What’s next for UK glamping this summer?

By Hari Seddon Apr 03, 2020

With camping and glamping holiday sites temporarily shut across the UK, we can’t help but dwell on what the coronavirus lockdown means for our usual summer staycation plans.

This is typically the time of year when we start looking forward to seeing Lotus Belle tents springing up throughout the country; rows of bell tents in boutique campsites and festival fields. It’s a sight we won’t be able to enjoy for some time, what with event cancellations sweeping our summer calendar clear.

What would usually be an incredibly busy time for us at Lotus Belle HQ has slowed right down, and trying to predict when things will be back to ‘business as usual’ is near impossible.

But, in spite of the ‘Coronavirus Summer’ inevitably being a less adventurous one, there’s good reason to stay cheerful!

Planning camping trips for the future

Whilst none of us can physically go camping right now, that’s not stopped many people from planning and dreaming of their next camping or glamping trips in the future. We all need something to look forward to!

There’s been a huge surge in Google searches for the best glamping sites in the UK, and marked interest online in camping holidays and unusual places to stay in Britain.

The moment the lockdown is lifted and it’s safe to hit the road again, it seems everyone will be keen to get out to the country.

For us, this rise in interest for camping staycations in late 2020 and early 2021 is a silver lining during a time that’s — not going to lie — scary for business. But this period has also given us time to catch up with ourselves; to do all those little jobs we never seem to get around to.

We’re planning, preparing, and doing a bit of tent maintenance and cleaning — sending our tents down to our friends at Wild Hare, the tent cleaning wizards.

Top tip: if you’ve got canvas that needs some love, they’re the guys to talk to, and now’s the perfect time to get your tents freshened up, as it looks like late summer might just get really busy!

Image credits (left to right) Portobello Tents, Moat Island Glamping, Brambells Glamping

Camping during the coronavirus outbreak?

Should you go camping at the moment? Currently, and for the foreseeable future, the answer is no. The responsible thing to do is to stay at home and self-quarantine.

Even if you think you’re going somewhere safe and isolated away from others, the driving to-and-fro can still potentially spread the virus from one area to another, and that’s not okay!

From Cornwall to the Highlands of Scotland, there have been many local movements encouraging people to stay away. Signs have begun appearing in local shops informing customers they’ll only be serving locals, and in fuel stations urging people to stay at home.

The influx of tourists wanting to self-isolate away from their cities has caused major worries about the impact they’ll have on local services and hospitals in the areas where they flock to.

But when all of this is over, those local businesses and UK campsites are going to need support, so now is the perfect time to start planning your post-lockdown trips!

We can’t get out and under canvas just yet (except in our back gardens), but we can start dreaming about it!

I sat down to write this at my desk this morning, and couldn’t focus long enough to put even one sentence together. The beginning of cabin fever, then.

I took my itchy brain out for a walk, and am now writing this sat on a mossy bit of rock overlooking the woodlands. I realise how lucky we are here, with the room to move and be outside, and how so many are in much worse conditions. 

For families everywhere, this time will be about closeness (sometimes a little too much of the closeness though, am I right?), reconnecting with each other, and strengthening bonds. It’s also just as important to make some time for your own solitude and space (and sanity). 

This moment, sat here in the woods, is the most calming of balms. A moment spent away from others, from news sites, from the constant Coronavirus talk. Out in the woods, things are going on much as they always have. If anything, nature seems more full of life, louder, closer. I swear the dawn chorus never used to be so loud. 

Primroses have nosed their gentle way above the ground and are suddenly everywhere I look. The trees are still bare, but life is arriving from the ground upward in that delicate early growth.

Around where we’ve pitched our Lotus Belle tent in the woods, a rich carpet of green stalks covers the ground — they’ll be bluebells soon. Life goes on, and in a way, that feels a little unfair. The world is waking up; nature is unfolding and begging to be explored and enjoyed. I want to go on a really long walk, to pitch a tent in a wild place, to swim in rivers. But, not just yet. 

For now, we have to bottle those impulses, save them up, make a list for when it’s safe to go out. How much we took for granted. We’re funny creatures, humans. There’s nothing like being in lockdown to make you so acutely aware of all the adventurous things you really, really want to be doing right now.

We just need to hold onto that feeling. It’s no wonder so many people are Googling campsites and planning their holidays now. Here’s to the next adventure, when we break on through to the other side.