Bell tent glamping offers the perfect luxury upgrade from the regular camping experience.
You can still sleep under the light, white, softness of traditional canvas and enjoy the feeling of staying in a tent but this time you're doing it in serious style. Expect beds, beanbags and plenty of bunting; this is camping done right.
Nothing beats the creamy canvas of a bell tent – arguably the icon of the glamping world. Closest in form to traditional camping yet able to be transformed into the utmost luxury, bell tents are a real glamping favourite and it's easy to see why. Often strung with bunting and sometimes heated with a toasty wood-burner, they are both cosy yet summery, with the light colours of the canvas helping to increase the sense of space inside. Here at Hipcamp we've been out visiting camping and glamping sites across the UK and beyond, checking out everything on offer. Discover our collection of the best bell tent glamping sites here and book your next adventure under canvas today.
A bell tent is a simple, traditional tent-like structure with a round base and a sloping roof with a central peak. They are usually made of a light, cotton canvas and are supported by a single centre-pole that holds up the roof's peak, while pegs and guy-ropes create tension in the canvas all around. Some newer designs use clever architecture to keep the bell tent's trade mark shape but offer support from the sides, allowing them to lose the centre-pole and avoid the inconvenience of having a disruption to your living space. There are other variations, both in design and in name. Some glamping sites will call them canvas cottages and others will give each of their bell tents specific names such as Badger, Oak or Willow. There's also a range of different sizes, from three-metre bell tents to giant six or seven-metre wide structures. What remains true to all, however, is the same simplicity that made bell tents the early pioneers of the glamping world. They are simple, comfortable and have an obvious connection with traditional camping tents for which they were first created. Even early pictures of travellers from the 18th and 19th century show bell tent-like tents in use!
Bell tents are generally seen as one of the cheaper glamping options. So if you want luxury but put importance of the price tag, then finding a bell tent glamping site might just be the best option for you. The prices vary with the level of luxury on offer. Some glamping sites will expect you to bring your own sleeping bags and bedding along, for example, while others might offer a fully-blown, five-star experience with hot tubs, wood burners and a bathroom within spitting distance of your tent. Be sure to check the facilities on site before you book and look out for whether the bell tent your interested in offer simple, blow-up mattresses or a full-scale king-sized bed. So, for a cheaper glamping break, bell tents are often a top choice. They're also particularly good in summer – light, airy and cool – while in winter months they don't fair as well as other structures such as insulated pods and traditional shepherd's huts.
Glamping isn't just confined to the UK. It's really taken off abroad too, particularly in recent years and glamping in France is now more popular than ever. If your planning to hop across the channel this year to discover glamping sites in France, Spain, Portugal and the rest of Europe then you've come to the right place and when it comes to bell tents, their light, cool design is perfect for the hotter temperatures on the continent. We've found plenty of bell tents in France and elsewhere. Simply click on the links or use our refine your search function to filter our chosen glamping sites down to the ones that are right for you.
they're one of the cheapest forms of glamping accommodation but you still get serious bang for your buck. It's a proper camping experience – you're in a tent, you're outdoors, you're sleeping under canvas – yet you don't need to bring a truck load of camping paraphernalia with you and, when you arrive, the tent is already pitched and waiting. Bunting, scatter cushions and proper beds add to the comfort, while added extras like breakfast hampers and boutique bookable extras add that extra luxury touch. For a cheap glamping break that still keeps you close to nature and lets you enjoy a proper outdoor experience, bell tents get our vote every day of the week!
Kip under canvas with this stunning collection of bell tent glamping sites in the UK, France and Europe. Light, summery and usually strung with bunting, bell tents offer an idyllic glamping retreat. Discover the best places to find them with Hipcamp's expert picks.