Bell tents are a little more glamorous (Ok, a lot more glamorous) than your standard every day tent and create a perfect space for any glamping adventure. Being a lover of home comforts, I wanted to make our tent cosy and it really is a game changer in the camping world.
In our transition from camping to glamping, our Bell Tent really has enhance our camping experience. Here are my tips for becoming a seasoned glamper!
Our four meter Bell Tent slept the two of us and the dog comfortably. We used under the bed to store all our crap out of the way. One thing I hate about camping is all your stuff everywhere. Having the under bed storage keeps the Bell Tent clear and clutter free, making more space for rugs, sheepskins and textiles to make our trip more homely.
You should consider when buying your Bell Tent the size and the style of tent you want. We brought ours from Bell Tent UK and there is plenty of information on their site to help you choose. Ours is the 4m Deluxe Bell Tent.
Here are my reasons for going for a Bell Tent over any other;
They are much quicker and easier to put up than any other traditional tent and they avoid the arguments and threats of divorce and murder.
You can buy them in different sizes from 3m-8m. I know I sound like your Dad now, but stick with me; It has to be 100% dry before you pack it away or it will rot.
Our Bell Tent offered the thickest ground sheet. This is important for keeping the stuff inside the tent nice and dry. Ours has an integrated ground sheet which was important to us. Having a dog, we didn’t want Toby escaping in the night as he has a tendency to get up and walk around and the slugs to not get in!
Once your Bell Tent is up, you'll notice how nice and quiet it is compared to any traditional nylon tents - no rustling or flapping noises which is actually quite calming and feels different.
As Outwell tent users for 8 years, we were sceptical about how dry you'd stay in a bell tent and how difficult they'd be to put up but our worries were unfounded on both counts. If you like the sound of bell tents, then you're ready for stage 2
Designing the interior of your Bell Tent with rugs
Que the husband eye-roll! Rugs in a nylon tent would be ridiculous because they'd get damp from the condensation. However, because of the way that modern canvas bell tents are waterproofed, you don't get condensation- BOOM. You might still think rugs are ridiculous in a tent but read on and allow me to convince you!
Adding rugs makes your tent instantly look more glamorous and cosy. I brought mine from H&M home and The Range of all places. I was super happy with the result and will add to the rug collection. They all roll up tightly inside each other for packing and take up hardly any space.
You can buy natural coir round rugs which look beautiful. I did, but unfortunately I made a massive error thinking it would be light weight and easy to transport. When it came it was bigger than the rug in our lounge and weighed 45kg. It had to go back before Rob divorced me. Consider this when you purchase as it can be a costly mistake. I would only go for a coir round rug if I was setting up a Glamping business and had the tents up for the whole of the summer.
Anyway, LOOK HOW COSY IT LOOKS! Rugs are a must for me, especially when you are in soggy Devon/Cornwall/Wales for a week.
Adding the magic- yes fairy lights are a must!
I love fairy lights, I have them dotted around the house all year round and they have the added bonus of helping you find your tent in a dark field!
I am going to make a bold statement by saying that there is absolutely NO ROOM AT ALL for anything other than warm white lights, on still. The tackiness of blue, flashing coloured lights make me sick to my stomach. Please will everyone stop buying them! This is the law when it comes to Glamping.
I am a huge fan of bunting. I have some handmade bunting which my Mom made for me out of my old clothes as a child. A mix of vintage Laura Ashley, M&S, and Liberty print dresses- you can’t go wrong. I also brought some from Amazon which is great for outdoors as it doesn’t discolour in the wet weather and dry’s super-fast!
I touched on this briefly above but you MUST have good storage when you camp. I have a mix of old vintage suitcases which I have picked up over the years from charity shops and have cost me no more than £5 each. I use one to store the kitchen ware and camping gas cooker and another for food storage.
I also have a couple of plastic storage boxes which I have had for years and these ensure our clothes are stored flat and dry- no creases.
Also baskets are a great addition and are light weight- another great addition to your storage solutions when camping!
As William Morris says, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” to me this same rule applies to camping. Storage can be both useful and beautiful in your bell tent.
There's one last thing you'll need for glamping and that's a big hatchback vehicle as a minimum. The only drawback of bell tents is that they do weigh more and take up a bit more room in the car than standard tents.
So - do give it a try and let me know what you think? I guarantee you'll never go back to normal camping because it's not like normal camping. You feel like you're living in your own cool little canvas cottage. All they have to do now is to overcome the other camping dread - communal toilets - and invent bell tents with bathrooms and there really will be no looking back.
Let me know what you think of this post and I will be posting more about the best UK glamping spots and anything else you might think is useful to know? Contact me here or over on Instagram.