How to be a happy glam­per

Yurts with four-poster beds, ‘can­vas cot­tages’ with roll-top bath­tubs, log cab­ins with cof­fee ma­chines... Jonathan Knight se­lects 40 ways to lux­u­ri­ate in the great out­doors

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE - Jonathan Knight is the founder of cool­camp­

In 10 short years, glamp­ing has ex­pe­ri­enced a me­te­oric and meta­mor­phic rise. Since “posh” camp­ing first reached the wider pub­lic con­scious­ness with re­ports of flo­ral-wellied celebri­ties en­joy­ing high­end tipis at Glas­ton­bury, it has steadily be­come a main­stream favourite across the UK and be­yond. Tra­di­tional cam­pers have been won over by the idea of up­grad­ing to more com­fort, while self-cater­ing stal­warts are at­tracted by the quirky, fun, fam­ily-friendly ap­peal, and bags more space and fresh air than your av­er­age cot­tage.

But while a decade ago a dusty tipi with a soggy foam mat­tress, hes­sian rug and a scat­ter­ing of bunting was con­sid­ered enough glamp for your buck, nowa­days, that just won’t cut it. In­stead you can opt for a float­ing cabin, an elab­o­rate chateau-in­spired tree­house, or a clev­erly con­verted ship­ping con­tainer set be­side its own lake. These in­no­va­tive out­fits are of­fer­ing ever higher lev­els of lux­ury to a de­mand­ing pub­lic – some of the rec­om­men­da­tions here boast not only ho­tel-stan­dard beds and Egyp­tian cot­ton sheets, but mini­bar, cap­puc­cino maker, pri­vate hot tub and mas­sage pack­ages. (Novice glam­pers should note – lux­ury lev­els are not uni­ver­sal, so be sure to check ex­act fa­cil­i­ties be­fore book­ing.)

While im­proved lev­els of com­fort mean that a glamp­ing break shouldn’t bother the weather-wor­ri­ers in the same way that camp­ing does, an in­crease in op­tions on the Con­ti­nent means that sun­shine can now be more or less guar­an­teed with your glamp­ing hol­i­day. You might even risk leav­ing your wellies at home.

Be­side the sea: Bri­tain

Hill­fort Tipis Pem­brokeshire

1 On a high bluff com­mand­ing views of the Pem­brokeshire coast, this long-es­tab­lished, but de­fi­antly un­touched, site spreads across a heather-clad 30 acres. Though bell tents and tipis in­clude beds, so­lar light­ing and cook­ing equip­ment, it’s all at the rus­tic end of the glamp­ing spec­trum. There’s no elec­tric­ity, show­ers are housed in a con­verted horse­box and camp­fires add to the lo-fi at­mos­phere. Ex­plore the re­mains of the Iron Age fort, stroll the Pem­brokeshire Coast Path or watch for dol­phins off Strum­ble Head.

Tipis and bell tents from £43 per night for four peo­ple (07790 986868; hill­

Koa Tree Camp Devon

2 Ad­ven­ture and lux­ury meet at this fam­ily-friendly small­hold­ing three miles from the north Devon coast. Five yurts, three bell tents and a pair of log cab­ins are sup­ple­mented by a fully equipped “surf shack” kitchen and un­der­floor heated bath­rooms, while a rainy-day room pro­vides ac­tiv­i­ties such as cook­ery cour­ses, cin­ema evenings and pizza nights. The Koa Tree Surf School runs from Sandy­mouth Beach near Bude, with the coastal foot­path pro­vid­ing the per­fect view­ing plat­form.

Bell tents, yurts and log cab­ins from £240 for a short break (Mon-Fri or Fri-Mon). Each sleeps a max­i­mum of six (07492 750861; koa­

Am­ber’s Bell Tents Nor­folk

3 Four fur­nished bell tents in the grounds of 17th-cen­tury Wive­ton Hall make up Am­ber Wykes’s new­est glamp­ing en­ter­prise, fol­low­ing her first suc­cess­ful site at Man­ning­ton Hall. In­side, the bells fea­ture a dou­ble bed, wood-burner and cool box, with lo­cal pro­duce avail­able from the neigh­bour­ing farm shop. There’s a pick-your-own fruit farm in the grounds and a great cafe. It’s 200yd to the Nor­folk Coast Path, which leads to Blak­eney Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve and on to Morston, where boats chug out to the grey seal colony at Blak­eney Point.

Bell tents from £85 per night for two peo­ple (07580 072861; am­bers­bell­tents.

Wheems Or­ganic Farm Orkney Isles

4 Not only sea­side but seaen­cir­cled, this far-flung hill­top site on South Ron­ald­say is­land has re­tained its small-scale, fam­ily feel de­spite the ad­di­tion of two wooden pods and a fur­nished Mon­go­lian yurt. Cus­tom-made floor­ing, nat­u­rally wonky wooden beams and a log-burner make the lat­ter stand out, while sea views and camp­fires draw guests out­doors. It’s a 10-minute stroll to a pris­tine sandy beach or a 20-minute drive to the quaint, stone-paved streets of Kirk­wall.

Yurt prices start from £45 per night for up to four peo­ple (01856 831556; wheem­sor­

The Bells of Hem­scott Northum­ber­land

5 In the sheep-grazed mead­ows of Hem­scott Hill Farm are 12 bell tents, some sparsely fur­nished, oth­ers with ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly need, ac­com­pa­nied by a sin­gle adults-only shep­herd’s hut sleep­ing two. Of­f­grid toi­let, shower and dish­wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties are rel­a­tively ba­sic but well main­tained, and camp­fires are al­lowed. Wildlife abounds; a lake at­tracts mi­grat­ing geese to join the ducks and chick­ens on site and it’s a 10-minute walk across the dunes to reach the seven-mile sands of Druridge Bay, backed by mul­ti­ple na­ture re­serves.

Bell tents from £70 per night for two peo­ple (07876 344509; the­bell­sofhem­ Be­side the sea: Europe

Port­sa­lon Lux­ury Camp­ing Co Done­gal, Ire­land

6 Just five yurts pop­u­late this 18acre site on Done­gal’s dra­matic Fanad Penin­sula and all en­joy views across Lough Swilly. Wood­burn­ers, king-size beds and ex­posed wood span­gled with el­e­gant lights add ro­mance, while there’s a sep­a­rate build­ing hous­ing the kitchen and com­mu­nal space. Tow­els, toi­letries and fresh pro­duce from the gar­den are all pro­vided. It’s a short stroll to sandy Bal­ly­ma­s­tocker Bay, voted the sec­ond best beach in the world (af­ter the Sey­chelles). Yurts from €60 (£46) for two (0035 3 8760 16654; done­gal­glamp­

El­ska Or­gan­ics Tener­ife, Spain

7 Away from the re­sorts on Tener­ife’s un­spoilt east coast, El­ska Or­gan­ics of­fers three moun­tain­side caves and a yurt with dou­ble beds in each and a com­mu­nal “cave kitchen”. A chem­i­cal-free pool and morn­ing yoga on the sun ter­race fit with the eco-friendly phi­los­o­phy of the place, as do the sur­round­ing fruit trees and olive groves. The clos­est beach is just a 10-minute drive away, while a hike in­land takes you up Spain’s high­est moun­tain. Caves from €46 per night for two peo­ple (0034 6 0001 4389: el­skaor­gan­

Bot-Co­nan Lodge Brit­tany, France

8 With its own pri­vate sandy beach, flanked by ma­ture wood­land on all sides, BotCo­nan Lodge is a far cry from the busy sites fur­ther along Brit­tany’s coast. A dozen fam­ily-sized sa­fari lodges max­imise on liv­ing space with an out­door kitchen and sep­a­rate lux­ury bath­room fa­cil­i­ties, while the meadow lead­ing down to the beach has am­ple space for pic­nick­ing and games. The port of Con­car­neau is just across the bay, where a cap­ti­vat­ing fish­ing mu­seum chron­i­cles the town’s main in­dus­try.

Sa­fari tents from €74 per night sleep­ing up to five peo­ple (0033 611 051 943; botco­

O Ta­manco Leiria, Por­tu­gal

9 Two yurts and eight glass­fronted tubes made out of re­claimed con­crete scat­tered among the wilder­ness form O Ta­manco. Though 10 min­utes from the coast, an abun­dance of trees and a lack of tar­mac cre­ate a real dis­tance from Por­tu­gal’s bustling re­sorts. Yurts fea­ture king-size beds and a wood-burner, while tubes are fit­ted with raised sleep­ing decks. The most pop­u­lar beaches lay around Figueira da Foz to the north, though a salt­wa­ter pool means there’s no rush.

Tube prices from €25 per night for two peo­ple; yurts from €75 per night (00351 2 3695 2551; camp­ismo-o-ta­

Yurts Tar­ifa An­dalu­sia, Spain

10 This fam­ily-run yurt site is just over a mile from Tar­ifa – Spain’s most southerly point and the wind­surf­ing and kitesurf­ing cap­i­tal of Europe. Roll-up win­dows and tiled floors help keep the in­te­ri­ors cool, as does a cov­ered ter­race out­side. The or­ganic gar­den is home to a don­key and chick­ens, with pro­duce sup­ply­ing the own­ers’ lo­cal restau­rant and sold on site for cook­ing in the shared kitchen. Home-cooked break­fasts can also be or­dered. Yurts from €55 per night for two peo­ple (0034 6 265 38423; yurt­star­

Lux­ury sites

Vedetta lodges Tus­cany, Italy

11 On a slope tum­bling down to Fol­lonica Bay, five en-suite sa­fari lodges are scat­tered be­neath a hill­top ho­tel. Airy open-plan in­te­ri­ors – fea­tur­ing a king-size bed, mini­bar and cap­puc­cino ma­chine – lead out to a ve­randa over­look­ing the me­dieval town

of Scar­lino. Ho­tel ben­e­fits in­clude full room ser­vice and use of the pool, bar and award-win­ning restau­rant. Bikes can be hired to reach the lo­cal beaches or tour the moun­tain trails, though be sure to re­turn for the sun­set views.

Sa­fari tents from £160 per night for two peo­ple (0039 0 5663 7023; re­laisvedett­

Charm­ing Slove­nia Herbal Glamp­ing Mozirje, Slove­nia

12 On the banks of the River Ljub­nica be­neath a pinecov­ered slope, Charm­ing Slove­nia fo­cuses on all things herbal – from its shop sell­ing teas and oint­ments to its syrup-mak­ing work­shops. En-suite ac­com­mo­da­tion is a cross be­tween a moun­tain lodge and sa­fari tent, with a can­vas skin but wooden mez­za­nines and in­te­rior fit­tings. All 10 lodges are spread around a cen­tral cir­cu­lar pool and each fea­tures a pri­vate Jacuzzi. Re­lax with mas­sages, fa­cials and two saunas or head to the hik­ing trails and water­sports on the Ljub­nica.

From €150 for four peo­ple per night (00386 3 166 3777; charm­ingslove­nia. com/en/herbal-glamp­ing-ljubno/ ac­com­mo­da­tion.html).

Châteaux dans les Ar­bres Dor­dogne, France

13 On a 26-acre es­tate in the heart of the Périg­ord, five wooden ca­banes, each with a pri­vate hot tub, take ar­chi­tec­tural in­spi­ra­tion from the French châteaux of the re­gion. Four grand, tur­reted struc­tures sit stilted among the trees, while the fifth floats on the edge of a small lake with an open-fronted bed­room over­look­ing the wa­ters. There’s a walk-in shower, mini­bar, cof­fee ma­chine, full room ser­vice and mas­sages avail­able, while a heated in­fin­ity pool and tree­top ter­race are shared by guests.

Wooden châteaux from €235 per night for two peo­ple in­clud­ing break­fast (0033 6 3064 2600; chateaux-dans-lesar­

Lin­coln Yurts Lin­colnshire, UK

14 Each of the five yurts in this horse-mown meadow seven miles from Lin­coln boast an im­pres­sive as­sort­ment of com­forts. Along with king-size, four-poster beds, wood-burn­ers and dec­o­ra­tive can­dle lanterns, fea­tures in­clude a pi­ano (in the French and Gothic Yurts) and a rose­wood wed­ding bed that’s over 125 years old (in the Ba­li­nese Yurt). There’s a sauna, Jacuzzi bath­room and a read­ing room for rainy days, plus the ex­cel­lent Farmer’s pub 10 min­utes’ walk away.

Yurts from £75 per night for two adults and up to three chil­dren (07429 371702; lin­col­

Se­cret Cloud House hol­i­days Stafford­shire, UK

15 A menu of es­sen­tial oils al­lows guests to choose the aroma of the sauna at Se­cret Cloud House Hol­i­days. On the south­ern edge of the Peak Dis­trict, the four yurts are also each ac­com­pa­nied by a hot tub and plush pri­vate bath­rooms, while mas­sage treat­ments by can­dle­light take place in front of a roar­ing fire. Dress­ing gowns, toi­letries and tow­els are all pro­vided. It’s a five-minute drive to the na­tional park and the Peak Wildlife Park is also down the road.

Yurts from £250 for a two-night mid­week break for two peo­ple in­clud­ing break­fast (07845 939603; se­cret­cloud­house­hol­i­

Sites for sight­see­ing

Twitey’s Tipis War­wick­shire, UK

16 On the 400th an­niver­sary year of Shake­speare’s death, this sim­ple tipi camp­ing site four miles out­side Strat­ford upon Avon is well placed for a car-free his­tory hol­i­day. In­te­rior fur­nish­ings are rel­a­tively sparse – there are mat­tresses, rugs and cook­ing equip­ment – but this is in keep­ing with the un­touched, wild-grass sur­round­ings. Cy­cle into town to visit Shake­speare’s school, houses and the the­atre, or join one of the daily his­tory walks. Seven miles north, War­wick Cas­tle also runs fam­ily events through­out the sum­mer. Tipis from £195 for four peo­ple (07725 944204; twiteystip­

Hüt­ten­palast Berlin, Ger­many

17 In­side a for­mer vac­uum cleaner fac­tory, within walk­ing dis­tance of such iconic sites as the Bran­den­burg Gate and Check­point Char­lie, this in­no­va­tive ur­ban glamp­ing site sets re­stored vin­tage car­a­vans amid green­ing house plants and light, white­washed walls. Each car­a­van bed­room has an in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed in­te­rior, while the en­closed set­ting means so­fas, din­ing fur­ni­ture and bath­rooms are all out­side your car­a­van walls. The in-house cafe is pop­u­lar with guests and lo­cals alike and bikes can be hired (€10/24 hours) for ex­plor­ing the city.

Car­a­vans from €69 per night for two peo­ple (0049 30 3730 5806; huet­ten­

The Orig­i­nal Hut Com­pany East Sus­sex, UK

18 The eight shep­herd’s huts of 200-acre Quarry Farm would or­di­nar­ily steal the show – wood-burn­ers, cus­tom-built beds and lo­cally crafted kitchen fit­tings show im­pres­sive at­ten­tion to de­tail. Yet the farm’s other at­trac­tions are just as ap­peal­ing: kayak­ing and pad­dle board­ing are avail­able on the River Rother and the Kent & East Sus­sex Steam Rail­way runs right through the farm. Na­tional Trust-owned Bo­diam Cas­tle is a 15minute stroll across the fields, while his­toric Rye, Hast­ings and Bat­tle are all within 10 miles.

Huts from £82 per night for up to four peo­ple (01580 831845; orig­i­nal­

Ca’savio Venice, Italy

19 The first Ital­ian camp­site to host au­then­tic Amer­i­can Airstreams, what this beach­side en­camp­ment lacks in small-scale in­ti­macy it makes up for with lo­ca­tion alone. It takes just 40 min­utes to skirt through the is­land­dot­ted Vene­tian la­goon to the dock out­side St Mark’s Square and from there the city is your oys­ter. The Airstream trail­ers fea­ture a dou­ble bed and ex­tra pull­out, ideal for two chil­dren, with a kitchen area and out­door deck cov­ered by an in­built awning.

Airstream trail­ers from €120 per night for up to four peo­ple (0039 041 966 017;

Les Roulottes Loire, France

20 Five miles up­stream from the Château of Blois, five cir­cus car­a­vans rang­ing in age from the Twen­ties to the Seven­ties are lo­cated on the banks of the River Cos­son. While all have been re­stored ap­pro­pri­ately, filled with an­tiques and painted in rich reds, greens and carmines, their sur­round­ings are equally gor­geous. Cham­bord – per­haps the most fa­mous Loire Val­ley cas­tle – is five miles away, Chev­erny is eight miles and there are a dozen more châteaux within an hour’s drive.

Roulottes from €120 for a fournight mid­week break for two peo­ple (0033 6 6774 9493; lesroulott­

Ro­man­tic sites

Yurt Hol­i­day Por­tu­gal Coim­bra, Por­tu­gal

21 Zig-zag­ging steps lead down a wooded hill­side to twin yurts sit­ting at the foothills of the Serra da Estrela moun­tains. Pri­vate bath­rooms,

king-size beds and a honey­moon pack­age that can in­clude mas­sages and guided ex­cur­sions pro­vide the ob­vi­ous ro­man­tic touches. It’s the se­cluded set­ting, though, that proves most mem­o­rable. Days ex­plor­ing moun­tain vil­lages, wild swim­ming and tuck­ing into home-cooked meals on the own­ers’ view­ing ve­randa are best fin­ished by open­ing up the yurt roof to en­joy the dark night skies.

Yurts from €75 per night for two peo­ple, in­clud­ing break­fast (00351 2352 08562; yurthol­i­day­por­tu­

Skye Shep­herd Huts Isle of Skye, UK

22 The wild land­scape of Skye is off­set nicely by the co­cooned in­te­rior of the two shep­herd’s huts at this small-scale site. A cus­tom-fit­ted bed, wood-burner and break­fast de­liv­ered to your doorstep make it dif­fi­cult to leave. None the less, the views across the moors to the moun­tains of Knoy­dart or the dis­tant Isle of Rum will draw you out. Hik­ing, bik­ing and sea kayak­ing can all be ar­ranged – and there are dry­ing fa­cil­i­ties and bike stor­age on site.

Huts from £80 per night for two peo­ple, in­clud­ing break­fast (07580 559745, text only; cool­camp­

Au­vergne Na­turelle Cler­mont-Fer­rand, France

23 Hid­den from view amid the pine-clad slopes of the Livradois-Forez Re­gional Nat­u­ral Park, Au­vergne Na­turelle has an al­most alpine feel. Four en-suite yurts are clev­erly po­si­tioned to max­imise pri­vacy and thought­ful touches like open-slat wooden show­ers pro­vide a link to the sur­round­ings. Evening camp­fires and stream­side strolls are a sta­ple, while, 30 min­utes up the hill, La Chaise-Dieu is famed for its an­tique shops and Gothic abbey – visit in Au­gust for the world-fa­mous clas­si­cal mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Yurts from €80 per night for two peo­ple, in­clud­ing break­fast (0033 4 7176 3853; yurthol­i­

Green Moun­tain Yurt An­dalu­sia, Spain

24 Edg­ing the Sierra Ne­vada Na­tional Park, this aptly named yurt sticks to its Mon­go­lian roots, with tra­di­tion­ally ex­posed, steam-bent ch­est­nut lat­tic­ing the curved walls. Light wooden fur­ni­ture, pat­terned rugs and a log burner ac­com­pany the dou­ble bed and there’s a well-equipped kitchen out­side. Guests can have veg­eta­bles and herbs from the moun­tain­side gar­den or en­joy a night off, with home-cooked food out­side the own­ers’ wis­te­ria-clad villa. Rid­ing, hik­ing and canyon­ing in the Río Ber­mejo are all within a few hun­dred yards.

From €60 per night for two peo­ple (0034 6 4643 0656; green­moun­

Shep­herds Hide Es­sex, UK

25 Fronted by 55 acres con­tain­ing ponds, tidal creeks and salt marshes, this sin­gle shep­herd’s hut feels won­der­fully sep­a­rate from the pick­y­our-own straw­berry farm be­hind it. Un­der­floor heat­ing ac­com­pa­nies the wood-burner and a fit­ted kitchen has ev­ery­thing you need, while a tasty wel­come ham­per, Bri­tish­made toi­letries and dec­o­ra­tive home­wares show great at­ten­tion to de­tail. Foot­paths weave past a his­toric tidal mill to­wards Al­res­ford Creek – ideal for bird watch­ing – and on to the Es­sex coast, three miles away.

From £100 per night for two peo­ple (01206 303608; theshep­herd­

Lake­side or river­side sites

Ca­banes Flot­tantes du Lac de Pélisse Dor­dogne, France

26 Reached by row­ing boat, two in­ge­nious float­ing cab­ins bob in the mid­dle of Lac de Pélisse, a wildlife haven 62 miles from Bordeaux. En­cir­cled by a sun deck, each tim­ber cabin is mir­rored in­side by su­perb join­ery that in­cludes fur­nish­ings and beds. Break­fast is pad­dled to your cabin each morn­ing and there’s a bar­be­cue back on terra firma. Rent kayaks to ex­plore the rest of the lake or bring fish­ing tackle to cast from your deck chair. From €140 a night for two peo­ple (0033 6 2 96 6596; ca­banes­flot­

Mille Etoiles Ardeche, France

27 It’s a 20-minute scram­ble from Mille Etoiles’ forested perch down to the River Ardeche, where lo­cal ca­noe rental is a cinch – shut­tle buses can pick you up down­stream. Though the set­ting gives a wilder­ness feel, a play­ground, pad­dling pool and pizze­ria oc­cupy a large clear­ing and ev­ery com­fort is catered for – from lanterns at night to toi­letries in the wash­rooms. Eleven yurts are fur­nished with dou­ble beds and be­spoke wooden fur­nish­ings, while a pair of sa­fari tents pro­vide ex­tra space for fam­i­lies.

Yurts and sa­fari tents (sleep­ing up to seven) from €90 per night for two peo­ple (0033 4 7538 4277; camp­ing­mil­

The Lake Corn­wall, UK

28 Ac­cessed via a long, pri­vate road, this in­ge­niously con­verted lake­side ship­ping con­tainer of­fers ut­ter iso­la­tion on Bod­min Moor. The de­sign is both func­tional and con­tem­po­rary, with a dou­ble bed, kitchen and a slid­ing glass front wall, while a sep­a­rate shower and toi­let cham­ber make the most of the space. A shin­gle beach leads down to the jetty, where a small row­boat can be pad­dled around the lake. Heath­ery sur­round­ings hide an aban­doned Vic­to­rian clay mine. Ideal for those seek­ing soli­tude – the near­est shops are eight miles away. From £100 per night for two peo­ple (01579 321263; cool­camp­

Hen­fryn Farm Car­marthen­shire, UK

29 Here­ford-cross cat­tle and Llan­wenog sheep are moved from a river­side meadow at Hen­fryn Farm each spring to make room for four fur­nished bell tents; one di­rectly on the river­bank, the oth­ers slightly hid­den from its view. The off-grid bell tents have wood-burn­ers for heat­ing and all es­sen­tials are pro­vided. The lan­guid River Teifi is ideal for pad­dling, while ad­join­ing acres of SSSI (Sites of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est) land­scape mean wildlife is abun­dant, in­clud­ing the oc­ca­sional ot­ter.

Bell tents from £135 for two peo­ple for two nights (01743 860576; hen­fryn­

Ho­eve Water­schap Fries­land, The Nether­lands

30 One of the first farms to be built on the re­claimed, canal­lat­ticed low­land be­side Lake IJs­sel, Ho­eve Water­schap is a fam­ily site with a hands-on phi­los­o­phy. Chil­dren can help col­lect eggs, feed the sheep and herd cat­tle, or bor­row ca­noes to pad­dle the Pi­eter Chris­ti­aan canal (also suit­able for swim­ming). Lux­ury sa­fari tents are di­vided into a dou­ble bed­room, bunk room and open liv­ing space, with a coun­try house-style kitchen con­tain­ing a wood-burner and stove. Book a “Frills” tent to add a pri­vate hot tub.

Sa­fari tents from €299 for a week­end for up to six peo­ple (01420 80804; feath­er­

Fam­ily sites

Loose Reins Dorset, UK

31 The seem­ingly in­con­gru­ous blend of lux­ury, the Amer­i­can West and a ru­ral Dorset meadow com­bine to form this imag­i­na­tive glamp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Pi­o­neer-in­spired, en-suite cab­ins on this site near Bland­ford Fo­rum fea­ture king-size beds and coun­try home-style kitch­enettes, with wooden rock­ing chairs. A qual­i­fied trainer pro­vides rid­ing or horse­man­ship lessons, while more ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers can take tours into Dorset’s sur­round­ing Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty. From £103 per night for a four-per­son cabin (01258 863533; loosere­

The Dan­de­lion Hide­away Le­ices­ter­shire, UK

32 It’s dif­fi­cult to of­fer both ro­mance and a fam­ily-friendly fo­cus but this Mid­lands site treads the line per­fectly. Chil­dren can get hands-on around the farm, which is home to goats, hens and Shet­land ponies, while the five “can­vas cot­tages” come com­plete with farm­house-style kitchen and spa­cious liv­ing quar­ters. Faded linens, chunky oak fur­nish­ings and a roll-top bath­tub in each add to the charm. For max­i­mum in­dul­gence, Blue­bell cot­tage has a wood-fired

hot tub and a tree house sleep­ing two.

Can­vas cot­tages from £725 a week for up to six peo­ple (01455 292888; thedan­de­lion­hide­

Sim­ply Can­vas Aquitaine, France

33 Fur­nished with trav­eller’s para­pher­na­lia – or­nate globes, travel books and wicker fur­ni­ture – six sa­fari tents are ac­com­pa­nied by a pool, wooden sun ter­race and a barn-cum-play­room with ta­ble foot­ball, ping-pong and board games. Break­fast is an in­for­mal af­fair; eat at the long out­door ta­ble, with views of sun­flower fields, fry­ing eggs from the roam­ing chick­ens and veg­eta­bles from an im­pres­sive gar­den. The empty coun­try roads, lead­ing to Berg­erac (19 miles), are ideal for fam­ily cy­cles and bike hire is free.

Sa­fari tents from €85 per night for two peo­ple in­clud­ing break­fast; tents sleep up to six, €20 per ex­tra per­son (0033 6 8176 8594; sim­ply­can­

Cloud House Farm An­dalu­sia, Spain

34 An hour from his­toric Ronda, Cloud House Farm’s two re­mote, moun­tain­side yurts boast some of the finest views of any glamp­site. Olive, lemon and or­ange groves skirt each yurt’s pri­vate clear­ing, with a wooden kitchen sta­tion and ham­mocks on the ve­randa out­side. Rope swings and swing­ball oc­cupy chil­dren on site and, though there’s no pool, a 20-minute walk to the lo­cal rivers – the Al­mar­chal and the Ge­nal – re­wards guests with stun­ning nat­u­ral pools.

Yurts from £70 per night for two adults; chil­dren £10 per night (0034 6 4523 8742; cloud­

Glis­ten Camp­ing Aquitaine, France

35 Lo­cated in the foothills of the Pyre­nees, Glis­ten Camp­ing’s six strik­ing ge­o­desic domes boast doorstep ac­cess to hik­ing trails and some of the best cy­cling routes in south-west France. It’s a 15-minute drive to the coast with surf­board hire avail­able on site to take ad­van­tage of the fa­mous Biar­ritz swell, while a stream and two swim­ming pools pro­vide fur­ther wa­tery dis­trac­tions. In the con­tem­po­rary-chic in­te­ri­ors chil­dren can sleep in quirky hang­ing pods and a fam­ily-friendly bar-restau­rant has views of the play area.

Domes from £75 per night for up to six peo­ple (08443 440196; glis­ten­camp­

Tree­top sites

Wal­nut Tree Farm Al­garve, Por­tu­gal

36 Steps wedged di­rectly into the tree trunk make it a chal­leng­ing climb up to this wooden hut, perched in a 100year-old wal­nut tree. The small, rel­a­tively stark in­te­rior is al­most filled by the dou­ble bed, but a toi­let, shower and well-equipped kitchen have plenty of space down on ground level. Prop open shut­ters to peer into the branches and down to or­ange groves in the gar­den below. It’s a 25-minute drive to the At­lantic coast – swim in the River Seixe en route.

Tree­house from £58 per night for two peo­ple (00351 2 8299 1904; wal­

For­est Es­capes Nor­mandy, France

37 The 100-acre grounds of Château de la Baudon­nière play host to two newly built tree houses, raised among the canopy of na­tive Euro­pean wood­land. The larger has a three-bed bunkroom and a mez­za­nine floor for the mas­ter bed, while the smaller, on just one level, sleeps one per­son fewer. Pri­vate toi­lets and show­ers are back on terra firma, while meals are served in­side the château it­self. A wealth of ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude ca­noe­ing, archery, raft build­ing and more, with tours to Mont St Michel a par­tic­u­lar high­light.

Tree houses from £495 per adult, £465 for chil­dren (six to 16 years old) per week, all in­clu­sive (01273 803030; forestesca­

Lima Es­cape Bra­ganca, Por­tu­gal

38 On a forested nose pok­ing out into a lake­like sec­tion of the River Lima, the two glass-fronted “tree­bun­ga­lows” at Lima Es­cape have a func­tion­al­ity that suits their name. In­side the cu­bic struc­tures there’s a mod­ern kitch­enette, dou­ble bed­room and bath­room, while an ex­tended ve­randa of­fers tree-lined views of the wa­ters be­yond. Set within the Geres Na­tional Park, the site is pop­u­lar with hik­ers, bik­ers and bird­ers. Visit be­fore June to see the best of the wild­flow­ers. From €60 per night for two peo­ple (00351 2 5858 8361; lima-es­

Red Kite Tree Tent Powys, UK

39 Fea­tured on Chan­nel 4’s

Amaz­ing Spa­ces, this gi­ant turquoise orb – a hy­brid of alu­minium and steam­bent ash – sits sus­pended among the pines by un­ob­tru­sive me­tal wires. In­side, a cen­tral sup­port pole is sur­rounded by a dou­ble bed and wood-burner; a felted ma­genta lin­ing en­hances the co­coon-like feel. A large deck fea­tures a cook­ing space over­look­ing a stream. Guests have the wildlife-rich, 80-acre wood to them­selves. There are red kites at nearby Gi­grin Farm Feed­ing Sta­tion. Adults only.

From £385 for three nights for two peo­ple (01865 764087; sheep­skin­

Crafty Camp­ing Dorset, UK

40 New this sum­mer, Crafty Camp­ing’s elab­o­rate, adults-only tree­house in­cludes an ex­tra bath and pri­vate rooftop sauna, shielded by moss-and-fern wo­ven walls. Crafted around a vet­eran oak, the house is reached via a spi­ral stair­case and swing­ing rope-bridge, lead­ing to a con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior space with kitchen, bath­room, bed­room and ce­ramic wood-burner pro­vid­ing all the heat­ing. A huge sky­light al­lows you to view the canopy above and the ve­randa has a pizza oven and bar­be­cue.

From £552 for a two-night mid­week stay for two peo­ple (01460 221102;

A bell tent on the mead­ows of Hem­scott Hill, below. Cover im­age: in­side one of Glis­ten Camp­ing’s ge­o­desic domes in Aquitaine, France Herbal reme­dies are on the menu at the Charm­ing Slove­nia re­treat in Mozirje, above

One of the ca­banes at the Châteaux dans les Arbes, below

Ac­com­mo­da­tion at Ca’savio in Italy is in Amer­i­can Airstreams, above

Child’s play with Sim­ply Can­vas in Aquitaine, France, above

A colour­ful yurt in Coim­bra, Por­tu­gal, above; a Skye Shep­herd Hut, below

The de­lights of the Dan­de­lion Hide­away in Le­ices­ter­shire, below

Tree­house fun at the Lima Es­cape in Bra­ganca, Por­tu­gal, above

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