A winter pod, Great Langdale, Lake District. Photograph: Rose Lord
Great Langdale, Cumbria
Winner of the Great Outdoors accommodation of the year award 2014, this campsite at the head of a valley is a beautiful spot for winter walks. But while hiking should keep you warm by day, a selection of cosy hideaways will keep you snug at night. Visitors can choose from double-glazed wooden camping pods, which include heating and lighting or, for those who want a more boutique outdoors experience, luxury yurts furnished with Moroccan-style rugs and throws, fairy lights, lanterns and a wood-burning stove. And with the Sticklebarn pub – known for its real ales and good local grub – nearby, you should be able to slip into a pretty comfortable routine in no time.
• Standard pods from £35 a night (two adults, one child), 01539 432733, nationaltrust.org.uk
Vanellus, Elmley national nature reserve, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
In the stunning surroundings of the Isle of Sheppey nature reserve, Vanellus is a large shepherd’s hut. From the comfort of your abode (which is hooked up to electricity), you can gaze out through floor-to-ceiling windows as the sun rises and sets, watching birds of prey and other wildlife. The reserve can be explored on foot, or you can book a 4WD tour of the area. The farm has a lounge in a converted barn, where you can hang out or eat communally, but if you really can’t bear to step into the cold, you can have meals – including hot bacon rolls for breakfast – delivered to your door.
• From £180 for a two-night stay (sleeps two), 0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk
Inshriach shepherd’s hut, Inshriach House, Aviemore, the Cairngorms, Scotland
Another shepherd’s hut, this time in the Highlands, where it really does get chilly come winter. Thanks to a Alles stove and a slate hearth, however, you should be able to keep toasty all year round. No expense has been spared on its interior, which has a mahogany table and a raised oak bed. The hand-built Swedish-style hut may be well insulated, but if you feel yourself in need of a deeper warmth, the wood-fired sauna made from a converted horsebox down on the riverside should do the trick. And if there’s snow, you may even be able to partake in a spot of ski touring, with the help of the estate’s owners.
• From £150 for a two-night stay (sleeps two), 0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk
The Cabin at Nant yr Onnen, near Llandovery, Wales
The Cabin is an unusual octagonal wood structure, built by local craftsmen keen to make an eco-friendly home. The electricity supply, for example, is powered by the nearby stream. From the sheltered veranda you can enjoy views across the hills, and the surrounding countryside is perfect for walking all year round. Inside the cosy hut is a wood-burning stove, and you can also warm up in a recently built spring-fed hot tub.
• From £85 a night throughout December (sleeps two), mulled wine available 15 Dec-4 Jan, 0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk
Guilden Gate Glamping, Hertfordshire
Just 35 minutes by train from London, the Guilden Gate campsite is ideal for an easy rural family escape from the capital. Set in a woodland glade, a campervan is your main bedroom,and a bell tent can act as another bedroom, or a lounge. There’s also a huge wok-shaped hot tub, big enough for six adults. The site is close to Cambridge (20 minutes’ drive), so you can explore the city by day – if the icy countryside gets too much.
• From £65 a night (sleeps four, minimum two-night stay), 01763 243960, goglamping.net
Baby Moon, Dunsdale, North Yorkshire
If the “magic herb garden” doesn’t tempt you, maybe the chance to meet a chicken named Lady Gaga will be enough to get you booking. Just 10 minutes’ drive from the coast, the bohemian site offers its visitors a host of creative activities, including classes from knitting to yoga and therapies including reiki and Indian head massage. There’s also a wide choice of richly decorated, cosy and very groovy places to sleep, including yurts inspired by Mexican divas, fairy tales and the intriguingly named “hippy hippy shake” tent.
• £95 a night (sleeps four/five), 07764 928487, babymooncamp.com
Circus wagon, near Llangrannog, Ceredigion, Wales
A colourful, romantic and unique place to stay, this restored circus wagon is one of just three identical carts built in 1946. The opportunity to bed down in what was the home of a troupe of acrobats, and later a clairvoyant, is difficult to pass up and the two-person carriage provides a warm, snug place to stay during the winter. Inside is a fully kitted-out kitchen and next door is a shepherd’s hut that has been converted into a shower room. An electric heating system will keep you warm inside the oak-panelled bedroom, which boasts a full-size double bed.
• From £179 a night (sleeps two), 0844 5005 101, underthethatch.co.uk
Wowo campsite, Wapsbourne, Sussex
Surrounded by woodland and a brook, Wowo offers year-round camping – as well as a wide range of impeccably decked out yurts, shepherd’s huts, tipis and bell tents for anyone wanting some rustic comfort. The site itself has a festival atmosphere: there are regular workshops and acoustic music performances and campers are encouraged to make their own campfires to keep warm … and cook their dinner on. For an extra-special stay, book into one of the yurts on the “tipi trail”, a secluded section of the campsite in woodland, where you can enjoy the soothing sound of running water.
• Prices vary according to accommodation. Bell tents start at £156 for two nights midweek (sleeps family of four). The Gypsy wagon starts at £124 for two nights’ stay midweek (sleeps two adults and one child), 01825 723414, wowo.co.uk
Heather Hut, Hesleyside Huts, Bellingham, Northumberland
The rustic wood exterior of this shepherd’s hut (one of two on the estate) transforms into a world of cosiness once you step through the door. Inside are all the luxuries you’d hope for, especially on a cold winter’s night: a wood-fired oven and hotplate, en suite shower, wood-burner and electric lighting. The king-size bed is tucked into the far end of the tastefully decorated hut and there’s a fold-down bunk suitable for children. Entertainment in this neck of the woods takes the form of campfires in the fire pit outside and stargazing; telescopes are provided.
• From £150 for a two-night stay (sleeps two adults and one child), 0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk
The Roundhouse, Somerset
It’s probably pushing the limits of what you can even class as “glamping” but we realise that for some, winter really is not the time to shirk on home comforts. This hand-crafted wooden roundhouse, in the grounds of an organic farm near Bath, is a palatial hidey-hole with a grand four-poster bed as the centrepiece. And that’s not all, the en suite cabin also contains a classic roll-top bath, a 1940s Rayburn stove, a well-equipped kitchen and a couple of sofas. Still, the countryside is right outside your door, with the 40-acre farm and nearby woodlands to explore. Home produce, including veggie and pork sausages are also available to guests.
• From £41 a night (sleeps up to four, minimum stay three nights), goglamping.net