The Best Of British Camping Holidays

Posted on: 22 July 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

As we rediscover the great British summer holiday, nearly twice as many Britons are considering a camping or caravanning holiday this year compared to last year.

The cost of buying start-up camping equipment can be as little as £40 for a two-person tent, sleeping bag and ground sheet so camping holidays are a cheap credit-crunch travel solution.

At the other end of the spectrum there are luxury campsites that offer the full out of Africa safari camping experience.

The United Kingdom has so many beautiful campsites and a wealth of great family camping holiday experiences.

For the "staycation summer" these are our favourite camping holidays in the UK this summer and the best campsites in Britain.

Coastal Camping Holidays In Gower

Three Cliffs Bay campsite has fantastic views of the Gower coastline, and this has to be one of the most stunning locations for a campsite in the UK.

A public footpaths leads down to the golden sand beach at Three Cliffs Bay and clifftop walks stretch out in either direction.

There are other lovely beaches nearby, including Oxwich Bay and Tor Bay, and a 540-acre national nature reserve.

Open between Easter and October, a family-sized tent costs £18 and a two-person tent £15 per night.

Lake District Camping Holidays

Skye Farm campsite in Cumbria offers an unforgettable camping holiday in the idyllic Lake District.

On the edge of Buttermere village, the National Trust-owned Lake Buttermere is only a short walk away.

Walking and photography opportunities abound – this is some of the best walking country in Lakeland. A footpath runs around the shore of the lake and the summits of Haystacks and Red Pike also make lovely day walks.

Camping at this year-round open site costs only £5 per night for adults and £1.50 for children. Bookings are not accepted – it’s first come, first served.

Forest Camping Holidays In Scotland

On the shores of Loch Morlich in Scotland, the Glenmore campsite and caravan park is set against the backdrop of the Cairngorms and wildlife lovers will be delighted with the chance to see red squirrels and capercaillie dashing about. You may even see a golden eagle.

This 206-pitch campsite is surrounded by peaceful pinewoods and the cake at the café is excellent.

Glenmore is open all year round as it is convenient for skiing holidays in the Cairngorms.

A standard pitch costs from £11 to £18 per night depending on the season.

Cycling & Camping In Suffolk

Cliff House holiday park in Suffolk is spread across a 30-acre site and is adjacent to the beautiful National Trust beach at Dunwich Heath.

The grounds are part woodland and paths perfect for cycling run around the site.

Set on the clifftops between Southwold and Aldeburgh, campers can enjoy beautiful countryside and coastal walks, beachcombing and visiting seaside towns. The RSPB Minsmere Bird Reserve is also nearby.

There is also a cosy bar and restaurant and a games room for the kids if the weather is unkind. Pitch fees are from £16 to £26 per night depending on the season.

Fairytale Camping In Sussex

Tents pitched in woodland glades and sitting around the campfire of an evening; Blackberry Wood campsite in Streat, East Sussex, provides an authentic and peaceful camping experience.

Enjoy a country walk with a pub lunch and finish the day with a barbecue by your tent and roast some marshmallows over the campfire.

The enchantment of this campsite at the foot of the South Downs is preserved by limiting space to 20 pitches, many in their own private forest clearing. Tent pitches from £5 per night.

Safari Camp Holiday In The UK

Enjoy a safari camping holiday with your family – in Kent! The Port Lympne Wild Animal Park features the largest breeding herd of black rhinos outside Africa as well as Siberian and Indian tigers, African elephants, small cats, monkeys, Barbary lions and a family group of gorillas.

At Livingstone Lodge, inside the 600-acre park, you can have a safari experience and wake up in a luxury tent, under a feather duvet, to the sounds of the “African” bush.

This is the UK’s only overnight safari lodge and it costs £175 per adult and £95 per child (9-14 years-of-age sharing with a parent or guardian) per night.

Go Wild Camping In Britain

How to get away from it all while still sticking to even the tightest budget! Many campers love to get off the beaten track, shunning organised campsites.

Wild camping is legal in only a few places in England and Wales so it’s important to do a bit of research before you go, otherwise you may find landowners telling you to move on (in the middle of the night).

Devon’s Dartmoor is one place where wild camping is welcomed. See the Dartmoor national park website for more information on where you can camp.

Alternative Camping Holidays, Without The Camping

Strange but true - there are some people who just don’t like to camp. So for those looking for an idyllic countryside experience how about a farmstay?

Farm Stay UK’s 1,000-plus members offer independently rated, stylish and luxurious accommodation bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation in the UK, from beautiful period cottages to converted pigsties with luxurious spas.

Another affordable way to experience the stunning scenery of Cumbria and the Lake District without banging in a single tent peg is with Lakeland Camping Barns.

Stay in traditional farm buildings that have been cleverly converted into self-catering accommodation and experience the real Lake District from only £7 per person per night.

Sleeping areas are usually communal with mattresses on a raised sleeping platform (bring your own sleeping bag); there is always a flushing toilet, the living areas have tables and benches, and most Lakeland camping barns now have hot showers.

In some cases the farmer offers cooked Cumbrian breakfasts but guests can also take a trip down to the nearest good food pub to sample some quality local produce or cook a barbecue and dine al fresco under the stars.

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