5 of the best glamping spots just outside of London
Ever fancied trying your hand at a spot of camping but not quite sure that you’re cut out for the whole nature thing?
On hand to help is James Warmer Smith, editor of the Glampingly website, to share with us his top 5 glamping spots so you don’t have to get muddy or work out how to pitch your new tent.
BEST FOR COUPLES
Wingbury Farm Glamping, Buckinghamshire
In a small, private field to the north of the Chiltern Hills, this luxury escape has just three glamping pods, two of which feature Scandinavian-style hot tubs. Inside, there are fitted double beds and plush en suites with power showers, while, outside, you can enjoy drinks beside the campfire with locally produced ‘Campfire Gin’. Other extras include a chocolate and prosecco hamper – the hot tub has holders for your glasses, naturally – and BBQ packs from the local butchers. It’s a 15-minute stroll to the nearest pub and a 15-minute drive to the Chilterns’ most popular walking routes.
Pods sleep up to four people from £100 per night.
BEST FOR GROUPS
Surrey Hills Yurts, Surrey
This 15-acre organic farm in the Surrey Hills plays host to six different yurts accommodating up to 30 people in total. Individually they’re luxurious bolt holes, with chunky wooden beds, log burners and views across the wildflower meadow beyond, but guests can also book the entire site for big group gatherings. Those who do have a host of additional options, from yoga and willow weaving to axe throwing and archery, and catering from a local artisan company can be arranged. It’s three miles to Leith Hill Tower, the highest point in the county and an excellent centre point for summer walks.
Yurts sleep up to six people from £90 per night.
BEST FOR WILDLIFE
The Wigeon Hut, Essex
Part shepherd’s hut, part bird-hide and part luxury cottage, this two-person retreat may be three miles from the coast but water fills the neighbouring marshes at high tide. Among trees overlooking a pond, The Wigeon Hut is furnished to impeccable detail – think biodegradable toiletries, foodie welcome hampers, games and wildlife books – with a king-sized bed, wood-burner and en-suite bathroom. Outside, 55-acre Mill Farm feels more like a nature reserve than a fruit farm and binoculars are duly provided. Footpaths weave to Arlesford Creek, while the wooden tidal mill that gives the farm its name (built in 1831) is occasionally open to the public.
The Wigeon Hut sleeps two from £95 per night.
BEST FOR PETS
The Stag Lodge, Kent
This dog-friendly den is less than a mile from the nearest train station, easily reached from London Charing Cross. Guests can pre-book a ‘dog pack’, with a freshly laundered bed, bowls and a lead, and can enjoy public footpaths that lead through the two local vineyards. The lodge itself – a safari-style tent sleeping up to six people – has a huge living space, with a kitchen and wood burner, and two separate bedrooms, while an extra, hidden, ‘cupboard bed’ is adored by children. Owner Annabel has two black Labradors of her own and there are horses, chickens and cats on the farm too.
The Stag Lodge sleeps up to six people from £128.50 per night.
BEST FOR KIDS
Rankins Farm, Kent
First opened in spring, this brand new glamping site in the High Weald offers wonderful views and acres of space. Named after the plums that grow in the surrounding fruit farm, six pods overlook a meadow where a boules pitch, adventure playground and garden games like badminton and giant jenga provide plenty of distractions for kids. Inside, meanwhile, mod cons include under-floor heating, en-suite bathrooms and a compact kitchen space, plus a television and WiFi for rainy days. It’s a 15-minute drive to Leeds Castle where jousting tournaments and falconry displays are hosted during school holidays.
Pods sleep up to four people from £90 per night.
James Warmer Smith is the editor at Glampingly, the UK’s largest glamping website