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Glamping at Glastonbury


Glastonbury but not as you know it. No back ache, no lavatory issues, no ravers next door ensuring you don’t get to sleep until their chemical cocktail wears off at 9 in the morning.

I’ve done my time in the trenches at Glastonbury (actually with trench foot one year) but oh the joy that is staying in the Pop-Up Hotel handily located a 2 minute stroll from the festival entrance. Glamping at Glastonbury is not a new idea but the Pop-up hotel has its own very distinctive approach. First and foremost you are camping and having the full festival experience (albeit in a proper double bed with hot running water and clean flushable loos). The yurts and bell tents  are simply but comfortably furnished (start at around £1000 and go up to £6000 for the full bells and whistles 3 roomer) and so you never lose the connection with your environment.

Pictured above: the 3 room tenthouse suite by Latitude Photography

Pop-up Hotel founder Mark Sorrill believes this is crucial.  Hotels are all well and good when you're looking to retreat from life, he says, but when it's the experience you want, the romance of sleeping under canvas cannot be beaten. Since its inauguration at Glastonbury 2011, he's taken his fleet of tents to an eclectic string of locations - River Cottage, Chris Evan's Car Fest,  the foodie fest that was Jamie Oliver and Alex James's Big Feastival. When Glastonbury finishes on Sunday  the hotel will pop up at Goodwood Festival of Speed (11-14 July) and at Cowes Week in the Isle of Wight, based in the grounds of beautiful Osborne House.

Pic credit: Latitude Photography

On the night we visited a charity auction was underway, guests were dressed in black tie and wellies, trays of Earl Grey martinis were circulating and Tatler was in residence (not very Glasto admittedly). The bar was serving delicious local cider, Tattinger champagne and good wine (I remember scouring Glastonbury for a glass of white wine back in the 1990s, a request which was greeted with derision and incredulity). Under the stars we sat on our porch drinking red wine, listening to the hum of early bird festival goers in the car park next door waiting for the gates to open. We could have fired up the hot tub outside our tent but instead climbed into our ridiculously comfortable double bed, piled high with duvets and blankets to keep out the chill. Cue my first unbroken night's sleep in a tent,  waking to the sound of a helicopter choppering into  the festival.

Breakfast in the cafe, with other similarly unfrazzled campers, was a relaxed affair - granola, fresh fruit and yoghurt, cooked breakfast however you wanted it - and a far cry from the fried egg in a bun that used to be our daily sustenance. One word of warning, though - after a deluxe camping experience like this one, I suspect there's no way back. My husband, a hardcore 'throw down your coat and make the best of it' man back in the day, woke up and said: "I can't take any less comfort than this ever again." Roughing it is so last year. The Pop-Up Hotel moves onto Goodwood and the Isle of Wight find more information. here

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