All you need to know about glamping

Reader's Digest Editors

What to buy, pack and expect on your first glamping trip 

The term “glamping” (glamorous camping) has been knocked around for some four or five years now, and while many considered it to be a passing fad to begin with, it has certainly proven that it’s here to stay.

Not only does the UK boast an ever-increasing number of glamping sites, but the global travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19 have forced many Britons to opt for holidays on home turf, making glamping an attractive option for those who find staying close to nature the best way to relax.


Image via Julio Humada

We decided to test the trend out ourselves and paid a visit to Home Farm Glamping near Elstree to see what the fuss is all about. 

What is it?


Image via Julio Humada 

What it says on the tin. It’s just like camping but without all the less-than-comfortable aspects of the great outdoors, like getting tangled up in your sleeping bag or attempting to start a fire with sticks and stones like a contestant on a survival TV show.

What can I expect?

Picture-perfect yurts and bell-tents decorated with fairy lights, scattered across boundless green fields—it’s like finding yourself in the middle of a French fairy-tale film. Each tent has a private seating area with a fire pit to facilitate a full-fledged night-time stargazing fantasy.

Inside, you’ll find a large and comfy double bed and lots of tastefully decorated nooks and crannies, with small but adorable touches like mini book exchange shelves.    

Food and drink

There’s nothing quite like a BBQ out in nature and the guys at Home Farm Glamping make it as fuss-free as possible. Each tent and yurt is equipped with its own BBQ and charcoal—all you need to bring are your own firelighters to make the fire-starting process a bit smoother.


Image via Julio Humada

In terms of food, you’re welcome to bring your own, as there is a communal kitchen which includes everything you might need to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner (within reason, of course), including a supply of tea, coffee, sugar and milk.


The full English breakfast, catered by Sainlo Events 

However, if you feel like really treating yourself, you have the option to pre-order your meals with the catering company next door. You can either take your meal in their pop-up café tent, or pick it up and bring it back to your tent. We opted for the full English breakfast and were certainly not disappointed; generously portioned and fresh, it truly embodied the essence of a homemade fry-up.

The facilities

We won’t blame you if you get queasy at the very thought of no showers or bathrooms when camping out in nature. With glamping though, that’s the last thing you need to worry about. Home Farm Glamping offer six squeaky-clean units, each with its own shower, loo, sink and heated towel rail.

They’re located not too far from the tents and are shared between only 12 tents so you’ll never have to worry about queuing for the bathroom. 

Environmentally conscious


Image via Julio Humada

One of the biggest perks of glamping though is that it’s one of the most eco-friendly ways to holiday. Home Farm Glamping pride themselves in being green and using as little electricity as possible. Therefore, you will find decorative LED battery operated lights, tea light lanterns and a torch in your tent as an alternative to electric lights, while the generator that powers the showers runs only between 8-11am. Don't panic if you need to charge your laptop or phone, though, as there are designated power points in the shared barn. 

What else is there to do?

With 150 acres of gorgeous farmland, lakes and woodland to explore, we’re not sure what else you could wish for! However, if your heart still desires some other forms of entertainment, you can find two quaint local pubs within walking distance of the campsite, where the patrons are always up for a friendly chat and a laugh.  

There’s also a kids’ play fort in the woods, croquet lawn, plenty of open space to play football, a badminton set and ping pong table if you’re into your sports.

And if you’re in the market for something a touch more extravagant, you can book a whole host of group activities ahead of your stay: from yoga to wine tasting, via spa workshops, the world is your oyster.

What you should bring

  • Warm clothes! No matter how hot it is in the day, trust us, it’ll get pretty nippy at night. And while the folks at Home Farm Glamping will provide you with hefty blankets, duvets and hot water bottles, you should still bring some extra layers if you don’t want to be chattering your teeth at night.

  • It might sound silly, but if you have a weak spot for condiments, bring your own too. There’s a small selection in the communal kitchen, but we put the emphasis on small. Plus, they're shared with the other glampers so if you need more (way more) than just a splash of BBQ sauce, bring your own, as it’s not really cool to take the entire bottle to your tent.

  • Glassware. Every tent gets a set of basic crockery, cutlery and glasses but if you’re bringing a nice wine and just don’t have the heart to serve it in an ugly metal cup, bring your own fancy glasses (at the risk of getting them broken of course).


Image via Julio Humada 

What’s included:

  • Bell tent or yurt
  • Beds, bedding and linen
  • Chairs and tables
  • Mirror
  • Crockery, cutlery and tumblers
  • Bottle opener
  • Washing liquid and scourers
  • BBQ, charcoal and equipment (not including firelighters)
  • Communal fridges
  • Cushions
  • Ice buckets and cool bags if required
  • Basket of wood and matches
  • Hot water bottles
  • Communal cooking equipment (small tabletop electric cooker/hobs)

Things to keep in mind

No matter how glamorous this camping experience is, don’t forget that you’re still out in nature. If the very thought of sharing your tent with a spider or a bee makes you hyperventilate; or if the idea of a magpie treating the top of your tent like its own private amusement park is unthinkable—this may not be the experience for you.

These are small things to endure considering how wonderful the rest of the experience is—but if you’re on the extreme opposite side of the spectrum from Bear Grylls, start small, book yourself in for one night and see how you get on.

Prices start from £80 per night for two adults in a Bell Tent, Mon-Thurs this September. To book your stay, visit homefarmglamping.com

Read more: 10 Campfire cooking ideas 

Read more: How to travel off-grid

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