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Glamping = Glamorous + Camping

Updated on February 6, 2013

Glamping in Cornwall

Glamping's origins are in outdoors events and music festivals
Glamping's origins are in outdoors events and music festivals | Source

What is Galmping?

Glamping is the combination of glamorous and camping, both semantically and literally. The origins of the word are very recent but it has become all the rage amongst those unwilling or unable to put up a tent themselves. The common perception of the glamper (or glamorous camper) is of a middle class, urban dwelling hipster, but as the popularity of glamping grows so does its broader appeal. The option of enjoying the great outdoors without sacrificing creature comforts sounds good to me.

Why go Glamping?

The attractions of glamping are manifold. Firstly, it takes the hassles out of camping yet still retains much of the feel of communing with nature. You don’t even need a tent, let alone know how to put one up. That saves carting a great big bag to the campsite, trying to put it up in the pouring rain and then finding you’ve lost half the tent pegs. I’m sure most of us have done any camping know the feeling of arriving at a campsite just as its going dark after a days travelling, putting a tent up really is the last thing you feel like doing.

But wait, not having to put your own tent up doesn’t sound hugely glamorous. Well, that’s only half the story. Many campsites that provide the glamping experience offer a little added luxury. This can range from having electricity and heating right up to real beds and hot tubs. In fact the level of luxury can be quite mind boggling; I’ve read of fully furnished tents with antique furniture and room service! Obviously the prices charged by glampsites varies wildly with the level of luxury but at the top end a 5 star hotel may not seem like such an expensive option.

Origins of Glamping

It could be claimed that the origins of glamping go as far back as the opulent Bedouin tents of Arabia in the Middle Ages. In recent history though, it is outdoor events, mainly music festivals, that seems to have been responsible for glamping’s emergence. At UK festivals such as Glastonbury, for example, have become more popular, posher folk have wanted to enjoy the atmosphere but not the queuing for the toilet at 2am and sleeping in a mud it! Whatever the recent origins, glamping is now a truly global phenomenon with glampsites all over the World. Indeed there are no shortage of camping in Cornwall, where I live, offering the glamping package.

Whilst glamping can be as straightforward as a prefab tent on a normal campsite often as not it involves some more exotic form of accommodation. The most common of these are:

  • Yurts and tipis
  • Tree houses
  • Bell tents
  • Safari tents
  • Streamliner caravans
  • Camper vans
  • Ecopods
  • Gypsy Caravans

There are many names for glamping as there are varieties of accommodation. Boutique camping, comfy camping, luxury camping and posh camping are just a few.

Whatever, you call it and wherever it came from glamping is probably here to stay. Just imagine sitting around a camp fire, listening to an acoustic guitar with a beer in your hand knowing you're going back to a tent you can actually stand up in and a bad you can actually sleep in!


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