One of the best things about glamping is the opportunity to enjoy the moments of peace and tranquility encountered in the outdoors that you just wouldn't experience if you were at home or in a B&B.
We are always particularly stunned by the lilac-blue twilight that follows a stunning sunset. It never ceases to amaze us that this special time of the evening happens every single day, and yet we only truly notice its beauty when we are out in the open on a camping trip, quietly watching the day come to a close with a glass of wine. What bliss we miss when sitting on our sofa at home!
Here, we provide a round up of five of our favourite experiences of sunset in the UK. The photos here are all our own, taken during camping trips to these fantastic spots. So pack up one of our gorgeous self-hire glamping tents, and take yourself and your loved ones off for a few days of luxurious tranquility...paradise is on your doorstep.
1. Waterside Farm Campsite, Ullswater, Lake District
This is one of our favourite spots in the Lake District, and with good reason. The campsite itself is lovely, with great facilities and a fantastic location, just South of the pretty village of Pooley Bridge on the North Eastern corner of Ullswater.
The scenery around Ullswater is stunning, and a twilight drive around the lake with occasional stops at the little shingle beaches by the roadside will enable you to take in its full drama in the purple half-light.
But, if you're lucky enough, make sure you spare an evening after a sunny day to simply sit on the little beach just beyond the Northern side of the campsite. In this spot, you are facing West, and the sun sets just behind the lower hills across the lake. With a scattering of little white boats, and the occasional duck gliding gently through the twilight waters, this moment will fill you with a sense of absolute serenity before the sun sets, giving way to a sky full of stars. Retire to your cosy bell tent with candles, hot chocolate and a satisfied soul.
2. Lochinver & Elphin, North West Highlands, Scotland
The North West Highlands offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK; stunning beaches, epic mountains, and gorgeous little fishing villages. Elphin is a small village in a valley nestled in amongst some of the most spectacular mountains in the area, and the small coastal town of Lochinver is not far away, with great sea food and fantastic beaches.
In terms of mountains, Suilven offers a spectacular day with almost 4hrs walking to reach the base of the mountain, and another 4 hours out, but once you reach the base of the mountain, the climb up to the ridge is steep but quick, and upon reaching the top, you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view out to sea and across the highlands. For those looking for a more technical challenge, the ridge of Suilven is thrilling!
Another favourite in this region is the fantastic An Teallach which truly offers something for everyone - the scenery is incredible, the scrambling options range from grades 1 to 3 and all scrambling sections can be avoided by taking one of the small paths around the sides. Please be aware though, mountaineering requires skills and equipment and should never be tackled without sufficient knowledge and experience. If you don't have this but want to get out on the hills, consider hiring a guide.
After enjoying your epic mountain day it's worth remembering that the best part of it is yet to come, and in the North West Highlands, the sunset is something to savour. From Elphin, the sun can be seen setting just over a loch and behind Suilven. There are no campsites in Elphin, just a couple of B&Bs and a tea room, but Lochinver offers the fabulous Clachtoll Beach Campsite close to the fabulous beach of Achmelvich, and some fabulous spots to enjoy the sunset. The best time to visit is in May when the weather has started to warm up but the midges are not yet in full season. Take walking gear, a wetsuit, and a bell tent for maximum enjoyment in this, the biggest adventure playground in the UK!
3. Cayton Bay, Near Scarborough, East Yorkshire
Yorkshire offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and this one is our favourite. Tucked away between the tourist hot spots of Filey and Scarborough, Cayton Bay is a much quieter, more calm, and unspoilt little bay that is very popular with surfers. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and because it is less well known than other local beaches, it is very rarely packed, even on the hottest summer days.
There is a small car park at the top of the hill, not far off the main road between Scarborough and Filey, and a little surf hire shop. From there, it's a five minute walk down a steep footpath to the bay. And what a bay it is. Sandy, clean, unspoilt. The water is cold, freezing in fact - it is the North Sea, but as North Sea beaches go, this one is stunning. There is a delightful walk through the woods that can be done on the cliff tops, and later in the day, it is well worth sticking around for sunset. This beach is on the East Coast so the sun sets behind you, but as the sun goes down over the land, it casts beautiful hues of pink, lilac and yellow across the horizon making this one of our favourite places to be at dusk.
The nearest campsites in Cayton Bay are large and commercial caravan sites; fine if you like that kind of campsite, but if you prefer something a little more intimate and quirky, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better campsite locally than Humble Bee Farm. Humble Bee offer their own lovely glamping tents and pods, which are a great option if you don't want the hassle of setting up and taking down yourself.
4. Henry's Campsite, The Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall
We arrived here by mistake after making the fastest escape possible from a family campsite complete with club house, play park, caravans and swimming pool - not to our tastes at all. Desperate for something a bit more peaceful and characterful, we stumbled upon Henry's Campsite in a last minute online search by the side of the road, and what a find it was!
Henry's offers private pitches each surrounded by beautiful tropical plants. The site is a quiet, tranquil little community but has a very cute little bar and cafe, a shop and games room. The open-air pot wash area gives you that lovely feeling of communal living, and the shower and toilet facilities are clean and smart. The site is covered with quirky little signs and paintings reminiscent of boho boutique music festivals, chickens roam giving a wonderful sense of being on a farm, even though you are right in the middle of a village, and it is conveniently located a five minute drive away from one of the most delightful beaches in Cornwall - Kynance Cove, a gorgeous little spot well worth exploring if you are in the area, although beware of tides when swimming here.
The best thing about Henry's Campsite, though, is the sunset. Whilst it is sheltered and not a cliff-top spot, it is somehow perched in just the most perfect position to catch a panoramic sunset, rivalling any we have seen in the Mediterranean and Carribean! This site is best visited in September, when the weather is still gorgeous but the crowds have returned home to get the kids back to school.
5. Celtic Camping & Bunkhouse, Pwll Caerog Farm, Berea, St David’s, Pembrokeshire
This is a fabulous campsite composed of wide open fields perched high on the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire coast. Being West-facing, the evening views are simple, uninterrupted vistas of the sun setting over the sea. It's a wonderfully spacious campsite that is ideally placed for exploring the gorgeous Pembrokeshire coast and the popular towns of Tenby and St David's, both a drive away, As we discovered though, this site is best experienced in a bell tent.
We took our normal tent on this trip, alongside friends who had a bell tent. As this is a cliff-top site on the Atlantic coast, it has no shelter and can get quite windy at times. They were cosy and warm in their beautiful bell tent, whilst we didn't manage a wink of sleep as the wind rattled the sides of our flimsy blue tent, at one point lifting it half off the ground. This was when we decided to purchase our first bell tent, and we have never looked back! Cliff tops sites offer some of the most fantastic camping experiences and views in the UK, but we would always recommend when opting for a cliff top site that you do so in a bell tent or camper van, otherwise the experience can be somewhat tainted by the wind!