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Beryl's campsite
Photograph: Cool Camping

18 of the best campsites in the UK

Fancy sleeping under the stars with only nature for company? Pitch your tent at one of the best campsites in the UK

Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Lucy Lovell
Ed Cunningham

Camping is one of life’s finest thrills. The great outdoors, with no pesky neighbours and only nature for company? Well, there are few things better. And the British countryside is as good as anywhere for a tip-top camping getaway.

With all its lush wilderness, marvellous landscapes and, of course, a tremendous selection of rural pubs, the UK is the ideal camping destination. Throughout the country you’ll come across everything from terrific scenic hikes and fairytale forests to dramatic coastlines and majestic peaks. There’s something for every kind of camper, from the blustery ruggedness of the Scottish Highlands to the rolling meadows of the Chilterns.

And while, sure, you can ‘wild camp’ in many places, often it’s best (and most legal) to pitch your tent in a proper campsite (or indeed go glamping). Which is where we come in. From Devon and Cornwall to the Isle of Mull and Gower Peninsula, below we’ve rounded-up the country’s finest places to sleep under the stars. Here are the 18 best places to go camping in the UK.

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Amazing UK campsites

At Top of the Woods in Pembrokeshire, Wales, everything is about getting back to nature. And they have plenty of ways to do it, too. The only decision you’ll have to make is which eco-friendly accommodation to pick. Will you choose a boutique safari lodge or a brand-new nature dome (which looks a bit like a giant golf ball with windows)? Or a ‘pioneer camp’ with a large, tent-meets-marquee lodge and a separate kitchen under canvas? Of course, there’s always the classic: BYO tent and pitch up in the wildflower camping meadow.

White sand, crystal-clear water… you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Caribbean, but no, this really is Scotland. Nestled on the Isle of Mull (you’ll need to get the ferry over), this remote campsite backs right onto the beach, so expect to be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves. Spend your days exploring the rugged coastline and spotting wildlife like dolphins and eagles, and bring your bikes and kayaks to get off-road and discover the remote corners of this already far-flung island.


Camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it with a tin of baked beans – especially when you’re staying at Woodfire. From Friday to Sunday, the campsite chefs cook up a stonking breakfast for their guests, and from Thursday to Sunday they light the epic, multi-level barbecue to grill fish, meat and vegetables – depending on what’s in season. Choose from two sites: Westerlands and Firle. Both offer the usual hot showers, composting loos and washing-up area, and both are in the South Downs ‘dark sky reserve’, making the stargazing here pretty spectacular. 

Free-roaming ponies, deer and donkeys all call the New Forest their home – and you could join them with a pitch at one of Harry’s campsites. Four Harry’s sites are found across the National Park, each with its own vibe. Harry’s Field in Frogham, for example, is a small, back-to-basics retreat with a proper pub on its doorstep, while Harry’s Meadow in Hale Park covers 40 acres and boasts barista coffee, pizza at the weekends, and a pop-up cocktail truck. 


Will you pick woodland or wildflowers to surround your temporary home? Either way, a stay at Wytch Wood means a more eco-friendly holiday, with roomy pitches scattered throughout the lush land. The facilities are impressive for an off-grid venue: expect composting loos, hot showers, and eco-friendly washing-up liquid and shampoo. Other creature comforts include coffee from a local roastery and bespoke canned cocktails made with ingredients foraged on site. Fire fans will be happy to hear that BBQs are welcomed, and look out for pop-up food traders serving the likes of sourdough pizza or Indian tiffin boxes at the weekend. 

For something a little different, why not try camping next to a vineyard in Devon? Either bring your own tent or rent one of the glamping options: unfurnished bell tents or a furnished safari tent. With a vineyard right on your doorstep, it’s only right to try a little wine tasting, safe in the knowledge you can just amble (or stagger) back to your tent afterwards. The campsite reception also happens to be the Devon Wine Shack (handy), where you’ll find all the essentials: camping gear, local crafts, and, of course, a range of wines. Cheers to that.


Far from a petting zoo, campers can come face to face with their breakfast at The Pig Place, a working farm on a picturesque bank of the Oxford canal which has a drove of free-range pigs. Just don’t get too attached: as the campsite says, free-range makes for the best sausages and bacon, both of which are served on site in hearty breakfasts and ‘doorstop’ sandwiches. Veggie? No pig deal, there are meat, gluten-free and dairy-less options in the farm shop and café too. 

Camp on the shores of the Lake District’s most famous lake: Windermere. Be sure to make the most of your waterside location with activities like paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking or rowing. This National Trust campsite includes traditional pitches with lake or meadow views, and glamping safari tents. If you want to camp in the trees rather than below them, you can also try your hand at back-to-basics hammock camping (Bear Grylls would be proud), or a stay in one of the two cosy tree tents, essentially large canvas balls dangling from the branches.


Leave modern life behind you and step back in time at Castle Knights, where you can camp on the grounds of an actual castle. There’s a field for regular camping and a selection of glamping pods in all shapes and sizes – from barrels and yurts to tiny forts. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to leave all your modern-day amenities behind either, there’s a communal kitchen barn, two hot power showers and modern toilets in a medieval-style block.

Venture wayyy down south to the toe of the UK’s foot and you’ll be rewarded with a stay at Trevedra Farm: a huge, well-equipped campsite overlooking the sparkling sea. The on-site shop stocks all the essentials such as milk, bread… and Cornish pasties. When you’ve finished wrestling with the tent poles, get out and explore the coastline with one of the farm’s electric bikes. A flick of the turbo switch and these nippy wheels will whisk even the most sedentary person up steep hills to visit must-see nearby attractions such as Land’s End and The Minack Theatre


Hire a North American tipi or bring your own pop-up with poles for a spot of wild camping in a hidden woodland valley in Cornwall. Whichever you choose, there’s the option for private spots or pitching in open meadows, so you can be as sociable or secluded as your heart desires. There’s a beautiful lake for fishing, swimming or canoeing, or just relaxing by the water’s edge watching the swallows and dragonflies drift by. From April to September happy campers will find wood-fired pizza and falafel at the quirky on-site cafe, which pops up inside a polytunnel. At the end of the day, light the fire pit, toast marshmallows and gaze up at the stars.


A dose of peace and quiet is the main draw at this leafy retreat in rural Worcestershire. Set up your tent in a secluded corner of this working farm, which limits the number of visitors to keep the chilled vibe – even during weekends. By day, explore the area’s picture-perfect Georgian towns or sip cider at the excellent local cider farms. By night, light a fire, stock up on marshmallows from the honesty shop and soak up the sounds of nature. Party people, take note: this place is strictly no big groups or loud speakers. Now that’s music to our ears. 

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise... it’s dotted with tents and happy campers toasting marshmallows on open fire pits! Okay, it’s not that big of a surprise considering it’s a campsite, but the vast grounds with swathes of trees ensure that visitors to Ashbourne Woods can hide themselves away in a secluded, cosy corner surrounded by nature. Go wild and sleep under the stars in the woods, or choose a more sturdy residence, such as the wooden camping pod that’s BYOB (bring your own bed) with heaters and electricity. 


Drift off to the sounds of sheep baaing and owls hooting at this working farm, where the enormous grass fields provide ample space for kite-flying and cricket. Firepits are included, and communal kettles and fridges ensure that no camper goes without their morning cuppa. The coffee at the on-site café is good, too: so good that it draws a crowd from outside the campsite, who cycle or trek their way over for the top brews, sourdough toasties and cake. 

For the ultimate escape, head for the woods. Kilvrecht is a haven in the heart of Scotland, where you’ll unzip your tent to the sound of birdsong and fall asleep to the wind whooshing through the trees. There’s no hot water or electrical hookups, so it’s the perfect opportunity for a digital detox. Breathe in that fresh forest air, let go of your phone and get back to basics. Swap scrolling for strolling and mooch down to the forest-fringed Loch Rannoch for a spot of fishing, where you’ll be able to spot the peak of Schiehallion in the distance. Just be sure to pack bug spray for the summer months. You’ll thank us later.


On the beloved Gower Peninsula, Rhossili Bay is one of the most idyllic beaches in all of Wales – and it’s just a ten-minute walk from this campsite. Hillend has an impressive 230 pitches, but there’s buckets of room to spread out in this seaside destination. And if you’re a sucker for home comforts, don’t worry: Hillend is packed with amenities including a restaurant serving seaside classics like fish and chips, a children’s play area and a laundrette. Hoorah! 

For a long time, this humble campsite near the South Devon coast didn’t have a name. Faithful regulars just knew it as Beryl’s, after one of the owners. Years later, the name has stuck, and now the family of Beryl has taken over the running of this charming spot. Facilities are basic, but they cover all the essentials with hot showers, fridge freezers and fire pits. The emphasis here is on the stunning surroundings: stroll to the beach, pop out for a pint at the local or drive to some of the glorious seaside towns nearby – we love Dartmouth, Salcombe, and Brixham, to name a few. 

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