History of Glamping & What it Means to Long Valley Yurts

Across four spectacular locations in the Lake District National Park, Long Valley Yurts provides luxury glamping holidays for families, friends, couples, and solo travellers alike. But what actually is glamping, and how do we fit into this exciting landscape?


What is Glamping?

The word ‘glamping’ is a combination of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’. It’s essentially a high-end version of camping; allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature, with all the luxuries usually found in a 5-star hotel. Your accommodation is already set up and waiting for you, with no tent assembly required! Glamping sites are often situated in rural areas with picturesque settings, allowing you to explore the local countryside without sacrificing on any home comforts.


The History of Glamping

The earliest recorded mention of glamping dates all the way back to the 16th Century, when the Scottish Duke of Atholl created the first ever glamping experience for King James V and his mother. The next key date in the glamping history timeline was in the early 1900s, when wealthy Europeans and Americans wanted a taste of luxury on their camping trips in Africa, and so stayed in African safari tents with antique furnishings and Persian rugs.

The term “glamping” only really appeared in the UK around 2005, with holidays really taking off in 2010. The phenomenon has now travelled around the world, and you can book a glamping break on pretty much any continent!


What is a Yurt?

Yurts are portable, circular felt-covered structures made of a lattice of flexible poles that are assembled like a tent. They are just over 2 metres high, with a slightly domed top. From the outside they may look small, but yurts can accommodate large parties of 5-15 people. These sturdy shelters are extremely thermally efficient and work well in extreme weather conditions. They are traditionally heated via a wood burning stove that sits in the middle of the yurt, with a long chimney rising past the roof.


The History of Yurts

Yurts date back a whopping 3000 years. They were traditionally used by nomadic tribes in Central and East Asia, East Siberia and were designed to be easily dismantled so a community could move from place to place. People who used yurts are mainly Mongolian, Hun, Kazakh, Hungarian, Nenets, turkish and other nomads. Interestingly, there are still plenty nomadic tribes living in yurts, roaming the steppes of Asia and Siberia today!  The first written mention of a yurt was recorded by Greek historian Herodotus in 5th Century BCE. William Copperthwaite introduced yurts in the USA during the 1960s, with Pacific Yurts being established in 1978. They are one of the oldest shelters that are still used today, with many Mongolian people still living in yurts to this day.


How Long Valley Yurts Fits into the Glamping Landscape

Inspired by our passion for outdoor living, Long Valley Yurts was set up in 2008 to change the way people camp here in the UK. We started with just two 18ft yurts at a lovely campsite in the spectacular Great Langdale Valley, nestled within the heart of the Lake District National Park. Our first location was the inspiration behind our initial name, Langdale Valley Yurts as Langdale is an old norse word from Cumbria which means long valley.

So, armed with two 18ft yurts, a name and not much else, we embarked upon our journey of discovery … and what a fantastic journey it has been so far! Fast forward fourteen years – we have now expanded massively and are pleased to offer yurt holidays at four unique locations in the Lake District. Some of our sites even have luxury Scandinavian wood fired hot tubs, with many more exciting additions planned for the future.

To this day, we remain passionate about the outdoors and continue to camp and revel in all its glorious forms. Camping helps to bring people closer, build long-lasting memories and encourage people to appreciate the simple things in life.


We are filling up fast for the summer season, with only a handful of breaks remaining. Book your glamping stay with a breath of fresh air today!