Finding the perfect campsite
The second step of our Camping Beginner’s Guide is focussed upon researching and finding the perfect campsite. Before going camping, you should research the area you intend to visit to make sure there are suitable campsites in the area. Also there should be plenty of activities to do during the day (or in other words – keep the kids busy for the day).
Location, Location, Location
The first important choice is to decide what area you would like to visit. In the UK we are very blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes, cultural townships, and stunning countryside which all combine to create a great choice of regions to go camping in. Some of our favourites in the UK include:
Scotland – yes it’s a bit cold up in Scotland, but it is also a world apart in terms of beauty, there are lochs, glens, hills, mountains and some great places to go camping. Additionally, Scotland has more relaxed laws on camping in the wild and countryside, as long as you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This can make your camping experience cheaper and a bit different from the norm.
The Lakes or Peaks – The Lake District and the Peak District are two stunning areas for camping within. Romantic settings and stunning hikes are the main features of both districts, also both are well set up for all types of campers, making them a must for any beginner camper.
New Forest – A haven for campers who like cycling, hiking and horse riding. The New Forest offers all these and much more.
Snowdonia – adventure sports aplenty in this region, perfect for the more active camper wanting a less than relaxing holiday. Stunning scenery also features a prominent part of making camping in this area so very special.
Europe - Of course, with camping you can go anywhere in the world, and being right on the European continent’s doorstep is a massive advantage we Brit’s should always take advantage of. I have personally loved camping in France (one of the Wine Regions of course) and also found Holland to be a lovely country to camp in.
So you’ve decided where to go, now you just need to know when to go!
The main reason to plan ahead and pick your dates to go camping is so that you can book the campsite well in advance. Especially, if the campsite is well regarded or popular, you’ll need to book well in advance to ensure of a decent pitch. Campsites can often be booked six months in advance, so make sure you find one you like the look of and get it organised at least a month before.
Plan your journey, how do you intend to get there and what local transport links are there in the area. You might not want to be driving here, there and everywhere. So check out what local transport links there are to make life less stressful and your holiday more enjoyable.
Types of Campsites
Family Friendly Sites – campsites run by the Caravan & Camping Club similar organisations. Great for the kids, there is usually lots of activities for them to do ensuring they have a great time and also integrate with other kids their age.
Traditional Campsites – traditional campsites are making a bit of a comeback in the camping scene, mainly thanks to the recession, which is biting down on people’s expenditure. Traditional campsites are all based on location and natural beauty, which is what camping should be all about.
Adult Only – for those wanting a more relaxing camping trip, then the adults only campsites are the way to go for you. See our related blog about where to find adult only campsites here.
Pet Friendly – Another thing to check is that the campsite you want to stay at has relaxed laws on pets. Usually, sites abroad are very relaxed about this but other sites in the UK can still be a bit finicky about pets.
Other Factors To Consider
Facilities – make sure the facilities are up to scratch, IE:
- Can you get electricity to your tent?
- Is there a waste disposal unit for porta potties or caravans?
- Is the campsite friendly for people with disabilities?
- Pitch type; is the pitch big enough for your killer 10-berth tent?
- Entertainment – what’s there to do of an evening?
- Reviews – check sites like UKCampsite for reviews from other campers.
A few resources to help point you in the right direction to your dream campsite:
UKCampsite Reviews – full of useful tips and reviews
TheCampingForum – a really friendly and helpful review site