Pack up your gear, not forgetting a marshmallow or two, and head out for some camping fun in the UK. You’re spoilt for choice on where to find fantastic camping spots from the wilds of Scotland to the urban heartland of Brighton. We’ll explore with you as you choose from one of the fabulous camping corners of the UK. Here are our favourite 15:
1. Rugged Scotland
What’s fabulous about camping in Scotland is that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 means you are allowed to camp on pretty much any unenclosed land. There are a few exceptions, such as East Loch Lomond, but this wild camping access makes Scotland a truly unique place to camp. Choose between dense forest or the shores of a secluded loch. If it is summer make sure you’re prepared for the pesky midges, and whatever time of year, do read up on the Outdoor Access Code.
2. Deepest Dartmoor
Talking of wild camping, Dartmoor is the only place in England where you are legally allowed to wild camp. This makes it enticing if you’re after a truly authentic camping experience. Watching and listening as night falls over moody Dartmoor can be impressive and uplifting. However, do note that not all of Dartmoor is accessible for wild camping. Check out the map here. You also need to make sure you’re at least 100m from any road and not visible from the road or any properties. You should also make sure that you’re familiar with the Ministry of Defence’s use of Dartmoor as you don’t want to be woken from your slumber to discover you’re in the middle of a military exercise!
3. North Norfolk
If a more gentle and family friendly camping experience is what you’re after then you can’t go wrong with a summer time adventure to North Norfolk. There are a huge number of sites in this area with different levels of facilities. Pitches are generally flat and well drained. Days can be spent exploring vast sandy beaches, at many of the region’s day out options or even boating on the Norfolk Broads.
North Wales, and in particular Snowdonia, has a great number of camping options. If you’re unfamiliar with camping or don’t have the gear, then you can choose from a range of glamping sites with pre-erected yurts, pods and bell tents. The landscape is truly impressive and there are plenty of activities during the day from walking to adventure pursuits.
5. The Lake District
You may have to prepare yourself for rain, and definitely pack the insect repellent, but Cumbria and the Lake District offer some intensely beautiful camping options. The National Trust runs many camping sites here, but you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Eskdale Valley is a particularly picturesque spot which is ideal for new campers and those new to the Lake District.
6. County Antrim, Northern Ireland
If you’re after a camping holiday with stunning coastlines, friendly villages, sandy beaches and a raft of activities in a tranquil spot then Country Antrim is ideal. There are a huge number of caravan and camping sites in the area but they do vary enormously so check the reviews first. This area makes for wonderful family-friendly camping experiences.
7. The Jurassic Coast – Dorset
Another area of coastline worth visiting on a camping holiday in the UK is the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. Budding palaeontologists will love the chance to go fossil hunting, and the picturesque coastline is relaxing and invigorating at the same time. There are a variety of different activities in the area and it’s generally well set up for visitors.
8. The New Forest
With a chance of spotting wild ponies, and lots of areas within easy reach, the New Forest is a much-loved UK camping spot. Easily accessible from the south-east it is great for a weekend away from the urbanised areas of the south. There are a great number of sites from small farm stays to larger scaled caravanning and glamping options.
9. City Camping in Brighton
You may be tempted to think that camping holidays should always be about being in the depths of the countryside. One city worth considering for camping is Brighton. You can enjoy a typical British seaside holiday with the benefits of being in this thriving urban spot.
10. Moray Firth
If part of the attraction of camping to you is the chance to get up close and personal with nature then book a camping trip staying near the Moray Firth. Here you will get the chance to enjoy a sundowner whilst looking out over the sea for dolphins, seals and even whales.
11. Isle of Wight
Another family-friendly camping spot in the UK is the Isle of Wight. With coastal and inland options, what’s great about a camping holiday here is that everything is in easy reach. With well-known landmarks such as the chalk Needles, and fun days out such as Blackgang Chine, you’re sure to have a great family camping holiday.
12. Peak District
If you’re after days of hiking and nights around the camp fire then the Peak District should take your fancy. Here you can walk for miles on well-tended paths, as well as more rugged options. Views can be stunning and the camp sites are well placed to allow you to walk from site to site if you wish.
13. Gower Peninsula, Wales
For campers who are after sandy beaches for their day time adventures, the Gower Peninsula in south Wales has everything you’ll need. Just a short drive from Swansea, it was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Beauty back in 1956 and it hasn’t changed since!
14. The Garden of England, Kent
We tend not to think of heading in to the busy south-east for a camping holiday away from it all, but you’ll be missing out on the gently beautiful Weald of Kent and its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape here is varied, and there is a rich offering of both campsites and activities. Stay on a farm campsite and wander amongst orchards, or even head down to the White Cliffs for an iconic experience.
With its smugglers coves and well-tended tourist economy, Cornwall is ideal for a camping holiday in the UK. There are a vast number of sites ranging from those suiting friendship groups to quiet retreats. Choose carefully based on your party’s needs and make the most of the mild climate generally experienced in the south-west.
Once you’ve chosen your camping destination, all that is left to do is to gather all your camping gear and to go enjoy the great outdoors and all its beauty!