There are many fantastic hidden gems around the country, and we’ve found some of the best campsites and places to stay to help you visit them! There are loads of things that make camping such a perfect choice of holiday – it’s exciting, cost-effective, great for any size of group and a wonderful way to turn off from the stresses of normal life. But for a real rural escape you’ll want to choose somewhere a bit special that not many people know about. Tucked away among ancient woodland, between coasts and towns, and beneath the shadows of soaring peaks, there’s an entire network of campsites we’d love to keep for ourselves. Here are some great options for pitching in some incredible parts of the country to inspire you for your next outdoor adventure.
For dog owners
Welcome to Robin Hood country. From the sublime riches ofNewstead Abbey– former home of the poet Lord Byron – to the golden ales of Britain’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, there is plenty to steal hearts in Nottinghamshire. And just as England’s heroic outlaw stayed hidden among the towering birch and oak trees of this fabled forest, so has the fantastic 40-acreSherwood Pines Camping site. Ribboned with cycle paths and chock-a-block with walking trails, this year-round Eden is a particular favourite with dog owners – thanks in part to the onsite doggy wash. Be sure to sniff out the 26m-high Major Oak, said to be Britain’s biggest oak tree.
To visit Britain’s smallest house
Sneeze and you’ll skip straight past this members-only campsite.Cefn Cae Campingsite may only be an acre in size, but with the North Wales coast just up the road and Snowdonia National Park literally unfurling beyond the back fence, this is one of the UK’s best-kept camping secrets. What’s more, it’s less than five miles to Conwy, home to the UK’s smallest house – and it's an even shorter stagger to the local pub, Ty Gwyn, a 16th-century coaching inn. What better place to escape the hustle and bustle for a while?
For visiting the Lake District
Located in the heart of the Lake District National Park, you don’t need to look far beyond the perimeter of theBraithwaite Village Club Siteto take in the hills, mountain tarns and plunging fells that inspired poet William Wordsworth. With Keswick and Derwentwater both within hiking distance – not to mention the Lakes Distillery – the campsite has everything you’ll need for some R&R. You can really enjoy the self-catering options here – they’ve recently refurbished 10 onsite lodges – with total flexibility in how you plan your days (and dining).
Join the club!
Join the 700,000+ members of the Camping and Caravanning Club today. Its growing community of friendly enthusiasts enjoy exclusive access to 1,300+ member-only campsites and an extensive network of Club Sites from the Highlands of Scotland right down to Land’s End.
Drawing on more than 120 years of expertise, the Camping and Caravanning Club’s portfolio includes high-quality, hand-picked member-only Certificated Sites, specially selected Camping in the Forest spots, Self Catering lodges, pre-pitched Ready Camp options as well as Club Sites.
Sign up today for exclusive member discounts and perks, including up to 30% off Club Site fees.
For wine-tasting with a difference
This special spot, a few miles north of York, is fit for the most discerning campers.Sheriff Hutton Ready Camphas ready-made Safari Tents you can stay in. True to its name, Ready Camp will please those looking for a stress-free, pre-pitched experience, with accommodation including real beds and comfy furnishings to add a spot of luxury away from home. What’s more, there’s good wi-fi right across the site so you can stay hooked up while feeling as though you’ve really got away from it all! Once you’ve settled in, you can always head out for an afternoon of wine tasting at nearbyRyedale Vineyards, Britain’s most northerly vineyard.
For beaches and clifftop walks
Sennen Cove is England’s most westerly surf spot: it’s a sugary sweep of sand just north of Land’s End. With rock climbing on the cliffs and art galleries in the harbour, there’s enough of Cornwall's purest pleasures to keep visitors busy. But quiet, unassuming Sennen has its secrets, too: the 17th-century First & Last Inn has long been the boozer of choice for smugglers and ship wreckers – just check out the secret tunnels used to move illegal goods out to sea! Located on the clifftops, theSennen Cove Club Siteis the ideal lookout for fantasy buccaneers and ne’er-do-wells. There are 72 pitches at this slice of rural tranquillity, which for our money have the best camping views in Britain.
For hiking the Peak District
Walking routes spill out every which way from theCrowden Club Site , which comes complete with an onsite shop for essentials. Guests at this secluded Peak District camping spot tend to sling on a backpack, tie up their boots and head out across the Pennines’ southernmost hills to take in the ethereal splendour of the surrounding countryside. And, to keep with the theme of sharing secrets, it’s close to Middle Black Clough, a sublime (but often missed) waterfall.
To explore the famous Fairy Pools
Do you believe in magic? You’re almost certain to after a stay at the near-silentSkye Club Site , which peers out across the glittering Loch Greshornish. Get ready to explore and maybe get your feet wet, because it’s a few wand’s waves (well, about 45 minutes’ drive) away from the Fairy Pools, mystical waterfalls and natural plunge pools at the foot of the Black Cuillins. You’ll need a frying pan, too – the campsite spot is a working croft, selling fresh hen and duck eggs.
Find out more at campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
- Lord Byron
- William Wordsworth
- Robin Hood
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