If you like your creature comforts but still want to get away from it all in your VW then why not try a spot of glamorous camping? It’s fun, you’ll make friends – and it’s cheaper than paying for a hotel room…
‘Glamping’ is a cool alternative for those who like to camp but prefer more salubrious accommodation, and it’s now all the rage with specialist sites popping up across the UK, as well as throughout Europe, USA and Australia. It’s perfect for people who want to enjoy the countryside but are put off by the prospect of breezy tents and cold toilet blocks. From beautifully decorated yurts with silk fabrics and floorboards to opulent gypsy caravans and even tree houses, you’re sure to find your ideal glamping excursion.
And the best bit is, you don’t need to abandon your VW Bus or Beetle and tent to go glamping – it’s simply a case of taking a slightly different tack to traditional back-to-basics camping because there’s lots of things you can do to make your weekends away that bit more luxurious.
Instead of that beaten up old sleeping bag and camping mat, why not pack proper sheets, a decent pillow, a couple of duvets and a hot water bottle the next time you take to the road in your VW Bus? If you’re in a Beetle, make sure you’ve got a proper inflatable mattress and a groundsheet underneath you. And for a little extra comfort, bring along a rug so you’ve got something nice and soft to step out on when you rise in the morning. Do all this and you’ll be sleeping like a baby – and being able to rely on a good night’s kip will take your camping experience to another level.
Change of menu
One thing that many people hate is the food that often accompanies old-school camping. If you are sick of eating canned beans and hotdogs from a billy-can, there’s no reason why you can’t do haute cuisine, ‘en plein air’ by packing the right tools and ingredients.
You can pick up small disposable BBQs for next to nothing and they make meal times so much more versatile, or bring along a portable grate and some charcoal, then, send the kids off to find some rocks to rest it on and you’re away. Fish, chicken, sausages, burgers and steak, they all taste great cooked over coals, and you can warm fresh bread and cook your bacon for a hearty breakfast in the morning. No need to settle for hot dogs and burgers!
A decent sized pot or pan for hot drinks, noodles, rice, pasta, and soup is a no brainer but make sure you also bring oven gloves or pot holders so that you don’t burn your hands moving it on and off the grill.
Tin foil is great for storing things and keeping them fresh, but it is also handy to use when cooking smaller items like steamed vegetables, or chicken and chips, and you can wrap potatoes or root vegetables up in it for retro camp fire cuisine. Cover the top of your grate while you are cooking meat to cut down on washing up. If you’re drinking wine, and why wouldn’t you, try making mulled wine instead with cloves and a little cinnamon.
If you want to add a touch of sophistication to your camping site dinner experience; a small table, some deckchairs and a table cloth will transform the scene. Add to that barbecued sardines, a baguette, a bottle of Prosecco wedged into an ice bucket and some candles… and who could ask for more?
You could always take a tip from the French, erect a white picket fence around your plot, with geraniums in pots, plus a generator for your TV and ensconce yourself for the entire summer! But if that’s not your style, it’s certainly worth checking out some of the French campsites. Prices are competitive and they offer some of the best facilities in some gorgeous coastal, forest and lakeside locations. You could even enjoy a spa experience, like the one at this lakeside campsite. And instead of the TV, an MP3 player with all your favourite tunes and a solar powered generator for phones and gadgets will keep you in the loop.
To get exactly the kind of holiday experience you want, when you’re choosing a campsite, write a list of all your top priorities. Do you want power showers and a launderette or would you prefer a bucket and soap with the world’s best view over the sea? Find a full list of glamping campsites here www.coolcamping.co.uk
The Wowo campsite in rural Sussex offers a huge range of facilities, from free musicians and story tellers in the evenings, to bush craft and pottery workshops in the day.
There’s a babbling brook, a steam train, a community ‘lounge’ in the farm house, plus excellent washing and dining facilities. You can park your VW in the trees or camp. But if you fancy just a taster of glamping, why not book into a gypsy caravan or woodland yurt just for one night?
An unspoilt and idyllic location always adds romance to your camping experience, and this beautiful Cornish campsite, with farm animals, a stream, a mini lake and a plethora of wildlife including birds of prey, foxes and badgers is as low key and peaceful as it gets, and close to some of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches.
But, if you do decide to go to all out glamour camping, then you might as well enjoy the full experience of nature, luxury and eccentric accommodation in this tree built penthouse at Bensfield Treehouse.
Deepdale offers six tipis, four yurts and a shepherd’s hut all within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Norfolk coast. Inevitably, the tipis just have sleeping mats, firepits and folding chairs, while family-sized yurts and the shepherd’s hut feature proper beds and wood burners. All share a well-equipped communal kitchen, and there’s the convenience of a small cafe for those who want time off from cooking dutiesg. Best of all, the site is open all year so why wait until 2017 to enjoy your first glamping experience?
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