My £25-per-night, chilly Cotswolds holiday
As I zip up my tent and squeeze into my sleeping bag, I wonder if I’ll wake up to find myself entombed in ice and snow.
My phone tells me its below freezing and due to get colder overnight, which is not ideal for a camping trip. I’m no stranger to camping; I grew up taking holidays in tents. These breaks were full of fond memories: erecting the tent together, fry-ups in the morning, evenings spent playing games. It cemented my love of holidays outdoors and, as an adult, I introduced my now-husband, who had only camped at festivals, to the same joys.
We graduated from canvas to campervan, but tents retain a special place in my heart. Would that affection endure a winter trip? It’s not the ideal time to go, obviously, but with budgets tightening and other accommodation pricier, I wondered if camping could be a year-round solution to holidaying on the cheap.
I’m not the only one to have had this idea. Outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com has seen a 146 per cent increase in bookings for holiday arrivals between December 2022 and March 2023 compared to 2019–2020.
Clwydian Holidays in Denbighshire, Wales offers stays through Pitchup.com (Photo: Pitchup.com)
Dan Yates, the company’s founder, says: “There have been some major changes in the way people travel over the last couple of years, but the popularity of outdoor holidays continues to grow.
“We have seen a steady increase in the number of winter bookings and surprisingly it’s actually been camping and motorhome pitches that have grown faster than fixed accommodation like cabins and lodges. We’re seeing more holidaymakers look for great value options for a break away in the off-peak season.”
I certainly couldn’t argue with £25 per night.
Typically, my stay falls during a particularly cold snap, with snow and sub-zero temperatures bringing parts of the country to a standstill. Just pitching my pop-up tent leads to frozen fingers and a question mark over my decision-making skills. But…