It’s wonderful to escape the town or city and to instead be surrounded by the beauty of the natural world with the ones you love. An outdoor escape in the UK ticks all the boxes for rural escapism. Glamping is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature, and we have picked the 3 best glamping sites in Kent that are just a short drive from London and are ideal for a weekend escape.
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, Marriott, Hyatt and more…
1. The Forge, Wales
The Forge is the vision of Jamie and Sheena who were tired of their busy, stressful commuter lives in London and fancied a back-to-nature adventure bringing up their children in the beautiful Welsh countryside.
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.
The Forge is a 20-acre property in Corwen, Denbighshire, North Wales where Jamie and Sheena share their love of the outdoors. It’s so much more than just a place to stay, offering a wide range of courses and events from survival skills weekends and bushcraft courses to outdoor cooking, gourmet evenings, wellness, holiday activity packages, and foraging experiences.
The Forge gives people the opportunity to escape from the pressures of everyday life and immerse themselves in the great outdoors, whilst still providing all of the modern comforts to make your stay as comfortable, stress-free and relaxing as possible. The beauty of what’s on offer is that guests can do as much or as little as they want, it’s entirely up to you.
Situated in the heart of 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.
While there, guests can take a wander up the hill to the campfire on The Forge’s very own Iron Age Hill Fort, which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner or gaze up at the stars, plus there is lots of private parking available too. There is also a large undercover games cabin with a pool table and comfy leather sofas for chilling out.
2. Longberry Farm Glamping
Longberry Farm Glamping is the epitome of glamping; offering luxury camping-style self-catering accommodation in the beautiful Kent countryside. Situated just outside the rural village of Bethersden, you are only an hour and a half from London, but you’ll feel a whole world away with the tranquil landscape surrounding you. Should you wish to arrive by train, it’s only 40 minutes from London and a free taxi service is provided by the Farm.
Longberry Farm Glamping is an intimate, friendly, family-run site. There are three 5m Bell Tents and a modern, sparkling clean washroom outside the tents, with hot showers, toilets and washing up sinks – there’s even baby changing facilities! The décor is enchanting, you could be in a country cottage; with beautiful soft furnishing and vintage style accessories. The tents include complimentary wood along with gas BBQs, as well as cutlery, crockery and cooking equipment for nights spent snuggled outside your tent around the campfire.
3. Elmley Nature Reserve Glamping
Elmley Nature Reserve is set in the middle of the marshland. An old, Victorian farm oversees Elmley’s glamping within the reserve, where you can enjoy one of three handcrafted shepherds’ huts. These huts have unbeatable views over this wetland landscape, the meadow grasses, tidal streams, and distant yachts. Inside, each hut has deep cozy beds and is lovingly decorated. Crucially, the huts have their own hot gas-powered showers and composting loos. A short walk away is a tall Victorian barn that has cooking facilities and flushing toilets.
The reserve itself offers board-walks and bird-hides to watch passing wildlife. Other activities include helping to collect chicken eggs or a leisurely cycle to local villages.
4. Greenhill Glamping
Greenhill Glamping is set in a buttercup-filled meadow in the Kent Downs, this single, hut is the genuine 1890’s shepherd’s wagon. Abandoned on the Romney Marshes for over 75 years, it has been tastefully refurbished for a luxury glamping stay.
Inside, wood-slat walls remain unpainted and are still marked with the names of World War II soldiers – who sheltered in the hut while manning a local gun battery. Antique furnishings add to the ambiance and are complemented with a king-sized bed, en-suite shower room, kitchenette facilities. A Nespresso machine and homemade cake are other things to look forward to.
This is the kind of place to enjoyed toasting marshmallows by the fire pit and can watch the sunset, before retiring to the cozy bed.
5. 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, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area.
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!
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!
6. 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-winning 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 cozy-homely feel, the yurts also have sheepskin 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.
9. 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 unspoiled 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.
10. 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 the 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 cozy in winter, as the Swedish wood-burners 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.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
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