When a friend talked about enjoying city break weekends in various UK and European towns and cities, we just kept thinking about preferring glamping. We love the proximity to nature, and the chance to stay somewhere with more character than a centrally located chain hotel. Sure, there’s lots of culture and amazing sights to see in cities, but we’d miss the quirkiness of glamping, the self-sufficiency aspect, not to mention the peace you don’t get in a hotel.
Is there a happy medium here? Is there a way of combining a city break with a glamping getaway? Well, we think there’s a compromise that allows you to have the appeal of glamping accommodation with the convenience of an urban location, which is especially useful for non-drivers or those that don’t have a car.
It’s partly down to the pandemic that there is a growing choice of urban glamping-style accommodation options; people converted sheds into home offices or built a structure from scratch to provide an extra space for work, leisure or relaxation. These spaces are now increasingly being turned into glamping-style accommodation, with cabins, glamping pods and even shepherd’s huts at the bottom of a garden available for a long weekend.
You’re less likely to find a tipi or yurt inside a city, instead more permanent structures are the norm and that’s mainly due to the pandemic effect. We’ve found several cool glamping options inside cities, some of which have plumbing but others are more off-grid with composting toilets and wood burners for heating. If it’s this aspect of glamping that appeals to you then you can find several good options within, or very close to urban areas giving you the best of both worlds.
Shepherd’s huts seem to be quite popular, but cabins and tiny homes are more prolific in urban areas and many of these are situated in gardens and screened off from the main house. You get the privacy you would expect from glamping with a more workable location to boot.
If you want to be more rural for your accommodation, but spend time soaking up the culture of a town (perhaps you’ve booked tickets for a show, or there’s a restaurant you want to try) look at the public transport options around the area before seeking accommodation. Knowing which options are on the bus or train routes means you can find the right one more quickly, and avoid the disappointment of finding a lovely cabin, only to find it’s way off the beaten track.
This allows you to leave the car at home, not have to worry about parking or foregoing a glass of wine with your meal. If you’re cycling then you have a great deal more freedom in terms of the location of your evening accommodation, not being bound by transport limitations.
City glamping is a good way to introduce a reluctant glamper to the world of glamping; the accommodation is very much like what they’d experience in the countryside, but the convenience of being in an urban location with shops nearby keeps things within a comfort zone. Some people find the nighttime noise of wildlife a bit frightening and while we can’t guarantee that urban foxes won’t breach the peace, you’re less likely to be disturbed by owls, deer and hedgehogs in a city glamping location.
It looks like the idea of a city break combined with a glamping getaway isn’t that far-fetched, and perhaps it will be the on-trend holiday option for 2024?