Note: Updated for 2017 - The Best UK Campsites to Stay at in 2017
Choosing the right campsite is of vital importance. Get it wrong and it can completely ruin your whole camping experience, get it right and you just might find a spot you return to time and time again.
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There are hundreds, if not thousands, of campsites in the UK, and finding the right one can be tough. We’ve done some of the hard work for you and listed just a few of the best UK campsites that you should check out this year.
Campsites in the Lake District
Scotgate Holiday Park
Located not far from the lovely market town of Keswick, Scotgate Holiday Park is a great campsite, catering for just about every form of camping going. There are chalets, lodges and holiday caravans, but you can also take your own tent or touring caravan.
The facilities are great, and there is plenty to see and do in the local area, including various walking and mountain bike trails and a Go Ape! high ropes course.
See more on their website.
Eskdale is a little slice of Mother Nature-inspired heaven. It’s in a delightful location, not too far from Wasdale fells or Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. The Ravendale and Eskdale railway is also well worth a ride if you want to see some of the stunning nearby scenery.
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It even caters for glamping, with 10 camping pods and a camping barn. Find more information on the Camping and Caravanning Club website.
Eskdale, Lake District. Image: Cool Camping
Campsites in Wales
Trehenlliw Farm, Pembrokeshire
Trehenlliw Farm might be a somewhat basic campsite, but that’s part of its charm. It has some beautiful sandy beaches that are popular for surfing, and if you take a boat out to Ramsey Island, then you might be lucky enough to spot seals and dolphins.
It’s also only a short walk to St David’s, the UK’s smallest city and home to a beautiful cathedral.
Snowdon Base Camp (Cwellyn Arms Campsite)
As the name suggests, this campsite is situated right at the foot of Snowdon, so is perfect if you’re tackling Wales’ highest peak. The site leads to Cwellyn Lake, another of the area’s natural beauty spots.
There is a strict no-music policy, making the campsite a very peaceful place to relax, and campfires are permitted to really help you get in touch with your camping spirit. Cwellyn Arms also has a hotel just down the road if you prefer indoor accommodation.
See more on their website.
Snowdon Base Camp (Cwellyn Arms campsite). Image: Pitchup.com
Campsites in Scotland
Dunnet Bay Caravan and Camping Site
If you really want to escape your busy daily life then head off to Dunnet Bay. It’s located just down from Dunnet Head, the most northerly mainland point of the UK, home to beautiful white sandy beaches that are perfect for leisurely walks or for the kids to run around on.
Birdwatchers and anglers are also guaranteed a good time, whilst you can also highland hop over to Orkney and the surrounding islands.
Find out more on the Caravan Club website.
Cleadale, Isle of Eigg
You’ll need to take the ferry over to the Isle of Eigg, but it’s well worth the effort. The views are simply spectacular, with the mountains of Rum looming large - the area apparently inspired JRR Tolkien when writing The Lord of the Rings, and it’s easy to see why.
Birdwatchers will find themselves in paradise, whilst dolphins, minke whales and orca swim in the surrounding waters.
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The facilities are very basic, but that’s not why you’re there. It’s all about the views and the scenery and going back to basics.
See more on the Cool Camping site.
Cleadale, Isle of Eigg. Image: Cool Camping
Campsites in Cornwall
Pleasant Streams Farm
By the owners’ admission, there’s very little to do at Pleasant Streams Farm. But that could be just what you’re after. It’s a very rural site but is wonderful if you’re looking to just kick back and relax.
One thing that the site does have, however, is animals! Resident pigs, hens, goats and ducks are a great touch, and there’s always the pub just down the road if you want to reconnect with civilisation.
Find out more here.
Cornish Tipi Holidays, Port Isaac
If you fancy something a little different, then how about staying in a tipi? Cornish Tipi Holidays is all about getting back to nature and just chilling out. There are some great walks in the area, or you can take a trip to the nearby lake for a boat trip or fishing for rainbow trout.
You can still take your own tents if you’d prefer, although the site is off the National Grid, so don’t expect to be able to charge your phone!
Take a look at their website for more info.
Cornish Tipi Holidays. Image: Cool Camping
Campsites in the East of England
This is another fantastic campsite if you just want to chill out and watch the world go by. The facilities are reasonably basic but there’s everything you need, including hot showers.
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It’s a great area of foraging, with blackberries, cherries and walnuts all growing wild locally, whilst there is plenty to do in the local area and a few lovely watering holes if you fancy a tipple. If you want to venture a little further afield, then Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge aren’t too far away.
Check out their website to learn more.
High Sand Creek Campsite, Norfolk
The stunning marshes are the big attraction here, with some great birdwatching opportunities on offer. There are also rock pools that are perfect for crabbing with the kids.
This stretch of the Norfolk coast is packed with things to do, including sailing and seal-watching, so if you do stray from the campsite for a while, you won’t be bored.
Cool Camping has more details.
Roundhill campsite, New Forest. Image: Camping in the Forest
Campsites in the South & South East of England
Roundhill Campsite, New Forest
The New Forest is a fantastic destination for camping, providing endless walking and biking routes around the area. Even though there are 500 pitches, you never feel like you’re crammed in, so you can still enjoy some peace and quiet.
Off-site, Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu are lovely little villages that have some great places to eat and drink and are only a short distance away.
Read more on the Camping in the Forest website.
Wowo Campsite, Sussex
Located at Wapsbourne Manor Farm, Wowo Campsite is all about fun and freedom. There are very few strict rules, so it’s great for kids (of all ages) wanting to enjoy themselves. There’s a real community feel to the site, with plenty of activities going on pretty much all the time - Saturday night is music night, with a free night’s camping for those who play.
Check out their website for more information.
Which campsites in the UK would you recommend? Let us know in the comments or tell us on Twitter.