Beautiful camping destinations an hour from Bristol

Written by
Shaun Curnow

For those looking to escape the bustle of city life and get a night's sleep without the infamous Bristol Hum, we're in a privileged position. In around an hour, we could be at any number of beautiful countryside destinations in Wales, Somerset, Wiltshire and more.

This also means Bristolians can easily reach some great camping spots too, and the perfect opportunity to kit out the campervan, dust off the tent and get closer to nature.

So, if you're looking for a cheap weekend away from it all in lush surroundings, want to let the kids go 'free range' and test your barbecue skills too, here are just some of the many popular camping spots just a short journey from the centre of Bristol:



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Yes, we know that £6.50 toll always feels like a sting but it is more than worth it for campers who choose to head over the bridge. Wales can offer some breathtaking scenery and natural attractions, as well as a huge variety of campsites. Still, sticking with spots that you could get to in about an hour you could try the popular Beeches Farm in Chepstow. This campsite, set within the Forest of Dean, offers views across the Wye Valley and is located close to Tintern Abbey. 


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Alternatively, you could try something a little different and visit the Hidden Valley Yurts in Monmouthshire. As the name suggests, Hidden Valley offers an 'eco' alternative to traditional camping, and has five yurts you can hire, sleeping from five to seven people. For a proper 'glamping' experience, you can arrange to have a range of health therapy treatments during your stay.



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A short trundle up the M5 and in around an hour you can take your pick from several popular campsites in Gloucestershire. For example, you could opt for Tudor Caravan Park in Slimbridge, just a short walk from the Wetlands Centre and the local pub. Or, Whitemead Forest Park, which offers everything from traditional camping to 'glamping pods' and luxurious log cabins. The park also has a swimming pool, sauna and gym. 


If your aim is to get closer to nature, there is also Thistledown Farm in Stonehouse. This 70 acre, organically-managed farm is considered one of the best campsites in Britain, where you can enjoy the local wildlife or get close to farm animals, or simply kick back and watch the stars in skies free from city pollution. Thistledown has car-free camping areas, eco-friendly facilities and, unlike some other campsites, allows for open fires. 

Sticking with the agricultural theme, Costswold Farm Park near Cheltenham would make a great family day out whether you choose to camp or not. The farm is home to a wide selection of rare breeds, as well as a play park with bouncy pillows, conservation areas, woodland walk and more. 



If you like the idea of exploring Somerset, once again you have plenty of options. With Wookey Hole just around the corner, you could go camping at Wookey Farm, an environmentally friendly goat farm that offers views across the Mendip Hills. You won't have a WiFi connection or a raft of luxuries here, though. In fact, without any shower blocks, Wookey Farm suggests you use the River Axe for your morning wash...


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For more back-to-basics, open-fire camping, Mendip Camp has modest facilities but is less than ten minutes from Cheddar and Cheddar Gorge. It makes a great spot for walker, hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers. 

If you can't resist a few creature comforts (like Facebook) Petruth Paddocks could be a great compromise. As well as allowing dogs, open fires and offering plenty to explore, you can also be comforted by the fact that the site has showers, electric hook-up points and the all important WiFi. Plus, it's just a stone's throw from Cheddar. 



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Last but by no means least, head down past Bath and onto the A36 and Wiltshire will welcome you with plenty of places to camp. The Blackberries Camping Park, for example, promises a taste of rural Wiltshire. If you don't have your own tent or van, Blackberries has a number of glamping pods, a 'shepherd's hut' and, new for this year, a large bell tent where you and a few friends can cosy up. Plus, Monkton Farleigh is nearby if you need a pub within stumbling distance.    

If you want to mix some wild swimming with your camping, Stowford Manor Farm makes a great choice. This small but perfectly formed campsite (with WiFi) is positioned right next to the River Frome, with the Farleigh and District river swimming club just 200 meters away. Once you've been for a dip, you can also enjoy a cream tea served at the manor. 


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The Longleat Caravan Club Site (which is also open to non-members) might not cater for tents but if you have a caravan or motorhome, you're unlikely to find many other sites in the UK where you could be woken by the sound of roaring lions. This site is just a short walk from Longleat Safari Park and the Horse and Groom pub isn't too far away either.  

Have we missed your favourite camping spot off this list? Let us know.

While you are getting more familiar with the areas surrounding Bristol, here are a few National Trust attractions you could visit on your travels too.  

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