Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

What Is Glamping? Everything You Need To Know About Glamorous Camping

For people who fancy some spending some time outdoors but who don't want the hassle of putting up their own shelter, here's a handy a guide to the luxurious and more comfortable world of glamping

Glamping is a luxury camping experience that mixes aspects of the outdoors with comfier, and notably more furnished, accommodation. A portmanteau of the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’, glamping is popular because it eliminates a lot of the hassle associated with traditional camping while still providing a chance to spend time close to nature. From the the countryside and coastline to the woodlands, there are opportunities to engage with nature in the coolest ways possible right across the UK . Glamping can be the perfect option for families, or couples, that are looking to spend time in an unconventional outdoor setting and don’t want to put up their own shelter.

Many of us, of course, love the thrill of roughing it in nature – wild camping on a windswept hill, or in a bivvy bag in the middle of some forest. For others though, that’s not quite comfortable enough. That’s where glamping can come in. For those of us who want a bit of the outdoors but don’t feel good about slumming it in the middle of a national park, or on some windy and wet cliff edge, the chances are that there’s a glamping option out there that’s right for them. The spectrum of what actually constitutes glamping stretches far in both directions. From classic treehouses that immerse you in the greenery of forests to flying saucers in Wales, there’s something for everyone.

Over the course of this guide, we will attempt to answer the following questions.

  • What is glamping?
  • How does glamping differ to camping?
  • What are the different types of glamping (pod, yurt etc)?
  • How much does glamping cost?
Glamping can take place in a community, and many glamping spots are a part of campsites. Glampsites. (Credit Andrea Davis)

How does glamping differ to camping?

The standard of accommodation is the defining factor of glamping.

If your accommodation is in the boot of your car or in your rucksack, you’re camping; if you’re turning up to your already assembled (or built) accommodation, you’re glamping. Glamping spots come in loads of different forms, from geo-domes to cabins and lodges, but one thing they all share is not being a self-assembled tent.

One of the main reasons many people choose to glamp is the bed and bathroom facilities. Beds and bathrooms can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes depending on the sort of glamping retreat you choose, but they’ll almost certainly be a significant step up from sleeping on the floor or digging a hole in the woods to do your ‘business’. Toilets, showers, and even bed linen are all likely to be provided when glamping.

Rows of comfy glamping tents. Credit: Getty Images

Cooking is usually fairly easy and convenient when you’re glamping. You’ll sometimes be provided with a kitchenette or BBQ, although not always. Sure, it’s a little less adventurous than cooking things up on a little camping stove but you’ll probably be able to cook up something much more interesting from a culinary point of view. Fridges, kettles, and ovens are often, but not always, present and they’ll obviously make for a much easier (though arguably less exciting) cooking and coffee-making process.

Other things that you might find at glamping spots is heating, insulation, and a greater, more reassuring, sense of security.

Two important things to consider when glamping are the location and price of your trip away. Where camping offers explorers the freedom to choose (within limits) where they want to pitch up for the night, glamping spots are usually rooted to the spot and embrace a specific area of the outdoors. Glamping will also, almost certainly, set you back more price-wise. For some though, the opportunity to have a more comfortable outdoor experience is likely to make this extra cost worth it.

What are the different types of glamping?

There’s an endless amount of glamping styles to choose from, but some are more popular than others. Here’s a list of the most popular glamping accommodation options.

Bell Tents

Bell tents come in all shapes, sizes and locations. (Credit: Patrick Hendry)

The face of glamping. A step-up from the traditional tent, bell tents are big, rooted tents that offer a more sophisticated version of camping. Often found on open sites with other tents, bell tents can offer a community space while still allowing you to engage with the best parts of nature.

Tree Houses

Glamping pushes the limits of what you thought tree houses were confined to. (Credit: Slexander Cifuentes)

Your childhood dream: a real tree house. Yes, a house in the trees. If you’ve somehow never heard of the concept, they’re exactly what you think they are. They come in all shapes and sizes. Once you’ve accepted they really do exist, take a look at some of the best tree houses the UK has to offer. Or, alternatively, book yourself into this one with the slide immediately.


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The more futuristic-looking glamping accommodation, a geo-dome is a semi-transparent hemisphere and an impressive feat of design. Geo-domes are insulated, breathable and incredibly cosy; providing people with a great opportunity to feel like they’re in the heart of the outdoors and also right at the centre of camping’s sci-fi future.

Cabins and Lodges

Cabins and huts offer the security of a hotel room and the views of camping. The best of both worlds! (Credit: Lili Kovac)

Sitting at the more sophisticated end of the glamping spectrum, cabins and lodges provide what could just as easily be described as a really nice hotel room or house in an outdoorsy setting. Often fully furnished, insulated, heated and usually well away from civilisation, cabins and lodges are popular for a reason.

Yurts and Gers

Yurts offer a cosy outdoor option with a bit of history, usually replicating yurts seen in rural Mongolia today (Credit: Vince GX)

The glamping option with a bit more history to it. The yurt (or ger) is cake-shaped tent made from wool or felt and a collapsible wood frame and was a structure used by the nomadic people of Mongolia (90% of rural Mongolians still live in yurts today). Their circular shape and low ceiling offers efficient heating, insulation and room to spread out / chill out in.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to glamping. (Credit: Espen Bierud)

As mentioned, the possibilities are endless when it comes to picking your glamping accommodation. Go looking in the right places (right here) and you might find a flying saucer in Tenby, a classic American school bus in Eastbourne or a fire truck in Bishop’s Castle. These places offer a unique opportunity to spend an alternative holiday somewhere you’ve never considered, and come home with the cool photos to prove it.

How Much Does Glamping Cost?

Average price-per-night for a stay in the UK:

  • Wild camping: £0 (providing you have all the gear – and the ideas)
  • Normal campsite: £5 – £30
  • Glamping: £100+

Of course, it varies depending on how luxurious the camping option is but, as an example, as of last year, Three Cliffs Bay in Penmaen, Wales, charge £68.50 for three nights of camping at their site (a site complete with power showers and a shop) or £454 for three nights of glamping in their yurts. It’s quite the difference, but remember you’re paying for a place to stay rather than just the entry fee to the spot of land.

In the grand scheme of the UK ‘staycation’ scene, it could be argued that glamping offers an environmentally-friendly alternative to more traditional types of holiday accommodation.

With limited costs on heating and water (you’re unlikely to have a TV, and electricity in a yurt, for example), locally sourced produce to be had (depending on where you’re staying), and little-to-no carbon footprint (especially if you travel to your destination in a more eco-friendly way), glamping has the potential to be a more sustainable holiday experience.

Whether you’re getting a night’s sleep in a yurt or setting off in that flying saucer, there’s definitely a green angle to be considered when weighing up whether glamping in the UK is right for you. It’s certainly better for the environment than flying to an all-inclusive resort on the other side of the world.

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