The Best Camping Destinations in the UK

5 minutes

As the economy continues to tighten its squeeze on the nation’s finances, many people are now looking for cheaper alternatives for their holidays. Lots of families have discovered the joy of camping, and also the savings that a camping holiday can make.

Fortunately, the UK has some wonderful camping destinations, all featuring a large variety of scenery and activities. Whether you like hills, lakes, beaches or forest; the chances are you can reach your ideal location with just a few hours of motorway driving.

If you’ve never been camping before, but like the idea of discovering some of Britain then we thought we’d help you out a little bit by listing some of the most popular camping destinations in the country.

Be warned though, that in the high season these areas can get very busy indeed so you’ll probably need to book your pitch in advance.

Top camping regions in the UK

The Lake District

Lake District, UK

Situated at the top western corner of England, the Lake District features some of the UK’s most stunning scenery. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the name suggests, the area is chock a block full of green hills and beautiful large lakes such as the famous Lake Windermere. Stretching to an amazing 10.5 miles long and 1 mile wide, it is England’s largest natural lake.

Beyond the beauty of the landscape, the Lake District offers a plethora of activities for adventurous campers. Hike well-maintained trails that weave through valleys and offer panoramic vistas. Cycle along scenic routes or tackle challenging climbs that test your endurance. The lakes themselves beckon with exciting water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. History buffs can delve into the charm of the region’s villages and historical sites, including ancient castles and literary landmarks associated with famed writers like William Wordsworth.

Where to camp

There are numerous campsites in the area and many have been designed to cater for families, so you should easily be able to find the perfect campsite for you.

  • Derwentwater, a stunning lake with charming boat tours, boasts campsites with idyllic water views.
  • Wasdale, a dramatic valley cradling England’s deepest lake (Wastwater), offers campsites nestled amidst towering peaks.
  • For those seeking rolling hills and challenging climbs, Great Langdale provides a picturesque setting with campsites perfectly situated for exploring its renowned climbing routes.
  • For a back-to-nature experience, consider Glaramara Camping. This basic campsite offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and close proximity to well-established hiking trails.
  • Families with young campers might enjoy Stickle Barn Farm, a family-friendly option featuring glamping pods and farm activities that will keep children entertained.

The Peak District

Peak District

Step into the Peak District National Park, an area of contrasting landscapes in the heart of England. Unlike the Lake District’s glistening lakes, the Peak District unveils a tapestry of rolling hills, rugged dales (valleys), and dramatic moors. Established in 1951 as the first National Park in England, it promises a unique camping experience for every adventurer.

The diverse landscapes of the Peak District offer unique experiences for every camper. Immerse yourself in the heart of the park’s wonders at Castleton. Visit Peak Cavern, one of Britain’s longest show caves, and camp amidst the dramatic limestone scenery.

Hike through the picturesque Dovedale valley, renowned for its towering limestone formations and natural beauty. Camp near the River Dove and enjoy peaceful mornings surrounded by rolling hills. In the secluded Peak Forest area, discover hidden waterfalls and explore ancient woodlands. Camp amidst tranquil surroundings and reconnect with nature.

Where to camp

  • For a classic camping experience, consider Peak Dale Camping, offering basic amenities and stunning views of the surrounding dales.
  • If you prefer a touch of luxury, White Peak Camping provides glamping options ideal for a comfortable stay amidst the Peak District’s beauty.

The New Forest

The New Forest sits on the south coast of England and is positioned between the Cities of Southampton and Bournemouth. The area has become well known for camping holidays, and as such there are a huge amount of campsites to choose from. One of the best things about the new forest is the wild horses roaming freely around both the woods and the campsites. Try not to leave you food outside the tent as you may wake up to find you’ve made a new friend! There is also a great amount of activities to choose from including a visit to the national motor museum, or an afternoon spent learning about wildlife at one of the forests many animal centres.

Devon and Cornwall

The West Country is an extremely popular destination for many families, seeking the perfect mix of beaches and family fun. If you’re looking for a beach camping holiday, then Devon and Cornwall probably offer the best choice for you. Both counties feature miles upon mile of sandy beaches, famed for surfing and water sports. Popular towns and resorts include Newquay and Falmouth, but campsites can be easily found throughout the counties. Getting to the area is extremely easy via train, car or even plane. Once there you can spend your time enjoying the beaches or visiting attractions such as Lands End or the Eden Centre.

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