If you love the idea of being eco-friendly and close to nature, but not the thought of struggling with tent-poles and tent-pegs, then one of Cumbria’s Quirky Camping Alternatives could be just the ticket.  Picture yourself awakening in magnificent countryside,  add in a few pampers such as a proper bed and a wood-burning stove; maybe an organic breakfast or a fire circle to star gaze from in the evening and it's easy to see why tipis, yurts, camping pods and shepherds huts are becoming as sought after as 5* hotels.

Camping Pods

There is certainly something rather mystical and captivating about a Mongolian Yurt nestled in one of Cumbria’s idyllic locations. You’ll find them amongst fields of bluebells, in natural woodlands and even by a babbling brook. A great base from which to explore the Lake District’s many attractions.

Yurt interior

It's not all back to basic either.  If you are looking for a little glamour camping, then Glamping won’t disappoint. Romantic lighting and good quality bedding, coupled with Moroccan rugs and a wood burning stove are perfect if you fancy a little pampering and make a superb Honeymoon or Anniversary retreat.

Possibly the most basic of all the quirky camping alternatives are eco-wooden huts, known as Camping Pods and Wooden Wigwams, they have become hugely popular in Cumbria. You literally just turn up with everything you need for camping minus the tent. Static Bell Tents kitted out with sofas and wood-burners are another great way to have the best of both worlds – the freedom of canvas and the luxury of a few home comforts.


Traditional Tipis may not be native to Cumbria, but they are a fantastic way to fire the imagination of any child and add a quirky twist to a holiday with family or friends.

Many traditional Cumbrian farm barns have been given a new lease of life with their conversion into Camping Barns, offering a dry but basic, alternative to backpacking.

Shepherd's Hut

One of the most recent camping alternatives in Cumbria offers an interesting mix of romance and back to nature. Traditional Shepherd’s Huts are being refurbished with good quality beds and proper bedding and fitted with mini wood-burners to make them snug. Yet, their rural locations make them perfect for sitting outdoors on to enjoy the stars.

Quirky camping alternatives are a fantastic way to combine minimal impact tourism, whilst lapping up a little camping luxury and enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Cumbria.

Elspeth Wrigley

Elspeth Wrigley writes for Discover Cumbria – an online travel guide, packed full of personal recommendations.