From luxurious yurts to login cabins, the Fabulous team get back to nature with three kid-friendly English breaks

With glamping resorts popping up across the country there is a range of options to try including yurts, cabins and lodges

Fabulous got three of our editors and their families to try out one of each at resorts in Kent and Hampshire. Here's what they got up to…

 

THE YURT

Assistant Editor (Features) Claie Wilson checked into Daleacres Club Site in Hythe, Kent, with husband James and sons Sam, 11, and Jake, eight.

The digs In the patchwork 
of fields at the back of the campsite you’ll find a small cluster of luxurious yurts with reclaimed timber double beds and posh pull-outs for the kids, topped with marshmallow-puff duvets. Each yurt has electricity (yas!), a barbecue area and a handy picnic bench for alfresco dining. There are showers and toilets close 
by, plus a football pitch and a playground.

Explore Just a three-minute drive away is Cinderella Golf & Activity Centre, with its 18-hole 
crazy golf course, from £6.50 a round.

Also nearby, 
Port Lympne Reserve is home to over 700 rare and endangered animals. Hop on the safari truck to get up close and personal with giraffes, rhinos, water buffalo and more, then hit the awesome dinosaur woodland 
– which my boys loved – and come face to face with baboons and big cats. Family tickets cost from £72 (Aspinallfoundation.org).



Meanwhile, the historic city 
of Dover is 17 miles from the campsite. Start at its famous castle and climb the Great Tower, meet the “king” and explore wartime tunnels. Family tickets cost £50 (Englishheritage.co.uk).

Craving the sand instead 
of those famous white cliffs? Hit the glorious two-mile golden Greatstone Beach in Romney Marsh.

Refuel Five minutes’ drive from Daleacres, the Lathe Barne tea room serves a full-to-bursting ploughman’s sandwich for grown-ups, £8, and Nutella and Marmite for youngsters. Plus there’s a children’s farm next door, entry £6 (Lathebarn.com).

For fancy pizza we headed to Follies in Folkestone, which has a retro, decadent feel and table football to entertain the kids. Our fave was an incredible sun-dried tomato, rocket and pan-fried Parma ham creation, £12 (Follies.info).

In Dover, The Allotment has a mouthwatering burger list – the restaurant’s namesake version with homemade onion marmalade, £10.95, is superb (Theallotmentrestaurant.com). Or grab a traditional takeaway of cod, chips and mushy peas, £4.75, at Torbay of Hythe.

Book it Daleacres yurts cost from £69 per night for two adults and two children (Experiencefreedom.co.uk).

 

THE CABIN

Beauty Editor Lauren Ezekiel, partner Steve and daughter Millie, two, escaped to the Forest Holidays cabins at Blackwood Forest, Hampshire.

The digs There’s no roughing it in these log cabins equipped with all the mod cons – hello, coffee machine and dishwasher – plus comfy 
beds, a hot tub and flat-screen TV. There’s an on-site restaurant and mini supermarket, and you can even order room-service pizza or some burgers to throw 
on the barbecue. Rent a bike, from £28, to explore 
the 600-acre beech wood, or pre-book a three-hour “forest bathing” session, £30 – expect walking, meditating and wildlife watching.

Explore The charming town of Winchester is just 
a 20-minute drive away. Its magnificent gothic cathedral is a must-see, and twice a month one of the UK’s biggest farmers’ markets is held outside (Winchester-cathedral.org.uk).

If you’ve got a little one, don’t miss out on Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, 40 minutes from the cabins. It’s perfect for pre-schoolers, plus it has hair-raising rides, gorge gardens and a mini zoo. Family tickets cost from £85.25 (Paultonspark.co.uk).

Refuel Winchester is a celeb chef hotspot. Hit up Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Kitchen for a delicious brunch overlooking the river and a park. Seasonal ingredients are used to mix up family faves like the full English, £9.50, which includes baked “badger” beans and parsnip hash.

For lunch there’s the newly opened Ivy Winchester Brasserie on the high street – ideal for people-watching. Try its famous shepherd’s pie, £13.75 (Theivywinchester.com). 


Or for a quick bite, grab a legendary Holy Cow (AKA steak and ale) or 
chilli beef burrito pie with cheesy mash amid the comic-book decor 
at Piecaramba. Pies cost from £5.75 (Piecaramba.co.uk).

And if you like 
your beer, stop by Overdraft Craft Ale Bar – it’s got one hell of a selection and you can sample before you buy.

Book it A cabin for four with a hot tub costs from £57 per person 
per night (Forestholidays.co.uk/blackwood-forest).

 

THE LODGE

Assistant Editor (Celebrity) Beth Neil found fun aplenty at Sandy Balls Holiday Village in the New Forest, Hampshire, with husband Brian and kids Roddy, four, and Robyn, two.

The digs Set in 120 acres of the gorgeous New Forest, the brand new Zen Lodges at Sandy Balls are 
the perfect place to unwind. The beds have sumptuous duvets and bounce-back pillows, but the pièce de résistance is the private hot tub. The 55in TV and stack of DVDs come in handy when the heavens open.


Explore Roddy and Robyn loved the mini archery, £7.50, and walking with the alpacas, £7.50, as well as 
the indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The woodland trails are great for biking, hiking and early-morning 
runs, with breathtaking views across the countryside.

Meanwhile, the Ultra Bright Facial, £55, at The Retreat spa was so relaxing I fell asleep after a tough spin class at the gym, £5. The adventure playground is fantastic, and our two loved the games, dancing and puppet shows every evening.

Further afield, New Forest Wildlife Park 
is a half-hour drive away, with trails to spot deer, wild boar and otters and a butterfly house to explore. Family tickets cost £35 (Newforestwildlifepark.
co.uk). Or build sandcastles at pretty Avon Beach (Avon-beach.co.uk).

Refuel At the on-site Woodside Inn, Robyn wolfed down tomato penne pasta followed by ice cream, £6.95 including a drink, while the black tiger prawn quinoa salad, £10.75, filled me up.

For great local fish and steak, 
The Herb Pot Bistro in Ashurst makes a fab lunch stop (Theherbpot.com), and 15 minutes from Sandy Balls, gastro pub The Compasses Inn serves creative dishes like chorizo and manchego croquettes and smoked duck stir-fry (Compassesinndamerham.co.uk).

Book it The Zen Lodges sleep up to seven and cost from £457 for four nights (Awayresorts.co.uk/sandy-balls). 

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