Best Campsites in the UK 2018

By March 7, 2018

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Last year we put together our list of the best campsites to visit in 2017. We got a lot fo great feedback from people saying how good the list was.

 

We were already planning on doing a similar list for 2018 but the positive feedback spurred us on to create a much more detailed list.

Like last year we have broken it down into the relevant categories as we know what’s good for one type of person isn’t always brilliant for another.

The sections are below:

 

  • Best campsite in the Lake District

  • Best campsite in the Peak District

  • Best campsite for young kids

  • Best campsite for adults only

  • Best campsite which allows fire

  • Best campsite which allows dogs

  • Best Campsite which is dog free

  • Overall best campsite

Kestrel Lodge Campsite

Best campsite in the Lake District

The Lake District in our opinion is one of the must-visit places in the UK, especially when it comes to camping, it really is amazing.

Picking a winner was very difficult here as it all campsites which made the shortlist was amazing.

However, the winner was Kestrel Lodge.

This campsite is another campsite which allows campfires and I am a big fan of campfires – it just feels more like camping to me. This campsite is a very well run campsite located in beautiful surroundings.

The campsite is only open for 6 months of the year and only accepts tent but this kind of makes it special, It only has 30 pitches and there is a decent space between the pitches allowing you some privacy to enjoy your stay.

While it did not have a specific children’s playground – it had what kids (or my kids anyway) prefer the most – woods to play in on the edge of the campsite, we were able to climb trees. Plus there is a great big field for the kids to run around and burn off some energy.

The site while has basic facilities they are more than adequate and are kept very very cleaned, no matter the weather. Even though the owners seem to be busy they are always super helpful – there are lots of great little hikes you can do and they are more than willing to offer to advise, share their favourite reviews.

Again the site has a strictish 10 pm quiet curfew, but are fairly relaxed. Yes they ask you to be quiet and I tend to be at this time anyway as we have kids and they are in bed, but it doesn’t mean you have to be in bed asleep by 10, we sat around the fire enjoying the night time views, talking very quietly disturbing nobody. Just be

It’s another site that really is a must visit – a truly mind-blowing campsite – the views are incredible, but its the Lake District most of the views are amazing.

I was tempted not to post this site – it’s not that the site isn’t great – it’s just not that popular and it’s a little hidden gem.

While this campsite won, we would highly recommend you visit all the campsites which made our shortlist in Best Campsites to visit in the Lake District and spend a few nights at each one – trust me you won’t be disappointed in any.

Fieldhead campsite

Best campsite in the Peak District

While I love visiting the Lake District, I probably spend more time in the Peak District as its closer and easier to get to. While it’s not as challenging to hike etc in the Peak District it does offer some of its own beauty and well worth visiting.

The winner of the best camping in the Peaks for 2018 is Field Head Campsite – a brilliant little campsite in Edale.

This campsite located in the heart of Edale is a great campsite for exploring the area.

It’s split into over 6 fields and has a river (Ok river might be a little strong, large stream) running through it.

The great thing about this is you can walk to it from Edale train station. I have stayed here several times and the views are just stunning. The campsite is also the home of the Peak District tourist information with some friendly staff helping you.

There are several great walks around here including the Jacobs Ladder and a few others. I have done many walks and in more recent years many fell runs around here and love Edale and its surrounding hills.

With such an easy walk into Edale which has some amazing pubs to unwind in after a hard days walking with a nice drink, a cafe and general store.

The site is open all year round and so long as you have the right sleeping bag, I would highly recommend you visit it in the different seasons.

My favourite place to pitch is by the river, but these if I take the family I tend to stay on the larger fields as always worry about the kids near the water and plus the open space gives them more places to play.

One thing I like about the site, is cars are not permitted on the site anywhere meaning you have to leave your car in the car park allowing for a more peaceful stay.

While this is a great campsite, we would recommend you check out the other campsites which made the shortlist for Best Camp Site in the Peak district to visit in 2018 as honestly, they were all great.

Gwithian Farm Campsite - Cornwall

Best campsite for young kids

Taking the kids camping can be a magical holiday, it can be a cheap and fun-filled experience. There are so many campsites which are aimed at children and it really depends what your children like.

This is a wonderful site located near the lovely village of Gwithian, which is about 4 miles, St Ives.

The site itself is only a few minute walk to the beach or you can drive into St Ives pretty easy, we did a mixture of the two. The beach nearest the campsites was quiet and clean but not a lot going on. Whereas St Ives is to me more like Whitby of the south, a lovely seaside port town with lots to see and do.

Staying here gives you both options to help keep the kids entertained.

The campsite itself it’s in excellent conditions with wonderful owners who are super friendly, the toilet block on site is spotless – I don’t know how often it’s cleaned but whenever I visited I never saw any dirt.

The onsite shop is perfect, it literally sells everything you could need (have forgotten to pack the gas for the mini stove and they had plenty in stock, but it sold everything for food essentials to all camping equipment needed). You can also hire wetsuits if needed for the sea, the waves are pretty good here for surfing.

The site has a great park for kids to play on if they aren’t tired enough from playing on the beach all day.

There was a wide variety of vans turning up to selling you a wide range of items from coffee, to pizza’s and a chip shop van. I meant to count the different vans or ask the owners but was too busy enjoying the trip with the kids.

There is a pub across the road, think it was called Red River Pub or Red River Inn but it was a great traditional pub, served decent food at a decent price. We only tried it once during our stay as I like to cook in the evenings – but after a long day out in St Ives I was ready for a cold beer and to let someone else worry about the cooking.

I love St Ives I have a lot of fond memories from here as a child, so being able to take my family back now to make our memories is great. It’s a lovely campsite which is just far enough away from St Ives to have that remote feel, but close enough that it’s only a short drive and you’re in the town.

If you don’t fancy a drive down to Cornwall or just want to check out who else made the shortlist of the best campsites in 2018 with young kids.

Clover Fields Touring Park - Buxton

 Best campsite for adults only

If you want to relax after a hard week at work, there is nothing better than a weekend away camping, while camping with kids is fun, if you truly want to relax – finding an adult only site is the best way. The number of sites in recent years which are adult only has been growing massively and there is a great choice all over the country, however, our favourite is.

Cloverfield campsite is a great site to explore the wonders of the Peak District – while not as magnificent as the Lake District, the Peaks is a great place to learn to map read, hike etc as you’re never too far from help, plus it has some of its own unique characteristics which makes it special.

The site is a picturesque site, with great hedges around to help keep most of the traffic noise which is a bonus.

We were welcomes by Jan, who is extremely friendly and showed us to our pitch, plus a great source of knowledge about the local area if your unsure what to do. There was plenty of space on the field with greatly sized pitches with little hedges between each space allowing for a bit of privacy.

There is a cafe on site, which we didn’t use which seemed extremely popular so must be good, plus I saw them delivering breakfast and papers to the different pitches – which could be extremely useful if you’re after a relaxing break and not to worry about a thing. There is also a small onsite shop which sells all the essentials you may have forgotten to pack.

The toilet block was extremely clean and modern which was lovely to use after a long day walking. Nothing beats a hot shower and a few cold beers after a long trek.

The site is very close to Buxton, close enough for you to get a taxi at a reasonable rate so you can enjoy a meal out and a few drinks without worrying about who is driving,

If you want to take your four-legged friend with you, then there is a great little dog walk, plus a pond to walk around, which from the signs I believe you can fish but we didn’t see anyone fishing so not 100% certain.

Overall this site is the perfect base to explore Buxton or Derbyshire. A great site ran by an amazing owner, it’s one of the nicest and friendliest adults-only sites we have visited, well worth visiting. If you own a caravan or motorhome this is the site for you, from speaking with the owners I got the impression they were experienced caravan owners and decided to create a list of everything a dream caravan site should have and then they have gone out and built it, but they still offer a great service to people who use tents.

While Cloverfield Campsite may have been our favourite, there are quite a few good campsites which we’re close, so if the Lake District is a bit far for a weekend away, why not the runners-up for Campsites which are Adult only.

Lurcher Farm cottage

Best campsite which allows fire

Personally speaking, one of the best bits of camping is sitting around a campfire after exploring a new area and relaxing as the sun sets, however over the years the numbers of sites which allows you to have a campfire has been decreasing, but there are still some amazing sites out there which do.

Our favourite and the one we recommend you visit in 2018 is Lurcher Farm Cottage.

Located near Newark in Nottinghamshire this is a truly amazing site. Martin the owner is so helpful and friendly throughout our entire stay.

The area and scenery are beautiful, actually beautiful doesn’t do it justice – I just forgot to take my camera with me. The great thing about his site is that it caters to both campers and caravan owners, so my parents can stay in their caravan and we can camp, allowing us to get away for a relaxing weekend.

The toilets are immaculate, Martin and his wife really do take the time to look after both the guests but also the campsite. It’s hard to say these are specifically the cleanest toilets I have ever seen on a campsite as stayed at quite a few, but they are definitely up there on the list.

The site as well as allowing campfires, which is always a bonus in our eyes, allows you to take your dogs with you.

There is even a small dog walking section to allow you to take your dog for a walk.

My children are a little young, but there is a BMX track at end of the site, allowing the kids to have fun.

They have a small but well-equipped shop with all the Camping emergency equipment, pegs, guide ropes, etc. We didn’t need to use it but always handy to know just in case you forget to take something.

As we were with the parents we did try the food, it’s all homemade and amazing quality – no one around the table had a bad word to say about it.

Overall, this site is a true gem of a site and well worth visiting, even if you’re just using it a stopover on the way to another site or staying for a bit longer.

While this site is great and would highly recommend there are also some great campsites which allow campfires which made our shortlist and if possible we would recommend you visit as many as you can in 2018.

Hidden Valley Camping - Worcestershire

Best campsite which allows dogs

Some people just can’t image going camping without their dogs, well they are part of the family aren’t there and don’t worry there are quite a few campsites up and down the country which allows you to take your dog.

Our favourite that we visited last year was Hidden Valley campsite.

Located in the Teme Valley, this campsite offers spectacular views and is stunning campsite hidden in the woods. What makes this campsite great is that is actually owned by very keen campers and chatting with them you really get to know their passion for the site.

They took what they loved about different campsites, and put it in Hidden Valley, like large generous pitches to campsites. Plus being a tent only campsite means they don’t have to accommodate their needs.

One thing that stood out about this campsite, was the night sky. I have spent many nights under canvas, but here you really do get a super clear sky with very little man-made light to affect your ability to see the stars, meaning we could have a fire and sit around enjoy the skies.

The site has good clean facilities and hot water in the showers 24 a day, which I like as it means I can shower when I like, especially if we have to take the dog out for a long walk (or more like a hike) and want to freshen up when we get back.

The owners are super helpful, they even helped to take all our gear down to our pitch on their quad bike. Shame he wouldn’t let me have a go, but understand why.

This is one of the few sites I have ever visited where there isn’t anything negative that I could find, there is a small honesty shop onsite for all the essentials you need.

If you like nature, then this is a must visit campsite, there are so many different species around the site in the nearby fields and woods that you will be always on the lookout for that next animal.

The reason I think the site is so perfect is the fact it’s run by campers, for campers and not by someone trying to make a business, it’s just the little details that make it extra special.

There are some great campsites which made the short in Best campsite to visit which allow dogs that might be a bit closer to home or somewhere new so worth checking out.

 

Best Campsite which is dog free

Whether you want a campsite which is dog free because you are scared of dogs, don’t like the barking throughout the night or for any other reason, there are quite a few campsites which are now dog free – meaning you can get away without the worries.

We visited quite a few but the one which really stood out was Swallowholme Camping & Caravan Park.

Located on the edge of the village of Bamford in the Hope Valley. This is an amazing site in the Peak District. I love the Peaks and this site offers a great base to explore it further.

The family-run site is amazing with some great facilities and is kept very clean. Yes, there is train which can put some people off – but it just adds to the site in my opinion and it has its own little charm.

The site is located next to a river and the site even has its own ducks that wander around.

There are a few local shops nearby which are handy if you forget something, I think the local garage is 24 hours a day.

If you like to walk or hike, this is a must visit campsite – the site offers plenty of decent walks for all abilities and what’s great if your unsure ask the owners they are more than willing to offer some advice.

One of the advantages of this site being so close to the train line is the station is just over the road. Meaning you can arrive by train and not have to worry about driving. I visited this site alone and its how I arrived, taking the stress out of the travel meant I got to start my weekend break early than planned.  Plus if you fancy a day trip into either Sheffield or Manchester this is easily done as that’s the route of the train.

I am tempted to go back with the family, my youngest boy is train mad, so I can imagine him sitting there loving watching the trains pass by, plus when I was out walking saw a decent playground just up the road to keep the older boy entertained.

There are plenty of pubs within walking distance to get either something to eat or a drink or two.

Loved the site – would go back again and this time take the family so they can enjoy it.

There are several sites across the country which made our shortlist, if you can’t or don’t want to travel to the Peak District, why not check out the best dog free campsites in the UK.

Overall best campsite

If I am honest I hate the bit, any of the above winners could easily be the overall winner, but for 2018 if you could only visit one campsite it would have to be Field Head Campsite in the Peak District, we actually visited this site 3 times last year as it was a great place to get the kids into hiking and exploring and its such an easy campsite to visit.

 

If you are going camping, don’t forget to check out Go Outdoors, family camping trip video, some really useful tips in their.

 

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