Top 10 Winter Alternatives to Camping

If you fancy camping but you’re worried about roughing it, you’ll love these alternative ideas for outdoors-style overnighters. Most of the accommodations are described as glamping, which is a more glamorous form of camping.

Camping Alternatives

1) Glamping Tents

When is a tent not a tent? When it’s a Fipple the Bell Tent. The glamping accommodation stays open during the winter at Crafty Camping in Dorset. There’s space for two people in a double bed and you’ll stay cosy thanks to a wood-burner, electric blanket and heated towel rail. There’s even a Kelly kettle for making cups of tea. Guests share the “green” grass-roofed loos and the hot woven willow shower. There’s also access to a Woodland Kitchen, an honesty bar and a roaring pizza oven.

2) A Hut in the Woods

Wooden huts can be more than the average garden shed. Hidden in The Cairngorms National Park countryside is The Duck’s Nest, a luxury wood-built hide. The Lazy Duck boasts a wood-burning stove, electric supply and wi-fi and galley kitchen. The king-size box bed has a window that looks up to the stars. Facilities include an outside composting toilet and hot water bush shower. See Duck’s Nest.

 3) A Tree House

Think of a children’s treehouse but on a far grander scale. Tree house accommodations are one of the most popular glamping options. There are many to choose from including the Silver Birch Treehouse in East Lothian, Scotland. Perfect for family groups the treehouse cabins sit on two-metre high stilts. There’s a sleeping “pod” and an octagonal living area and kitchen accessed via a covered walkway. Also see Forest Holidays and for pure luxury Chewton Glen Tree House Suites.

4) Glamping Domes

Located close to the Perthshire village of Killin, the Glamping Domes at Loch Tay Highland Lodges have superb views of the Ben Lawers mountain range and Loch Tay. Each dome has a large double bed, wood-burning stove, beanbags, candles, oil lamps, two camping mattresses and responsibly sourced reindeer hide rugs. This is a lovely winter glamping retreat.

 5) A Roundhouse

How about a stay in an authentic replica of a Celtic Iron Age roundhouse? The thatch-roofed roundhouse is found in Mabie Forest, Dumfries and Galloway, and comes with large wood burner and sleeping area. Nearby composting toilets and hot shower add a little luxury to the five-star Iron Age facilities.  See Marthrown of Mabie.

6) Jackson's Cabin

Set amid an orchard garden in Devon, Jackson’s Cabin offers accommodation for four in a double bed and bunk beds. Everything in the cute cabin is handmade and there is an area for cooking, eating and lounging. The local countryside is perfect for enjoying fun outdoors.

7) A Wagon

Not just any wagon, the Wagon over the Valley is a truly original accommodation located near Hay-on-Wye. There’s space for two adults and two small children and pets are welcome. The wagon is fitted out with gypsy caravan inspired furnishings and it has an attached lean-to kitchen and solar fairy lights out on the decking.


8) A Shepherd's Hut

Located at Talachddu in Wales is the Argoed Shepherd's Hut for two people. The mountain views are gorgeous and the interior of the hut is beautiful with a full-length bed and a clever bathroom built into one corner. The wood-burner keeps the hut cosy, even in winter.


9) An Eco Bothy

From the glass domed hot tub to the bath by the gorge, EcoYoga is the perfect place to plunge into and relax. Built on the slopes of the Scottish hills of Argyll, the centre ticks numerous eco-friendly boxes. The EcoYoga Bothy itself has three double bedrooms, a kids sleeping “nuke” up a ladder, a spacious living room and flushing loo bathroom. The showers and kitchen facilities are shared with other guests on site. And to unwind further there are yoga classes on site.

10) Yurts

When spring is a little closer you’ll find that the UK’s many yurts open their canvas doors to holidaymakers again. Mongolian in origin, made from canvas with a wooden floor and usually a round shape, a yurt is a step up from your own camping tent. Yurts are ready set up and fitted out with beds and proper mattresses. Many yurts also have a wood-burning stove, lighting and camp kitchens. Book ahead at Secret Cloud Holidays, Yurt Holidays, Canopy & Stars, Great Glen Yurts and Stuc a’ Chroin.

Read More: The UK's Best Glamping Destinations


Journalist Fiona Russell is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She combines work and her love of the great outdoors in a “living the dream” career.


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