We had a great response to our recent Long Valley Yurts competition so we thought we'd do a round-up of our favourite glamping sites around the country. You could hardly choose a better holiday if you have kids, plus most of the places here are comfortable enough to please even the most hardened anti-camper.
You can get right off-grid at this low-fi site at 700-year-old Baxby Manor, right on the doorstep of the North York Moors National Park, in bell tents or a coupe of cute pods. Cooking is open fire, showers are powered by a bio-mass boiler, fresh eggs are available every day, and the local butcher comes by every Saturday morning to sell bacon, sausages and barbecue packs. Glamping heaven.
A real slice of rural bliss just a few miles inland from Southwold in deepest Suffolk, with a selection of comfortable yurts complete with woodburners, big double beds and pull-out futons and outside gas hobs and barbecue pits. You can pick the produce they grow on their well-tended vegetable patch, and as it's right on a national cycle route it's handy that they have a selection of bikes to borrow; plus the restaurants, beach and pier of Southwold are just a cycle ride away.
It's part of a chain (sort of) but who cares? Knaveswell Farm, part of the nationwide Featherdown Farms, delivers rustic outdoor living with all mod cons thrown in. Based on a working dairy farm, it's a great place for kids too, with lots of animals and lovely walks through the nearby woods and stream.
Tom's pre-erected tents-cum-camping lodges on the Isle of Wight give you the chance to experience all the delights of camping without the hard for, plus the facilities will convince even the hardened non-camper – hot showers, a flushable loo and, er, electric lights. Serious campers may decide it's not like camping at all, but the location, in the heart of the woods seemingly far from anywhere, may persuade even them.
Luxurious, readymade tents in a large field with running water and toilets on a working farm. Lots of animals to pet, not to mention delicious supplies to cook on each tent's woodburning stove. Lovely rural walks, and you're also not far from the beach and civilisation in Weymouth.
Pack as if you're going to a posh hotel at this glorious glamping retreat, tucked away in a meadow in the Camel valley near Bodmin. A lot of thought has gone into the decor of each tent, and there's also a cute gypsy caravan, together with a myriad of other thoughtful extras – DVDs, games, dressing-up clothes, fridges and a food prep area, and decking for outdoor dining.
Made for kids in a sense – in that its location, tucked away on the western side of Windermere, was once the playground of the young Beatrix Potter. Its bell tents and yurts are decorated as if a vision from Morocco and are ridiculously cosy, with woodburning stoves, rugs and lanterns. The countryside is stunning but just in case you're stuck for something to do the owners lay on bushcraft courses and a whole host of other outdoor activities.
Amazingly, this place is just an hour's drive from London, but its lovingly decorated shepherds huts feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are pristine separate showers and loos, and the area is a bit of a foodie hub, with some great nearby restaurants – plus they run foraging courses and a summer forest school for your little pioneers.
Something for everyone here, at this brilliantly located north Cornwall site, just minutes from the sweeping sands of Mawgan Porth beach. Choose from fabulous Airstream caravans, yurts or eco-lodges, all of which ooze stye, and with their range of on-site facilities aimed at families – swings, trampolines and a swimming pool – you don't even have to head straight for the beach.
Is it even glamping? No matter, we love the wood-clad eco-huts at Little White Alice so much that we've added it anyway – each comes decked out with a woodburner, handwoven textiles and a lovely welcome pack filled with fair-trade edible goodies. Meantime the kids can play in the woods or the natural reed-bed swimming pool, or in any number of structures erected with families in mind. Plus you're just 20 minutes form the coast in either direction.