HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

Display

Camping in the UK

Although stony, the beach at Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, provides fun for children and offers views of many sailing boats. The beach is less than 10 minutes walk from the Fishery Creek camp site. There are supermarkets nearby to stock up on supplies for meals, as well as plenty of takeaway restaurants. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

Although stony, the beach at Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, provides fun for children and offers views of many sailing boats. The beach is less than 10 minutes walk from the Fishery Creek camp site. There are supermarkets nearby to stock up on supplies for meals, as well as plenty of takeaway restaurants. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

A large creek backs on to the Fishery Creek camp site in Portsmouth, and when the water is out children can go crabbing. The beach is also just a few minutes walk away from the camp site, which is family-friendly. The area is famous for sailing and often the horizon is filled with sail boats. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

A large creek backs on to the Fishery Creek camp site in Portsmouth, and when the water is out children can go crabbing. The beach is also just a few minutes walk away from the camp site, which is family-friendly. The area is famous for sailing and often the horizon is filled with sail boats. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

Whether you have a large or small tent, camping is suitable for families and there are plenty of sites all around the United Kingdom. While putting the tent up in pouring rain is not fun, it’s worth it when the weather is warm. It offers protection from direct sunlight, keeps you dry in the rain, provides a place for social gatherings for friends and family to eat and hang out together. and is a base when you want to travel around the country. Although most camp sites do not allow open fires, most allow barbecues and contained fire-pits, so you can spend the evening chilling out as you don’t have to drive. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

Whether you have a large or small tent, camping is suitable for families and there are plenty of sites all around the United Kingdom. While putting the tent up in pouring rain is not fun, it’s worth it when the weather is warm. It offers protection from direct sunlight, keeps you dry in the rain, provides a place for social gatherings for friends and family to eat and hang out together. and is a base when you want to travel around the country. Although most camp sites do not allow open fires, most allow barbecues and contained fire-pits, so you can spend the evening chilling out as you don’t have to drive. (Courtesy photo by Karen Abeyasekere/Released)

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- One of the cheapest ways to enjoy a stay in the United Kingdom is camping. It's something that appeals to many British and American families. Camp sites throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales can provide an opportunity to literally get closer to nature, be near the beach, or just a good way to socialize with friends.

Camping can be as basic or refined as you like. Some are happy with a two-man tent, sleeping bag, kettle and gas stove, while others may prefer a larger tent, air bed, blanket or duvet and pillows.

I fall into the second category. If I've got to sleep out practically in the open air, I at least want to be comfortable and have space.

There are even sites which have electric hook-up. If you are prepared to pay out for a purpose-made camping electrical extension, specially made for using outside (do not under any circumstances try and use a regular extension socket from home!), you can enjoy the "luxury" of items such as a small heater, electric pan, electric pump to blow up the air beds, or an electric kettle. Some people even take a fridge.

Sites vary from very basic, which might just be a large patch of grass, to play areas for children, shower facilities, a small shop, and electric hook-up. Prices vary according to facilities offered and location, but camping can provide a reasonably cheap and fun break for family and friends.

Although most camp sites don't allow open fires, barbeques and contained fire pits are usually permitted.

Below are 10 suggested of camp sites; some are local while others are further afield. All accept tents and caravans; others have their own tents and caravans for rent for those who prefer it. I've visited and enjoyed the first two destinations; the others have either been recommended or I've researched and would consider trying.

Booking is advisable - especially during British school holidays - as camp sites tend to get extremely busy.

Fishery Creek, Hayling Island, near Portsmouth

Situated on the south coast of England and roughly a three-hour drive from Mildenhall, Fishery Creek is mainly a caravan park, though it does have a few pitches for tents.

Our tent backed onto the creek, and while completely empty at certain parts of the day, when full it provided the kids fun crabbing.

A short walk alongside the creek brought us to the (very stony) beach, where we watched many of the sailing boats around the area, and could see across to the Isle of Wight. The site itself had very good showers and toilet facilities, play areas for children, and it was safe for them to go off (close by) by themselves.

Although open fires are not allowed, you can barbeque and there are several supermarkets and shops nearby to stock up on food. Fishery Creek is a good site, though quite a bit more expensive than most. However, this is probably due to its location on the south coast. For more information, visit www.fisherycreekpark.co.uk.

Links Caravan Park, Mundsley, Norfolk

Links Caravan Park is a small, family-friendly camp site on the Norfolk coast, within walking distance of Mundsley beach, right next to a golf club and a short drive to Cromer and other beaches. It's also close to Norwich, Great Yarmouth and the Norfolk Broads.

Although facilities here are limited to a shower and toilet block, it is very safe for children to play. This is a very reasonably priced camp site and allows dogs (for a small charge). For more information, visit www.linkscaravanpark.co.uk.

Orchard Camp Site, Wickham Market, Suffolk

The Orchard Camp Site offers excellent shower and toilet facilities, washing machine and tumble dryer are available, and open fires are allowed. The site is child-friendly with large pitches and fishing on site, along with a shop stocking local produce. For more information, visit www.orchardcamp site.co.uk.

Long Beach Caravan Park, Hemsby, Norfolk

Situated just a few miles north of Great Yarmouth, Long Beach Caravan Park is a basic but pleasant site on the Norfolk coast, very clean and close to the beach. Several takeaways are located nearby, along with the local pub. Hemsby is family-friendly and dogs are permitted. For more information, visit www.long-beach.co.uk.

Deers Glade Caravan and Camping Park, Cromer, Norfolk

This is a quiet, rural, family-run camp site set in woodland in North Norfolk. It has a play area for children, a fishing lake, offers cycle hire, dog walks and farm kennels.

For those wishing to camp but don't have a tent, the site rents standard pods and mega pods (wooden structures which have facilities including a washroom - containing a shower and toilet - carpet , TV, heater lights and electric socket for a glamourous camping (known as "glamping") experience. Nearby are the famous Norfolk Broads, Norwich and Sandringham House and Estate.

There are several supermarkets nearby, as well as takeaway restaurants. The site is family-friendly and very clean. For more information, visit www.deersglade.co.uk.

Rectory Hill Barns, Cley-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk

Small and peaceful with lovely views, this site is for those who want a complete break. There are a handful of pitches with electric hook-up, and wi-fi reception is limited.

The site is very clean, with new shower blocks and close to coastal walks. It is common to see herons and hear owls at night, along with other birds and wildlife. Also close by are the Titchwell Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sanctuary, Wells-Next-the-Sea, Holt and Cromer. To contact this camp site, call 01263-741138.

Court Farm Caravan and Camping Holidays, St. Austell, Cornwall

Labelling itself the "headquarters" of the Roseland Observatatory, the Court Farm site has a Newtonian telescope for star-gazing, and an astronomer offers lectures and guidance to those interested. There is a freshwater lake for fishing; and pitches (or camp spots) are large with electric hook-up.

There is a children's play area, washing machine and tumble dryer, along with a kitchen area to wash up plates, pots and pans. The site is located centrally in Cornwall, and is approximately a 20-minute drive to either the north or south coast. For more information, visit www.courtfarmcornwall.co.uk.

Treago Farm Camping and Caravan Park, Crantock, Newquay, Cornwall

Close to two beaches and stunning coastal scenary, this site has a small shop on site which stocks local produce. The camp site is family-friendly, and tent pitches are spacious with some having electric hook-up. The village of Crantock has two pubs, which are within walking distance of the site.

Horse riding is available in nearby Newquay. For more information, visit www.treagofarm.co.uk.

Redlands Touring Caravan and Camping Park, near Little Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales

This is a popular rural park with sea views, large pitches and well-kept facilities. The site is ideal for couples and families who enjoy watersports and outdoor life, and is a suitable base for exploring Pembrokeshire.

Set in the National Park and surrounded by farmland, it has five acres of large, level pitches (also available are "superpitches" for extra-large tents). The site is approximately five miles from Martin's Haven, where boats launch for Skomer Island, famous for Puffins in early summer and seal pups from August until approximately January. For more information, visit www.redlandstouring.co.uk.

Shieling Holidays, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Offering great views of stunning scenery including views of Ben Nevis, the site is near a ferry terminal and is a good base for exploring the island. Tent pitches are on Astroturf, rather than real grass, but this means in the event of rain, the tent stays warmer and dryer underneath.

The site is family-friendly and has free wi-fi. It also offers Shielings for rent which are self-contained with a choice of self-catering or en-suite carpeted units. For more information, visit www.shielingholidays.co.uk.

For more information on other camp sites, and camping advice, visit www.ukcampsites.co.uk.

(Editor's note: For safety purposes, ensure any electrical extension plug is specifically made for camping, and is not a regular extension cord used at home. Also, do not attempt to plug American electrical items into the extension socket.

No federal endorsement is intended or implied for the camp sites
.)