With summer approaching, we thought it is a good idea to collect some good campsite ideas. What can be better than gathering with friends and family and going away for that dream vacation?
We have asked some experienced camping enthusiasts, who shared with us which are the best campsites in their opinion:
My favourite campsite is Eweleaze Farm, near Weymouth. The site opens for four weeks in August, so you only have a short period in which to go and enjoy it, but it’s such a perfect site that it’s worth leaving space in your diary for! It’s a very family friendly site, with play areas (including barns full of hay bales for climbing and jumping all over – what fun!), lots of tame animals (pigs, goats, alpacas and cows to name a few) and even guinea pig and piglet handling! I had to borrow a friend’s child when we went to make me feel a bit less weird for going along to the piglet handling (unfortunately she was scared of them so I was just left alone stroking a tiny pig – it was great). On top of the attraction of all of the animals, there is also a Turkish Bath House located in the woodland area, and even an onsite massage and spa, as well as a wood-fired sauna. If eating yummy food is more your thing, then there is a farm-shop, bakery, patisserie, ice cream shop and even a pizza van onsite! We spent a lovely evening in a big marquee strung with fairy lights eating wood-fired pizza – does it get better than that? There are also stunning views and breathtaking walks right out of the campsite. When I went, we stayed in a bell-tent, but there is a huge campingfield, plenty of space and you can usually choose where you want to camp. What’s not to like?
I’ve been in a right dithery tizz trying to narrow down a favourite campsite for this piece, but in the end, I’ve decided to go back to one of my first loves, Cornwall. (Don’t get me started on my other loves of Yorkshire, tiny Scottish birdwatching islands, the Welsh coast, boating around the Broads…) I’ve – finally – landed on Little Upton Boutique Belltents in Cornwall’s Liskeard as my top pick, as it ticks many a box (and more) on my perfect camping/glamping holiday list.
Let me count the ways. Little Upton has bell tents for a start: I cut my teeth on canvas and tent camping, but there is oh so much to be said for a comfy berth where accommodation is already set up. The luxury tents here come with little extras like fairy lights and wood burning stoves – another box or two ticked – and have their own balconies for fab Cornish views, outdoor dining and lounging about under the stars.
Another holiday item I dither on is picking north or south for the Cornish coast. Little Upton is niftily set between both to make it easy to get to the wild waves, Newquay and Tintagel of north Cornwall or the warmer waters, Falmouth and Lizard Peninsula of the south and south-west.
And there are alpacas here. And showers in a converted piggery, and an open-air amphitheatre a very short trot away, and a hamlet selling world champion cheese within five minutes’ stroll… and the whole shebang is set on the edge of Bodmin Moor and a short drive from the Cornish coast. Sailing and other watery sports are nearby at Siblyback Lakes and the cycling of the Camel Trail within an easy half hour drive.
And – another essential camping checklist item – campfires are allowed at Little Upton. Even better, free-range eggs, sausages and the like are often on sale on site to sizzle up.
In mid-Wales, near the town of Builth Wales, lies a secluded campsite called FForest Fields. We have visited here for a good few years at different times of the year and we always come home wishing we could stay longer.
The site spans ten acres, so there is no shortage of space to pitch. We love the landscaping with small streams, bridges and trees creating privacy. Larger groups tend to use the overflow field. The facilities here are first class, showers, dedicated family bathrooms, laundry and drying room to name a few and always immaculately kept. You are always made to feel very welcome a lovely relaxed family atmosphere, no list of long rules; just pitch your tent and enjoy what FForest fields has to offer. The site is always alive with children playing outside splashing in the streams, riding their bikes around the campsite – camping as it should be.
Whenever we have stayed at FForest Fields, we have never needed to leave the site. The campsite has its own boating lake along with canoes and paddles you can hire for a deposit; there are some lovely walks and mountain trails too. This is a fantastic family campsite, excellent facilities, campfires and canoeing what more could you
When I think of the dream camping experience, I immediately think of being pitched up beside the Dune du Pilat in the south of France with my better half. We went in early September 2014 when the French holidays had passed which meant we could book a spot a week before. It is massively popular as it is a stunning location right beside one of the world’s biggest sand dunes. And like most French camping sites, it has excellent facilities, shops, boulangerie (for fresh croissants in the morning) and tennis courts which we made use of. We managed to blag a quiet spot with a view across the sea and watched the most magical sunset with a cold french lager and some bbq’d seafood from the local market. Life can’t get much better than that, can it?
As for being in the UK, our climate can be less than cooperative sometimes, so getting the right gear together can be crucial. In the words of Alfred Wainwright, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.’ Here at The Farm Camp, we aim to make the experience an adventure but where life is made simple and very comfortable. All you need to bring is what you would take to a holiday cottage and the rest, we provide. So you can enjoy the great outdoors whatever the weather, which is what camping is all about.
The beach laden and surf drenched seaside town of Bude recently won Best UK Coastal Resort 2015, and it’s easy to see why. With its family run alternative shops, incredible scenery and thriving food festival, Bude manages to be traditional and current at the same time.
On the outskirts of Bude is a small eco campsite called Cerenety. Just a short stroll away from the shops, pubs and beaches of Bude, Cerenety is camping with character. Family run, with the enthusiastic help of volunteers of every nationality, this is the friendliest of campsites. Yes, it’s back to basics with its solar showers, compost toilets and slightly wild hedgerows, but this is community camping and it’s great!
Around each corner is something different, a colourful mural, an up-cycled treat, an example of sustainability or an eco experiment. Their wildlife pond doubles up as a water filtration system, which in turn feeds their new permaculture forest garden. Campers can pick from the organic vegetable patch and discover the home-made greenhouse, constructed from a patchwork of old windows. Then cook your bounty in their hand-crafted clay pizza oven overlooking the fields of Bude. All this is usually explored whilst being followed by a couple of chattering ducks, clucking bantams and a very friendly farm cat.
Here the days are filled with lazy ball games, breakfast pancakes and on-site farm animals, while the nights see campfires flickering, casual guitar playing and a good chat with your neighbours. This is old fashioned camping, with renewable technology.
One of the best campsites I’d like to visit is Hooks House Farm, near Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby. It’s a place I’ve read great things about. I used to live and work in North Yorkshire so I am familiar with the area and it is beautiful. Life has a slower pace up there so it would be a good option to enable my wife and I too relax while giving our kids the chance to run around. The nearby North Yorkshire Moors are stunning; especially in the summer and Dalby Forest is a great place to visit if you have children. Whitby itself is famous for inspiring the story of Dracula. It’s also a very picturesque town and surprisingly bohemian. As a family, we went camping for the first time last year and we all had a great time. My two daughters, who are aged seven and three, are very keen to go camping again so I’m hoping I’ll get my way this summer and travel up there for a couple of nights under canvass.
Cae Du Farm is a small coastal campsite new Tywyn in Wales, and it’s got a truly special wild-camping feel to it. The campsite is set on top of a small cliff, and provides direct access down to the stunning beach.
We love the fact that campfires are actively encouraged there, and the campsite owner visits the site each evening, delivering firewood straight to your pitch.
We can’t get enough of it for its laid back feel and its stunning location; the views are truly captivating. Set on a curving sweep towards to the north of Cardigan Bay, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, regularly seen cavorting close to shore.
The campsite is pretty secluded, though should you want to leave (and we rarely do), you’ll find great things to do not too far away, including visiting the bustling seaside town of Barmouth or going back in time at Harlech Castle.
For a back to nature camping experience, Cae Du Farm Campsite is hard to beat, and the only issue you’ll have, is that you won’t want to come home!
There’s an almost continental feel to this tiny, one-acre campsite in North West Devon. Straw bales scatter the fields, tractors hum on the road and surrounding slopes are striped with the corrugated lines of a vineyard, where ripening grapes await the busy harvest. Combine it all with the sandy beaches 40 minute’s drive away and you could well believe you’re in the west of France!
It’s a good old British tearoom in the local village, though, rather than a dainty French patisserie and the local thatched-top pub is as English as they come. It’s quirky old charm sums up the atmosphere of the area – a quaint, rural backwater full of friendly faces.
Ten Acres Vineyard itself has just 15 camping pitches, with only tents and small campervans allowed. It’s a popular spot for families. Eco-friendly facilities, campfires at every pitch and the small, shed-like wine shop give a homely and rustic feel, while signposts help guide campers on a walk among the vines, popping into the aromatic winery afterwards to watch grapes being pressed.
Camping here isn’t all about the wine, of course. Children busy themselves in the adjacent meadow, set aside for ball games, and there are heaps of family-friendly cycling routes nearby, including the renowned Tarka Trail and Devon’s coast-to-coast Two Moors Way. Then there are the beaches of Bideford, Instow and Westward Ho! to visit, easily reached by car.
For that sunny vineyard escape without the continental air miles, Ten Acres Vineyard is England’s perfect spot.
Are you thinking of packing your bags and going camping already? Find the perfect tents: one man tents, two men tents and family tents and all the camping equipment you need for your perfect camping trip at decathlon.co.uk.