While camping on a staycation is a lot of fun, it can be a bit of a shock to the system if you’re used to all-inclusive hotels or luxury spas when you holiday abroad.

But there’s an alternative that means you don’t have to work out which tent pole goes where, panic that you’re undercooking the sausages, and avoid being soaked through if the weather takes a nasty turn: glamping.

And Northumberland is a wonderful place to do it, as two of the county’s farms have been named amongst the best new glamping stays in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times. Tughall Grange Farm near Beadnell and Hillside Huts & Cabins near Morpeth both made it onto the list of best in the country with 23 other sites.

Read more : Life in Morpeth – does it live up to its billing as one of the best places to live in the UK?

After being featured alongside treehouses, shepherd’s huts and even pods that resemble UFOs hidden away in a forest glade, Wim Stevenson of Trees at Tughall said it was a shock to be included. He said: “We’re punching up there with the big boys!

“It’s amazing. We set out to try and make some of the best cabins in the country effectively, but it’s edifying to know you’ve actually done it – and the area has so much to offer we wanted cabins of sufficient quality to do it justice.”

Hawthorn Cabin at Tughall Grange Farm

© Trees at Tughall
Hawthorn Cabin at Tughall Grange Farm

The cabins at Tughall, which opened in February 2022 start from £150 per night, have been designed to be ecologically and environmentally sustainable as possible. Said to have been developed around emotional minimalism, they aim to promote distraction-free luxury and environmental connection.

Wim continued: “The design is an accumulation of references and cues that are very much of the area – the black larch cladding is very trendy at the moment but we chose it to reference and pay homage to the local fishermen’s shacks. That and the quality of the design, the attention to detail, and the design ethos are all really important to us.”I think it’s a real boon for the area as well, tourism is going to be increasing for the next couple of decades at least and to have some nationally recognised accommodation is huge for the area.”

Tilly's Hut at Hillside Huts & Cabins near Morpeth

© Lazy Grace
Tilly’s Hut at Hillside Huts & Cabins near Morpeth

The Times article wrote of Trees at Tughall: “The vast, creamy sands of Beadnell are a five-minute drive from the new Ash cabin at Tughall Grange Farm — an under-the-radar, black-clad retreat for two, with no wi-fi, but plenty of nooks in which to curl up and inhale all that restorative sea air. A loo and hot shower inside your cabin keep things civilised — especially if you’ve plunged into the swells.

“There’s a kitchen too, although for a memorable meal shining the spotlight on the country’s astounding seafood, bag a table at the Potted Lobster, six miles away in Bamburgh.”

And it wasn’t just Trees at Tughall that made it onto the list. Hillside Huts & Cabins, located on a farm near the town, also got the nod.

Inspired by owner Philip Gregory’s experience of safaris in Africa, he and his wife Fiona opened the first huts in March just gone with a fourth hopefully coming in the summer. Cabins and huts are made of reclaimed and sustainable materials, while they’re also offering activities such as yoga, kayaking and wild swimming.

Philip said: “I always thought Northumberland has so much to offer in terms of wildlife and peace and quiet and I wanted to replicate what I loved about safaris here. It was stunning for us to get that (the Times recommendation) as we’re a very new operation.

Saba's Hut at Hillside Huts & Cabins

© Lazy Grace
Saba’s Hut at Hillside Huts & Cabins

“It’s helped us to realise that we’re doing the right thing and we’re going along the right lines, and I think it’s something Northumberland needed. Things have gone incredibly well so far, April has been 90% full and May and June are 70% full at the moment, so it just shows the demand for quality, different accommodation in Northumberland.”

The Times wrote: “The idea for this new trio of distressed wood cabins came from an off-grid stay in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, although here guests are firmly in the grasp of the breezy Northumbrian coast on an eco-farm. If you’re bringing the children, bunk in Hut 2 — a cabin with all the glamping essentials: sturdy beds with stargazing views, a kitchen, en suite and decking with a hot tub.

“Days can be spent kayaking towards the seal-smothered rocks of Coquet Island, larking about on honey-coloured beaches or cycling along the county’s network of dedicated trails.”

To read the full Times article on the best new glamping stays in the UK, click here.


published 2021-06-21 12:00:00