Camping’s revival isn’t just about the money in people’s pockets; there are few better ways to get some fresh air and few more eco-friendly trips. The best campsites in the UK stretch from Scilly to Orkney, taking in New Forest ponies, bushcraft courses and ancient trails, and are fine options for a summer that’s due some sunshine.
There's a long list of camping essentials you'll want to pack, too. Besides your tent and your bedding (sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping mat), be sure to consider a table and camp chairs, portable chargers and batteries, a tent-repair kit and a windbreak. A good head torch is a worthy investment, too. Depending on the campsite and on your plans, if you're planning to cook your own food, you'll need a portable stove, cooking utensils and plates, bowls and cups. And don't forget a first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, travel towel and toiletries.
What to see and do in the area: Aside from lounging on the beach and splashing in the sea, the Isles of Scilly have a lot going for them. There are five inhabited islands to explore, as well as countless uninhabited beauties that will make you feel like you're at the end of the world. From fabulous hikes to island hopping by boat, wildlife spotting and gorging on local delicacies, you'll be spoilt for choice. On St Martin's, paddle in the rock pools at St Lawrence's Bay, while a trip to one of its neighbouring islets – Nornour, Ganilly and Menawethan – will bring you up close to seal colonies.
Visit stmartinscampsite.co.uk for more information.
What to see and do in the area: There's a marvellous collection of walking trails in the New Forest, whilst a dedicated cycle route offers miles of gorgeous woodland to explore on two wheels. Alternatively, visit the quaint villages of Lyndhurst, Beaulieu and Brockenhurst for a bite to eat or to peruse the local shops.
Visit campingintheforest.co.uk for more information.
What to see and do in the area: With a huge range of workshops on offer – from foraging to music and bushcraft – kids of all ages and persuasions will be able to while away the hours. Nearby, walking, cycling, fishing and horse riding are all possible, while you can kayak or canoe on the River Ouse.
Visit wowo.co.uk for more information.
What to see and do in the area: Lovely, sandy Three Cliffs Bay (10-min walk) is dog-friendly, and patrolled by life guards on summer weekends and holidays. With easy access to the Wales coastal path – and a free walking guide on arrival – hikers are in luck. Surfers, meanwhile, should venture to Llangennith, a 15-min drive, to catch some breaks. Camping in Wales never felt better.
Visit threecliffsbay.com for more information.
What to see and do in the area: Aside from the epic walking opportunities, the lovely town of Bishops Castle is just a 10-minute wander away, with a welcoming host of pubs, restaurants and two breweries.
Visit foxholes-castle.co.uk for more information
What to see and do in the area: While many people who come to Applecross spend their time gorging on the fresh local produce, there's plenty of opportunity to stretch your legs with more active pursuits. Aside from sea canoeing and kayaking, there's fishing, hiking and wildlife spotting. And that's before we come to windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing.
Visit applecross.uk.com/campsite for more information.
What to see and do in the area: Lovers of the great outdoors won't be disappointed. This is a mountain biking and hiking paradise, and you can take local workshops in bushcraft, survival and archery. Whitewater rafting and high ropes among the trees are opportunities for the brave of heart.
Visit www.comriecroft.com for more information.
What to see and do in the area: The beaches, coastline and cliffs by Chalmersquoy are unforgettable, while a local bird reserve and two nearby castles provide additional draws.
Visit chalmersquotwestray.co.uk for more information.
If you are planning to travel, visit our up-to-date article with the latest news on Corona virus and travelhere. And check out how to make sure that your travel insurance covers Corona virus.
Are you inspired by our list of the best campsites in the UK? If you're thinking of a trip on British shores, we can help! Try our tailor-made travel service and get a fully customized trip planned by a local expert.
This page contains affiliate links; all recommendations are editorially independent.
Top image © Socialtruant/Shutterstock