A guide to going glamping

From the definition, history and types of glamping to where to stay, what to take with you and activity ideas, we’ve got the lowdown on everything that you need to know.

What even is glamping, anyway?
You mean you don’t know? Where have you been! It’s bigger and better than ever, so exciting and going from strength to strength. The name derives from a combination of camping and glamourous, but nowadays it’s so much more than that, the more luxury examples offering all you would expect from a holiday cottage and more, including heating, proper (comfy) beds, en suite facilities, hot tubs, wood-burners and fully-equipped kitchens. Check out this article we made earlier for a full lowdown.

The history of glamping
The term glamping may have been around for a little while now but it actually dates further back than you would think – all the way to the 1100s! Mongolian tribes used yurts (or gurs) – under the rule of Genghis Khan – as temporary living accommodation as they moved around from place to place. Modern yurts are based on these historic structures, and some Mongolians still choose to live in them to this day!

Shepherd’s Huts are one of the most popular types of glamping accommodation today, and they date as far back as the 15th Century. Of course, they were originally used as shelter by shepherds whilst they were watching their flocks of sheep and were very basic – the modern versions couldn’t be further from their distant relatives, and are more like little cottages on wheels!

The next important date in glamping history is the 1900s, when rich Europeans and Americans wanted to experience Africa without leaving the luxuries at home. The answer to this was safari tents, adorned with luxury (sometimes antique) furnishings and proper beds. This concept caught on and led to the creating of more luxury style camping – i.e. at festivals and outdoor events etc – and the rest is history!

Types of glamping
Nowadays there are so many different types of glamping accommodation – from canvas to solid structures, from shepherd’s huts to cabins and from on wheels to on the water – that it can be really confusing. The bottom line is that, whatever shape or size, modern glamp-sites provide a comfortable holiday in unique spaces. The comfort in wild and en suite is Classic Glamping’s motto – check out the fabulous article that they have put together on the different types of glamping accommodation to fill you in on this topic.

Where to go glamping
Our good friends at aforementioned Classic Glamping have a whole collection of amazing spaces to make you say ‘WOW’:
Glamping sites UK
Glamping in Cornwall
Glamping in Devon
Glamping in Somerset
Glamping in Dorset
Glamping in the Isle of Wight
Glamping with a hot tub
Sea view glamping
Dog friendly glamping

What to take glamping
All glamp-sites vary in what they provide, so it’s best to check with your accommodation provider before you head off on holiday, or even before you book if it’s really important to you. Classic Glamping – who we have blossomed from – have a ‘Minimum Inventory’ that they ask all of their owners to provide, so guests know exactly what to (and what not to) take along with them*:

Accessories No. Pots and Pans No Per Bed
Bread bin 1 Baking sheet 1 Bed linen
Butter dish 1 Cake baking tin 1 4 coathangers per person
Condiment set (2 pieces) 1 Casserole dish & lid  1 Hair-dryer
Egg cup 1pp Frying pan  1 1 mattress protector
Fruit dish - large 1 Mixing bowls or basins 2 2 pillows per person + protectors
Gravy boat 1 Oven roasting tray  1  
Ice cube tray  1 Pasta/Stock pot - large 1 Household Items
Measuring jug - 1 pint 1 Pie dish  1 Ash trays x 2
Milk jug - large 1 Salad bowl & servers 1 Automatic wm powder/liquid
Milk jug - small 1 Saucepan & lid - large  1 Bin liners
Sugar basin 1 Saucepan & lid - medium  1 Broom
Tea caddy 1 Saucepan & lid - small  1 Bucket
Teapot 1     Clothes airer
Tray * 1 Utensils   Clothes pegs
Water jug 1 Bottle opener 1 Dishwasher powder if applicable
Vegetable dishes  2 Chopping board 1 Disposal bags
    Colander 1 Door mat
Appliances   Corkscrew 1 Dustbin
Coffee pot/cafetiere 1 Garlic press 1 Dusters
Kettle - electric or stove 1 Grater 1 Dustpan & brush
Toaster - electric or grill 1 Kitchen scales 1 Floor cloth/Mop
    Orange juice squeezer 1 Flower vases x 1
Crockery   Potato peeler 1 General purpose cleaner
Cereal/soup bowl 1pp Rolling pin 1 Hand soap/dispenser
Coffee mug 1pp Scissors 1 Iron & ironing board
Meat plate 1 Tea strainer 1 J-cloths
Plate - large 1pp Tin opener 1 Keys - Full Set x 2
Plate - small 1pp Utensil set: fish slice, 1 Laundry basket
Tea cup & saucer 1pp potato masher, ladle   Oven gloves (2 pairs)
    & slotted spoon   Pot scourer/dish mop
Cutlery   Whisk 1 Recycling containers
Fork 2pp Wooden spoon 2 Refuse container - covered
Knife 2pp     Spare light bulbs
Spoon 2pp Miscellaneous   Tea-towels x 2 
Serving spoons  2 Fire blanket 1 Toilet cleaner
Tea-spoon 2pp Fire extinguisher 1 Torch (& batteries)
    Radio   Vacuum cleaner
Glasses   Smoke Detectors   Washing line
Beer glass 1pp Carbon Monoxide Tester Washing up bowl
Tumbler 1pp Cottage Information Folder Washing up liquid
Wine glass 1pp     WC paper - 2 rolls per WC
    For Open Fires    
Kitchen Knives   Ash container   Recommended Items :
Bread knife 1 Coal scuttle/Log basket   Cling film/kitchen foil
Carving knife & fork 1 Fire guard   Games/books
Vegetable knife - small 1 Fire irons   Heated towel rail
Knife sharpener 1 Safety matches/lighter   Kitchen roll
        Maintenance log book
    Bathroom   Non-slip bath/shower mat
    Bath mat   Picnic-ware
    Disposal bin   Safety caps for plug sockets
    Towels and Hand-towels   Sieve
    Lavatory brush & container Tea cosy
    Mirror   Visitors' Book
    Shaver point/adapter plug  

*Some items are crossed through as some glamping structures have more storage than others, and so these are optional bits and bobs that the owner may wish to provide if there is space to do so.

What to wear glamping
Of course, this all depends on what time of year you are going on holiday.

In the warmer months you will need:
– Swimwear (especially if there’s a hot tub or you’re near the beach)
– Sun cream (the UK sun can be strong!)
– Summer clothes (shorts, t-shirts, flip flops)
– Sunglasses and a sun hat (for sitting out with a good book)

And in the cooler months:
– Woolly hat, scarf and gloves (because the outdoors is just as fun in winter)
– Wellies (puddle jumping, anyone?)
– Walking boots (go out and explore!)

Campfire cooking

What to cook when glamping
For starters, campfire s’mores are a must! Most glamp-sites have either a fire-pit or a wood-burner (or both!) so you can fill your boots. Other than novelties such as that, you will find that you can pretty much cook what you like – as if you were at home – as modern glamp-sites have well-equipped kitchens, including cooking facilities. If you want to try something more fun, why not try one of these yummy ‘camping’ recipes.

Glamping activities
The fun begins as soon as you decide to go away – but where to stay and what to do whilst you are there!? From ideas of how to choose where to go and who to take, to nature scavenger hunts, constellation counting and dog-friendly fun, we’ve taken the monotony out of trawling search lists by building a curated collection of super fun activities.

What are you waiting for? Go forth and glamp!

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