Our research has found more and more people are visiting quirky-Cumbria for a camping holiday with an unusual twist, by choosing accommodation that breaks from the ‘norm’ of more traditional holiday accommodation like hotels, caravans and tents.
In 2018, Cumbria has more unusual places to stay than ever before. As the popularity of glamping continues to grow, there’s been a surge of interest by holidaymakers who want to swap their hotel for a yurt, or their tent for a glamping pod.
According to our research team, over the last 12 months there has been a 25% rise in alternative camping provision across the county – with facilities on existing sites being developed to adapt to changing trends, as well as new sites being opened.
Whether it’s sleeping under the stars and waking up to views of Skiddaw from a shepherd’s hut at Lanefoot Farm at Keswick or living like a hobbit in an underground hideaway at ‘The Quiet Site’ at Ullswater, there’s no doubt that the experience on offer in Cumbria is more varied than ever before. Keswick’s Inside Out Camping offers campers the luxury of a 16ft yurt in the Borrowdale Valley, or why not snuggle down in a heated and sheep-wool insulated pod at Windermere’s Park Cliffe Camping Pods? If that’s not enough, try Wallace Lane Farm at Caldbeck; where its 21 square-metre glamping cabins offer spectacular views over the Solway and Scottish mountains.
This year’s heatwave – 42 years in the making – has resulted in increased interest in the county’s camp & ‘glamp’ sites by those who fancied giving shepherd’s huts, camping barns and bunkhouses a try.
The findings come as no surprise according to our Vice Chairman, Jim Walker, who says, “Our visitors more and more are looking to really experience the countryside in comfort and the creative options now available like glamping can provide precisely this. Many offer a unique experience which provide a great talking point and a really enjoyable and different closer to nature break.”
‘The Quiet Site’ at Ullswater recently won the title of Holiday Park of the Year at the 2018 Cumbria Tourism Awards for its more unusual accommodation offering. Owner, Daniel Holder says, “The holiday park industry is rightfully continuing to reinvent itself and has to do that to make sure it stays at the cutting edge of the tourism industry. The British tourism industry as a whole nationally employs 3.1 million people and contributes £127 billion to the UK economy. We’ve built the success of our holiday park around being as close to the natural environment as you can get. The connections we make with ourselves, others and the surrounding environment improve massively when we really get to feel like we’re ‘at one’ with nature.”
For those who are curious – but not quite ready to leave their traditional tent or caravan behind – our research shows there’s still plenty of space for them too, with 176 sites across the county offering camping or touring caravan spaces. That works out at just under 10,000 pitches altogether.
Touring caravan and camping pitch occupancy in 2017 was the highest in Cumbria on record, up around 8% on 2016. Researchers also say 2018 may exceed that figure.
For those visitors ready to try something different and who are looking for somewhere unique to stay in Cumbria – with no tent-erecting experience required, check out www.golakes.co.uk for some inspiration.