If you are the age when you went on camping holidays in the 80’s with the most basic of tents and cold, spartan shower blocks, and haven’t tried it since, then you will be unprepared for the revolution that has taken place. Glamping, or glamour camping, is how the industry is attracting even the most ardent of city types into the countryside.
One such example is Feather Down Farm at Billingsmoor in Devon, which boasts enormous tents that, while still made of canvas, have proper wooden floors, real beds with duvets, a toilet and running water. There is still a bit of the back to basics factor in that there is no hot running water or electricity, but there is a lot of fun to be had with the wood burning stove, even though it does take a while to make a pot of tea.
While you are waiting for that fire to boil the water you can pop outside and start a second fire, this time to heat the hot tub. This wooden tub is full of cold water with a metal chimney like structure in the centre, chuck in a couple of bags of wood and voila, you could be relaxing in Saint Tropez and only your lack of imagination will remind you that you are in fact in Devon and not the South of France.
There are those who will look down their noses at glamping but you can’t ignore the fact that it is a welcome boost to tourism and bring in much needed revenue in tough times. City slickers are jumping at the chance at weekend breaks in the country, and it is a revelation for those 80’s kids previously mentioned to see exactly what camping can consist of in 2013.