While some of us still feel uneasy about flying, glamping holidays are becoming increasingly popular and after trying a few out myself, I can understand why! Glamping holidays are perfect for those looking to escape the city lights and reset in nature, but with the added addition of a few home comforts.
Within easy reach from London and home to many areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the South West of England is the perfect place to leave the stresses of modern day life behind and find unique glamping breaks that will leave you speechless. To help you get your glamping break underway, I will share with you four incredible and unusual places to stay in the South West as well as my favourite glamping resources so you can plan your very own luxury glamping break.
(p.s if you are looking for Glamping Holidays in other areas of the UK and across the world - check out this article!)
This undoubtedly takes the top spot for me. When it comes to yurt holidays, look no further.
Deers Leap is the lovingly built creation of Kate and Dave. The yurt is located just outside of Holford, a little quaint village in west Somerset within the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is about 10 miles west of Bridgwater and around Three hours from the centre of London. Because of where it is located, the views from Deers Leap are magical - from rolling countryside and ancient woodlands, you are in your very own utopia.
To reach the yurt it can be a little confusing because it is so tucked away, but Kate will send you really detailed instructions and directions before your stay. You will go through a wooded area once you have turned off the village lanes and then drive over a little bridge before reaching the yurt. The road leading up to the premises is very thin, so take your time and drive slowly.
The Yurt and Glamping Amenities:
The yurt is simply stunning, with a super comfy bed, two cozy armchairs, a wood burner and a bookcase full of board games, cards and books. Directly above the bed there is a skylight giving you the opportunity to gaze at the stars while you fall asleep to the crackling of the wood burner. But the magic doesn’t just stop there. Within ten footsteps of your yurt, there is a fully functioning kitchen, a beautiful compost toilet with stained glass windows and unimaginable views and an outdoor heated shower, decorated with different coloured glass bottles.
You will likely see deer as they graze around your yurt, and as the night closes in, don’t miss out on sitting around the fire bowl or swinging in the hammocks as the stars appear above.
Owners Kate and Dave live in the house visible at the bottom of the hill when you first arrive, but rest assured, you are completely alone at the top of the hill in your yurt. They have thought of everything with really beautiful finishing touches - like the stable door to the yurt, the fairy lights that come on at night around the surrounding trees, the super cozy bathrobes, the yoga mat and binoculars and that is not forgetting the heated outdoor shower, equipped with eco friendly toiletries. They have also cut trails into the grass leading you from the car, straight up to the yurt and even further into the Quantock Hills if you wish - meaning once you have arrived at Deers Leap, you won’t have to cross any roads, you are completely out in nature.
Their onsite honesty fridge and shop can help furnish you with a few essentials and treats and close by there is a lovely village pub called The Hood Arms. They also have bikes that you can borrow for free and plenty of information about neighbouring hikes and nearby towns to visit should you wish.
For our glamping weekend break it cost us £200 for two nights and then we spent £30 in the honesty shop and fridge. These prices may have been reduced slightly due to COVID but even if it was more expensive, I would pay for it in a heartbeat. Find more info here.
What Makes Deers Leap Unique:
What makes this glamping holiday so unique is the fact that it is just you and your yurt and the surrounding nature. It is not a traditional glamping site and there are no other people around. There is also no WIFI or power sockets, meaning you are forced into enjoying a real digital detox. Total Bliss.
This article would not be complete without including this little gem for unique places to stay in the South West.
The Woodsman’s Treehouse sits alongside five other luxury glamping tents (yurts, tipu, shepherds hut and bell tent) in a beautiful woodland setting, just outside of the little hamlet of Holditch, on the border between Dorset and Devon.
The site is also home to Guy Mallinson’s Woodland Craft workshop, lending to the glamping site's name, ‘Crafty Camping’. This particular glamping experience has been featured in the BBC Mastercrafts series, as well as Grand designs and George Clarke’s Amazing places. And with flushing toilets, woven willow hot showers, iconic structures, a wood fired pizza oven and a sauna; it is not hard to understand why.
The location of this glamping site is spectacular and it really gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. While you are away from the noise of society, you are close enough to explore the world famous Jurassic Coast, making it a great base to explore the surrounding sites of Dorset and East Devon (read our blog post here for some epic day hikes close by). To reach the Woodman’s treehouse from London, it will take you around three hours drive time.
The Glamping Amenities:
If you are looking for somewhere to go with a group of friends or your family, Crafty Camping can accommodate up to six couples and I have no doubt that your glamping holiday will be unforgettable. But the real reason so many are drawn to this glamping holiday is the Woodsman’s Treehouse which is completely unique.
The Woodsman’s Treehouse is a totally private place set high up in the branches of an old oak tree. It is the perfect place to recoup, restore and revive. With an impressive combination of craftsmanship, a luxurious interior and playful touches, you will be transported to another world. It really is your very own utopia. You will have your own sauna and hot tub on the upper deck with enviable views across an enchanted Dorset woodland, as well as a revolving wood burner, an open air tree shower and a stainless steel slide.
Inside, the Woodman’s Treehouse offers a king sized bed, a copper roll top bath and a rotating (yes rotating!) fireplace that can be pointed towards to bed, sofa or kitchen. There is also a window in the floor, looking down at the stream below. As you climb into bed and look up, you will see a window, looking out onto the tree canopy above, bringing the outside in as you peacefully fall asleep.
Convinced? I should hope so. For extra effect, this incredible treehouse sits in its very own secluded corner of Crafty Camping, leaving you with the feeling of being completely closed off from the external world.
The Woodman’s treehouse is not cheap. Expect to pay around £1400 for a three night stay over the weekend and £990 for a two night stay during the week.
What Makes The Woodman’s Treehouse Unique:
Where do I begin? Staying in a sustainably built treehouse in the middle of a beautiful forest? Or the outdoor heated shower built into the trees? And that is not forgetting the copper bath with enviable views, the hot tub on the upper deck and the rotating fireplace.
The Woodman’s Treehouse really is completely unique - whether you are looking for a glamping holiday with a hot tub in the South West or you are looking for unusual places to stay in the UK, I have no doubt this little gem will always come up at the top of your Google searches! Learn more here.
Loose Reins is glamping with a twist and for all the horsey lovers out there, this is for YOU. Tucked away under Blanford wood and home to several cedar clad cabins which blend seamlessly into the stunning surroundings, you will feel like you have stepped into an old school western movie.
Loose Reins is all about rest, relaxation and reconnection with the surrounding landscape. Nestled in a natural coombe and surrounded by woodland, Loose Reins brings wildlife and nature right to your front porch, while you relax in their bespoke cedar cabins and pioneer lodges which transport you back to a time when life was much simpler. But what makes this glamping holiday so special is the opportunity to bring your horse (and dog!) along with you as well as ride their resident horses.
Loose Reins is located in a magical corner of North Dorset called The Blackmore Vale. It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, luring people from all over the world. The site itself is surrounded by Shillingstone Hill, offering a picturesque backdrop for your glamping holiday. Loose Reins also has cute and charactful towns close by such as Saftsbury and Sherborne and it is within reaching distance of the famous Jurassic Coast and Durdle Door - offering some amazing hikes and walks (read blog here). To drive to Loose Reins from the centre of London, it will take you around two and a half hours.
The Glamping Amenities:
Loose Reins offers two types of accommodation, cabins and lodges - both as beautiful as the other. Expect king size beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, wood burners, cozy American quilts and blankets, open verandas and enough wooden cladding to make you believe you are living in Western times. There is a communal fire pit, horseshoe throwing games, scavenger hunts, pony grooming, egg collecting, biking, hiking and riding trails and in the evenings, occasionally a member of staff will play acoustic guitar around the firepit and sing American folk music.
There is no agenda at Loose Reins. You choose to do as much or as little as you like. You can pick up a book, get out a board game or relax on the veranda as you listen to the DAB radio, watching the world go by. You can cook or pick up one of their one pot meals, wrap yourself up in a blanket and watch the stars as they come out at night.
During the week, for four nights expect to pay £485 and for seven nights expect to pay £949. For a three night weekend break, the cost is a little higher at £610. If you would like to bring your horse along, DIY Livery or turn out costs are £30 per night.
What makes Loose Reins Unique?
The Western theme is unique in terms of Dorset glamping holidays and they have thought of every single detail - from the pioneer cabins, built by a local artisan craftsman, to the old vintage saddles hanging over the veranda and the beautiful horsey themed decorations. The hosts are incredibly warm and welcoming and the direct access to the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the cherry on the cake. You can find out more here.
Great Links is part of the Devon Yurt glamping site, located at Borough farm in the stunningly beautiful area between the Tamar valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Dartmoor National Park in the South West of England.
Great Links was the first and most remote yurt to be placed at Borough Farm with unsurpassed views across Dartmoor. With half an acre of private paddocks to yourself, Great Links is ideal for those with a great sense of adventure and wish for privacy, space and tranquility. In recognition for their incredibly high standards and sustainability, Devon Yurt glamping has been awarded Gold from both Visit Devon and Green Tourism. They have also been finalists for South West England Tourism Excellence Awards.
Devon Yurt is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the Devon side of the Tamar valley, and only a few minutes from Cornwall. While there is one other yurt on the site, your part of the farm is completely private so you can enjoy your glamping holiday (and your hot tub) in peace.
From the glamp site and in the land between the two wild moors of Dartmoor and Bodmin, lies the Tamar Valley and here you can enjoy the surrounding nature on foot, on horseback and on bike, and if you like fishing, there are plenty of trout lakes near Tavistock, a short drive away. To reach this glamping holiday from the centre of London, it will take you around four hours.
The Glamping Amenities:
Great Links yurt has everything you could want and need from a glamping holiday - including a private fresh water log fired Scandinavian hot tub! You also have your own private flushing loo, outdoor shower facilities, wood burner and a washing up area. But if you would prefer to head up to their wet room and communal barn, you are more than welcome to. And if that isn’t enough, you will fall asleep on an Emperor sized sleigh bed with crisp cotton linen. There is a 100 meter walk along the grass track to access the Great Links Yurt, surrounded by fields of wild flowers and butterflies - it is truly magical. Dogs are welcome, as are horses, and there are spa treatments on offer and elective yoga sessions.
Evening meals can be cooked for you upon request, BBQ boxes and breakfast baskets can be purchased onsite, organic veg boxes can also be ordered or why not try one of the owners legendary Sunday pancakes that will be delivered to your front door with haste!
For a weekend three night stay, expect to pay around £560 and a little extra for use of the hot tub. If you would like a massage, cooked meal or breakfast basket, these are in addition to the cost.
What makes Great Links Unique?
The total privacy is a great bonus when you stay at Great Links but to have the extra addition of a wood fired hot tub is a huge bonus when it comes to choosing your glamping holiday. The option of meal and breakfast baskets helps just that little bit more to ensure you have a relaxing and completely serene stay. A really great option for glamping in South West England! You can find out more here.
My ultimate go-to for finding unique glamping holidays in the South West is Canopy and Stars (photo credit for the above photos). But due to its popularity, many of the places get booked up very quicklu. Other options to try when you are researching your glamping holiday are:
Cool Camping: Not as luxurious as Canopy and Stars but you can find some real magic in their listings and most are a little cheaper
Go Glamping: A director for glampsites in the UK. Again not as luxurious as Canopy and Stars but lots to choose from.
AirBnB: Airbnb actually has some great choices for glamping in the South West. If you can work out the name of the glampsite from the listing, I suggest googling them and contacting them directly. That way all of the money goes directly to the hosts and you are keeping your money local.
I hope you find some magic in this article or it has at least inspired you to come to the South West of England so you can create your own magic on a glamping holiday.
Is there anything better than getting back to nature with the added bonus of a comfy bed, heated shower and direct access to the stars at night? i don't think there is.