What does romance mean to you? Do you picture candlelit dinners and starlit nights, or picnic blankets and walks in the woods? Either way, glamping could be the way to your greatest ever Valentine's day.
We've asked camping expert and lover of the outdoors, Cool Camping's James Warner Smith for a selection of the most fantastic glamping spots to celebrate this Valentine's Day in style. From bubble baths to treehouse serenades, this list is sure to make hearts skip a beat.
Two Victorian and Edwardian railway carriages that once trundled South Farm's milk into London, have been lovingly transformed into this romantic couples' retreat. Glampers arrive to a welcome hamper stocked with local goodies, including award-winning beer brewed in the farm's old dairy, and a stack of logs for the wood-burner.
Along with beautifully restored original features, each carriage now has a shower, toilet and kitchenette, so there’s no need to venture further than the veranda. You'll probably want to, though, with ample footpaths on the farm and bikes to borrow to cycle to the local vineyard.
Old romantics, nature enthusiasts and star-crossed lovers will be equally at home at quirky Melin Mabes in Pembrokeshire. Set in the streamside garden of a 16th-century watermill, the offbeat accommodations come in the shape of a gypsy caravan, a UFO or a remarkably crafted treehouse. The latter comes with upcycled wine bottles mottled together into stained-glass windows and a slide down to a private hot tub!
As comfortable as it is imaginative, the treehouse has a double bed, a fully functioning kitchen and a log burner for cosy nights in the canopy. Oh, and the stag's head on the wall? That sings karaoke.
Experience the romance of life on the road without moving an inch at Roulotte Retreat in the Scottish Borders. The site is home to a clutch of exquisitely crafted, French-built, Romany-style wooden caravans. Inside, they are sumptuously decorated, and each has its own en-suite bathroom, cooking facilities and wood-burning stove.
The roulottes are permanently parked in a wildlife-rich meadow with a small lake, or lochan, you can walk around and longer walks just beyond in the surrounding Eildon Hills.
The Nest and The Nook are hidden in a tree-lined meadow in the enchanting Forest of Dean. This pair of charming boltholes are reserved for adults only. Each of these little cabins is a perfect place to cosy up after long days walking or mountain biking through the forest and the nearby Wye Valley.
You can soothe weary muscles in the Japanese soak tub or sit side-by-side in the swinging cedar love-seat on the veranda. Alternatively, snuggle up by the log-burner while dinner cooks on the stove.
The great outdoors meets the fabulous indoors at Westfield House Farm's super-sized shepherds’ huts. These custom-built huts each have a full-sized double bed, an en-suite bathroom and a kitchenette with a proper oven and four-ring hob. Bed linen, towels, bathrobes and toiletries are all part-and-parcel of your stay too.
If you manage to drag yourself outside you watch the lapwings, curlews and red-legged partridge by day and stargaze by night. There are footpaths straight from the farm and the Northumberland National Park is just a couple of miles away.
Painted in soothing shades of eggshell and tastefully decorated with the finest local woolens, the two shepherd’s huts at this North Wales retreat are so romantic they’ve even coupled up themselves – one offers a sleeping and living space, the other is a luxury washroom.
The latter also features a wood-fired sauna, for an extra steamy experience, while, outside, there’s a fully equipped bush kitchen, plus a campfire pit, deckchairs and giant beanbags for stargazing in comfort. On the fringes of Snowdonia National Park and a short drive from Gwydir Forest, the location is a treasure trove for walking and mountain biking adventurers.
Just beyond the eastern border of the Yorkshire Dales, this brand new glamping escape offers three snug, octagonal cabins nestled amongst a landscape of boulders, rushes and trees. This is still a working dairy farm – the far-reaching view is fronted by grazing Friesian cattle – but the owners aim to retain an element of wilderness.
The result is a truly escapist experience, so enjoy the detox from your phone (there's probably no signal) but don’t worry, you've got the cosy comforts of a wood-burner, electricity and a proper bed.
Opened in 2017 in the meadows of Waterloo Cottage Farm, three bunting-clad yurts (including one smaller-scale design, specifically for couples) feature proper beds, rugs, throws and tasteful, rustic décor, plus similarly luxurious bathrooms with powerful showers.
Outside glampers have use of a bubbly hot tub beneath the sky and the endless vies of rural Leicestershire.
The site’s renowned farm shop runs exciting events throughout the year, too, including food making courses and wine tasting. To truly unwind try the Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre just down the road!
In the heart of the 1,500-acre Notgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, this collection of modern, insulated pods come with all mod-cons, including en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi and digital televisions. You can pre-arrange clay pigeon shooting lessons, horse riding, and fishing in the River Windrush, plus there are bikes for hire and tennis courts for competitive couples.
Three national walking trails cross the Notgrove estate – The Macmillan Way, Diamond Way and Gloucestershire Way – each of which traipse in and out of various honey-coloured hamlets. This is the Cotswolds after all! Every pit stop seems to have a wealth of independent shops and cafes to suit.
In the bottom of a private valley and tucked among a handful of trees, Jacob’s Hut is a place for couples to enjoy the quieter side of South West England. Equidistant from Cornwall’s north and south coasts, it occupies a prized but secretive situ. Inside, the built-in double bed is warmed by a wood-burning stove and lit with tea lights and candles.
The door swings open to reveal views across a pond and up to the steeple of Thrushelton Church. There are binoculars for peeping at ducks and moorhens, while board games are provided for cosy evenings in. By day, meanwhile, pick between a seaside break or ambling in the rugged Dartmoor countryside.
So, enjoy a back-to-nature Valentine's Day (or any day for that matter). If it goes well, let us know, we expect a wedding invitation!