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June 12, 2013

6

Glamping Around Europe

by Julianne Mooney

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Glamping (glamour camping) has made camping fashionable again. Gone are the tatty caravans, weatherworn and rusty, adjoined by a dilapidated concrete block, decorated with cobwebs and a dubious black liquid seeping from the crevices in the walls. The sign ‘Bathrooms’ balances precariously on a rusted nail on the rotting door.

The French were the pioneers in upping the camping game. They began sprucing up their campsites with tepee tents, tree-houses, vintage caravans and eco-lodges, introducing a touch of luxury to camping holidays. Ever the family-focused nation, they built swimming pools with water-slides, restaurants and sparkling new bathroom blocks. It’s thanks to them that families can holiday in the sun for two weeks without breaking the bank.

The glamping craze has spread throughout Europe and now you can holiday in the outdoors without sacrificing all of life’s comforts. Here are just a few to give you a taste of what’s out there.

FRANCE

Former CEO of Cartier, Alain-Dominque Perrin has been buying camp-sites around France and creating luxurious eco-friendly sites suitable for family holidays, however, Camping Les Moulins wins hands down.

Camping Les Moulins, Île De Noirmoutier    

  • Little island off the west coast of France, southwest of Nantes in the Vendee Region.
  • Located on a long stretch of beach and surrounded by plenty of trees.
  • Huge range of camping options and accommodation to rent, all made from canvas and wood.
  • Hire a tepee or eco-lodge, which is a hut on stilts – inside they have wooden floors, sectioned off bedrooms, dining area and all mod cons – electricity, fridge, gas stove and even a microwave.
  • The beach is beautiful for walking, swimming, host of watersports and there’s a pool, spa and play areas for kids.
  • Kids camps are arranged throughout the summer.
  • Open from April – September.

How to get there: Flights Direct to Nantes from €39 one way with www.ryanair.com

 Ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff from €114 car and 2 passengers one way with www.irishferries.com

Prices From:

Tepee Tent (sleeps 4) from €299 per week

Superior eco-lodges with bathroom from €399

Weekend rates from €90 – €150

 

Feather Down Farms, UK        

Feather Down Farms was one of the first glamping companies, opening their first site in 2006, expanding over the years to 26 sites around England and Wales and one was recently added in Northern Ireland – Ash Farm in Derry. This was my first experience of glamping – read about it here.

Prices from:

Weekend breaks from £279

Mid-week breaks from £239

Week from £405

 

Teapot Lane Luxury Camp, Tawley, Co. Leitrim 

  • Teapot Lane is new to the scene, opening in June 2010 and the idea was to provide a fun, rural family holiday retreat.
  • Located on five-acres of land there are two thatched cottages, three yurts and a bell tent. Next year they are adding a tree-house.
  • One of the cottages can be rented out for big groups.
  • Yurts are very eco-friendly, down to the material used to make them and they are insulated with lambs wool. Inside they’re cosy with wooden floors, pot bellied stoves, king size beds and compost toilet and sink.
  • You use lanterns and candles for light.
  • Two indoor kitchens and BBQ’s & communal space with books and games for kids, which is essential in case it rains and there’s a little playground and hammocks littered around.
  • The camp fires at night are a big hit with people gathering about for a few drinks.
  • They can arrange guided walks in the area, horse-riding, foraging around the grounds for wild fruits and vegetables and there’s acres simply just to roam about. It’s also only a five-minute drive from Bundoran so you can go surfing or there are a number of beaches around there.

Prices

Weekends from €160 per tent

Week long from €550 per tent

Tents can sleep up to 6 people

 

Ardnahoo Eco-Lodges, Leitrim 

Ok, so it’s not exactly glamping, as there’s no camping involved and accommodation is in luxury eco-cabins, but I thought I’d throw it in. They started life as a health farm and this is still a major focus, with guests partaking in yoga and meditating classes, getting treatments and chilling out in the fully equipped cabins. It’s also very family friendly with a playground on site and plenty of local walks.

Weekends from €150 pps

Week long from €225 pps

Weekend retreats from €170 pps

A few places I’ve yet to try:

Boutique Camping 

Dromquinna Manor

Happy Glamping Folks!

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 25 2011

    I want to stay in a yurt…

    Reply
    • Aug 25 2011

      I’m staying in one this weekend and can’t wait! You should go book one!

      Reply
  2. KayVee
    Aug 25 2011

    Teapot Lane… the name of the place just deserves a visit 🙂

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Affordable Family Summer Holidays | Julianne Mooney
  2. A Taste of Ireland’s Hidden Gems | Julianne Mooney

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