Choosing the right campsite for your glamping getaway is very important as it can make or break your holiday. With pursuit of the perfect pitch becoming quite a time consuming exercise we thought we'd share our tips on what we've found works best when searching for campsites that can accommodate a unique set up like the glawning or a bell tent and wood burning stove.
We've become quite particular about campsites over the years, having spent a great deal of time campervanning and most recently glamping it up with our glawning . This by no means makes us experts but we have discovered a few easy routes to pitch perfection in our time.
We have often found that the smaller more relaxed sites with less rules can be more enjoyable - this came about due to a few bad experiences with larger holiday parks that seemed very regimented, but don't rule them out. Being a bit of an avid researcher when it comes to this type of thing I'm one of those who spends hours googling madly, trawling through hundreds of campsites in an effort to find that perfect pitch - EHU, toilets, showers, proximity to a pub and many more prerequisites feature in my quest to cater for our every camping whim. As time has gone on there are extra whims to cater for with the addition of a woodburning stove, a 5m glawning and a baby to the mix. So how do you avoid hours of internet trawling to find a suitable place to go?
I start with a key website like UK Campsite Finder, Cool Camping, Love Camping or Pitch Up because they have the magical 'refine your search' button that allows me to punch in my rigorous list of criteria and be rewarded with a tidy shortlist to peruse. I love these websites that can tell me at the click of a button if a campsite is open all year, dog friendly, close to a beach etc. There are also Facebook groups like Campfire Camping and the very useful Glawning Owners page that often flag up hidden gems.
We cobbled together this list of campsite recommendations, most if not all of which we or our customers have been to with the glawning and wood burning stove. It's a work in progress that is being added to all the time as customers come forward with more great additions but it has been a very helpful start. We also have a few accounts on our old blog of good times away at particular campsites here. So we're slowly but surely building up a stonking database of brilliant sites.
One thing to remember is, just because a campsite says 'no campfires' on their website that doesn't mean 'no woodburners'. We often phone the site and explain that we have an enclosed, off the ground woodburner with flue and spark arrestor in our fire retardant cotton canvas awning and they're more than happy to accommodate us because this is no different (and in many ways safer) than a barbecue, and there aren't many campsites that would ban the barbecue. As a matter of course we also bring a fire extinguisher, heat proof glove and CO2 detector with us on every camping trip.
So if you fall in love with a campsite that isn't on the campfire friendly list it doesn't necessarily mean it's a no go. We usually phone before booking to explain our set up anyway and confirm that they are happy with it but soon, with the rise in glawning/bell tent/stove popularity we probably won't have to. Our advice right now however is, make the call. And if their website states 'No fires of any kind' you're probably going to want to avoid them.
Pitch dimensions vary greatly. Some sites mark theirs out to the very last centimetre, others couldn't care less where you pitch up. Let's talk maths for a minute. It's useful to know that the glawning canopy adds an extra 135cm on the side of the tent, and the tent part is obviously 500cm across for the 5m and 400cm for the 4m. Then you have the guy ropes going out at 12 points and the dimensions of your van. ﾠSo for the 5m you need at least 7m plus the width of your van across the front, and 7m back, to fit it in comfortably, and a metre less for the 4m. It’s difficult to give an exact footprint because the guy ropes can be lengthened and shortened as desired so it’s slightly adaptable and it's definitely worth investing in a set of our reducer poles because they allow guy ropes to be shortened to less than 50cm - a genius camping hack for festivals and other tight pitches. All in, it's not much bigger than many other nylon tents or awnings out there so shouldn't pose a problem to most campsites. Speaking of footprints, we now sell a very handy one here that will protect your groundsheet and save a bit of time. Just saying.
If all else fails just send this video to the campsite...who wouldn't want this amazing set up on their land?! ;-)