Pop-Up Glampsites Explained - Lotus Belle UK

Traditional domestic tourism in the UK is predicted to lose around £24bn thanks to the pandemic by the end of this year, so it’s no wonder that farms, country hotels and estates are making the most of their lands to run pop up glampsites. They are potential lifelines for businesses, and as the UK embraces the concept of the glamping staycation, it’s a bandwagon you may want to hitch your cart to.

What is a pop-up glampsite?

A pop up glampsite is the temporary use of land for 56 days or less. It was formerly 28 days in England, and remains 28 days in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - but authorities have said the limits will not ‘be enforced’, so please check ahead of launch! There are also some instances where you need a permit for use of the land over 42 days, so make sure you’re informed.

There is no requirement for the days to run consecutively, allowing land owners to have their pick of use during their busiest periods, though the land must be returned to its original state between dates of use (so those snazzy shower blogs you’re designing will need to be put somewhere!).

Conversations have started around this idea of extending the 56 days to a longer period, but whether that gets taken up remains to be seen.

According to Dan Yates the founder of pitch.com, new pop-up sites that were listed on the site earned around £12k in 2020 after launching for less than the 56 days, and he expects the amount of pop-ups registered with pitch.com to have increased to around 500!

56 days operation may sound like the pressure is on to get a decent return on investment - but when you buy a 5m Lotus Belle, charging £110 per night will mean you only need to rent it out for 16.2 days to get back your investment! Yes, you read that right, and we’re pretty sure most sites charge comfortably more than that.

Are there rules for running a pop-up glampsite?

If you’re putting together your plan for a pop-up on your land, firstly- congratulations! Secondly, it’s worthwhile checking if there’s guidance from the authorities in the area. The Lake District National Park held a zoom to communicate guidelines and is expected to make them available online soon.

As there are no official rules for running a pop-up glampsite, a few bad apples have hit the news for the wrong reasons, so we encourage you to be sensitive to your surroundings. As well as ensuring your site follows Covid guidelines, check the eco-credentials of any companies you’re hiring cooking, toilet or shower facilities from.

If you’re allowing touring caravans or motorhomes on your pop-up glampsite, as well as ensuring they’re parked a sufficient distance from your Lotus Belle Tents you should have a secure emptying point for chemical waste. (Please also check your access roads can accommodate the vehicles that stay with you!)

Providing safe drinking water, a wastewater point and covered bins for dry waste is the absolute minimum, so make sure that’s high in your planning to ensure a clean and comfortable site.

When is glamping allowed again in the UK?

English accommodation may be opening from 12th April, but no earlier, and provided there are self-contained facilities - subject to the science and what’s happening with the pandemic of course.

Sites with shared facilities are looking at no earlier than 17th May, with a limit on group numbers (no more than 6 people or 2 households.) More information can be found on the gov website here.

How do I take care of my Lotus Belle Tent once I’ve ended my pop up glamping season?

Our tents are high quality canvas, so you should ensure they are completely dry before packing down. You can spot clean our tents, and for a more in depth clean we strongly recommend contacting The Canvas Cleaning Company, who provide such a good service it’s now the only place we’ll send our Lotus Belle Tents to!

Written by Hari Seddon

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