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The word glamping has been used so much over the last few years that it has now officially made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.
“A form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature – without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”
It seems glamping goes really well with our current need to have unique experiences that fit our reduced budgets and increased environmental principles: to buy locally and economically whilst reducing our carbon footprint. The rise in this type of holiday has also been helped by a rise in the staycation. Rather than missing out on an expensive oversees adventure, we can treat ourselves to a glamping mini break and be at one with nature but still ensuring we have access to wifi and a decent shower.
Of course, the Boy Scouts and camping stalwarts would look on in disdain as a duck feather quilt is plumped up on a bed next to a wood burning stove, but if this type of holiday is encouraging those who would never before consider traditional camping then surely it is a good thing – maybe just leave the spiraliser at home.
The people who are running the glamping sites are also become highly imaginative with their offerings. Not only is it a fantastic diversification option for farmers and landowners wanting to increase their income from a spare plot of land but it also seems to be an opportunity to let the creative juices run wild.
No longer are we simply talking tents. You are far more likely to be booking yourself into an oil clothed yurt, a cutesy converted shepherd’s hut, a wooden lodge in the forest or a house high up in the trees with neighbouring woodpeckers and squirrels.
Undoubtedly, there is something quite magical about sleeping under the stars, waking to the dawn chorus and having cows lowing in the fields next door. This along with the inexplicable fact that food tastes so much better when swaddled in a blanket whilst huddled around a fire, cooking supper over coals.
In fact, the dining al Fresco style has also had an upgrade with this type of holiday and a simple barbecue is not enough. People are experimenting and no longer do we have to be subjected to Dad’s burnt sausages or the risk of raw chicken. Burying cast iron pots full of aromatic mixes into coals for a slow cook (like the South African potjie) or wrapping fish in several layers of dampened newspaper, frontier style, to get a mix of fragrant steamed flesh along with that unmistakable smokey flavour and layering up exciting salads into kilner jars – all are far more suited to glamping.
In Kent and Sussex alone, there are so many of these whimsical sites that you could spend a fair proportion of your Summer trying them all – so what’s stopping you? Grab your cashmere blanket, a bottle of English sparkling wine and get going – a whole new world is waiting for you out there.
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