Musty and damp sleeping bags, uncomfortable backpacks, hard camping mats and grubby wash rooms are all passé when it comes to modern day vacationing. We all want a holiday with a designer touch – dinner at a set table, wine in glasses and certainly no lugging around tents. All of these factors have contributed to the mass trend of modern resort-going, influenced by the realisation that while camping we could only bring the bare minimum of clothing because we needed to have enough room for more utilisable items instead. What we did not factor in, as we made this switch, is that it also meant we would lose the opportunity to sleep under the stars and night sky, be in close contact with nature and have the simple romantic entertainment of a bon fire.
But what if you can have both?
Camping was long overdue for a make-over, a beautification or glamorisation, so to say. And that is exactly what “Glamping“ is; a combination of the two words glamourous camping and everything that goes with them.
The Glamping experience, of course, is as varied as the properties themselves – and the landscapes they inhabit. How about a vacation in a delightfully romantic and cosy yurt in a tranquil proximity of the City of York? Or stylishly done bell tents and enchanting hobbit huts? Not à la boutique hotel, but à la boutique camping. Accommodations range from customary camping tents outfitted with mattresses and luxury linens to such things as boutique accommodations decked out with featherbeds, dressers, couches and even heating and cooling elements. Campfire cuisine is done à la carte when chefs do the cooking in gourmet mobile kitchens or cooking in your own campsite kitchen is, of course, an option. But no matter the experience, what we see here is the development of a clear ecological conscience.
Some may mock the idea that the camper does not assemble his own tent or carry it around in the wilderness. Some may even argue that the luxury skews the outdoor experience. In any case, the supply of accommodations and glamping-specialised travel agencies is growing at a rapid rate. One of the pioneers of the trend is British website goglamping.net. It is an offshoot of Holiday Pad and offers the crème de la crème of glamping sites. The UK seems to be a backbone of this trend, currently offering over 160 accomodations in eco-style luxury vacationing. Produced by Holiday Pad, Go Glamping is the first website dedicated to promoting luxury camping holidays around the world and was launched in 2009, despite it being a time of recession.
Glamping continues apace with more unique accommodations such as the high-end canvas lodges set on all organic Mill Farm, in the heart of the glorious Wiltshire countryside, with wooden flooring, covered verandas and a wood-burning stoves. And, competing with the traditional spa hotel, Featherdown Farm is even launching Field Spas with eco-friendly saunas and hot tubs at its sites in Hereford and Cornwall.
Imagine a starry sky, with a scent of freshly burned wood and a tranquility of nature surrounding your body in a way reminiscent of childhood experiences – except when you go to bed, the bedding is: freshly done.
Images courtesy of Mill Farm.