“Do you want to go camping this weekend?”…it’s a common question that many of us have been asked throughout the years! “Not in a million years!!”…and that’s a response we frequently hear! The sound of roughing it in the middle of nowhere with a leaking tent, critters wandering across your feet and searing hot temperatures in the middle of summer is understandably not an appealing attraction for everyone. But don’t worry we have a solution. Try camping in England!
The stereotypical camping experience is one that I just described above but when you experience camping around England, it’s a completely different scenario. In fact, if you are fortunate enough to find a campsite similar to ones we have experienced, it may well feel like luxury accommodation. We want to share a couple of our experiences and why camping in England should be on your radar the next time you take a holiday.
Camping in England – Why is it Different?
I want to start with a caveat that of course, not all camping experiences in England are going to be positive! It’s the nature of travel and I’m sure those of you that have camped around England will know where I am coming from.
But before you start associating all camping experiences with a negative connotation, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we think it’s so different than anywhere else in the world.
Campsites around England are generally very well maintained and manicured. Much of our camping experiences (more specifics on this later) has been in Devon and Cornwall and throughout these counties, campsites have a very welcoming appearance that makes you want to stay there.
A typical English campsite will have a shop on site where you can purchase essential food, drink, daily newspapers and basic camping gear if you forget something. Depending on the campsite, you will either have community bathrooms or if you are lucky, private bathrooms where you can enjoy a relaxing shower after a night under the canvas.
When you travel around England, there are always campsites readily available. Booking in advance is always recommended just like with any type of accommodation but if you prefer to travel spontaneously, you won’t struggle to find a campsite to pitch your tent.
There is a treasure trove of places to explore if you’re considering going camping in England (Visit England)
There are numerous websites available offering the best campsites available within a given location. UK Parks and Pitchup are two alternatives that we have used previously but if you prefer to go directly to the campsite, many have that option too.
If you have camped in other countries such as the United States, you will know that many of the campsites are sometimes difficult to find. Hidden off the beaten path can make it difficult to find but for the most part, you don’t have these issues in England.
As you drive along the motorway or main roads in England, campsites frequently have signs advertising their accommodation options and where you can find them. Alternatively, just use your GPS and the majority of campsites will already be in there.
One of the biggest challenges for travelers visiting England is finding affordable accommodation. Well, camping is by far the cheapest option available! You can find high-quality campsites around England for £10-30 per night in the heart of peak season (June-August), with all amenities included.
Electric grass pitches are also available for a slightly higher rate if you need an electric hook-up but just having these various options is something that makes England’s campsites stand out from other countries.
Find the Perfect Tent
Hopefully, you are now convinced that taking a camping trip in England is a feasible option. However, the next step is to find that perfect tent that will be your home for the days and weeks ahead during your holiday. It’s critical that you find the perfect tent that is right for you, dependent upon the number in your party, your luxury desires and of course, your budget.
Whether you want a 2 man dome tent or perhaps a 4 man tunnel tent, the opportunities are endless. When choosing your tent, first choose a design based on your group’s size and whether you need additional space for travel gear or dogs.
It’s also important to consider ‘ease of use’. Remember, if you are road tripping around the country and plan on staying at multiple sites, you will quickly want to become an expert in putting your tent up and pulling it down.
Throughout my childhood years, we would take family vacations to campsites around England and stay in a caravan which is another awesome way to experience the UK. However, in 2010 I brought Heather over to England for the first time and we spent a month road tripping around and exploring the beauty that lies within this historic nation.
Camping with our trusty tent (though we did have a couple of nerve-wracking experiences when the infamous English rain started pouring in, or so we thought only to find out we didn’t have the door closed properly) was perfect for us providing enough flexibility to allow us to explore to our hearts content.
Here are three of our favorite campsites in various English counties based on our experiences.
Camping in Cornwall was one of the best experiences during our month long England road trip. We stayed at Trevella Holiday Park in the quaint village of Crantock, just outside of Newquay. It’s no surprise at all to hear that Trevella is an award winning campsite as the pristine condition of the whole park was a pleasure to be part of.
Facilities include a café servicing delicious cuisine, crazy golf course and heated outdoor swimming pool to make your stay memorable and relaxing.
If you are planning on visiting Cornwall, why not spend some time on the gorgeous English Riviera in Devon. We spent several days exploring the region while pitching our tent at another awesome campsite.
Ross Park Caravan Park is primarily for caravans but there is a leisure field where you can pitch your tent during the summer months. Located in the wonderfully named village of Ipplepen, it is just a short distance from Newton Abbot and Torquay is only about 20 minutes away.
Looking for a few days of solitude and relaxation away from everything? Ross Park is the perfect place for you! Don’t let the sound of pitching a tent on a field fool you because you are able to experience all of the amenities of the caravan site for less than £20 per night.
Park Hill Farm,
Isle of Wight
It’s not just mainland England that has amazing campsites! Once you have figured out how to get to the Isle of Wight across the Solent, check out the amazing selection of campsites available. We stayed at The Orchards Holiday Caravan and Camping Park in Newbridge and had yet another great experience.
This was one of the ‘busier’ campsites that we stayed at but the high-quality facilities and high levels of cleanliness were second to none. You don’t even need to leave the park to enjoy Fish & Chips, as the food bar offers a variety of menu options available. I certainly agree with the campsite’s philosophy of having a ‘wide variety of amenities and activities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.’
Also, don’t just take our word for it that camping is the way forward in England! There are a myriad of resources available on the web and also at your local bookshop about camping in England.
I also recommend checking out the awesome Ultimate Camping Guide by Halfords. We recently stumbled across this guide while planning another camping trip in England and found this a great resource not only for beginners but also for those that are experts in the outdoor lifestyle.
Whether you are still searching for the perfect destination in England or just need a handy packing checklist, Halfords has produced a top quality book that is available as either a downloadable PDF or a printed version.
Camping in England is undoubtedly a unique experience and one that you just have to try for yourselves before comparing it with other countries around the world. Nowhere else have I seen campsites that are quite as luxurious so if you are looking for the luxury camping experience, well England is the country for you.
When Heather and I talk about our favorite trips around the world, we frequently look back on our 2010 camping experience around England. Not only because of the amazing locations and attractions we discovered but because of the overall adventure that we embarked on. Our philosophy for traveling around England is pretty simple now.
Camping + Road trip = awesome adventures
We hope that you are inspired to explore camping options in England and we would love to hear your experiences.