Wanting a cheap break away leads many of us to go camping around the UK. Here it is probably necessary to admit that besides once trialling camping in a friend’s back garden, I have never actually camped. Although I enjoy scenes of campfires in picturesque British fields, I don’t really see ‘relaxing trip away’ as synonymous with sleeping outside in a tent. It seems then camping may not be for me, but instead the rising trend of ‘glamping’. Indeed, whilst tents may be, kindly put, more ‘rustic’, those who want to experience Britain’s countryside in style now go ‘glamping’ by taking refuge in caravans, campervans and almost futuristic looking tents – or ‘teepees’. I can now vouch and say since the age of three I have been, at least, glamping. Yet, be it camping or glamping, both offer a cheap trip away with the bonus of experiencing stunning British scenery and getting a little bit closer to nature.
For those who are keen to get away and camp or glamp this summer I will now give an overview of my top three camping sites and a few handy hints to consider when planning this trip away.
1. Bay View Farm, Cornwall
From the campsite’s location on top of a hill you are able to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the beautiful Cornish coast. Indeed with the coast so close there are several water-sport activities available to keep you busy and a fishing village just a few miles away. There are also static caravans complete with en-suites and gas heating.
Where: Bay View Farm, St Martins, Looe, Cornwall. (01503 265922)
When: All year
Cost: Tent/Caravan pitch from £22 (until 1st September when £12), Static Caravans from £150 in low season.
2. Sandy Balls, The New Forest
I’ve been to Sandy Balls twice and besides its location offering beautiful surroundings, the campsite itself boasts a huge range of activities that really do cater for everybody. The site is a huge 120 acres, with accommodation ranging from lodges and holiday homes to pitches available for caravans and tents. Activities range from cycling, riding to indulging in relaxation in the site’s spa and pool
Where: Sandy Balls, Godshill, Fordingbridge, The New Forest, Hampshire, SP6 2JZ. (0844 693 1050)
When: All year
Cost: Tents/Caravan pitch from £10, Static caravans sleeping four from £119 to £469 for a three-day weekend (mid season prices)
3. Great Langdale, The Lake District
This National Trust site is situated right amongst the lakes themselves and offers fantastic views of its renowned beauty. The site accommodates for tents and campervans and hosts some rather stylish camping pods for the modern camper. Its location also means a wide range of activities from water sports to hikes are on offer.
Where: Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9JU. (01539 463862)
When: All year
Cost: Tent/Campervan pitch from £10.25, Pod from £40 (all mid season prices)
Besides these personal favourites, I would definitely recommend trying to locate sites in your chosen destination that are smaller and less commercialised, as this will help you to save huge amounts by avoiding the big name sites, like Center Parcs for instance. The site coolcamping.co.uk was recently reviewed as one of the top camping comparison websites around, giving descriptions, photos, reviews and listing activities for many UK campsites. If you are planning on going camping a lot I would also suggest investing in membership at the Camping & Caravanning Club as this will give you great discounts and deals.
Finally, remember that, as with everything else, there will be a few other charges to consider when camping, for instance, your electricity and carparking. Making sure that you are aware of what you’re site is giving you is vital to ensuring you come prepared for your trip away. Besides that, it’s just hats off, tent up, and getting those marshmallows out and ready to be roasted on the fire.