Top British Camping Destinations
The UK camping holiday is an annual mainstay for good reason. Where, and indeed how, else could you wake up looking over the coast, in the shadow of the mountains or deep in a secluded woodland every day? That said, with the variety of campsites now springing up across the country, it can be hard to know where to look - so, to help you get on your way, our friends at the National Trust have recommended some of their top UK campsites to inspire your next staycation. Bear in mind that they get booked up pretty quickly, so move fast to get in for this summer, or get ahead and plan for the rest of the year.
Castle Ward, County Down
©National Trust Images/Sarah Burch
Castle Ward's 820 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland and unique 18th-century mansion offers plenty for the whole family to enjoy. There's space in the caravan park for 10 tents, or there are camping pods onsite for those who prefer to stay dry and cosy all year round.
Check it out here.
Leith Hill, Surrey
©National Trust Images/John Miller
Go camping in the heart of the Surrey Hills at Etherley Farm or The Green Escape, both on Leith Hill. Topped with a gothic tower, Leith Hill has views over the surrounding Surrey Hills. Scale the hill and climb the 74 steps to the top of the tower and see if you can spot the London Eye or the English Channel. Have an adventure in the surrounding woodland or visit Leith Hill Place, the childhood home of one England’s finest composers, Vaughan Williams.
Hafod Y Llan, Gwynedd
©National Trust Images/Joe Cornish
Nestled in the Nant Gwynant Valley at the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, the peaceful and family-friendly Hafod y Llan campsite is ideally placed for exploring the surrounding area. Discover the myths and legends of Dinas Emrys, have a go at kayaking on Llyn Gwynant or follow the Hafod y Llan family farm trail and see what farm animals and wildlife you can spot.
Highertown Farm, Cornwall
©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
An environmentally-friendly campsite, Hightertown Farm in Lansallos is perfectly positioned for exploring the South East Cornwall coast and its picturesque fishing villages, and is a stone’s throw from the South West Coast Path. Go surfing at Sharrow Beach, Whitsand Bay, or swim in the tidal bathing pool at Polperro harbour. Families will also enjoy the beach at East Looe, rockpooling at Portnadler or hunting for geocaches along the coast.
Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire
©National Trust Images/Mike Selby
Waterclose Meadows campsite on the banks of the River Ouse has views of Houghton Mill, a working 18th-century watermill, with spaces for tents and caravans. As well as curious cogs, wheels and machinery to see and play with inside Houghton Mill there’s plenty of outdoor fun from boat rides and riverside picnics to wildlife adventures in the nearby Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve.
Lake District, Cumbria
©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
The Lake District offers an array of fantastic campsites. With so much choice, the National Trust campsites at Wasdale, Great Langdale, Low Wray, Hoathwaite and Eskdale offer access to Lake District highlights including Scafell Pike, Langdale Pikes, Windermere and Coniston Water. Outdoor adventures aren’t in short supply and you’ll also find family fun at Wray Castle and Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse. Or why not take a trip across Coniston Water on the Steam Yacht Gondola?
More information including opening dates and what's on offer at each site are on the National Trust’s Lake District campsites website.
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