New year, new campsites and new holidays for you to plan! Whether it's camping or glamping you're after, there are plenty of brand new sites opening in 2016. Here's a pick of our favourites...
Wanderlust Camp Lincolnshire
Set in the Lincolnshire Wolds, where skies are wonderfully dark and space is never at a premium, Wanderlust is a proper campsite of old, with only tents allowed and campfires encouraged. The newness of the site means sparkling modern facilities, with toilets, showers and a communal BBQ area, while a few loosely organised activities provide extra inspiration to keep the kids at bay.
Henfryn Farm Carmarthenshire
On the banks of the River Teifi, Henfryn Farm offers blissfully peaceful glamping in classic bell tents. They did, in fact, open last summer with a couple of tents to test things out. But now, with four bells and six regular camping pitches, the farm is truly ready to welcome the world. A great one for families, this idyllic spot offers access to Pembrokeshire coast but enough distance to avoid the crowds.
Runach Arainn Isle of Arran
On the southern tip of the Isle of Arran, few can compete with Runach Arrain when it comes to offering a remote escape. With just two fully furnished yurts in the grounds of an old rectory, it's a perfect luxury base for exploring the 19-mile long island. Yurts are equipped with all you need, including a wood-burning stove and double beds, plus you'll be greeted by the friendliest hosts in Scotland.
The Lake Cornwall
In the heart of Bodmin Moor and accessed via an isolated private road, The Lake is an aptly named glamping hideout on the shore of a flooded Victorian quarry. Crafted out of an ingeniously converted shipping container, this romantic glamping accommodation is the only place for miles and has its own jetty and rowing boat. There's only one, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Notgrove Holidays Gloucestershire
The Notgrove Estate typifies the Cotswolds, boasting miles of footpaths and rolling hills dotted with sheep. Beyond the estate's converted farm buildings, their brand new pods are each furnished with a double bed and sofa bed, an in-built shower room, a dining space and a sink and kitchen area, plus electricity and heating throughout. The Cotswolds' most famous towns – Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford – are all within easy reach.
Green & Away Worcestershire
Nestled near Worcester in the Malvern Hills, Green & Away is a charity-owned, outdoor space run entirely by volunteers. The idea is simple: they provide the location – complete with a range of accommodation options, marquees, a bar, kitchen and communal spaces – and you provide the ideas. Whether it’s a mini-festival bash, an outdoor wedding, a corporate gathering or simply a huge group camp out in the countryside, they'll welcome you with open arms.
Greenhillock Glamping Angus
Offering glamping and camping in five gorgeous acres of wild flower meadow in Eastern Scotland, Greenhillock Glamping ran a series of ‘pioneer weekends’ last season to trial out their new site and the feedback from everyone (including us) was a big thumbs up, especially from the kids. A family-friendly site with just 20 pitches and a scattering of beautiful bell tents, it features natural ponds for insects inspecting and woodland for den building. Campfires encouraged.
Irongorge Camping Shropshire
A stroll from the historic town of Ironbridge – a UNESCO site of world heritage – Irongorge Camping is a conveniently located site open year round. Pods provide the most fuss-free option, but tent campers, too, will love the vibe of the place – where campfires are a must, pets are welcome and space is guaranteed. There are several pubs within walking distance and even more museums.
Canvas and Clover Worcestershire
On a working farm in rural Worcestershire, Canvas and Clover is comprised of 10 well-furnished bell tents each with a small ‘garden shed’ for storage and a firepit outside. A covered barn houses a cosy communal space, with a stash of games, while the field itself has endless room to boot a ball around. Join a footpath directly from the farm and walk to the county town of Worcester.
Gold Acre Herefordshire
Don’t be fooled by the name; this place is more than an acre in size. In fact, Gold 12-Acre, as it should be known, may be spacious but they’ve kept things to just a single Mongolian yurt, fully furnished and painted in the traditional, ornate style. A boon for families, kids will love exploring the surroundings and, by car, foodie towns like Leominster and Ludlow are just a few minutes away.
Cwmberach Uchaf Farm Brecon Beacons
Not opening until July of this year, Cwmberach Uchaf Farm in the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons is a diverse 80-acre farm that manages to pack everything in, from mountainscapes and wind blown moorland to the utmost luxury in their sheltered safari tent accommodation. Aided by the experienced Feather Down Farms group, owners Mark and Sarah provide everything you need for a family glamping break. Don't miss a tour of the farm!
Woodman's Shepherd's Huts Cumbria
Comprising just two newly build huts in the South Lakes, Woodman's Shepherd's Huts offers both seclusion in one of the Lake District's quieter locations as well as easy access to the park's popular trails and footpaths. Luxuries include en suite bathrooms, wood burning stoves and kitchen facilities, with both private and communal spaces. England's largest lake, Windemere, is just two miles away, reached via the local steam train.
By James Warner Smith