The enchanting West Country is an area in the South West of England that stretches from Cornwall through Devon, Dorset, and into Somerset. It is one of the most popular destinations in the UK for holidays because of the wonderful scenery, beaches and picture-perfect villages.
It’s wonderful to escape the town or city and to instead be surrounded by the beauty of the natural world with the one you love. The West Country ticks all the boxes for rural escapism and it is also has a considerably warmer climate than most of the rest of England making it ideal for a glamping trip.
Wherever you decide to stay, in the West Country or elsewhere, we reveal the secret to getting the best deal at luxury hotels including Four Seasons, InterContinental, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and more separately.
1. The Shepherds Hut Retreat, Somerset
Indulge the country bumpkin or wannabe farmer in you with an ultra-luxury glamping stay at Shepherds Hut Retreat at Fordscroft Farm in Crewkerne, Somerset.
These luxurious huts are billed as glamping, but the emphasis here is firmly on the glam and much less the camping! This retreat is a 2 and a half-hour drive from London or there are also direct trains to Crewkerne which take about the same time. Then it’s only a short 5-minute ride in a taxi to the retreat.
The Shepherds Hut Retreat features four 20ft by 8ft huts that are nestled between the trees on the edge of a lake, they each have their own private decking area and their own fire pit – perfect for snuggling next to with a blanket as the evenings draw in. The Lakeside Hot Tub and the Woodland Sauna are highlights of this retreat as you can see in the picture above.
Within the Shepherds Huts, the décor is fabulous vintage chic, with so many beautiful home accessories you’ll feel like you’re in a lovely boutique shop! The huts all include a beautiful bathroom, comfortable double bed, fully equipped kitchen and dining area.
There are no children or pets allowed, but then they would rather interfere with your relaxing! The owners have really thought of everything and the huts are very well equipped, they include a DVD player DAB radio and Wi-Fi but it’s the little touches that stand out; complimentary cookies and marshmallows are provided and so even are the sticks needed on which to roast them!
The kitchen is very well kitted out so self-catering is a pleasure, supplies can be purchased in nearby Crewkerne which has both a Waitrose and a Co-op. On sunny days, lighting the BBQ is a must.
For nights off cooking, there are many options locally; there is an award-winning gastro pub, The Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George, which can be reached via a short stroll through the country lanes. The pub has won both Gastropub of the year and National dining pub of the year more than once so it would be rude not to sample it really!
A fair amount of time should be assigned to simply sitting on your decking watching ducks paddling on the pond, buzzards circling Castle Hill and deer grazing in the fields; taking a moment to pause and soak up the nature all around you.
For when you want to do a bit more exploring you are spoilt for choice in this beautiful region. The market town of Crewkerne is on your doorstep and the picturesque village of Hinton St George is only a mile away. The beautiful seaside town of Lyme Regis is 30 minutes away, with independent boutiques, cafes and fossil shops to discover; there’s also nothing quite like a bag of chips sitting on the wall at Lyme watching the world go by!
2. Burnbake Camp Cleavel Tipi Village, Dorset
Burnbake Campsite & Forest Lodges and their Camp Cleavel Tipi Village is truly a hidden gem set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Purbeck countryside, all surrounded by nature and wildlife and far enough away from it all to enjoy no phone reception (though there’s always wifi in the lodges if you need it, though don’t tell the children that!).
Rich in wildlife and flora, this wonderful and multi-award-wining woodland oasis lies surrounded by dramatic coastlines, blue flag beaches, coves, ridges, castles and valleys at the gateway to the World Heritage Jurassic coastline. At Burnbake children can enjoy a sense of freedom and good old fashioned play, beavering by the stream, hiding in the woods and foraging in the forest.
It truly is a rural wildlife haven with rabbits hopping about while you eat your breakfast, as well as deer, birds, butterflies, pheasants and squirrels popping by to say hello, all lulled by the gentle mooing of cows in the surrounding fields.
A stay here doesn’t have to involve pitching a tent, instead you can add a touch of luxury with a stay in one of the chic 2 and 3 bedroom rustic wooden lodges. However, if this doesn’t sound bohemian and back-to-basics enough for you, then why not become totally unplugged and get-away-from-it-all with a bare-foot-chic glamping experience in one of the magical lantern lit tipis at Camp Cleavel Tipi Village, as seen on Celebrity 5 Go Camping.
Hidden in the beautiful Dorset countryside, Cleavel lies in an utterly secluded location with incredible views over the southernmost tip of Poole Harbour and its’ islands.
Each of the impressive Tipi’s, which lie right at the water’s edge, can comfortably sleep up to four adults and one child and four-legged friends are welcome too. You’ll need to bring your own bedding, warm clothes, waterproofs and wellies, however, if you still fancy a hint of luxury, then why not book an outdoor massage or relaxation treatment amidst nature, there’s honestly something truly magical about a pampering treatment in the great outdoors.
If the children are looking to be entertained, then there are giant lawn games, miles of cycling and walking paths or you can really engage with nature by paddle boarding and kayaking. The Tipi Village is open every August and offers breakfast and dinner options to purchase on the day and a central village tipi campfire each evening, it really does offer a truly unique nature experience.
The wonder of Burnbake is that you can do as little or as much as you want, but every night you can retreat into your very own woodland idyll under the twinkling stars, far away from it all.
3. Longlands, Devon
Set on the beautiful Longlands Farm in Combe Martin in a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the North Devon coast, you’ll find Longlands Glamping. Here there are five luxurious Safari Lodges with wood burning stoves and private showers, a larder shop, a private lake and acres of grounds to play in and discover.
The Safari Lodges are a thing of beauty in themselves; the cleverly designed timber retreats are built on stilts with canvas roofs, much of it is open air to give you all the benefits of an outdoors-y camping experience but with the little luxuries of home. Each Lodge has a fully equipped kitchen with its own mains supplied sink, a small cool box and a shelf in the Larder fridge if needed. The lodges feature a rather wonderful large deck area and private BBQ platform, so you can sit back and enjoy the amazing views over the lake, valley and down to the sea.
4. Orchard Retreat, Devon
The Orchard Retreat is a family (and dog) friendly holiday site featuring three locally handcrafted yurts dotted around a large four-acre apple orchard surrounded by fields and streams tucked in the Devonshire countryside.
Each yurt comfortably sleeps up to four people and features a luxury pocket sprung double bed and a twin or double sofa bed with a private bathroom just a short stroll away. Adding to the cosy-homely feel, the yurts also have sheep skin rugs, a cafetiere coffee maker, lanterns, torches and candles.
To make you feel even more welcome, there are extra touches including a welcome basket packed with lovely local produce like bread, milk and wine; a complimentary basket of logs for the wood burning stove and even hot water bottles for chillier nights. You can self-cater on the little stove or your BBQ and the retreat also has a communal fire pit, great for a sociable evening of drinks and eats around the fire.
5. Log House Holidays, Gloucestershire
The Cotswolds are arguably on the edge of the official West Country counties and if you are looking for rural idyl, this region offers some beautiful countryside. Log House Holidays is set around a private lake within a 130-acre nature reserve in the Cotswolds.
Eight luxurious but low-impact Finnish-style log cabins with unspoilt views that sleep between 4 and 11 guests. Log House Holidays has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for the unusual flora and fauna which thrive here plus it’s bursting with wildlife all year round, including: otters, kingfishers, nightingales, great crested grebe, a breeding colony of common tern and 17 varieties of dragonfly!
While these cabins offer a more substantial base than your usual glamping tent, you are still surrounded by nature and can embrace life’s simple pleasures. Each eco-friendly log cabin has been finished with beautiful and unique interiors, all modern appliances, and amenities including: a wood burner, lakeside hot tub, rowing boat, fire pit, private beaches and BBQ. One even has a pool, so you can truly swim, sail, fish, go woodland walking or simply sit on your jetty and watch the ducks go by.
Outside the resort, you will find nature trails and walks, beautiful picnic spots, wonderful country pubs and farmers markets and all the wonders that the Cotswolds has to offer. Guests return year after year for a taste of unique luxury, seclusion and an escape from today’s hectic pace of life.
6. The Glamping Orchard, The Cotswolds
Another cotswolds glamping retreat is the Glamping Orchard with classy glamping in the heart of the picturesque Severn Vale. Situated in Longney, five miles from historic Gloucester, the site can be reached by car in under 2 and a half hours from London; the convenience of the Cotswolds being just one of the heavenly things about it.
The site is set on a family-run smallholding so you are surrounded by animals, acres of orchards and, of course, the rolling countryside. The boutique site is beautifully small consisting of a stunning renovated 1950’s Caravan: The Warwick Knight and a beautiful bell tent: Belle. There is a fire pit which doubles up very nicely as a BBQ or, of course, you can use your kitchenette, so you can cook a meal while you relax in the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside.
7. The Nap at Langabridge Farm, Devon
Secluded with great Scandi style design, this unique cabin lies in a quiet fold of the hills on Langabridge Farm above the River Taw in Devon with nobody around for miles, this destination truly takes you away from it all.
Sleeping four in one double bed on ground floor with a low double bed on the mezzanine level (accessed via ladder), The Nap at Langabridge Farm is suitable for children of all ages and pets are welcome too.
Sitting in its own private field with spectacular views of the valley through the huge corner doors, the cabin will keep you cosy in winter, as the Swedish wood-burner’s long flue warms the cabin right up to the mezzanine double bedroom, but on warm nights you can fold the doors back and let the evening breeze flow in. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, but down the hill is the fire pit for stargazing with after-dinner drinks and the smell of woodsmoke. There’s also a wood-fired hot tub for you to relax in while you soak up the views of the surrounding countryside.
The children will enjoy playing in the fields and meeting all the farm animals or why not set off on walks too numerous to list, ranging from Tarr Steps, Watersmeet and the Doone Valley to local routes right from the cabin’s front door. Although you may occasionally see owners Adam and Becky out feeding the farm animals, The Nap and its high nest are yours and yours alone, so you can relax into the ripple of birdsong and enjoy the fire pit, bubbling hot tub and the moon and stars above.
8. Gwel an Mor Resort, Cornwall
Although not surrounded by acres of woodland, Gwel an Mor Resort is a place to stay, surf, relax and revive, all located a short stroll from the beach and harbour town of Portreath on the Northern coast of Cornwall. Portreath itself is situated on the famous South West Coastal Path with 630 miles of superb coastal walks to discover and it also has one of the finest sandy beaches in Cornwall.
The resort is set high on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offers contemporary Scandinavian style cabins and eco-friendly luxury lodges, residences and studios all equipped to the highest standards. The coastal lodges feature contemporary colours and coastal holiday themes with light and airy open plan living space with patio doors opening onto your private deck complete with hot tub.
The resort offers a multitude of activities to keep families, couples and individuals entertained throughout the entire of your stay, plus there’s free wifi throughout to keep you connected to the outside world too. In terms of facilities, there’s a fully equipped gym, indoor pool with jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, Wellbeing Spa, play areas, tennis courts, putting and croquet facilities, not forgetting Base Camp indoor play centre and Clip’n’Climb facility.
Clover Lake is the resort’s 2 acre coarse fishing lake stocked with tench and carp, offering a peaceful but challenging fishing experience, while the Famous Nine at Landal Gwel an Mor is the UK’s largest all weather greens and tees golf course. Finally, Feadon Farm, which lies within the resort, is the only wildlife centre of its kind in Europe, where you can meet and feed a wide range of animals including reindeer, rescue foxes, barn owls and more. Or why not try your hand at falconry, badger watching, rock pooling or one of their magical night walks.
In terms of getting in touch with nature, guests can go deep-sea fishing, horse riding, coasteering, kayaking, surfing or try their hand at archery, sea scootering, snorkelling and more.
Although you’re not truly getting away from it all at this resort, and there isn’t abundant woodland for the children to roam free in, it is a wonderful coastal and nature break for families and couples alike and you can even bring your four-legged best friends too!
9. Middle Stone Farm, Somerset
This family-friendly glamping offers hot tubs on the eastern edge of Exmoor National Park. Just six safari tents named Buzzard, Hawk, Kestrel, Badger, Fox and Stag, are located in two separate three-acre fields with brilliant views towards the surrounding hills.
Positioned between Exmoor and the Quantock Hills, this patch of rural Somerset is an ideal sanctuary for wildlife. The safari tents feature everything you could possibly need, with wood-fired hot tubs outside, perfect for star spotting at night. At the heart of each tent is the wood-burning stove for cooking and warming your safari tent, plus each tent has an en-suite shower room at the far end, while, out front, the large sun deck showcases awesome views towards the Somerset hills. Evening campfires remind guests that, despite all the luxuries, this is still a camping, well glamping, holiday.
10. The Forge, Wales
Is Wales counted as the West Country? Not really I suppose, but its location on the Western side of the British Isles and its beautiful scenery makes it the perfect spot for glamping in the West. For some back to nature action along with the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, The Forge is a great choice and offers a unique glamping experience surrounded by the stunning North Wales countryside.
Situated in the wild Welsh countryside with Snowdonia National Park just a 15-minute drive away there’s so much to explore; some of the best walking and running trails in Wales surround the site or if you’re really seeking an adrenaline hit, then mountain biking, rafting, zip wires, kite surfing and rock climbing are also available within an hour’s drive.
There are three luxury bell tents on the large glamping field. The field itself is totally enclosed and safe for children to run around and play. The tents back onto woodland so you feel totally private and peaceful. There’s also a communal campfire area on the site’s own Iron Age hill fort; the perfect place to watch the sun set and get in some quality star gazing time.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
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