Glamping on the Wild Side

Glamping is an adventure if anything, and if you are looking for ideas that are offbeat, unusual, or maybe even downright strange, you have a choice of unusual glamping accommodations around the world. Interestingly, the highest concentration of the truly offbeat seems to be in Europe, and in the UK in particular.

casa cubes
We’ll start off in Asia, where Casa de la Flora offers something unusual, intriguing, and highly luxurious. If you want your weird on the outside, but want it luxurious and modern on the inside, you’ll be happy with these cutting-edge cubes providing “architecture and unique design amid tropical nature.” The architects pay tribute to the namesake “flora” with living grass carpets covering the roofs of the villas.

From cubes to pods: Whitepod eco-luxury hotel and alpine experience blends the unusual with the natural seamlessly. The pods truly look like they belong in the landscape, especially in winter, when guests of this four-season resort can take advantage of the private ski slopes and dog sledding.

For a true “man cave” experience, check out Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita in Italy, an amazing hotel of caves in the village of Matera in southern Italy. The proprietors of these ancient caves take their luxury seriously, going so far as to say, “Prehistoric man might never have ventured outside the caves if they had bathrooms like these.”

glamping thorpe bbq
Wagon ho! You won’t find the next two wagon accommodations on the frontier of the American West as you might expect. This first one, featuring a “gypsy wagon” as well as a “shepherd’s hut,” a “horse lorry,” and a “love shack” is located near Banbury, England, about an hour and thirty minutes drive northwest of London, should you decide to travel by modern vehicle.

NZ Wagon
You’ll find another wagon spot in New Zealand. The hosts of Wagonstays, Mike and Jasmine want you to know that their wagon has “all the authenticity and atmosphere from 1870, but with the comfort and luxury of home,” which is in evidence with satellite television, computer controlled showers, and glass doors that lead to a balcony.

tree pod
You’ve heard of pods and tree houses, but how about a pod in a tree? These glamping globes are referred to as “tree tents,” with the Red Kite Tree Tent resort found where else but the UK, this time in Wales. One look at it and you’ll immediately see how this round rental would make any Ewok envious. You can learn more by reading a previous blog entry by Kelly Thomson.

Next up is Ecocamp Glenshee, another UK property that relishes the offbeat accommodation, with a myriad of oddball abodes from which to choose: wooden pods, a “monster” yurt, and “shielings,” or shepherd’s huts, which are found here in the beautiful wilds of Scotland. The Monster Yurt is furnished with “mementos from the Near East,” and Shieling Mohr has a llama theme, and you can go llama trekking with resident llamas Jet, Atticus, and Bradford.

canopy stars big green bus
If all these choices aren’t enough to decide, you can go to the listing of Canopy & Stars, “a colourful collection of quirky accommodation.” These curators of crazy crash pads list glamping properties across much of Europe, and feature wonderfully oddball accommodations ranging from hobbit houses and tree houses to boats, pods, and even a big green bus! No matter how you go glamping, it’s an adventure, so why be normal? Indulge your inner glamping geek at any of these offbeat accommodations.

Spotlight: Red Kite Tree Tent

Every so often you come across a place that is remarkably simple but still captures your imagination. The Red Kite Tree Tent is the UK’s first ever tree tent.

Everything about the tent is clever. The tree tent is a lightweight, permanent frame tent made from aluminum and shaped wood. The spherical structure is approximately 10 feet in diameter and hangs between trees rather than built into the tree like a traditional treehouse. It is designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. It’s a stunning structure that manages to blend in with the natural environment. Red Kite Tree Tent is hidden in the trees within the extensive woodlands surrounding Red Kite Barn.

001redkitetreetentPhoto: Red Kite Tree Tent website

The interior is cozy and spacious enough to comfortably accommodate two adults. There is extra storage available underneath the floor if you wish to tuck away your personal belongings. The tent is supplied with electricity for lighting and should you need to plug in a gadget or two. The tent is accessed by crossing a small bridge and then up onto a raised platform. The raised wooden platform is where you will find the entrance to the tent as well as bathroom facilities, toilet, sink, and wood-fired shower

The double bed folds away to make a sofa during the day or evening. Thick wool felt, thermal liners allow for year round glamping. There is even space for a log burning stove that comes in handy on those extra chilly nights. The stove is an unexpected luxury for camping in the trees. On the ground below, there is a seating deck by the stream that makes the perfect place to sit by an outdoor fire and watch the sun go down.

008redkitetreetentPhoto: Red Kite Tree Tent website

The Red Kite Barn is 80 acres where you are free to wander and explore including taking a dip in the natural plunge pool. The woodland area provides guests with privacy and distinct sense of seclusion. Outside of Red Kite is the National Trust Woodland. Barn Owls, Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Red Kites, and Swallows are regular visitors. There is a great view of the night sky with very few lights around to impede the view.

Visitors enjoy a variety of adventure activities in addition to bird watching and amateur astronomy. The list of activities includes pony trekking, mountain biking, fishing, and strolling in the woodlands. If wander far enough you can enjoy a hearty meal and ale the The Red Lion pub in Powys. Depending on when you stay there are markets, music, and festivals throughout the year.

The Red Kite Tree Tent is the type of getaway that encapsulates a welcome feeling of simplicity. If comfort and simplicity are part of your mantra then check out more at the Red Kite Tree Tent’s website.