Have you given a thought to summer camping yet? Those yurts, lodges and cool glampy sites get booked up waaaaay in advance, so to give you the early heads up, here are the 25 best places to start your search. There are spots in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and further afield as chosen by the people in the know – us regional Muddy editors.
Hollington Park Clamping ,Woollen Hill, nr Newbury
If you love the idea of getting back to basics, but can’t quite bring yourself to sleep on a deflating air mattress, pitch up at Hollington Park Glamping near Newbury.
The first award-winning series of Broadchurch opened with a shot of distinctive honeycombed sandstone cliffs with a child’s body at the bottom. I may not have guessed who done it, even by the final episode, but I immediately recognised where.
Broadchurch is largely shot in West Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic coast, a few bays down from Lyme Regis and close to Bridport.
Lighthouses, treehouses, vintage vans, shepherd’s huts & more
Brighton’s lovely seafront Harbour Hotel and its Jetty Restaurant have been open a few months now but a couple of new additions have just made it a top place to hang out and enjoy a bit of pampering, even if you’re not staying – namely a spa in a grotto and a colourful afternoon tea.
Unusually, the hotel burrowed into its heritage basement to create its new spa which has some fun, quirky styling.
Did you catch our beach holiday cottages feature last week? How about an inland lake or river holiday as an alternative? The Muddy editors who happen go to be landlocked have scoured their counties for some stonking rental properties with their own little piece of liquid heaven to tempt you throughout spring and summer.
STAY IN… BERKSHIRE
River Arts Club, Maidenhead
Who needs the coast when you can have the mighty Thames?
One of the big benefits of Muddy tottering its way into so many counties (er, 17 since you asked!) is that we have a raft of on-the-ground experts, squirrelling out the coolest, most useful stuff for the rest of us to plunder. Case in point – beach cottages. Thought about renting one this summer? Yeah me too. So allow me to lay before you a sandy smorgasbord from the Muddy regional editors – 14 beautiful beach properties for the bucket and spade brigade.
In a dry January, when the weather has turned totally pants and summer seems an age away, we can take solace by gorging on potential holidays. Here’s a set of lovely cabins from Forest Holidays that are great for family or friends time in the UK with ingredients for a break that’s luxe but active, rural but not too holiday campish and with enough tree cover that the weather’s not going to matter too much.
Fancy staying in the castle where Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn honeymooned? Thornbury Castle is a stonking 500 year old Tudor beauty on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire (reviewed by Hero at Muddy HQ a few months back – see here) and Luxury Family Hotels is offering Muddy readers the chance to win a luxe two night stay here!
The prize, worth £1000, includes breakfast and a three course dinner for two adults!
Remember that dramatic scene from the end of The Graduate when Dustin Hoffman bangs on the glass at the top of the church? I had to fight the urge not to recreate it when I stayed over at The Barn at Roundhurst recently.
Just look at this epic lounge/restaurant space with a glass-fronted snug on the mezzanine. It looks like the sort of conversion that gets featured on Grand Designs.
I once had a chat with a taxi driver that totally changed my mind about something. No, he wasn’t ranting about politics; he was waxing lyrical about beach huts.
Up to that point I’d felt brightly coloured rows of huts were cute for a photo but otherwise the preserve of elderly people with tartan blankets over their laps. He, however, described a halcyon scene with his family gathered round, cooking fry-ups as the sun went down.