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What is glamping?

Wigwam Holidays glamping is camping made comfy

Cove Farm Sunset with a hot tub

What is Glamping?

Chances are that unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve heard a thing or two about glamping - also known as glamorous camping. But what does it really entail and is it worth spending your hard-earned annual leave on? To help you figure out what we mean when we talk about glamping and whether it’s the right holiday for you, we’ve put together the guide below.

Enjoy the great outdoors without compromising your comfort

As you’ve probably gathered by now, glamping is a portmanteau of the words “camping” and “glam”. While this might elicit mental images of bottles of champagne on ice, infinity pools and five-star dining, this is not necessarily the case. It can certainly be as glamorous as that, but really, you don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy a comfy and pampering glamping break!

More than anything, glamping is about taking the best parts of camping - spending time outdoors, glorious campfires and beautiful views - and combines them with the creature comforts many of us would rather not go without on our precious time off. Below are just a few ways glamping maximises your comfort while you’re holidaying in the great outdoors.

A good night’s sleep

No more sleeping on a flimsy camping mat that doesn’t protect you from the cold earth or waking up on the ground after your air mattress has slowly deflated overnight! When you choose glamping over camping, you get to snooze the night away in a proper bed. There’s no need to buy a sleeping bag, either - simply pack some bed linen from home or rent it from your glamping site.

Heating & insulation

This depends on the kind of glamping accommodation you choose for your glamping getaway, but with most wooden glamping structures, some degree of insulation and heating is common, meaning you can enjoy a refreshing glamping holiday even in the coldest of winter months. Wigwam glamping pods are insulated and further benefit from heating and double-glazing to help you get cosy and keep those pesky drafts out.

En-suite bathrooms

A lot of people are wary of camping because they’re worried about what they’ll have to do when they’ve got to “go”. While campsites will almost always have a toilet and shower block, it’s always nice to have a bathroom all to yourself. While not all glamping sites offer en-suite bathrooms with toilets and showers, many of them do, including a good portion of Wigwam sites.

More than snazzy extras, though, glamping is, at its core, all about spending quality time with the people you love among beautiful nature - just without having to stress about getting the campfire to light or the tent pegs into the hard ground. That’s because we believe that nature should be enjoyed, not endured.

Oh, and because of all the handy features a camping pod is equipped with, a glamping trip also means less packing. There’s no need to invest in expensive camping gear like a tent and sleeping bags: simply pack your bed linens and pyjamas in the car and hit the road. Your camping pod will also have more space than a tent would, meaning you’ll feel less cramped inside - especially on those dreaded rainy days!

Inside of a running water deluxe cabin

Your accommodation options

When you browse glamping holidays online, you’re hit with a boatload of different accommodation options: from safari tents to treehouses to log cabins, there’s a glamping site out there to suit every taste and Instagram feed. But which one is right for you? We’ve collected a few of the most popular glamping accommodation types below to help you make a decision.

Yurts, tipis & safari tents - glamping under canvas

This is what a lot of the uninitiated think of when they hear the word “glamping”: large canvas tents, often carefully decorated inside for a cosy staycation that will make you feel like you’re part of a nomad tribe or finding yourself out on a safari “Out of Africa” style.

Tents like this are popular because they retain much of the look and feel of traditional camping because you’re still staying under canvas - these are just a glammed-up version of typical camping tents - but you still get to enjoy a cosy bed and other modern home comforts. The downside is that things can get chilly quickly if the weather turns, so glamping in a yurt, tipi or safari tent is mostly a summer activity here in the UK.

Tree houses & holiday cottages for year-round glamping

Wooden structures like treehouses and small cottages tend to fare better in all weathers than their canvas counterparts and will often come with added features like a kitchenette or a private bathroom. Plus, what wouldn’t your 10-year-old self give to be able to sleep in a fancy tree house?

Of course, if you have any kind of mobility issues, treehouses as well as cabins elevated above ground level for better insulation are not your best bet. But if this doesn’t apply to you, opting for one of these options will surely grant you a picturesque and memorable holiday.

Shepherd’s huts & bohemian caravans

When you hear the word “caravan”, you might think about motorhomes and muddy fields, but with a glamping finish, holidays in a posh shepherd’s hut or a wooden caravans reminiscent of traditional Romani dwellings is a great option for your glamping holiday.

Whether your hut or caravan is purpose-built for glamping or restored, chances are it’ll be a bit more snug than the rest of the accommodation options featured on this page, making them ideal for romantic breaks for couples but not as suitable for families.

What is a glamping pod?

More and more sites offer guests something called a glamping pod. But what does this mean? Obviously, this can depend a bit based on who you ask, but here at Wigwam Holidays, a camping pod is a timber cabin whose shape and name is inspired by the domed dwellings seen in many Native American cultures. There are many imitators out there, but we’ve been lovingly crafting sustainable lodges with our signature curved shape for more than 20 years.

Wigwam cabins offer flexible accommodation for up to six people to give everyone in the family space to rest their weary heads. Crafted from sustainable timber in Scotland, our cabins are well-insulated and heated for year-round glamping experiences.

They come fitted with home comforts to fast-track relaxation on your holiday. While different Wigwam cabin models come equipped with different features, you can choose a camping pod with added details like your own kitchenette, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a private bathroom, TV or a firepit. You can even go  all to yourself!

What can I do while glamping?

What can’t you do while glamping? Your options are more or less endless. While many of our favourite glamping activities take advantage of the gorgeous nature that surrounds each Wigwam site, you don’t need to be a die-hard hiker or mountain biker to enjoy a glamping break.

You can go walking, fishing, stargazing or to take some awesome nature photography but equally, you can use your camping pod as a convenient home base for discovering towns, villages and tourist attractions in the surrounding area. So whether you’re into Munro bagging or window shopping, castles or cattle, afternoon tea or campfire cooking, you can do more of what you love with the people you care most about on a glamping trip.

Apart from enjoying fun activities in the wider area around your glamping site, there’s also loads of fun to be had right by your camping pod. Get your firepit going for some toasted marshmallows and ghost stories swapped underneath the starry sky, show off your barbequing skills or take a dip in your private hot tub for some blissful relaxation.

In addition, our glamping sites all boast their own, unique features like fishing ponds, soft play areas and opportunities to experience life on a working farm to make yours a truly memorable holiday.

Who can go glamping?

There’s no age limit to who can enjoy glamping: our sites are as popular among families with young kids as they are with pensioners and everyone in between! There’s so much to do out in nature - from bird watching to extreme sports to den building - that glamping makes for an excellent short break no matter what your age is.

Glamping is also an excellent option for a romantic mini-break, or you could even throw a stag or hen party to remember by booking a glamping site for you and your mates for the weekend. Or if you crave some quality time to focus on yourself, head for a solo camping trip and discover a new area on your own terms.

Going glamping doesn’t mean the family pets have to miss out, either, as a glamping break makes for a great dog-friendly holiday! It’s much easier travelling with your dog in the car than on a plane and a large number of our sites offer pet-friendly cabins. So don’t worry about taking your pooch to the kennel while the rest of the family has fun on holiday - take them with you and enjoy outdoor living and long walks together!

Disabled access holidays

One of our most cherished values here at Wigwam Holidays is making the great outdoors accessible to everyone. This means that even if you’ve never pitched up a tent or brewed your morning coffee on the campfire, you can enjoy yourself on a Wigwam staycation. But it also means that even if you have some special needs that make traditional camping a struggle for you, you can rest easy knowing that we’ve got your back.

In 2019, we introduced our new Accessible Cabins to make holidays in nature possible for more people. Fully adapted to Category 3 disabled access regulations, these lodges feature all the high-quality features you’d expect to find in a top-of-the-line holiday home, carefully adapted to suit people with all kinds of special needs.

These features include, among other things, a wide-access en suite wetroom, grab rails, height-adjusted sinks and hob as well as ample room to move around for wheelchair users. Everyone should be able to enjoy the great outdoors on their own terms with comfort - this is our attempt at achieving just that.

Where can I go glamping?

We have more than 80 glamping sites available nationwide, so whether you’d like to explore a new corner of your home county or the opposite side of the British Isles, we’ve got you covered. You can also choose from a variety of backdrops to suit your interests, from working farms to mountain ranges and from the seaside to the middle of a lush national forest.

We’ve got glamping sites in wonderfully remote spots so you can focus on spending quality time with loved ones in the great outdoors. That being said, if you’d like a bit more hustle and bustle, we’ve also got a large number of sites within easy access of major cities and networks of smaller, charming towns perfect for some road-tripping! Want some inspiration? Browse our glamping sites nationwide by clicking the link below!

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