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UK's best camp sites 2019:
The UK has fantastic countryside - Go and explore it!
First off we'll kick off with the best three family camp sites:
1) Beryl’s Campsite, Devon
Known as “the one run by Beryl”, this rustic little site is the perfect sanctuary from which to explore Devon. Low-key charm is apparent, not only in the laissez-faire attitude to self-promotion (the only clue to this campsite’s existence is a small sign nestled in a flowerbed), but also in the lush, unspoilt pitches (29 in total), with some boasting coastal views. The site itself is a kids’ natural playground, with plenty of space to play ball games, while parents love the easy access to the award-winning Beesands beach, only a 10-minute walk away.
2) Fox Wood Camping, West Sussex
If you’re looking for a place where little ’uns can build dens and discover creepy-crawlies, you won’t beat Fox Wood. Found at the bottom of a 34-acre wooded valley within the South Downs National Park, Fox Wood’s “off-grid” facilities (composting toilets and two gas-powered showers) may be too basic for some. However, most have a ball here, living the woodland life and relaxing around the campfire. No cars are allowed on site, so guests park by the entrance before using wheelbarrows to transport their gear to their private pitch – a holiday highlight for some kids.
3) Graig Wen, Gwynedd
You needn’t climb trees to get a view at Graig Wen, though many children choose to. Where the flat, natural terraces drop away, the Mawddach Estuary below and miles of Snowdonia mountains greet your gaze, offering some of the finest scenery in the country. Cader Idris is the nearest mountain to climb – right on your tent-step – though hiring bikes and cycling the Mawddach Trail is a more family-friendly option. You can pedal all the way to Fairbourne beach in Barmouth from the campsite (including a stunning bridge across the estuary) without touching a single road.
Next we've got the best camp sites on farms for that true countryside feel!
1) The Real Campsite at Park Farm, Oxfordshire
There’s a feeling of simple authenticity about Park Farm, with campfires crackling late into the evening and the sound of bleating lambs waking you softly in the morning. The site provides seven designated camping spots, with gorgeous views across the 380-acre farm and on over the Thames Valley to the Cotswolds beyond. The land is home to 400 ewes, and if you visit in April or early May, you might be lucky enough to see the newborns taking their first wobbly steps.
2) Wimbles Farm, East Sussex
Fancy the freedom of wild camping but the thought of no shower makes your blood run cold? Then head to Wimbles Farm in the heart of rural Sussex. With room for only five or six pitches, it’s as close to wild camping as you can get, but with basic ablution facilities (compost toilet and shower tent) to ease you through the outdoor experience. Coarse fishing is available from the site’s private, spring-fed lake, while bike hire and guided cycling tours are also available – perhaps the best way to explore the rolling East Sussex countryside.
3) Ten Acres Vineyard, Devon
This is a lovely vineyard and campsite near the small thatched village of Winkleigh. With views over the vines to the rugged moorland of Dartmoor National Park in the distance, Ten Acres has an eco-friendly simplicity that complements its surroundings. Facilities are basic but more than adequate – there’s a shower and a compost loo, while the shared fire pit is a good place to shoot the breeze with fellow campers. Sit back with a glass of the site’s own vino while the kids make friends with the resident pigs and chickens.
Now onto the best campsites off of the beaten track for those who enjoy peaceful and scenic camping.
1) Cleadale Campsite, Isle of Eigg
This may well be Britain’s most scenic campsite. Nothing can prepare you for the view, although the journey does a good job of warming you up – especially if you see dolphins or a minke whale on the ferry over. Any bad points? Well, the pitches aren’t the flattest and the dishwashing sink is outdoors. But if you’re the kind of camper who likes watching buzzards soar from cliff tops as you scrub the pots, you’ll love Cleadale. JRR Tolkien certainly did, penning some chapters of The Lord of the Rings when staying here.
Badgells Wood, Kent
2) Badgells Wood, Kent
Set in a 30-acre corner of the sprawling Whitehorse Wood, this campsite has ample space for pitches, each in their own unique clearing. Whether you want to tuck yourself away in a tent, or park up a camper van with friends, there’ll be a pitch to match and, with seclusion top of the agenda, you won’t be disturbed. Though a hop in the car can take you to some of Britain’s finest castles (Leeds, Rochester and Hever), Badgells Wood is a place to kick back and enjoy the woodland paradise.
3) Gwern Gof Isaf Farm, Snowdonia
This 50-pitch campsite is all about mountains – breathtaking, wild mountains. Opened in 1906 and still run by the same family, the site lies sandwiched between the Tryfan and Capel Curig mountains, in Snowdonia’s Ogwen valley. Much loved by the climbing and walking community, it’s no wonder Sir John Hunt used Gwern Gof Isaf Farm as base camp while training for Everest in 1952. Facilities are basic and the ground can be hard, but toughing it out is what this site is all about.
North Lees Campsite, Derbyshire
Just half an hour from Sheffield and an hour more from Manchester and Leeds, this tents-only campsite in the Peak District is particularly popular for active campers. It’s a 10-minute walk to Stanage Edge, a rock climbing Mecca, and has immediate access to footpaths and mountain biking trails. Enclosed by trees, the camping is split across three small, gently sloping fields with a facilities block at the bottom housing all the expected. There’s no electricity and bug spray is recommended.