If you've toyed with the of renting out a cute holiday cottage in the UK, but decided that spending time in the great outdoors is more your bag, call off the search. We've rounded up the best campsites in Britain, ranging from those with glamping on offer to campervan-friendly spots.
In mid-March, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the UK government put a ban on all unnecessary travel. That not only meant no international travel and waving goodbye to foreign holidays, but also staying put at your home address - even staycations were a no-go.
But fast forward three months (side note: has it really been that long?), and Boris Johnson just announced changes to the lockdown rules. And one of them? Staycations will be on the cards from 4 July 2020. This is HUGE.
"Provided that no more than two households stay together, people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation including hotels and B&Bs, as well as campsites, as long as shared facilities are kept clean," announced Boris Johnson.
Here's our pick of the best campsites in the UK (though it's worth noting BJ's new guidelines currently only apply to England. But here's to hoping Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland follow suit, eh?
Castle Knights, South Wales
If you fancy pitching your tent in the grounds of an actual castle (and tbh, why wouldn't you? Especially when prices start at £10 a night per adult), you'd be hard pressed to find a better option than Castle Knights. As well as a lush green field for tents, there are also pods and yurts on offer (from £80 per night) for those looking to upgrade their camping experience for something a little less windswept. Usk Castle is like something straight out of a medieval movie, so this would certainly be a trip to remember. Suitable for families, couples and well-behaved dogs.
To book your stay visit Castle Knights, prices start from £10 per adult per night
The Shepherds Hut Retreat, Somerset
Alright, so not strictly camping... but having just scooped Campsites' Best Glamping Site Award, it's safe to say that this adults-only countryside location is a truly breathtaking spot. Not only are the ultra-luxurious huts all within walking distance to a lakeside hot tub and sauna, but they also each have their own private fire pit and decking to sit out on and drink wine as the sun sets. Although there's plenty of nature is on your doorstep, should you also fancy a long rambling walk along the stunning Jurassic Coast (where Broadchurch is filmed), it's only a 30 minute drive away. We can feel our shoulders loosening already...
To book your stay visit The Shepherds Hut Retreat, prices start from £90 per night
Hooks House Farm, Yorkshire
If sea views and the Yorkshire coast are you thing, then this working farm could be your perfect place to set up camp – it's super close to Robin Hood's Bay. Although the site itself feels far enough removed from civilisation, there are plenty of shops (win!) and pubs (double win!) within easy reach, should you run low on tinned beans or fancy a well-earned wine after a day of exploring. Caravans and motorhomes are also welcome here.
To book your stay visit Hooks House Farm, prices start from £8 per adult per night
Cornish Tipi Holidays, Cornwall
Tent spots in a glorious meadow, campervan space and boho-style tipis: they're all on offer here. Boasting some of the "prettiest pitches" in Cornwall, the Cornish Tipi Holidays site gives you the choice of setting up home somewhere sociable, or the option to pitch somewhere a little more private. Either way, you'll be in a bluebell-laden woodland valley next to a clear lake (boats are available) with 20 acres to explore and spot wildlife in. The perfect place to take a break from the daily grind.
To book your stay visit Cornish Tipi Holidays, wild camping prices start from £18 per adult per night. Tipi prices start from £160 for two nights in low season, size dependent.
Trwyn yr Wylfa, Snowdonia
Right next to Snowdonia National Park, this campsite offers the opportunity to climb a mountain during your visit, as well as beach walks. A ten-acre stretch of land, Trwyn yr Wylfa has been in business since the 1940s and regularly wins awards for the coastal scenery also on offer (yep, you've got a mountain range to one side and blue waves on the other).
To book your stay visit Trwyn yr Wylfa, tent prices start from £17 per night for a pitch in low season
Craighead Howfs, Dunblane, Scotland
This might just be the most insta-ready campsite ever... Craighead Howfs offers a choice of six bespoke glamping options – from a Hobbit inspired sanctuary to the Tree Howf, a state-of-the-art treehouse (shower included) with a 360 degree view of the rolling the Ochil hills. Just an hour’s drive away from Edinburgh, Craighead Howfs’ unique aesthetics and luxury facilities will ensure you’ll have a trip that you (and your IG followers) will never forget.
To book your stay visit Craighead Howfs, prices start at £105 per night for two adults.
Fen Farm Caravan Site, Essex
For the gentle souls of the world, Fen Farm prides itself on having a truly tranquil atmosphere, unscathed by the rising demand for ‘glamp’ sites. This spot takes it old school. Located in picturesque Mersea Island, Fen Farm is a 5 minute walk away from the beach, adored for its stretching white sands, dog-friendly vibe and clean sea water – perfect for an early morning swim to blast off the cobwebs! Fen Farm regularly collects awards for everything from its caravan facilities to the err, toilets. Suitable for tents, campervans and motorhomes.
To book your stay visit Fen Farm, prices start at £19 per pitch.
High Oaks Grange, Pickering North Yorkshire
If your dream staycation involves starfishing on a king sized bed, rather than wriggling in a sleeping bag, then look no further. These ultra modern ‘pods’, exclusively designed for High Oaks Grange, are ideal for the more ‘high-maintenance’ among us. Awarded the Visit England Gold Award, each double pod contains a shower, kitchen area, high-speed WiFi and, of course, a smart TV. Surrounded by stunning Yorkshire countryside, you can admire the scenery while enjoying some al-fresco dining courtesy of your own BBQ and decking area. A glamper’s paradise indeed.
To book your stay visit High Oaks Grange, prices start at £62.50 per night (two night’s minimum) and dogs are welcome.
Little Ropers Woodland Camping, Suffolk
If there was ever a place to channel your inner wood nymph, this is it. Settle down in this snug, tents-only space and experience the magic of truly switching off. The site doesn’t have much electricity (except for a few charging points) so you get a more traditional camping experience – perfect for those in need of a digital detox. If you fancy toasting marshmallows on your campfire, visit the newly opened site shop, brimming with local produce and camping essentials.
To book your stay visit Little Ropers Woodland, prices start at £20 per pitch per night.
Ten Acres Vineyard Camping, Devon
Did someone say vineyard? Starting at £8 per night (£30 for glamping) Ten Acres has 10 camping pitches suitable for tents and VW size campervans. For an additional £7.50 you can enjoy a tour of the vineyard overlooking Dartmoor and a guided wine-tasting of the site’s unique, homemade produce. When you’re not sampling the vino, there’s plenty more to explore in the local area: from the spectacular 30m waterfall at Lydford Gorge to Dartmoor National Park, a popular spot for stargazing.
To book your stay visit Ten Acres Vineyard, prices start at £8.00 per night. Dogs welcome.
Petruth Paddocks, Cheddar, England
According to Petruth Paddocks' mission statement, the campsite is a "live-and-let-live place where there are refreshingly few rules, kids can be kids, campfires are encouraged, music and bad singing are not a problem and people feel free to wander round making new friends. That's what we mean by free range camping - and we love it." That sounds pretty ideal tbh.
To book your stay visit Petruth Paddocks, prices start from £12.00 per adult per night.
Soul Camping, Port Isaac, Cornwall
If you're up for yoga retreats and camping (well, more like glamping) all rolled into one, Soul Camping could be the ideal staycation place for you. Based in Post Isaac, their bell tents and wood fired hot tubs are situated in a beautiful meadow overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in North Cornwall. We're desperate to go.
To book your stay visit Soul Camping, prices start from £600 for a full week.
Bonus: Pure Camping, County Clare, Ireland
Alright, so we know Country Clare is in Ireland and not the UK, but this one was too beautiful to miss. For those wanting to ease into camping, Pure Camping’s furnished tents take the fuss out of setting up and provide a cosy shelter from the Irish winds. It’s right on the Loop Head Peninsula, an area famed for its stunning natural beauty too. The site is also home to Loop Head Labyrinth, a sacred space of reflection, and offers yoga and meditation sessions for the ultimate mind/body experience. And breathe...
To book your stay visit Pure Camping, prices start at €60 (£50.76) per tent per night.
It might not be the international holiday of dreams that you had your heart set on, but at this point, anywhere with a glass (or plastic cup) of wine and sunshine will do.
Cosmopolitan UK's July issue is out now and available for purchase online and via Readly. You can also SUBSCRIBE HERE or read on Apple News+. Find our podcast 'All The Way With...' on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and the Acast app.
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