Idyllic Glamping Retreats

The sunshine is here, and with it the increasing appeal of escaping to greener pastures. We tried and tested two glampsites – one on the very edge of London and one on the very edge of Wales (the nearside) to find out what all the fuss is about. Definitely not campers, we were surprised by just how much we loved the experience with its combination of just-enough-luxury – proper beds, hot showers etc – and the bliss of rural escapism with fields and meadows and a slower pace of life free from screens. If you’re looking to book an extra weekend away this summer, we recommend these two lovely small glampsites:

Home Farm Glamping

Take the tube to the very end of the Jubilee Line, getting off at Stanmore and from there take a 5-minute uber and you’ll arrive at Home Farm. Astoundingly, just 13 miles from Marble Arch you’ll find yourself in 100 acres of green belt countryside. There are nine beautiful bell tents that would be perfect for a couple, and we tried one of the three yurts that suit bigger groups. Whilst the whole point of glamping is to escape, I’ve always had a fear of being on top of other people – a problem well countered at Home Farm where the long grass and distance between the tents gives the feel of isolation and space. As well as a fishing lake and lovely walks, there’s a big barn with table tennis tables and games in case it rains, and there are plenty of activities on offer that can be pre-booked if you so choose like open air yoga and life drawing. From £175 for 2 people for a weekend.

Penhein Glamping

Follow the M4 all the way out west from London and hop over the River Severn into Wales, and you’ll reach Penhein in 2.5 hours. The truly spectacular Monmouthshire location is worth the drive – you’ll arrive at an idyllic Welsh hillside farm occupying 450 acres of woodland and grassland. The glampsite itself is small, with just 6 spacious alachigh tents (pronounced ‘alla-cheeg’, similar to a yurt and originating from Iran) that sleep up to 6 people (2 adults and 4 children) in proper beds with linen sheets and each with an en suite loo. It’s exactly what you’d hope for from a glamping holiday – there’s a cosy wood burner inside, and a fire pit for wild cooking outside each tent, there’s a luxurious shower block that even has a roll-top bath, but best of all there’s acres of countryside – wild flower meadows, streams to paddle in and woods to explore. Ideal for families, there are outdoor games, an adventure playground and heaps of activities too. £565 for a weekend in August for 5-6 people, prices vary and midweek is the best value.

— Daisy Allsup
28th June 2018