Now that spring has sprung, the days are getting warmer and the temperatures are increasing (even if it’s only ever so slightly) we thought now would be the perfect time to reveal our top 10 UK camping destinations for 2018, a mini bucket list, if you will. Whether you consider your camping skills as rival to those of Bear Grylls or if you’re a first timer, you won’t get very far without a tent, that’s one thing we can be sure of so ensure you’re well prepped for wherever you go with our help. You may want to switch into Monica Geller style organisation mode, but we’ll leave that up to you, as long as you have everything you need you’ll have a great time and we’re always here should you need any extras.
1) Rothiemurchus Camp & Caravan Park
Let’s start at the top of the UK and work our way around. You don’t need us to tell you how breath-takingly beautiful the Scottish countryside is, but you need to get out there and see it for yourself. Take shelter under the canopy of Calendonian pine trees that span as far as the eye can see as you sit by the tranquil river that runs alongside the campsite. Immerse yourself in the wilderness of nature and get back to basics.
2) Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park
Perfect for those of you that enjoy the extreme! Pitch your tent in the foothills of the rolling hills and get ready for the wealth of activities that await, or of course, take it at your own pace. There’s something for everyone at Glen Nevis. Fill your days with climbing, abseiling, fishing, walking, and even skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, whilst you have the comfort and beauty of the campsite to return to once your energy is spent. Kick back, relax and recuperate with the astounding views of Ben Nevis to enjoy.
Location: Scotland, near Fort William
Best for: Extreme adventures
We recommend taking: this is a given, but nevertheless still as important, a sleeping bag. No matter if it’s summer or winter you’ll always need one.
3) Dungannon Park
Hopping across the pond now to charming Northern Ireland. Dungannon Park is perfect for those looking for a peaceful, restful break. The campsite it set within 70 acres of sprawling, lush green woodland that provides superb settings for an afternoon stroll. There’s also a lake for both fishing and boating – does it get more relaxing than that? Maybe… there’s even a waterfall too. Oh, so picturesque.
Location: Northern Ireland, Tyrone
Best for: Unwinding
We recommend taking: a kettle, nothing beats the feeling of popping the kettle on to boil and then sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea after a ramble.
4) Catgill Campsite
Yorkshire, a county that never ceases to provide us with spectacular scenery and wonderful campsites, Catgill is situated within the bounds of Bolton Abbey, near Skipton. Expect to be greeted by striking valleys and the meandering River Wharfe as you step into this historical pocket of North Yorkshire. Days are best spent exploring the various trails, tackling the stepping stones across the river, visiting the abbey ruin and lazing on the river’s banks with a barbeque. Sounds heavenly, right? It really is.
Location: North Yorkshire, Bolton Abbey
Best for: Walking
We recommend taking: a comfortable camping chair or stool. Nothing beats taking the weight off your feet and sinking into a lovely soft chair.
5) Aberafon Campsite
Picture the point where rugged mountains meet beautiful Welsh beach, that’s what you’ll be waking up to each morning in Aberafon. The bubbling stream that runs alongside the campsite, combined with the waves crashing onto the beach, ensure you’re surrounded by nature’s beauty at all times. The beach is yours to explore, with an abundance of rock pools that provide hours of entertainment, and the days come to an end with a fire on the beach, watching the sun set over the peninsula. Make the most of Aberafon’s offering as the two landscapes mean sailing, surfing and hiking are just a few of the activities available. We’re pretty sure there’s nothing better than sinking your toes into the sand, with a beer in hand, watching twilight approach.
Location: North Wales
Best for: Exploration
We recommend taking: a microfibre towel, we all know how much stuff you need for camping, so save space where you can. It can also double up as your beach towel for when you’re lounging in the sun and it dries in no time.
6) Kelling Heath Holiday Park
Kelling Heath offers 300 acres of woodland and top-notch facilities that are paralleled with the expanse of this park. Although the facilities are extensive, they have a strong emphasis on being green and have won an award for their commitment to enhancing nature. Red squirrels roam, vegetation thrives and it’s a place where you can switch off and lose yourself in your settings for a few days. Make sure you keep an eye out for clear skies as the park uses as little lighting as possible in order to enhance the natural beauty of the stars – talk about getting in touch with nature!
Best for: Relaxation
We recommend taking: head lamps and lanterns (it’s even wind up so you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries), those stars might be bright at night but a bit of extra help is always welcome once the sun has set.
7) Cotswold Park Farm
This one’s definitely for the kids (and you get a rest too if they’re entertained). Set in the heart of the pretty Cotswolds this campsite certainly has lots on offer with its on-site farm. Take camping to the next level and get stuck in with farm life, with the hub of the campsite awaiting your return, if you took on board our air bed suggestion you’ll know what we’re talking about. The site itself overlooks the charming Windrush valley, views that you’ll be sure to enjoy after a full day of farm fun.
Best for: Children’s activities
We recommend taking: a jerry can and reusable water bottles. Stay hydrated and always have plenty of water ready and waiting at the tent for everyone.
8) Fallow Fields Camping
Nestled in the Kentish countryside is Fallow Fields campsite. Quaint, quirky and welcoming are the 3 words we’d use to describe this retreat. As you bask in the warmth of the sun (well, fingers crossed it’s sunny – ever the optimists) you’ll pick up the delicious scents from the pear, apple and cherry orchards as they’re carried in the wind, whilst enjoying some well-deserved peace and quiet as the children are kept busy with activities over at the retreat tent. Local produce is readily available on site and eclectic food vans visit the site regularly meaning you can enjoy the delights of a fresh pizza and the like sat around your fire pit. Being here is like pressing a pause button on everyday life.
Best for: Reconnecting
We recommend taking: a cook set, if you want a more traditional camping experience. Fallow Fields encourages camp fires and there’s no better sense of coming together than cooking on an open fire and toasting marshmallows on the embers.
9) The Secret Campsite
When you arrive at The Secret Campsite you can expect to wave goodbye to the car for a few days, load your belongings into a wheelbarrow (or a few) and head over the bridge into the long grasses of the meadow where you’ll set up camp. Each pitch comes with its own fire pit, allowing you to spend as much time outdoors as possible taking in your secluded environment. The site’s owner is a botanist, so make sure you take the time to poke your nose into the flora and see what’s flourishing! If you’re lucky you might even spot the deer that roam the area.
Location: East Sussex
Best for: truly rural camping
We recommend taking: a back pack dry sack, as much as we all want our weather to echo that of our European neighbours, we like to be prepared. It’s also a great way to store your valuables.
10) St Martin’s Campsite
The Isles of Scilly may seem like a big venture it’s worth going the extra mile. The hedges that envelope St Martin’s campsite resemble the stunning vineyards of France, which immediately makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a holiday destination. Overlooking the powder white sand and the sea that looks as though it’s been transported from the Caribbean, the Isles of Scilly is the perfect place for a relaxed, transformative stay. No cars are permitted on the islands and you can certainly notice the difference, you can hear the waves rolling in rather than the constant hum of engines, you’ll sleep like a baby!
Location: Isles of Scilly
Best for: Escapism
We recommend taking: a rubber mallet, we’re all about making the set up process as easy as possible and this is an essential.
Who’s feeling inspired to load up the car and head off for a new adventure at the first opportunity!? We certainly are with the retreat of the cold weather, but where to head? That’s the pressing question, yet with such a vast choice of wonderful camping spots dotted all around the UK you never have to go far to find a hidden gem.
One final note…
Milestone Camping asks you to be aware of the natural habitats in which you’re residing, recycle where possible and leave no trace of your visit as you head off home. Happy environments mean happy camping.
Thought of something else you need? Check out our extensive catalogue of Milestone Camping products on Amazon, here.