April 10, 2018
At Penhein, we often get asked ‘why glamp rather than camp?’. Of course we are somewhat biased, but in our humble opinion there are many reasons why glamping is better than camping, so we thought we’d get stuck into the subject here and settle the matter once and for all.
First of all, perhaps it’s helpful to clarify the difference between glamping and camping. We all know what camping is, as it’s been around for over 100 years (the first edition of The Camper’s Handbook was written in 1908 by Thomas Hiram Holding, widely recognised as the founding father of camping and creator of the first ever camping club). Whether camping out at the bottom of the garden as a child, pitching up at muddy festival sites in our twenties, or trooping off to the coast with a young family in tow, we’ve all been camping at some point in our lives.
However, glamping is an altogether more modern phenomenon. Rather obviously, its name comes from the fusing together of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’. Its definition, according to Google, is “a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.” So far, so good, so theoretical. But what does it actually mean in practice?
Well, at Penhein, it means a cluster of huge Persian tents, each one decorated beautifully with beds and blankets, a wood-burning stove, high, domed ceilings and a skylight to the stars. It means plenty of room to eat, sleep and relax together, with a kitchen and dining area in each tent and a shared communal tent with toys, games and beanbags. It means a private en-suite loo and a luxurious shared shower block with underfloor heating, monsoon showers and a roll-top bath.
But it also means so much more than just accommodation and facilities. For us, glamping is about feeling at home in the great outdoors. Taking rural adventures together by day and returning at night to a welcoming, well-equipped campsite and a cosy alachigh tent. Having everything you need to do camping really, really well.
If you arrive in the dark, there’s no pitch to scout, tent to erect, or maze of campers and cars to navigate just to get to the toilet block. Instead, there’s a short walk down a woodchip path where you’ll find a cosy alachigh tent, a welcome hamper of local deli goodies, and beds ready to jump straight into.
When it comes to cooking, there’s no faffing around attaching gas cylinders to titchy two-ring cookers and clock-watching whilst the baked beans heat up. Every tent at Penhein has a wood-burning stove for boiling the kettle and heating pans and a fire pit for barbecuing (wood is provided). There’s a kitchen area with cold running water from the sink, cooking utensils, a cool box, and store cupboard essentials such as salt, pepper, olive oil and meat rub. You won’t have to perch on an upturned bucket or the nearest stump of a tree – there’s a table and chairs inside beneath a tealight chandelier.
In terms of daytime entertainment, at Penhein, you can do as much or as little as you like. Exploring the endless countryside needn’t involve a car journey, queueing, or hordes of tourists and it won’t cost you a penny. It couldn’t be closer or easier to get to: the glampsite is in a small coppiced woods that opens onto meadows, fields and rolling hills intersected by woodland paths, nature trails and meandering streams.
|Damp nylon tent||Warm alachigh tent|
|Thin roll-out camping mat, complete with all the lumps and bumps of the field||Raised beds on legs with proper, sprung mattresses|
|Slippery sleeping bag||Crisp bed linen and cosy blankets|
|Late night trips to the loo with wellies and a torch||En suite flushing loo through a door in the side of your tent|
|Slow, simple suppers cooked on a rattling gas burner||Delicious barbecue or warming stove-top stew|
|Head torch||Tealight chandelier|
|Flannel bath in the nearest icy stream||Hot monsoon shower or a long soak in a roll-top bath|
|Noisy neighbours right next door||Private patch in a peaceful wood and the distant hoot of an owl|
|Competing for a spot on the busy beach next to the campsite||Freedom to roam endless wildflower meadows and peaceful picnics by the stream|
When it comes to glamping versus camping, glamping wins hands down, with Penhein Glamping topping the lot! We’re sure you’ll agree it’s a no-brainer.