The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
10 GLORIOUS GLAMPSITES
Winter nights are ideal for astronomy, and Under Starry Skies (understarryskies.co.uk) has two off-grid cabins, Hafan and Derwen, tucked into a remote, conservation-focused smallholding beneath the light-free skies of Wales’ Tywi Valley. There is plenty of wildlife in the daytime: look out for deer, owls and red kites. The cabins have log-burners (and a free supply of wood), mini kitchens and bad-weather diversions including a guitar, books and games. Outside there is a sheltered porch, a fire pit and a composting toilet, plus views to the Brecon Beacons’ lauded dark skies. Cabins (sleeping four) from £150 for two nights
Cuddle up among the Kent Downs in a vintage shepherd’s hut at Greenhill Glamping (greenhillglamping.co.uk), home to two handsomely restored 19th-century huts on a family farm in the Alkham Valley. Insulated with wool and complete with wood-burning stoves, electric heaters and king-size beds with goose-down duvets, they really won’t feel cold. Plus, there is great walking on the doorstep to get the blood flowing – amble to Alkham’s 200-year-old pub or take the 15-minute drive to Dover’s White Cliffs for a hike to blow away the cobwebs.
Shepherds’ huts (sleeping two) from £320 for two nights
ISLE OF SKYE
It might be a bit nippy on Skye in winter but the pay-off is empty roads, guaranteed natural drama and – who knows – maybe even the northern lights. The neat wooden pods at the Cowshed Boutique Bunkhouse (skyecowshed.co.uk), located in Uig on the northerly Trotternish peninsula, remain cosy all year. They are small but perfectly formed, with proper beds, kitchenettes, heating and en-suite showers, as well as views over the sweeping bay. Walk to nearby Fairy Glen, then pick up a tipple from the Isle of Skye Brewing Company. Pods (sleeping two to four) from
£85 per night
The White House Hideaway (whitehousehideaway.co.uk) opened in summer 2022 – and it is perfect for winter, too. With solar power and a log-burner, it is off-grid, toasty and totally private. The simple wooden interior has a compact kitchen and bathroom, while the double bed is by a wall-sized window, so you can drift off and wake up to views of the Wye Valley. Alternatively, get outside: SUP on site, pick up nearby footpaths, head to the pub (the excellent Crown Inn at Woolhope is five miles away) or soak beneath the stars in the outdoor bath.
Cabin (sleeping two) from £240 for two nights
Oaken Fort really puts the “glam” into “glamping” – it is no surprise that this fairytale, wood-clad bastion featured in the most-liked Instagram post of 2022 for Canopy & Stars (canopyandstars.co.uk). Perched on the England-Wales border, the cabin gazes out at rippling hills and forest, wild in location but five-star in style. Every fitting, from the eco-timber beams to the highspec kitchen, is immaculate. And you can luxuriate in the views whatever the weather: whether inside, from the copper bath (above right), or outside, from the electric hot tub on the deck. Cabin (sleeping four) from
£220 per night
On a crisp winter’s day, you won’t find a lovelier spot than the Cotswolds. The utter Englishness of these rolling hills is magical under a sparkle of frost, just as snowdrops begin to pop up in local woodlands. Bluebell (hostunusual. com), near the village of Broadway, is a quirky base for exploring the north of the region; it is constructed from two shipping containers, one creatively converted into an en-suite bedroom, the other into a comfy lounge-kitchen. They are connected by an open but covered deck, so you can enjoy the bucolic views whatever the weather.
Cabin (sleeping two to three) from
£190 for two nights
Trees at Tughall (treesattughall.com) offers Scandi-cool in the Northumbrian wilds. Three contemporary cabins are each hidden from the others. Ash is hugged by ancient trees; Hawthorn sits by the burbling Tughall burn, overlooking the Cheviot Hills; and Willow has its own private glade by the stream. All are well insulated, with warming log-burners and heaters hidden under the big window seats. Star-gaze from the covered deck, huddle round the fire pit or head to the cafés and coast at Beadnell Bay, only a 30-minute walk away. Cabins (sleeping two) from £310 for two nights
Pick a pod by the piste for a snug British ski break. The off-grid shepherds’ huts, pods, spacious cabin and converted railway wagon at Glenshee Glamping (glensheeglamping.co.uk) are close to Glenshee Snowsports Centre. Spend a day on Scotland’s longest and most extensive ski runs and return to the site to huddle up in your heated retreat – most have wood-burning stoves, and all have good views. There are bookable hot tubs, too, to soothe those ski-sore limbs.
Pods and huts (sleeping two to four) from £190 for two nights. Wagon (sleeping five) from £298 for two nights
If you want to kip comfortably under canvas this winter, opt for Harta (book via coolstays.com). The unique tents (below left) at this secluded Exmoor site offer the romance of camping with none of the hardships. Each one comprises two linked, double-skinned tipis, complete with king-size beds, shaggy rugs, wood-burning stoves and underfloor heating. There is also an en-suite bathroom (with a roll-top bath) and a private outdoor shower if you prefer something more invigorating. Cook a feast at your alfresco kitchen or order a home-cooked curry to be delivered to your tipi door.
Tipi (sleeping two) from £300 for two nights
Stripped-back luxury done right: that is the aim of Rest + Wild (restandwild. co). Its four cabins are stylishly built using reclaimed and natural materials and designed with brown leather, moody-dark paint and copper accents. But they are also nestled deep in nature; there is no WiFi and no road noise (fear not, there is heating). Indeed, you will need to park up to 250 yards away. The reward? Privacy, peace, birdsong, secluded outdoor bathtubs, romantic nights around the fire and fine views out to the Clee Hills. Cabins (sleeping two) from
£350 for two nights