If you want the fun and relaxation of camping – but lack the gear or faith in Britain’s weather – check out these cute camping pods.
There’s no better way to get back to basics and really unwind than camping. But sometimes you do crave a fresh cup of coffee in the morning or a heater when it gets a bit chilly. These camping pods sort all that and more.
We went to the Brighton Caravan and Motorhome Club Site to try one for the weekend – and to make the most of Britain’s gay seaside capital.
Glamping in a pod
If you can imagine a tent designed by a hobbit, this is it.
About the size of a beach hut, the pods have a small outdoor terrace with a little shelter from any rain. Double-glazed French doors lead into the living and sleeping space.
Inside, they are really spacious, far bigger than a tent. And, unlike a tent, there’s no chance of drips on your head or leaks under your bed.
There’s a wardrobe space to hang clothes, a waste bin and and a kettle. We bought mugs with us. There’s a light (no torches required) and even a heater and insulation, so the pod is always cosy.
Two seats at the back of the pod which fold out into a comfortable double bed. We took sleeping bags, but we could just as easily have bought a sheet and quilt.
You’ll also need to bring towels. The pod doesn’t have running water. But the on-site bathroom facilities are excellent – modern, spotlessly clean and with powerful hot showers.
All in all, this is not camping, it’s glamping. And refreshing to take a camping trip without have too much to pack.
Relax and unwind
We decided to really pamper ourselves and bought cheese from London’s food-heaven, Borough Market, a bottle of red and a proper baguette with us.
We sat on our little terrace – comfy camping chairs and table provided in the pod – and watched the sun go down. What better way to end a day?
The Brighton site is very friendly. Everybody smiles and says hello. And nobody blinked about us being a gay couple.
Explore Brighton and the beautiful South Downs
The Brighton Caravan and Motorhome Club Site is on the edge of the South Downs National Park. But it’s only two miles from the center of one of Britain’s most vibrant LGBTI-friendly cities. So that’s a short taxi ride – or energetic walk.
The closest supermarket is at Brighton Marina, which also boasts a range of (chain) restaurants, bars and a cinema. It’s a nice place to stroll around and stare at the yachts. You can also walk along the seafront into town. Or if you are a train spotter at heart, take the historic Volks Railway to Brighton’s famous Pier.
Once you’re in town, Brighton has plenty to do. Discover quirky and boutique shops in the Lanes, step back into Regency England in the camp Royal Pavilion, or enjoy the LGBTI area of Kemptown. And when you’re exhausted, just sunbathe on the beach.
If you’ve got a car, the campsite is a great base to explore the South Downs. Check out the romantic fortress of Arundel Castle or the historic town of Lewes.
Where to find camping pods
There are two pods at the campsite in Brighton. And they’ve proved a hit, so more are planned in future.
You can also book camping pods at other Caravan and Motorhome Club Sites – Abbey Wood in London and Coniston Park Coppice in Cumbria.
The prices are £45 per pod, per night, from 3 January to 15 March and £50 a night the rest of the year. They can provide an extra camp bed if needed.