A glampers' guide to the Glastonbury Music Festival

By Fred Jéquier

Somerset, England, is famous for its rolling hills, sleepy towns and villages, and some great cider. But every June, thousands of people make their way to the quiet county for a wholly different reason. Since 1970, Glastonbury Music Festival has been a mecca for music and contemporary art fans across the world. With rock acts, such as T-Rex and Rage Against the Machine, Britpop favorites like Blur and Oasis, hip hop represented by the likes of Jay-Z, Divas in the form of Beyoncé, and country legends like Johnny Cash all gracing the world-renowned Pyramid Stage, the race is on to reserve a place at this iconic annual event the moment tickets are released.

Photo from Festicket.

The 2019 festival is no exception to previous years, with a plethora of new and established artists getting ready to play in front of thousands of fans, hoping to make their way into the annals of Glastonbury folklore like so many before them. Bands, such as The Killers, The Cure, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, and Wu-Tang Clan are just some of the many artists that fans can look forward to seeing this year.

To make your festival going experience as fun and hassle-free as possible, we've created the ultimate glampers' guide for the Glastonbury Music Festival.

Location, location, location

Despite being named after the historic town of Glastonbury, the festival itself is not actually in the town. The festival is held on Michael Eavis' family-owned Worthy Farm, which lies on the edge of the idyllic village of Pilton. You might be thinking that the last thing a small village in the West Country would want is over 100,000 people descending upon them for the biggest party of the summer. However, the villagers are allotted a certain amount of free tickets each year, which I'm sure we all can agree is both right and proper!

Photo from Geograph.

How to get there

With at least 135,000 people expected to make their way to Worthy Farm this summer, it is hardly surprising that getting there will prove to be an event in and of itself. The A303, the road connecting the West Country to the rest of Southern England, gets busy around Glastonbury and Pilton in the days leading up to the festival, so your best bet is to take the train to Castle Cary, the nearest station to both Pilton and the festival site. In fact, Castle Cary has become so synonymous with the festival that the station received an official dedication as "Castle Cary, Station of the Glastonbury Festival" in April of this year.

Photo from Somerset Live.

National Rail Enquiries has regular updates on departures and arrivals at all of the U.K.'s train stations, and for ease, there is a free app for your phone. Once you arrive at the station, there are shuttle buses to take festivalgoers to the site, which is about six miles from Castle Cary.

Food and drink

We're sure if you've ever been to a festival, you've had your fair share of overpriced, yet underwhelming, food. The last thing you want when you're in need of energy is bland and boring food, and thankfully, the stalls at Glastonbury this year promise to be anything but. Here are a few examples of food stalls that are sure to get your taste buds zinging before you head to the main stage and your ears start ringing.

1. Paellaria

Founded by four friends over 10 years ago, Paellaria cooks up various types of paella with some delicious, bold flavors, bright colors, and pretty generous portions. This is sure to fill you up before you head out on your next festival adventure.

2. Anna Mae's

Based in London, the Anna Mae's stall serves up mac 'n' cheese, the perfect comfort food after a day on your feet. Expect a load of cheese and a range of tasty sauces.

3. Biff's Jack Shack

Biff's Jack Shack is the perfect place to indulge in some junk food with a twist. With an entirely vegan menu, everyone can enjoy their stunning burgers and range of vegan fried chicken dishes. Biff's Jack Shack is gaining popularity as they hone their craft, so don't be surprised to see them at several other festivals this year, too.

4. "Food For A Fiver"

There's no getting away from the fact that at festivals, we often pay a premium for food and drink. The organizers at Glastonbury have teamed up with various vendors to provide affordable food for festivalgoers on a budget. Participating stalls all carry the "Food For A Fiver" sticker, and you can look forward to drink deals, meal deals, and even smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, and cakes.

Photo from NME.

What to bring

There are certain items that we always need to pack when getting ready for a festival. Beyond the obvious items, such as a tent and a roll mat, thanks to British summers being somewhat unpredictable, there are obviously a few essentials that you'll need to remember so you're ready for all eventualities.

Photo from GlastoFestFeed.

1. Wellies

All it takes is a couple of hours of rain, and the whole site can end up covered in wet mud. Wellies are a real must to keep your feet dry and your mood bright through any rainy weather. There's nothing worse than going for a three-day camping trip and having to endure soggy socks and damp trainers.

Photo from The Independent.

2. Portable phone charger

It happens to all of us. It's the final night of the festival, and half of the group want to see The Killers, but the rest of the group want to head to the other side of the site to watch The Chemical Brothers. Once the sets are done, you need to find the rest of the group so you can enjoy the rest of the festival together, but after a whole day, your phone will inevitably be running low. Thankfully, there are numerous portable phone chargers of varying sizes and prices to choose from, so you can rest assured that you'll be able to find the rest of your group when the time comes.

3. Reusable water bottle

After the festival has come to an end, and everyone has made their way home to hot showers and comfy beds, the work for the organizers is not yet over. The end of the festival means the start of the clean-up, and over the years, there has been an enormous amount of rubbish to be disposed of. After 1.3 million bottles of water were bought at the festival in 2017, the organizers decided to ban plastic water bottles, so you will need to bring your own. There are free water stations throughout the site, so you can fill them up while going from stage to stage.


If you enjoy festivals but want to avoid muddy campsites, check out some of our great festival glamping sites!

Top winter glamping sites in the U.K.

By Eleanor Stanesby

Camping in the middle of winter in the U.K. is one thing that we're not sure we can get behind, but glamping? Well, now, that's a different story entirely. Not having to worry about cold nights laying on the ground in a pop-up tent? Sign us up!

We've compiled our top glamping sites for a winter getaway in the U.K.—everything from luxury pods and tree houses to classic cottages. It's easy to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills and forests from the comfort of one of these cozy accommodations. Braving the chilly weather has never sounded so appealing!

1. Luxurious, Adults-Only Tree House in Devon

Don't let the description of this tree house fool you into thinking you'll be cold during your stay. This elevated accommodation is equipped with a wood-burning stove to keep the whole place toasty come nightfall—and we haven't even told you about the big, luxurious bathtub yet. Talk about a five-star experience!

We'll leave you with this...just imagine stepping out on the balcony for a morning coffee amid the smell of the crisp morning dew and surrounded by the trees, listening to nothing but the natural sounds of the local wildlife. Sounds likes the perfect way to start the day to us.

2. Eco-Pod on Derbyshire Farm

A getaway in a pod is a favorite of the British public, something different from your typical caravan or hotel stay. This eco-pod is a unique way to experience the countryside—in fact, that's all that surrounds this perfect pod.

Built to endure all aspects of English weather, thanks to its insulation, cladding, and fire pit, this pod is a sure winner for a winter break. Each morning, you'll get to wake up in a comfy bed with perfectly placed French doors to see a breathtaking view of the surroundings from the minute you open your eyes.

3. Unique Cottage at Adventure Park in Scotland

This unique cottage, which is located among the mountains that surround Loch Tay in Scotland, has a rustic wooden appearance on the outside, with a modern twist on the inside. This cottage is equipped with all you could ever need for a nature-based getaway and keeps you close to the beautiful natural surroundings—while also allowing you to enjoy them from the comfort of the accommodation's many windows.

4. Romantic Pod Farm Getaway in Essex

This romantic pod is equipped with all the necessities for an ideal winter holiday. From under floor heating, a fire pit, and a log fired hot tub - If you can brave the chill before getting in. Located in a county speckled with picturesque villages and towns you can explore for the perfect relaxing day. The pod is also dog friendly, so bring your dog for all the more fun!

5. Warm and Inviting Holiday Yurt in Wales

You'll never get bored on holiday at this yurt rental in Wales, from its convenient location near the River Dee to the on-site recreational barn filled with games and entertainment options. Located in the beautiful countryside of a small village, you'll find a market town nearby that is filled with pubs for you to enjoy, should you so desire. A trip to see the serene waters of the aforementioned river is also a must, where a horse-drawn canal trip comes highly recommended.

6. Stone Cottage with Wood-Fired Hot Tub in Wales

The rustic feel of this stone cottage is perfect for the winter. Tucked away in the rural village of Felindre in Wales, you'll get to enjoy strolling along any one of the number of nearby trails, all of which boast beautiful landscapes and the peaceful sounds of local fauna. On those cozy relaxing nights in, this cottage is equipped with an AGA range cooker to heat the whole space—the snow is no match for this countryside accommodation!

7. Modern Country Cottage in North Cumbria

This modern cottage in North Cumbria, England, is surrounded by eight acres of private land for the perfect weekend escape from your busy life. You can enjoy the peaceful grounds, venture to the nearby Carlisle Castle, or go off to explore the Lake District. Underfloor heating and a fireplace are sure to keep you warm at night, while the home cinema keeps you plenty entertained. The lounge gives you a perfect 180-degree view of the grounds through its large glass walls—the perfect place to be sat as the sun sets!

8. Beautiful Cabin on Organic Farm in West Wales

Farm stays aren't just for the summertime, and this eco-friendly cabin for hire in West Wales is the perfect example. Come wintertime, guests will love the underfloor heating and the wood-burning fireplace to help them warm up after a day exploring the walking trails amid the serene countryside that surrounds this property.

9. Pet-Friendly Cottage in Northumberland

Situated in Northumberland—the northernmost town in all of England—this pet-friendly cottage rental can easily accommodate family, friends, and dogs for the ideal winter holiday. For a fun trip close to the accommodation, you can visit Alnwick Castle, widely known as one of Britain's most iconic castles, as well as where a number of scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot.

10. Tree House Hideaway in Wiltshire, England

This tree house is surrounded by organic pastures, streams, and historic oak trees that paint the perfect backdrop for this idyllic getaway. It accommodates up to six guests with its luxurious, three-level floor plan. While staying at this property, you can take advantage of the surrounding land, as well as day trips to the nearby town, all of which is sure to keep you entertained!

11. BEAUTIFUL COTTAGE RENTAL, NORWICH

Perfect for a small family looking for a cozy holiday, this cottage is located on a working farmland, and the on-site scenic walks are second to none through the woodland areas of the countryside. The cottage also comes fully equipped with everything you'll need to cook meals for the whole family and enjoy a relaxing night in.

12. UNIQUE ECO-POD IN ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

This pod is nothing short of a dream come true—all while being eco-friendly! Solar-powered fairy lights illuminate this pod from the inside out, while the wood-fired hot tub allows you to comfortably kick back after a day spent exploring the surrounding wildflower meadows and coppice woodlands. Striving to have zero CO2 emissions, this glamping site is sure to be the most environmentally-friendly place you've ever stayed!


Ready for a winter getaway in the U.K.? Click on the the links above to book your favorite of these accommodations now!

Guest Spotlight: Manchester, England

By Amy Ahlblad

Editor's Note: We'd like to introduce you to one of our incredible Glamping Hub staff members and her experience at this unique pod rental in Rossendale near Manchester, England. Amy, our Partnerships Manager in the PR department, has been glamping many times before and grew up camping and traveling, but this was her first time glamping in the U.K.!

Choose three adjectives to describe the glamping site you stayed at before your trip and another three words to describe it post- stay. How did your expectations measure up to reality?

Green, quiet, and cozy were my expected adjectives for before our stay. I am happy to say that our experience was all of these adjectives, in addition to serene, peaceful, and tranquil.

What was the best part about the accommodation? How does it compare to past places you’ve stayed?

The best part of the accommodation was how unique it was! I was unsure of how to categorize these adorable wooden structures. "Huts" sounded too rural, and so did "shacks." I also heard a few new words, such as "wigwam" but that may also be too rustic. They were so nicely built, clean, and new. They were some of the most comfortable glamping accommodations I have visited.

Describe to us the area around the glamping site. What do you think the perfect time of year to stay here would be, and why?

The perfect time to visit would be early summer; however, I imagine these to be incredibly cozy in the rainy season, as well. There are miles of walking trails and artistic structures nearby that are worth seeing while the weather is nice. The grounds are so well kept, with tons of outdoor spaces to sit and listen to the creek or read a book.

Tell us one thing about your first glamping experience that surprised you and why.

I was surprised about how contemporary and well taken care of the bathrooms were. The facilities are brand new and nearby the accommodation. There is also an extensive DVD and book library in the game room, complete with a pool table.

I was also surprised how modern and cute the town of Rawtenstall is. I am not very familiar with that area, and I wrongly assumed that it would be a small country town. There are great restaurants, charming cafés, shopping, and more!

What is your ideal food item and beverage for a glamping trip, and why? If you have a special secret or recipe, please share with us—if you’re willing, of course!

My ideal food item for a glamping trip would be a boutique barbecue: artisan ciabatta buns, goat cheese, caramelized onions, bison burgers, and stuffed jalapeños with cheddar cheese and bacon bits! We were too tired after hiking all day so we opted to go out for dinner; however, you can create this special recipe right outside of the accommodations. There are barbecue starters available and nearby stores to purchase all of the necessary ingredients.

Do you prefer a more active or more relaxing getaway? Which did you opt for at the glamping site, and what was the best related activity in the area?

I enjoy both active and relaxing getaways equally. For this experience, we opted for a more relaxing weekend, with lots of walking in the countryside. My favorite activity nearby was the Singing Ringing Tree. The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind-powered sound sculpture that resembles a tree, overlooking beautiful views of Burnley.

Fill in the end of the sentence: "This glamping site would be the perfect place for ___________________," and tell us why!

A romantic getaway for a couple or a young family's first camping/outdoor adventure.

All creature comforts are available, and there are many nearby activities available—planning will be a breeze!

Would you recommend glamping to family and friends? Do you see yourself going glamping again? Let us know why!

I would recommend glamping to family and friends, as well as anyone looking for an outdoor experience with five-star facilities. Glamping is a great way to get close to nature and experience something new.


Book today where Amy stayed or keep exploring on Glamping Hub and find your own adventure at one of our 500+ accommodations in England!