Before you book, check individual campsite Covid refund and rescheduling policiesWALESThree Cliffs Bay, Penmaen, GowerThe dramatic clifftop locatio
Before you book, check individual campsite Covid refund and rescheduling policies
Three Cliffs Bay, Penmaen, Gower
The dramatic clifftop location is a huge selling point for this family-run campsite on the south side of the Gower peninsula. It is right on the Wales Coast Path, and a short stroll from the spectacular Three Cliffs Bay. Guests can choose between sea-view or (cheaper) countryside-view pitches, for tents, caravans or campervans. There are also sea-view bell tents and inland yurts (both sleeping five). The shower block is particularly impressive, with power showers, LED lighting and underfloor heating … Even the dog-washing points have warm water. The shop is also well stocked, with local bread, meat, beer and wine; and guests can order hampers, and rent picnic tables and firepits. The campsite was started in 1948 on North Hill Farm, which dates back five generations, and is still run by the Beynon family.
• Camping £29.50 a night for a family of up to 5, glamping £454 for three nights, threecliffsbay.com
Top of the Woods, Pembrokeshire
“Eco luxury” is the vibe at this site on a 27-acre farm. Campers can pitch their tents in the four-acre wildflower meadow, while glampers can choose from safari lodges, nature domes or pioneer camps; there is also one pitch for a campervan. The farm courtyard is the social hub, with a huge Dutch barn, campfire and wet-room showers. Breakfast is served in the barn at weekends, as is a stew supper on Fridays and barbecues on Saturdays. There are pop-up food stalls during the summer holidays and a fishmonger comes every Wednesday. Campers can help feed the site’s three kunekune pigs, walk to the secret waterfall in the woods for a swim, and take yoga classes in the barn. The owners also run glamping activity weekend breaks several times a year, from “wild gin” foraging to canoe treks and paddleboarding safaris.
• Camping £16/£8 a night adult/child, campervans £20/10, dogs free, five-metre bell tents for hire at £30 a night, glamping from £100 a night for 4, topofthewoods.co.uk
Candleston Campsite, near Bridgend
Candleston is a woodland site on the edge of the Merthyr Mawr Warren national nature reserve, which is home to the highest sand dune in Wales. The 15-acre site has 10 bell tents, plus two camp kitchens with wood-fired pizza ovens, a barn housing the showers, toilets and a dining area, and a central firepit. There are regular acoustic music sessions, film nights, pop-up food evenings and a bar serving Welsh ales and ciders. Prices include a simple breakfast (homemade granola, local eggs). The woodland has lots of walking trails and is bordered by the River Ogwr, which flows through the dunes to the sea – about a 20-minute walk. The nature reserve is a habitat for rare butterflies, reptiles and orchids.
• From £100 a night for up to 4 (three-night minimum), woodsanddunes.co.uk
Treberfedd Farm, Ceredigion
Over the past 11 years, the owners of Treberfedd Farm have switched to organic farming, a process that has included planting more than 15,000 trees, restoring wildflower meadows and managing hedgerows and field margins to provide habitats for wildlife. They have also branched out into holiday accommodation. There are now eight camping pitches in a raised paddock with great views over the green and gentle Aeron valley. Elsewhere on the farm are four holiday cottages, an Edwardian horse-drawn caravan and two octagonal eco-cabins, one with a wood-fired hot tub. There is a farm trail to follow, a pizza and pingpong shed, playground and a games barn. Guests can buy the farm’s own beef and lamb at reception. It is a 20-minute drive to the beaches of Cardigan Bay.
• Pitches from £35 a night for up to 4 in summer, wooden caravan £75 a night for 2, cabins for 2 adults and 2 children from £900 a week in July, treberfedd.co.uk
Sands Caravan and Camping Park, near Gairloch, Wester Ross
Right on a sandy beach three miles from the crofting village of Gairloch, this site has wide-open views of the sea and the Isle of Skye. Choose from gentle walks exploring the coast and archaeological trail, or exhilarating hikes in the Torridon mountains (about an hour’s drive away). Bikes can be hired, as well as kayaks – with dolphins, porpoises and seals among wildlife to look out for – and there’s fishing in the estate’s loch and river. Well-kept facilities include a shop, indoor cooking and eating areas and a games/TV room.
• £22 for tent, car and 2 adults, child £3, sandscaravanandcamping.co.uk
Greenhillock Glamping, near Dundee
A five-acre car-free site with just 25 pitches and a few bell tents, Greenhillock is a family favourite, with plenty of space (though there is an adults-only area too). There are nature trails among wild grasses, woodlands, a pond (great for insect inspecting – with basic scientific equipment available), a den building space and an “art shack”. Campfires are allowed and it’s all very eco-friendly, with compost toilets and solar showers. Just outside the village of Kirkbuddo, it makes a good base for exploring this pretty corner of eastern Scotland, with great walking and cycling on the doorstep, and the Cairngorms national park less than an hour away. The city of Dundee and the medieval port town of Arbroath – a must for fresh seafood – are a short drive south.
• Camping £24 a night for 2 adults, additional adult/child £8/£6, bell tents £70 a night for 2 (two-night minimum), greenglamping.co.uk
Drymen Camping, Stirlingshire
This back-to-basics campsite is the first overnight stop for walkers tackling the 96-mile West Highland Way from Milngavie (just outside Glasgow) to Fort William. The tree-dotted field has 30 tent pitches, four glamping pods and space for a few campervans, plus hot showers and proper toilets. The site is also on National Cycle Route 7, near the Rob Roy Way and the John Muir Way, and within Loch Lomond & the Trossachs national park. The small town of Drymen is about a mile away, and has a couple of pubs and hotel restaurants.
• Grass pitch from £18 for 2, extra adult/child £9/£7; “kocoon” pods from £20 for two, coolcamping.com
Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site, Dumfries and Galloway
The only campsite within the 300-square-mile Galloway forest park, Glentrool makes a quiet, picturesque base for exploring south-west Scotland. Campers might enjoy hikes around lochs or in the Galloway Hills, ride mountain bikes on the 7Stanes trails or go birdwatching in nearby Cree nature reserve by day and spend the nights stargazing (Galloway was the UK’s first dark sky park). There’s plenty of space for tents and caravans, a pond, a campfire spot, Shetland ponies and a small shop. The site is close to the Southern Upland Way too, for those walking the coast-to-coast route.
• Tent pitch £7 plus £4pp (over-6s), vehicle £2, pet £2, glentroolcampingandcaravansite.co.uk
Crom Campsite, near Newtownbutler, Co. Fermanagh
Crom is one of two National Trust campsites in Northern Ireland (the other is Castle Ward in County Down). The 2,000-acre Crom estate is a nature reserve on the shores of the Upper Loch Erne, with islands, ancient woodlands (including a conjoined pair of yew trees) and a ruined castle. It is home to rare species such as pine martens, red squirrels and otters. The campsite has 19 tent pitches and five glamping pods, plus a tearoom, a small shop and a communal campfire. The small village of Newtownbutler is three miles away and the nearest town is Enniskillen, 18 miles away.
• Pitches from £14 a night for one then £8/£4 each an additional adult/child, pods sleep 2 adults and 3 children, £65 a night, dogs £1.50, nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays
Swanns Bridge Glamping, County Derry
For a back-to-nature stay with creature comforts, Swanns Bridge is a good choice. At the foot of Binevenagh mountain, on the banks of the River Roe, it’s surrounded by impressive scenery – and 10 minutes from seven-mile-long Benone beach, a Game of Thrones location. There’s a choice of furnished yurts, bell tents and cabins – which come with real beds, towels and linen, so guests can travel light – plus limited space for caravans and motorhomes. Facilities are smart and clean and logs are provided for barbecues and fire pits. The team can arrange kayaking, surfing and other water sports on the river or sea.
• Cabins sleep 2 from £75 a night, yurts sleep 2 from £90, bell tents sleep 4 from £95 (minimum two nights at weekends), swannsbridge.com
Tintagel Duck Farm, Cornwall
The couple who own this rare-breed duck farm just outside Tintagel have set aside their top field for campers this August. That means a simple stay with spacious pitches, sea views – and visits from their attractive silver appleyard ducks. Those who can bear to eat these feathered friends can buy duck burgers, wraps, pizzas and noodles from the on-site Duck Truck. Tintagel, said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, now has a dramatic new footbridge, and on the beach below, at low tide, Merlin’s cave can be explored. The campsite makes an affordable base for exploring the north Cornwall coast, with Port Isaac and Bude less than half an hour’s drive, and Padstow 45 minutes away. As well as tackling the South West Coast Path, walkers can explore nearby Bodmin Moor.
• £20 a night for 2, open August only, pitchup.com
The Wave, Bristol
Bristol’s inland surfing spot, The Wave, had planned to open its new glamping option last year – but is now taking bookings from May (and may open earlier, if restrictions allow). The 75-acre site, on the outskirts of the city, will have 25 safari tents, each sleeping eight. At its heart lies the surfing lake, with equipment hire and lessons available for all levels, and there’s a clubhouse with cafe, restaurant, plenty of outdoor seating and wildflower meadows.
• Tents for up to 8 cost £200 in summer and £150 in May/June (two-night minimum stay in week, three at weekends). The website will be live for bookings from 16 February, stay.thewave.com
Eweleaze Farm, near Weymouth, Dorset
The extremely popular Eweleaze Farm campsite in Osmington and its nearby sister farms Shortlake and Northdown are all opening for eight weeks this summer instead of the usual four (5 July-30 August). There is still some availability but it’s booking fast. A favourite with families, the sites are close to the farm’s private beach and have well-stocked farm shops, as well as on-site activities such as yoga and meditation, and animal grooming. The beach is also good for fossil hunters. Right on the South West Coast path, it’s the perfect spot for walkers too. Furnished bell tents for four are available at all three sites (for the first time this year at Shortlake and Northside), though they are rather pricey.
• £10 a night adult, £5 child (double that on Fri and Sat night), dogs £3, cars £15 per stay, eweleaze.co.uk
Hideaway Camping, near Okehampton, Devon
Children will love this magical site spread over 24 diverse acres: there are tree swings and a fairy glade in the woods; a stream and a pond with a nature trail; a hammock garden and picnic area; and resident pigs. Nine camping pitches are spaced across a four-acre field, each with its own fire pit, plus there is a communal firepit at “Hideaway Henge”. A communal space has showers, toilets, a kitchen and a kids’ corner with books and games. Glamping options include a Gypsy caravan, a shepherd’s hut, an Airstream and two igloos. There is also a therapy room for massages and other treatments. The private track to the campsite meets a bridleway for walks through north-west Devon’s rural “Ruby Country”, and guests can also cycle to Meldon reservoir, a local beauty spot. The market town of Okehampton is a 15-minute drive away.
• Camping £10 a night plus £4/£2 per adult/child, under-5s free, glamping pods sleeping 5 from £80 a night, hostunusual.com
Cornish Tipi Holidays, near Port Isaac
Set in 20 acres of woodland with a spring-fed lake, Cornish Tipi Holidays offers an off-grid back-to-nature getaway a 10-minute drive from Port Isaac. Campers can sleep in a tipi or bring their own tent or campervan – to pitch either in communal meadows or a secluded private spot. Paths wind through forests and wildflower fields to the lake in the old Tregildrans quarry – perfect for lazy days swimming, fishing and boating, or just watching swallows and dragonflies skimming the water. There’s a cafe, campfires are allowed, and there’s plenty of adventure on the doorstep, including some of the county’s best surfing beaches and coastal walks.
• Tipis come in two sizes (sleeping 3 or 6) from £345 for three nights (for tipis sleeping 3) in the Village Field, camping from £20/£10 a night for adult/child, cornishtipiholidays.co.uk
East and south-east
Camp Elwood, Holkham, Norfolk
A pop-up coastal campsite with a retro Americana theme is opening in the grounds of Holkham Hall this summer. Camp Elwood has pitches for tents, campervans and motorhomes, plus standard and deluxe bell tents. Entertainment includes campfire singalongs, free workshops in skills such as tie-dying and macramé, mixology masterclasses and activities including rowing, softball and cycling. Elwood’s Dining Hall seated restaurant serves Tex-Mex food and margaritas to eat in or take away, with vinyl happy hours, bingo and gigs by the house band. Holkham Hall is within the Holkham national nature reserve, with estate grounds, pine woods and Holkham’s fantastic beach to explore.
• From £245 for 2 for 4 nights or £455 for 7 nights, open 26 July-9 August, campelwood.com
Chapelfield Camping, near Fordingbridge, New Forest
Chapelfield is an annual summer pop-up campsite in a field in Godshill, a small village in the New Forest where free-roaming ponies and donkeys are a common sight. There are portable toilets and hot showers, a mobile shop, firepits to rent, and visiting food stalls – last year’s included pizza, fish and chips and gourmet burgers. It is a short stroll to the Fighting Cocks pub in the village, a mile to the riverside town of Fordingbridge and a 30-minute drive to the beach at Southbourne. This peaceful site has a no-music policy and no noise is allowed after 11pm.
• Pitches £15/£20 a night weekdays/weekends, plus £5/£7 a night adult and £2/£5 child, open 30 July-30 August, chapelfieldcamping.co.uk
The Secret Campsite, near Lewes, East Sussex
There’s lots of space at this idyllic, peaceful spot outside the village of Barcombe, with 16 pitches screened from their neighbours by trees, grass and plants (and each has its own firepit). It’s all very eco-friendly, with no cars on site (wheelbarrows are provided for transporting gear) and solar-powered showers. Tim, the owner, has plans for it to become the UK’s first “edible campsite”, with berries, shrubs and edible flowers for campers to pick. There’s a takeaway cafe, a farm shop right next door, the South Downs are just three miles away and Lewes and Brighton are not too much further. For something more exciting than your average tent, there’s also the Gridshell, a cool pod built of ash wood and canvas in the orchard, with its own firepit (sleeps five, from £125 a night) and a tree tent suspended between three oak trees on the edge of ancient woodland (sleeps two adults and one child, £130).
• Camping £22/£11 a night for adult/child, thesecretcampsite.co.uk
Ling’s Meadow, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
This campsite on a family-run farm offers a real escape, with plentiful animals to spot (from deer and hedgehogs to alpacas that guests can take on a walk). With a maximum of 25 people on the site at one time, everything revolves around nature and the green ethos: waste water is recycled on the farm, there are compost toilets, wood-fired showers and a 10% discount for those arriving by public transport. Campers can pitch their own tent or stay in a bell tent, geodesic dome (complete with solar chandelier) or Living Van, with stained-glass windows. There’s a timber-framed camp kitchen, a pizza oven and local produce can be ordered. The site isn’t far from the market town of Diss and has easy access to wonderful walks and pretty villages.
• Camping £12/£6 a night for adult/child, under-3s free, 20% off stays of seven nights or longer, StarDome sleeps 5, from £255 for three nights, hostunusual.com
Nethergong Camping, near Canterbury, Kent
Camping at Nethergong, a family-run site 20 minutes from Canterbury, is in woodland or grassy fields, and there is also a choice of wagons, huts and bell tents. The owners planted 3,000 native trees 25 years ago and dug several lakes and ponds, creating a vibrant habitat for wildlife, from hundreds of frogs to dragonflies, swans, owls and nightingales. The lake is stocked with carp, which can be fished, and children can join in feeding them every morning. Produce is grown in polytunnels for a local veg box scheme – these are available to campers too. With a loyal following, the site gets very booked up, but there is still some (mainly weekday) availability for July and August. Campfires are permitted and there’s a cafe and small shop. Walking and cycling options include the Saxon Shore Way and the Crab and Winkle Way. The beaches of Broadstairs and Whitstable are a short drive away.
• Pitches £35 for 2 adults and 3 children, extra adult/child £7.50/£5, wagons for 2 adults plus child £95, shepherd’s huts for 2 adults plus 3 children £100 (all two nights minimum), nethergongcamping.co.uk
The Big Sky Hideaway, near Boston, Lincolnshire
In the countryside west of Boston, the Big Sky Hideaway is the latest idea from adventurer and founder of the “YesTribe” community, Dave Cornthwaite and his wife, Emma. A crowdfunding campaign helped launch the project, which offers 15 camping pitches (with seating and fire bowls), space for five campervans, and other unusual choices, from a converted school bus to a sleeping pod in the woods. They aim to plant 2,000 trees on the 14-acre site too (visitors can get involved with planting), with alpacas part of the plan (an adopt-an-alpaca option is available). Everything is designed to allow social distancing and will be open when restrictions allow.
• Camping from £21.20 a night for 2 (two-night minimum), Landpods from £150 for 2, School Bus sleeps 6, from £250 for two nights/£850 a week, extra people £20 a night, bigskyhideaway.com
Cuckoo Farm, near Stamford, Rutland
This laid-back campsite on a small organic farm next to the River Chart has space for around 50 pitches (20 with electric hook-ups) in a pretty meadow. It’s a secluded spot, with campfires permitted (cooking equipment available to hire), and an on-site farm shop stocked with fresh produce including organic meat. Local birdlife is prolific (proximity to Rutland nature reserve helps) and campers may even spot kingfishers over the river, which is shallow enough for kids to splash around in. Guests can book tours of the farm, collect eggs and learn about organic farming. Rutland Water, four miles away, offers cycling, sailing, canoeing and fishing, and the pretty village of Ketton, with a couple of good pubs, is a 20-minute walk away.
• Grass pitches from £20 a night for 2 (extra adult £10, child £5), coolcamping.com
Upper Booth, Edal, Peak District
The National Trust has just taken over Upper Booth Campsite, a lovely family-friendly hideaway at the western end of Edal in the Peak District national park. Right on the Pennine Way and close to Kinder Scout, it has impressive views and an endless choice of hiking for all levels – even if it’s just to the local pubs. The 40 pitches are spread across two fields (one allows cars and campervans; the other is car-free). The shower and toilet facilities are being refurbished before the site opens (bookings are being taken from 20 May).
• From £18 a pitch, for up to 4 adults and 1 child,
Walesby Forest, near Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Covering 250 acres, Walesby Forest is a non-profit outdoor adventure centre which usually hosts school and scout groups – but this year is offering public camping in woodland surroundings. There are pitches of various sizes dotted around the site, with space for caravans and motorhomes and plenty of facilities, including a shop, a bar and a swimming pool. The huge choice of activities offered, from watersports (there’s a lake onsite) to climbing and archery (all operated following Covid rules), make it a great choice for families.
• Camping from £10 a night adult, £8 child (plus VAT), under-4s free, walesbyforest.org.uk
Howgills Hideaway, Sedbergh, Yorkshire Dales
This little glampsite is on an upland livestock farm at the foot of the Howgill Fells between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District – and makes a good base for exploring both. There are four pods and a bell tent (each sleeping four) and two static caravans (sleeping six). All have cooking facilities – the bell tent has a separate camp kitchen – and outdoor dining areas with barbecues. One of the pods has an en suite shower room and an outdoor bath. It is five miles from the “book town” of Sedbergh for dinner at the Black Bull, which serves food sourced from within a 20-mile radius.
• Pods and bell tents from £63 a night in summer, howgillshideaway.co.uk
Waterside House, Ullswater, Lake District
This sheep farm on the northern shores of Ullswater, at the foot of Barton Fell, has been run by the same family for five generations – and these days it also includes a waterside campsite. It is a peaceful site (“absolute quiet” between 11pm and 8am) with pitches for tents – some right by the lake – plus tipis, bell tents and pods. Campers can hire rowing boats, kayaks and mountain bikes, and there is a wakesurfing and paddleboarding company based at the campsite. There are numerous walking routes from the site, including around Ullswater or up Barton Fell, and others easily reached by Ullswater Steamer. A mile-long lakeside footpath goes to the popular village of Pooley Bridge, which has several pubs and cafes.
• Camping £24 a night for 2, plus £6/£3 each extra adult/child, tipis/pods for 2 cost £85/£70 a night, watersidefarm-campsite.co.uk
Syke Farm, Buttermere, Lake District
This is a no-frills campsite for 50 tents in undulating fields, with some spots by the stream – first come, first served. There are no electric hook-ups, no activities, just toilets, showers (50p for five minutes of hot water) and a bothy for shelter in bad weather – with a plug socket for those who really must charge their phones. However, there are also two yurts about 200 metres away from the main campsite for those who don’t want to rough it. It is a two-minute walk into Buttermere village, which has a couple of pubs and cafes – Syke Farm Tearooms does a full English for a fiver for campers, and serves ice-cream made from milk from the farm’s Ayrshire cows. Two lakes, Buttermere and Crummock Water, are within a 10-minute walk.
• Camping £8 adult/£4 child/£4 car a night in summer, under-3s and dogs free, yurts sleep 4 from £299 for two nights to £560 a week, sykefarmcampsite.com
Howgill Lodge, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
Campers will always be able to pitch a level tent at this terraced campsite, which has four levels backed by drystone walls. Each pitch has its own picnic bench, for meals with a view over the Wharfe valley. A steep path leads to the summit of Simon’s Seat, which at 485 metres has even better views. It is a 10-minute walk to the River Wharfe, where there are lots of safe spots for swimming. The 80-mile Dales Way runs along the river; it takes an hour to reach the Red Lion pub at Burnsall. Bolton Abbey is about 90 minutes in the opposite direction, or a short drive away.
• Pitches for 2 from £23 a night, extra adult £10, extra child £5, coolcamping.com
Walkmill Campsite, Warkworth, Northumberland
Hidden away on a 10½-acre smallholding encircled by the River Coquet, Walkmill is a tranquil site with 10 pitches for tents and nine for caravans; basic facilities (toilets and shower/bath) also include a shared kitchen and lounge area. There are woodland walks on the doorstep, including a 30-minute walk to Warkworth Castle, which has a hermitage that can only be accessed by boat, and a wide, sandy beach beyond. From Warkworth, it is another half-hour to Amble, the nearest town, for boat trips to visit the puffins on Coquet Island. The campsite is within a mile of the Coast and Castles route from Newcastle to Edinburgh, so makes a good overnight stop for cyclists.
• Tent pitch £15 a night plus adult £9, teen £5 and child £3 walkmillcampsite.co.uk
Wolds Walk Glamping, East Heslerton, Yorkshire Wolds
Three glamping pods opened on this working farm near Malton last year. Two sleep four (in a double bed and a sofa bed) and one also has bunkbeds and sleeps six; all have shower rooms, kitchenettes and underfloor heating. The pods are on the brow of a hill with views over the North Yorks Moors – a good spot to see kestrels, buzzards, barns owls and tawny owls. Guests can buy supplies from the farmhouse, from duck eggs to barbecue hampers, and hire firepits. There is also a pub less than 10 minutes’ drive away. The Yorkshire Wolds Way, a 79-mile walking trail from Hessle to Filey, runs right past the site. Dalby Forest is 10 miles away and it is a half-hour drive to the seaside towns of Filey, Scarborough and Bridlington.
• From £160 a night for 2 in summer, plus £20/£10 each additional adult/child (two-night minimum, three nights at weekend), campsites.co.uk