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Family glamping – glamping with the kids

If you want to reconnect with nature, go on an adventure and spend quality time with your kids, glamping is the ideal family holiday.

The classic camping trip has always been a winning holiday with children: the excitement of sleeping under canvas, toasting marshmallows on the fire and the freedom of exploring wild places. But for parents it can be exhausting: the packing, the pitching, the rain, the cooking (often in said rain) and the lack of sleep on lumpy ground – it can all be, well, a bit of a mish. So why not try luxury camping? Glamping means you get to cut out the hassle and the huge kit list, so the family fun begins the minute you arrive. Simply ¬open the wine and the board games, or grab the Frisbee and frolic in the Great Outdoors.

Here are a few reasons why you should book a family glamping holiday:

It’s the perfect combination of adventure and luxury…

Whether you opt for the lofty space of a tree house, a traditional tipi or the mod cons of a canvas cottage, glamping brings together the excitement of an adventure in the wild with the creature comforts of being in a homely environment. Spend your days enjoying Enid Blyton exploits, roaming coast and countryside, getting down and dirty with nature, then come back to comfortable, family-size accommodation where you can hunker by the log burner, cook up a hearty feast and star gaze with a handful of mod cons at your fingertips.

There’s less packing…

A typical family camping trip comes with a painfully long packing list – you can spend a week prepping and still forget the tin opener or tent pegs. Then you’ve got to cram it all in the car (along with the rest of the family), unpack and build a pop-up family home when you get to your destination. Whereas packing for a glamping holiday is a lot like packing to go to a hotel – just with a few extras like wellies and marshmallows. Which means not only will you save a lot of time, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable journey, arrive less stressed and be instantly ready for the holiday to begin.

You get lots of quality family time…

Picture the classic camping experience: Pitching a tent with the ‘help’ of frenzied children trampling all over the canvas, arguing about who’s got the mallet and rolling their sleeping bags out wet grass; all before you’ve even realised you’ve forgotten the tent pegs. Now picture the glamping experience: Open the door of your luxury accommodation, marvel at the views, throw your bags by the ready-made bed and relax. As well as mod cons at your fingertips, you’ve also got buckets full of family time at your disposal, whether you want to play cards or cricket, bumble around the countryside on your bikes or don wetsuits and head to the beach.

You get to sleep in a proper bed…

Let’s face it, kids – and parents – need a good nights sleep. And as much fun as camping trips are, sleeping on a deflating mattress on uneven ground doesn’t often induce ten hours of solid shut-eye. However, enter the realms of glamping and you can snuggle up under a duvet in a proper bed. Whether it’s a four-poster or a futon, you’re bound to sleep well after a day in the Great Outdoors. Also, while camping can typically be a chilly experience in the British climate, glamping accommodation usually has some sort of heating and a raised floor, so you don’t have to worry about the kids’ limbs freezing off every time they poke them out of the covers during the night.

Cooking is more fun…

While we all like to imagine balmy evenings and barbecues every night of a camping trip, this is rarely reality in the British climate. Instead, al fresco cooking can often involve trying to light a camping stove between squalls and heating up packets of instant noodles. Glamping trumps this with the invention of fully equipped, sheltered kitchens where you can whip up a veritable feast. In its simplest guise, a glamp-kitchen is a lean-to with a stove, pots and a washing up area. Some are enclosures with a traditional wood stove and cooking basics, while others are built-in deluxe units kitted out with range cookers, fridge/ freezers, microwaves, dishwashers and running hot water.

Grandparents can come, too…

Stepping out of a tent into bigger, better-appointed accommodation not only means there is more space for the immediate family, it means the grandparents can come too. While traditional camping can be too rustic and strenuous for the older generation, they won’t be able to turn down the ease and luxury of a proper bed, modern facilities and stunning surroundings in which to relax. It’s little surprise that since family glamping holidays have become so popular, ‘gramping’ (camping with grandkids) is on the rise, too.

You can enjoy a digital detox…

Reconnecting with nature, getting back to the simple life and casting away from the trappings of modern technology is one of the biggest appeals of camping for families. Away from iPads, screens and the constant buzz and ping of everyday life, there is time to talk to each other, explore amazing places and regroup as a family unit. However, there is usually electricity if you need to charge your phone, often wifi if you need to keep in touch with work and – if the weather comes in or the kids really are driving you crazy – you can always fire up the iPad and pop a movie on to restore the calm. All-in-all it’s the marriage of utter simplicity and life’s little luxuries that makes a glamping holiday so appealing to the whole family. It’s marshmallows on the fire and star gazing, teamed with boutique accommodation and a cracking location. And what’s more, there’s no squeezing a soggy, family-sized tent back into an unfeasibly small bag at the end of your trip, or coming home to mountains of camping gear to wash, dry and pack away.