Glamping in North Yorkshire means you’re never far from plenty of places of interest. The charming market town of Richmond is within walking distance of Dale2Swale: there’s an excellent footpath directly from the farm past the ruins of Easby Abbey and the River Swale. The Yorkshire Dales are a short drive away.
Camp Katur glamping with kids in North Yorkshire
By Katy Stern of Otis and Us
Camp Katur is a magical little “off grid” glamping village, situated in North Yorkshire and located just 10 minutes off the A1 near Bedale. There are so many lovely accommodation choices to suit your needs.
Choose from Geodomes, spacious safari tents, beautiful bell tents, unique teepees or wonderful hobbit pods. We stayed in a safari tent, and it easily slept 6-8.
What is really lovely about Camp Katur is that there are some wonderful activities for kids. At Camp Katur there is a lovely play area with loads of different swings hidden in the trees. From a surfboard to a rocking horse, it is a really wonderful space with something for all ages. There is also a great play area with a volleyball net, toy shed, playhouses and a worry tree!
A short walk down the lane you will find the Camp Hill Estate. Camp Hill Estate is a separate independent business to Camp Katur. Here you will find the Woodland Kingdom, – an abundance of wooden playhouses, a woodland castle, zip wire and assault course. The kids loved visiting here each day. For the older kids there are plenty of activities that come with an additional charge including quad biking, Segways, foot golf and high ropes.
We loved our stay at Camp Katur. It is a really magical place to stay and really family friendly. It provided an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and simple things in life together as a family.
Glamping in Northern Ireland
Castle Ward Glamping Pods in Northern Ireland
By Allan Wilson from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Castle Ward (National Trust) is one of the must-visit attractions in Northern Ireland where it’s famous not only for its historical buildings, grounds and gardens, but more recently it has been popular as the backdrop to the Game of Thrones franchise as the setting for Winterfell. So Castle Ward itself is worth the visit but there is more than enough to explore through a couple of days, and a stay at the National Trust’s connecting caravan park and their famous Castle Ward Glamping Pods make the perfect pairing for a short holiday.
There are two pod options; the standard pod and the family pod, and the family pod is obviously the better option with 2 beds and extra storage room at the back of the pods. Otherwise both options are well insulated, with soundproofing and underground heating, and they’re really just quite slick-looking all round. When it comes to facilities each pod comes with a picnic table and barbecue plate as well as a wooden patio with seating and water taps on the outside.
The pods are somewhat separate to the Castle Ward Caravan Park, in a secluded wooded area on the scenic Strangford Walk, but they both share high-end toilets, cleaning facilities and there’s a small shop at reception. Unfortunately the entrance fee to Castle Ward is separate, but there is plenty to explore in the area, and visiting Castle Ward there are bike rides and archery and all sorts to keep the kids entertained.
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Do you have a favourite family-friendly glamping destination? Let me know where you went glamping with kids in the comments below.
Looking for other UK holiday ideas? Check out my post about farm holidays in England and my post about short breaks in the UK. And if you want to be by the seaside, I’ve written all about UK beach breaks too!
If you’re travelling by motorway across the UK and you’d prefer to avoid service stations, have a read of my post about fun family friendly places to stop just off the motorway.
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