There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad company. And that’s what makes winter camping in the UK such a wholesome joy: the companionship during a retreat into nature; the steaming mugs of tea on frosty mornings; long meandering chats over a crackling orange fire; quilts of shared stars glimmering across a dark navy sky.
Multiverses away from doom-scrolling social media and mentally miles from what’s happening in the world right now, we’ve picked the coziest campsites and glamping spots in the UK to stay at this winter. Each is ideal for a dose of blissful solitude.
The Quiet Site – Ullswater, Cumbria
Located in the northwest of the Lake District national park, this fabulous, award-winning carbon-neutral campsite certainly lives up to its name. It has serenity, sublimity and silence by the sackful. Overlooking the crumpled basil-green rump of Little Mell Fell, the views from your campfire are of the most natural, knee-weakening splendour.
It's a short skim over to the glittering Ullswater lake, which curves and shimmers like an Academy Awards night dress and – as this is William Wordsworth country – there's a dizzying collection of poetic nature to discover. Amongst the trees, the locally built timber pods look like an unturned hull, but with warm lamb’s wool insulation, and the Hobbit Holes, which are partially buried underground, are ideal for glamping in the cold winter months.
Alexander House Glamping – Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland
With vast king-sized beds, luxury feather duvets and big comfy pillows, you could mistake the inside of these two glamping yurts for five-star hotels – particularly once you notice the roll-top bath. But what should really be getting the plaudits here is the exquisite Perthshire countryside: the delicate rolling hills, the rustling pink heather, the grass-nibbling sheep, the nurturing soft silence and the unpolluted skies. The vistas are best enjoyed from the wood-fired hot tubs with a glass of something special as the sun simply slides behind Scotland's snow-capped peaks in the distance.
Sperrinview Glamping – County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
On the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone, a rock's chuck from the Beaghmore Stone Circles, these futuristic-style glamping pods look like they make up part of an undiscovered planet in sci-fi series Star Trek. The four pods sleep up to five guests and each is tucked down in a quarry-like setting, with large triangular windows that beam up towards the stars. Located in the middle of a Dark Sky Park, the pods have views of the universe so clear that even Galileo would be rubbing his eyes in disbelief. Miles from pretty much everything except lush countryside and thick green forest, there's very little noise here apart from the crackle of the logs in the firepits.
Plush Tents Glamping – near Chichester, West Sussex
Secreted in a small woods in near Chichester, West Sussex, Plush Tents Glamping is a free-range, off-grid slice of the good life. With wood-fired hot tubs, hammocks dangling between trees and a communal hang-out yurt with comfy oxblood Chesterfield sofas and a cinema projector, there are 12 tastefully-furnished Mongolian yurts to choose from and plenty for children to do. With a small playground, a mud kitchen and breakfast deliveries available, the site is ideal for families braving winter camping for the first time.
The Herdsman's Hut – near Canterbury, Kent
You're likely to be awoken by a mooing cow at this wonderfully secluded glamping spot. Located in the Kent Downs, an area of outstanding beauty, this hand-crafted herdsman’s hut sits on 100 acres of unspoilt working farmland, so while the views of the bucolic countryside – all butter pastures and busy green hedgerows lifted directly from the Thomas Hardy novel – sit unrivalled, the decking backs onto a working field. And with a short skip through the grass to the local pub and the farm's own granola served for breakfast, this glamping experience down the road from Canterbury really is marvellous stuff.
Falling Water – Ponden Mill, Yorkshire
Modelled, somewhat rustically, on Frank Lloyd Wright's design of the same name, shut your eyes and this cute wooden cabin hidden amongst the trees in the Yorkshire Dales gives off the soothing sounds of a meditation soundtrack. With a babbling brook that runs around the house and then cascades down towards the stream below, this off-grid deckhouse has a wood-burning stove, a compost toilet and large Shoji screen-style windows that let the sun pour in each morning. It's a short walk to the local boozer and England’s first National Trail, the wonderful Pennine Way, is a short walk away.
Albion Nights – Bungay, Norfolk
As soon as you see Albion Nights on the far side of a six-acre wildflower meadow, the song "Dueling Banjos" from the film Deliverance starts to twang around in your head. This adults-only off-grid glamping spot in Norfolk is made entirely from reclaimed and recycled materials, but the finished project is an alluring antidote to modern living. With a wood-burning stove, a bath on the veranda and a huge skylight in the cabin itself, this glamping experience is all about getting back to basics in the serenity of nature. For a bit more bustle, Norwich is around 20 minutes away by car.
Rufus’s Roost – North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire
This secluded treehouse, nestled in amongst sycamore, ash and oak trees of the 710-year-old Baxby Manor is something special. Looking out over the North Yorkshire Moors, Rufus’s Roost is a hand-built cabin that sleeps six across three bedrooms and comes complete with a conical roof, a games room, a log burner, a hot tub on the veranda – plus its very own slide. Part of the Hideaway campsite, an eco-friendly and low-impact spot in the Yorkshire Dales, guests at the treehouse can even have a personal chef deliver dinner. And if that all feels like too much, the glampsite has eco-pods and Hobbit Houses too.
Woodland Retreat Shepherd’s Hut – Brundish, Suffolk
The low winter sun filters brightly through the woodland canopy onto this small secluded shepherd's hut in Suffolk. Less than two miles from the village of Brundish in the Alde Valley, the simple exterior of this wooden retreat actually belies its high-tech treasures inside. With underfloor heating, an electric oven and a freezer, it offers glamping-gone-luxury but with all the quiet, slow-paced gifts of the off-grid life. With cycle routes and great walks nearby, plus a short drive under big skies to Sutton Hoo, this is a gem of a winter bolthole. And yes, before you ask, horses are welcome. No dogs or children though.
Red Kite Conkers – Newbridge-on-Wye, Wales
Rejoice! Not only are these fully sustainable, but utterly bonkers live-in conkers quite possibly the most unique glamping options in the whole of the UK, but each is at least a 10-minute walk from any mobile signal. Designed by an aerospace engineer, each two-person pod is situated in its own private woodland on a wider, private conservation estate in mid-Wales where rewilding has been taking place now for several decades. Each conker has a fire pit, a terrace and access to its hot compost toilet, hot shower and kitchen, but as it backs onto the Cambrian Mountains, you're plonked right into the middle of a sea of green wilderness.