Glamping History

The History of Glamping

Woodland Escape is the culmination of the glamping holiday's history, taking the best bits of glamorous camping and going off-grid.

Glamping is a version of a camping holiday which has a focus on providing facilities in traditional camping accommodation that are considered to be more luxurious than you would find as part of a camping holiday. 

The term and derivatives such as 'glampsite' came from combining 'glamorous' and 'camping' or 'campsite' together in portmanteaus. Initially there were only a very small number of providers and has since spread across the globe as the newest trend of holiday accommodation that combines the experience of a hotel holiday with luxury and camping in the great outdoors. The word 'glamping' was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016.

Glamorous camping is also known by lots of other aliases such as boutique camping, posh camping, or luxury camping. Guests can enjoy sleeping outdoors, 'under canvas' and experience a taste of camping without the hassle of having to put up their own tent or bring everything with them. Glamping holidays provide the unique experience of waking up amongst nature, particularly for those from bustling urban centres for whom the great outdoors is not readily available.

Glampsites now provide a variety of different holiday accommodation structures including Bell tents, Yurts, Geodesic Domes, Tipis, Pods, Safari tents, Cabins, Vintage Caravans, Shepherd's Huts and Treehouses. The increase in demand for these breaks has had the effect of bringing the idea of a camping holiday to a new type of guest, beyond that of the traditional camping market of families and couples. Glamping holidays have brought the concept of camping to celebratory get-togethers such as birthday parties, inter-generational holidays and stag & hen parties.

A factor that contributed to the increase in the popularity of glamping in Britain was the alteration to the UK driving licence. The important change to the driving licence was the removal of the automatic right to tow a caravan when a person past their driving test. Whilst this change happened unobtrusively back in the 90's, the effect was not felt until those that had the new driving licences with less permissions had families. At this time these drivers with young families would traditionally look to caravan holidays as the primary holiday option for their family. This, of course, was no longer possible as those with a redacted driving licence were required to take an additional towing course and test in order to tow.  The delayed impact of this effect also happened to coincide with the financial crisis which made travelling abroad more expensive - the result has been families increasingly going on 'staycations' as a solution.

'Staycation' was accepted into the Miriam-Webster (American) dictionary in 2009 and is another portmanteau, of 'stay-at-home' & 'vacation'. Adopted in the both the UK & America during the financial crisis, these holidays have remained popular as frugal families and young professionals from the 'gap year generation' still seek exciting new experiences when they holiday at home in the UK.

Eco-glamping staycations have also proven ideal for those who wish their holidays to have a minimal impact on the environment. Located off-grid, Woodland Escape is proud to be among the sites providing sustainable eco-glamping, thinking ahead for future generations, and we are always looking at solutions to further minimise our carbon footprint without compromising your experience.

Woodland Escape is part of the family owned Country Glamping Holidays. We provide a diverse range of holiday accommodation at our sites in Dorset and Somerset, UK and we can provide a wide range of services from room service to bedding but most importantly, these staycation experiences are about access to the countryside. We believe glamping is for everyone and provide a warm welcome at our sites for all of our guests.

Woodland Escape provides the history of glamping in the UK as a free resource. Please feel free to cite our history and reference it in your own work & research.

Woodland Escape is the newest member of the Country Glamping Holidays stable who have provided glamping holidays for a decade and is one of the longest & most experienced glamorous camping companies in the UK. CGH provides accommodation delivery, owns & operates sites, provides on site operations for landowners & provides consultancy. CGH is happy speak to the media and researchers about the industry. Please feel free to contact us regarding any queries. Contact CGH:

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