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Camping in the Cotswolds is a wonderful experience. Choose from simple sites through to ultra-chic glamping locations, where it’s five star treatment all the way. The sites we’ve suggested all make the best of their wonderful Cotswolds location.
Brand new for 2016 are Campion, Mallow, Willowherb, Periwinkle and Lupin – the five glamping pods introduced by Notgrove Holidays (01451 850468), prices from £65 per night). Located on a private Cotswold estate and surrounding by stunning countryside, these pods (sleeping four) offer the last word in luxury, with double bed and sofa bed, en suite shower and loo, kitchenette, flat screen TV and Wifi.
The Glamping Orchard
Set the satnav for Longney, just outside Glocuester and you’ll find your go-to site for new standards in glamping luxury, without the need to unpack a load of equipment from the car boot (even if it is as sizeable as the BMW Gran Tourer). At the Glamping Orchard (07974 174543), a three-night weekend break costs from £305 in May and June. Sleep under cotton canvas in a big bell tent. You’ll find a double bed with proper mattress, made up with luxurious linen. There are also two futon beds, with pillows supplied, but you’ll need to bring sleeping bags for these. Keep warm with the wood-burning stove, and cosy up with the rugs and cushions.
Located just outside Stroud, Thistledown (01453 860420), from £24 per night for two adults in one tent) is an organically managed family farm covering 70 acres of pastureland, woodland and elderflower orchard. When you’ve unloaded the BMW and pitched your tent, take a moment to look around at the wildlife, plants and beautiful surrounds. When night falls, gaze up at the stars (if it’s a clear night) and watch out for the occasional meteor shower.
A quick word about open fires: the Thistledown people believe camping just isn’t camping without a campfire, and they even have a selection of easy-to-follow recipes that take you deep into delicious territory, with not a sausage in sight.
If you like your camp site simple and straightforward, then Cotswold Camping (01608 810810), tents from £23 per night) might just be the right choice for you. Located between Charlbury and Chipping Norton, the site is handily located close to good footpath and bridleway walks. The village of Charlbury is less than a mile away, with Chipping Norton, Witney, Woodstock and Burford all within 15 minutes’ drive.
Get back to nature on this small family-run farm, just north of Tewkesbury and five miles from pretty Winchcombe. Cotswold Glamping (01242 621115) is an ideal location for families wanting an active week of cycling, den building and getting close to nature. Stay in one of three bell tents, all in private, secluded locations. Each tent is fully equipped with beds, linen and furniture to ensure a luxurious stay under canvas.
Whoever fears that camping might be little more than an endurance test should take a look at the indulgent lifestyle offered by Cotswold Yurts (07847 517905), three nights in June from £385. Check in to one of the four secluded luxury hideaways, and enjoy sheepskins and woollen rugs on the floor, double beds with crisp sheets and feather bedding. Logs are supplied for your wood-burning stove, so all you need do is relax with a glass of something on your balcony as the otters play in the river and the kingfishers swoop past.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is ideal if you’re planning to transport kit for camping. The already generous boot space can be increased significantly by folding the rear bench in this seven-seat family car. Better still, with optional comfort access, you can just swipe your foot under the tailgate to open or close the boot automatically… very handy if you have your hands full.
To win your own luxury family weekend away in the Cotswolds with the use of a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer, click here.
We’ve mapped out the locations for you here: