10 unusual campsites in England
England is the home of amazing glamping, so when safari tents and tipis just aren’t glamorous enough, these cool campsites have incredible accommodation that will tempt even the most reluctant of campers this summer.
1) Blackberry Wood, Ditchling, East Sussex
Blackberry Wood near Ditchling revels in its range of quirky accommodation, and their latest offering is a fairytale treehouse with a sky-high turret and terrace. Other glamping options at the site include a converted double-decker bus and helicopter.
2) The Park, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
The Park has an incredible mix of retro Airstream caravans, yurts and wooden lodges set in a valley garden, and all the accommodation is uniquely kitted out. There are two pools, one outdoor and one indoor, as well as and an outdoor play space, plus a conservation area blooming with wild flowers. For a break from self-catering, dine in The Kitchen where the chefs create fresh meals and snacks from locally-sourced ingredients.
3) Camp Katur, Ripon, North Yorkshire
Glamping isn’t simply an excuse to laze around in canvas luxury. Camp Katur, near Ripon, has a huge range of activities including quad bike trekking, segway tours, a giant adventure playground and a bushcraft area. If you have a head for heights tackle the treetop adventure course – there’s a climbing wall, rope bridge and sky-high zip wire that flies you back down to the ground. Stay in a hobbit pod or snooze under the stars in a Unidome, a wooden pod crowned with clear panoramic dome.
4) Wardley Hill Campsite, near Beccles, Norfolk
Let your little ones’ imaginations run wild with a break in an Alice in Wonderland inspired bell tent at Wardley Hill. The striking red tent has a perspective challenging checkered floor and vintage china for your very own tea party. The site has more weird and wonderful accommodation choices, including a land-locked boat and a tent in a tree.
5) Pinewood Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Yeehaw…The Wild West comes to England’s east coast when you stay in the cowboy wagons or a camping shack at Pinewood Park near Scarborough. These wooden cabins look like something from a western – the wagons have big wooden wheels and a canvas roof, while the shack has a rocking chair on the terrace.
6) Hideaway Huts, Liskeard, Cornwall
For a back-to-basics break, relax in a simple Shepherd’s Hut in south east Cornwall. There are two huts half a mile apart and each one has views of rolling green hills. Despite their simplicity the huts are comfortable with a pocket sprung double bed, and a private bathroom hut nearby. The setting is superb, with 150 acres of farmland to explore, a heated outdoor pool, tennis and horse riding.
7) Tom’s Eco Lodge, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
For the best sunsets on the Isle of Wight, stay in the sea view safari tents at Tom’s Eco Lodge on Tapnell Farm near Yarmouth. These giant tents can sleep up to eight and are perfect for family time. Each has a barbecue and pizza oven for alfresco food, while a campfire provides the perfect spot for songs and storytelling as the sun goes down. The beds are comfy, there's hot running water and a shower, and guests can collect their own fresh eggs for breakfast.
8) Sunridge, Yealmpton, Plymouth, Devon
For a romantic camping escape, opt for the EcoPod at Sunridge in Yealm Valley. The tranquil park is hidden away in the Devon countryside, with babbling brooks providing the evening soundtrack. Paired with the cosiness of the Ecopod, which is small yet modern inside, this is the perfect hideaway for couples who want to take a break from their busy lives.
9) Lowarth Glamping Site, Wadebridge, Cornwall
Tiny Lowarth Glamping Site, looking across to the peaks of Bodmin Moor, has six uniquely equipped Lotus Belle tents kitted out to a high standard - all have carpets, giant beds, solar lighting and wood-burning stoves.
10) Happy Days Retro Vacations, Saxmundham, Suffolk
The classic silver caravans at Happy Day Retro Vacations have names such as Nettie, Dee Dee, Gloria and Annie, adding to the site’s cool kitsch swagger. The vans, date from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, still have many of their original features and all have been lovingly updated to make them cosy and welcoming. There are swings, slides and a trampoline for children, plus an abandoned army truck that fuels adventurous daydreams.
About the author: Martin Smith is the founder of www.campsites.co.uk, which lists hundreds of campsites and glamping sites around England.