Best for: The eco-conscious traveller.
Set the scene: At Rufus’s Roost preserving the environment is paramount. In the last 20 years the family who own the site have planted more than 25 acres of woodland, and amongst it all, on the edge of Husthwaite village, you’ll find this tree house – which is part of the Baxby Manor estate.
What are the facilities like? Once you’ve headed through the forest and along the raised boardwalk to reach the treehouse, you’ll find its large veranda, complete with a log-fired pizza oven and a log-fired hot-tub, just made for al fresco evenings. More into exploring? The treehouse comes with its very own wildlife monitoring station, and there’s a chance to log the animals you see in their Beasts, Birds, and Bugs Log. All heating and hot water is via an Air Source Heat Pump, all lighting is LED and all products are eco-friendly – so you can rest assured that your impact upon the environment here will be minimal.
Our highlight: Inside head down the slide to find The Den, equipped with bean bags, games consoles, movies and a popcorn machine.
Baxby Manor, Husthwaite, York, YO61 4PW
Best for: Taking time out in style.
Set the scene: At this indulgent Yorkshire hideaway you’ll find eight unique suites, each inspired by people and places from around the county, and surrounded by 500 acres of woodland.
What are the facilities like? The Woodland suites come with a cosy sitting room, kingsize beds, a woodburner and a bath and walk in shower. The Hideaway suites are slightly smaller with a king size bed and double sofa bed and a walk in shower. All have a gas BBQ on the veranda, for long al fresco lunches.
Our highlight: The Star Suite, with its striking copper bath and infrared sauna.
Sancton, York YO43 4RE
Best for: Going totally off-grid.
Set the scene: Tucked away in the stunning Wye Valley amongst two acres of private woodland, this retreat is a chance to totally escape.
What are the facilities like? With use of the site – including its wild flower meadow (perfect for picnics) – reserved exclusively for guests, you can guarantee seclusion. The treehouse itself has been designed to enable you to connect with the outdoors and totally switch off without the modern day distractions of tech devices and TV. By day you’ll be exploring the nearby forest, and by night curling up in the tub with a good book.
Our highlight: The trees are within touching distance and the woods are home to native fallow deer, badgers, squirrels, foxes and many wild birds including tawny owls and woodpeckers. It’s the perfect location for those longing to get back to nature.
St Briavels, Gloucestershire GL15 6SG
Best for: A Northumbrian adventure.
Set the scene: Set amongst fields at the base of the Cheviot hills lie three handcrafted and beautifully finished huts.
What are the facilities like? Made from reclaimed oak, with hand-forged wheels and sheep wool insulation, the huts are finished to the highest standard. The largest, Cheviot, sleeps two adults with a bunkbed (and climbing wall) for two children. Hedgehope, which is for two, boasts a large veranda and an outdoor antique bath, and Dunmore, the most traditional hut, is a cosy retreat for couples. All the huts have Egyptian cotton sheets, a mini kitchen with hob, oven and fridge, a woodburning stove, good showers and proper loos. Delicious meals and breakfast baskets made on the farm from local ingredients can be ordered for delivery to your hut – so if you can’t tear yourselves away from your rustic retreat, you don’t have to.
Our highlight: With the stargazing window above the kingsize bed in the Cheviot hut, you’ll be able to appreciate what’s so special about the dark skies in Northumberland.
Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 4UZ
Best for: Making the most of the coast.
Set the scene: As the name suggests, Lizzie Tom’s campsite is all about the tipi. You’ll find them all scattered across a secret 20-acre woodland valley coated with ferns and bluebells, oak and meadowsweet and wrapped around a clear, spring-fed lake.
What are the facilities like? The North American-style tipis – wooden framework covered in cotton canvas and bound with twine – are arranged considerately across the site, so don’t fret about maintaining a sense of privacy. And each one is fitted with custom-made groundsheets, warm Turkish rugs and candle lanterns, and the essentials – like camp stoves and a cool box. There are also plenty of pitches for campers’ own tents or vehicles.
Our highlight: There’s some phenomenal walking opportunities to make the most of here, and campsite owner, Lizzie, will be able to give you some great recommendations. Head out to the Cornwall Coastal Footpath, the Saints’ Way, buy fresh mackerel, scallops and crab in the fish cellars at Port Isaac, go sea kayaking under soaring cliffs at Port Quin or take a surfing class on Polzeath’s trend setting shoreline.
St Kew, Cornwall PL30 3HZ
Best for: Putting yourself first.
Set the scene: To call this place a campsite would be to do it a disservice. Instead, at Fforest the vibe is Welsh farmland meets Japanese retreat.
What are the facilities like? There are a number of accommodation options to suit all levels of comfort; including the gorgeous farm house and eco pods complete with woodburning stoves. When it comes to exploring, it’s all about enjoying life’s simple pleasures here. Get lost in the 500 acre woodland, gather around a firepit, dive into the cold waters of the river that runs through the gorge, then warm up in the cedar barrel sauna.
Our highlight: The Onsen Dome with its bespoke furnishings, big bay window, wood-burning stove and decked terrace with beautiful countryside views. Plus, the Japanese-style bath-house with its cast-concrete, sunken soaking tub works miracles easing away your stresses.
Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire SA43 2TB
Best for: Taking the children along.
Set the scene: Sandside glamping in treehouses, cabins and cottages quietly nestled behind the spectacular Tyninghame Beach.
What are the facilities like? All the treehouses and cabins here come complete with wood-burning stoves, ensuites and hot showers, but on-site you have the added bonus on a fully-stocked Farm Shop, communal barbecue and campfire facilities.
Our highlight: Explore the great Scottish outdoors, including rockpooling, sand sledging on the nearby sweeping sandunes and swimming in the bay. Don’t miss the onsite farm where you can visit the chickens, alpacas, goats and lambs on your way to collect your eggs in the morning for breakfast.
Dunbar EH42 1XP
Best for: Catching a few waves.
Set the scene: Just a mile or so from a handful of beautiful sandy surfing beaches and rugged Cornish coastline lies this secluded enclave of eco-pods.
What are the facilities like? You can expect far more from your glamping experience here, as all fifteen of their pods come equipped with king-size memory foam beds, sun decks, flushing toilets and landscaped lawns. The tree house, built six metres up, is a beautifully-crafted bolthole perched overlooking Widesmouth Bay.
Our highlight: Surfing is a big draw to north Cornwall, and thanks to Atlantic surf even if you don’t have your own gear, or any idea, there are plenty of hire shops and schools to make the most of the nearby beaches. Thrill seekers can take it one step further and head out coasteering – a mixture of exploring, climbing, swimming and leaping into the ocean.
Bude, Cornwall EX23 8LY