Travelling abroad is pretty uncertain this year. As a result, lots of people are changing their summer holiday plans and are taking holidays in the Great British countryside instead. And we don’t blame them. There are miles of gorgeous coastlines, acres of national parks and countless camping spots in the UK.
We predict that camping will be even more popular this year. We’ve put together some of the best places to go camping in the UK so you can make your staycation a good one. From Cornwall’s coastlines to the serenity of the Peak District, there’s something for everyone.
*Disclaimer – restrictions are changing almost every week in the UK due to COVID-19. We recommend checking what activities and facilities are open at your desired campsite. This could save huge disappointment further down the line. It is also important that you abide by the rules in your own region and the region of your staycation. Local lockdowns may be happening in certain areas and each country has slightly different restrictions.
The Secret Campsite – East Sussex
Accessed via an old railway bridge, The Secret Campsite in East Sussex is isolated, making it feel that extra bit more special. There are only 15 pitches available for tents on The Secret Campsite, adding to its secluded feel. However, Brighton is only 13 miles away, so you’re not far at all from the hustle and bustle. The delightful village of Lewes is also walking distance from the campsite and has everything you need, including an outdoor lido for gorgeous Sussex summer days.
However, other than its beautiful location, one of the main attractions of The Secret Campsite is the Tree Tent. Perfect for the more glamourous campers, the Tree Tent is set between three oak trees and accessed via wooden stairs. It sleeps a family of three, and there is room below to pitch an additional tent.
Castle Archdale – County Fermanagh
Nothing screams scenery like Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. With vast amounts of water seen in every direction, the famous Lough Erne is a sight to behold. Nested in the midst of the county and on the shores of the lough, Castle Archdale is a great place to stay and experience the area.
If you’re lucky enough to own a boat, you’re able to moor it at the park so it’s never too far away. If not, Castle Archdale offers boat hire at competitive prices, as well as various water sports like canoeing and kayaking. It is also home to numerous walking and cycle trails and, most importantly, Ireland’s very first hydrobike – a must-do when visiting.
Fisherground Campsite – The Lake District
The Lake District is a big place, and Fisherground Campsite is located in the heart of it. The campsite is extremely well-equipped to keep the little ones happy. With a pond filled with tyre-rafts, zip wires and adventure courses, you might be tempted to leave the hiking shoes in the tent and stay there instead!
However, we do recommend venturing out too - you won’t be disappointed. Fisherground is located in Eskdale valley, a quieter part of the Lake District, making the remarkable surroundings that little bit more private and special. Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England and one of the best walks in the UK, is also in walking distance of the campsite if you’re up for the challenge.
Apple Camping – Pembrokeshire
This is most certainly one for those less fond of traditional camping, and those with an avid interest in UFOs, aeroplanes, and… PacMan. Apple Camping is one of the most alternative camping spots in the UK. Traditional glamping yurts make themselves at home alongside two disused aircrafts, UFO spaceships, and a huge PacMan themed dome, all equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Once you’ve finished playing the 80s video games that are available, drive a mere ten minutes and you’ll find the nearest beach. Kayaking is also available nearby as well as magnificent Blue Flag beaches and walks. Surrounded by the wonderful Pembrokeshire hills, Apple Camping is something different and suitable for all the family.
Dale Farm Rural Campsite – Peak District
Pair your camping trip with a farm visit in this beautifully secluded campsite in the heart of the Peak District. Set on a working farm, visitors will be surrounded by animals, antique tractors and only 29 neighbours in this small site. Campfires are allowed, so why not support the campsite further and buy some fresh burgers from the farm shop?
Smack bang in the centre of the action, Dale Farm is located just a 5-minute walk from the nearest village, with famous locations Eyam, Bakewell and Chatsworth House all just a few miles away too. This is most certainly a campsite in the heart of adventure, with walking, rambling, mountain biking and climbing being just a few examples of the attractions on offer nearby.
Brighouse Bay Holiday Park – Dumfries and Galloway
A brilliant destination for a staycation, Brighouse Bay Holiday Park is a pet-friendly site suitable for the whole family. Offering stunning sea views, the park has tonnes of on-site activities, like golf, a private beach, fishing ponds and pony trekking.
Whether you’re staying for a night or a week, your time at Brighouse Bay Holiday Park is sure to be busy and full of adventure. Cream O’Galloway ice cream factory is only 15 minutes away, whilst sixteenth century MacLellan’s Castle is also within reach for any culture vultures. If you are yet to experience the striking scenery that Scotland has to offer, this is the perfect way to do it.
Broad Meadow House – Cornwall
Cornwall – one of the UK’s top holiday destinations that is certainly going to be busy this year. One of the best ways to experience Cornwall’s gorgeous coastline is by camping, and Broad Meadow House doesn’t disappoint.
Space on the campsite is limited to only a dozen, so you almost have the place to yourself, and what a place it is. With views of the ocean below, relaxing outside your tent has never been so scenic. In fact, there is plenty of wildlife to spot, including basking sharks and grey seals. When you finally pull yourself away from the view, the Eden Project is only four miles from the campsite (we recommend walking), alongside many other places of interest.
Wild camping is all about adventure – something we love at the Army Cadet Force. It’s about avoiding traditional campsites and experiencing something unique. Scotland is a great place to go wild camping, as it has far more lenient rules and restrictions than the rest of the UK. You can wild camp pretty much anywhere in Scotland (it’s best to ask permission first), including stunning national parks, if you follow common courtesy. Areas like Peanmeanach Beach in Ardnish, Bonaly Reservoir, Edinburgh and Barrisdale, Knoydart are great places to start.
If wild camping and adventure is something you enjoy, it sounds like you’d fit right in at The Army Cadets. Becoming a cadet or adult volunteer means you can do activities like rock climbing and abseiling alongside all your favourite team sports. Find your nearest detachment to get involved.