Leaky tents, muddy fields and tepid baked beans do not a happy weekend of camping make, but tend to be the inevitable reality. Luckily, the discerningly stylish outdoorsy enthusiast can now enjoy the great outdoors without getting her designer Hunter wellies dirty via the genius of glamping.
No longer must Glastonbury festival involve babywipe showers, or communing in nature mean chilblains and nettle rash, opt instead for a cosy yurt, some posh picnic food and a gang of friends for the ultimate in hippy chic weekends away.
Forget about the hassle of tent pegs and groundsheets, as the beauty of glamping is that when you arrive your stylish yurt, traditional gypsy caravan or luxury tent will be ready to go. Many sites will also furnish the tent with mattresses, beds and cooking essentials.
It’s up to you to decide how chic you want your temporary canvas haven to be. For those who wish to supply the essentials themselves, then an air mattress is a good idea, as are sleeping bags and pillows as well as cooking gadgets. A bucket barbeque kit is also fantastic for an impromptu party, and if you’re feeling extravagant, pack a garden sun lounger in the boot for afternoon naps.
The true glamper wouldn’t be seen dead without some smart crockery and tablecloths, and a kitsch wicker picnic hamper is also considered vital. Add some bunting, tea lights and lanterns strung through trees – if it’s starting to look like a photo shoot for Boden, you’re getting there.
Camping ovens are useful, as are portable fridges, but to really impress other campers, pack a healthy array of drinks and a cocktail shaker for boozy picnics on the grass.
Glamping sites can range from the all-singing all-dancing variety to those sites where the basics are provided.
-Try the gypsy caravan site in Langport in Somerset that will preclude the tedium of erecting a tent and also has solar powered showers for ablutions.
-Alternatively, head down to Dorset to the Stock Gaylard campsite, which provides yurts for the discerning glamper, complete with comfy sofas and handy guidebooks.
-For real glamour, Cuckoo Down Farm in Ottery St Mary, Devon will provide yurts, wood burning stoves and even vases of fresh flowers. Massage is also on offer, as are yoga, reiki therapy and art therapy.