Are you looking to escape somewhere to feel a sense of ‘normality’? I don’t blame you. With all the uncertainty engulfing the world at this moment I decided to take a trip down memory lane to relive some of my favourite spots for camping in England. I visited all of these sites over an 18 months period and whilst there were some amazing campsites – these were my favourite.
England is home to some of the most scenic and awe-inspiring campsites in the world. Whether you are looking to escape to the mountains, find a quiet spot next to the beach or pitch up next to a lake – there is something for everyone. The 10 sites which make my favourites list were all slightly different. Some were quirky and just blew me away from being so unique. Others were located in amazing parts of the country with great views or excursions. All though, blew me away.
I hope that whilst reading this list you find some great ideas for your next camping trip away.
Coniston: The Lake District, Cumbria
Located in the Lake District, Coniston is an idyllic village with an abundance of character. I love this place so much that I even considered leaving it off my list and keeping it a secret for myself!
It is sandwiched between a lake and a mountain which provide unrivalled scenery. Furthermore, there is everything you need within the village itself. With plenty of pubs (many with their micro-breweries attached), restaurants and shops you can relax after a long day climbing the Old Man (the mountain) or swimming the lake. What more could you want when camping in England?
Coniston has several campsites nearby and they are all excellent. They have top-rated facilities and are of great value. Also, Coniston is a stone-throw away from Windermere and other great attractions in the Lake District. Whether you are looking to get caught up in an adventure, relax with the family or enjoy time away with friends – Coniston is perfect for you.
Knepp Estate, Horsham, West Sussex
Knepp Estate offers a unique experience to campers. You will encounter herds of wild ponies, cattle, deer and pigs as they roam this country estate which is a driving force of habitat regeneration. The campsite itself has facilities which are second to none with a wood-burning pizza oven, solar-powered charging station and ‘funky’ furniture at the on-site communal kitchen. During the day you can explore the 3,500-acre estate by going on one of the safari tours with an expert guide. Knepp is part safari, part country-estate and part modern tech-hub! It shouldn’t work but it really does.
Manor Farm, Norfolk
Manor Farm is an unfussy, quiet campsite in the stunning Norfolk countryside. Part of the beauty of this large, gently rolling site is that it has gorgeous views of the sea, with the beach at East Runton a short walk down the hill and through the village. This village itself is a throwback to the traditional seaside town with amusement arcades, fish and chip shops and tea parlours. This campsite and its surrounding area offer fun for all the family regardless of age.
Beach View Holiday Park, Suffolk
This little-known site is perfect for those looking to get away from the hustle of daily life and to relax at one with your surroundings. The campsite has a bar selling locally sourced ale and larger whilst a wood-fired pizza oven shop is just outside the shop offering perfect pizza takeaway. The real beauty though comes on an evening as you look out over the cliffs and into the sea. This view is just spectacular and there are few better moments than watching the sunset whilst enjoying a cold one from the bar.
This view alone makes this an ideal sport for camping in England.
Ettie’s field, Warwickshire
This is another hidden gem and it the perfect place to camp. Ettie’s field offers a festival-like experience with fairy lights, donkeys, llamas and the best toilets you’ll ever see. The site has full features including hook-up and dishwashers and is immaculately clean and well-kept. Finally, it has a luxury lounge with comfy sofas. It has the chilled-out vibe of a special place where all of the family can escape too and enjoy.
Low Wray, Ambleside
We head back to the Lake District for another outstanding campsite in this idyllic place. Low Wray is positioned on the edge of a lake and is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. On a morning you will unzip your tent to find the gorgeous surroundings simply breath-taking. Moreover, you can hike, canoe, paddle, swim, kayak and much more all from the comfort of your campsite. Finally, the owners of Low Wray are super kind and don’t be surprised to see them wondering the site offering free tea, coffee and biscuits on a morning – I once even managed to negotiate my way to a bacon and egg bun.
Stanley Villa Farm Fishing and Camping, Lancashire
This quiet and peaceful location is an ideal place to relax and unwind. With its lakeside setting, this campsite has a fantastic family atmosphere. Each pod has a firepit and an on-site shop will cater to all needs. The fishing lake contains 20lb Carp whilst there are chickens on-site that children can help feed as well as friendly sheep. Furthermore, this is all 15 minutes from the world-famous Blackpool seaside resort. With its theme park, amusement arcades and golden mile Blackpool has been a premier location in the UK for the last 150 years.
This campsite offers the best of both worlds. It is quiet and relaxed on-site and then with Blackpool next door you will never be lost for things to do or places to go. If you are travelling to the north-west of England, I couldn’t recommend this place more.
Wheal Rodney Holiday Park, Cornwall
This quiet and peaceful holiday park is just a stone-throw away from the stunning view of St. Michael’s Mount. St Michael’s Mount island where modern life meets layers of history, discover a medieval castle, a sub-tropical paradise and a close-knit island community. You can walk to the Mount across a causeway when it is low tide, or you can get a boat from the harbour.
This family-friendly resort offers great facilities and with a local area with great views and plenty to do. Furthermore, Wheal Rodney also boosts a heated swimming pool which kids and adults alike love. This location of this campsite on the south coast makes it easily accessible and you will get the best weather England has to offer.
Bryher Campsite, Isles of Scilly
This is a small, traditional, family-friendly campsite on the Isles of Scilly. Whether it’s a relaxing getaway or a fun-packed family holiday you’re after, Bryher Campsite is the perfect base from which to explore this tropical part of England. Sandwiched between two hills on and just moments from a white sandy beach. Everything this stunning island has to offer is within a short stroll, from the pub, shop and local produce honesty stalls to the rocky coves and idyllic beaches that make Bryher such a dramatic and beautiful island of contrasts.
What makes this place unique is the people! You will find yourself getting friendly with the locals and putting the world to rights with your holiday neighbours. The island culture is infectious and comes to the end of your stay you will be planning your return to this island paradise.
Whitby is a beautiful seaside resort famous for great fish and chips. This site has amazing facilities but the best it has to offer is the castle ruins which are a stone’s throw away from the campsite. Here, the locals put on battle re-enactments, displays and a vintage car show which I am sure you will find fascinating and informative. This campsite is also placed on a cliff-top with great views of the beautiful harbour below and the sea which goes on as far as the eye can see.
This campsite is not open all year round but if your trip coincides with one of the special events which the showground opens its gates for you should make a point of adding Whitby to your travel itinerary. A top tip you will get from any local is to try out the local scampi – it is divine.
FAQ about camping in England
I don’t have a car; how should I get around?
England has an extensive public transport network. All of these locations have train or bus routes which service them. For the more remote locations in the Lake District, you may need to get a train to Oxenholme and then a bus to forward you to your destination. If you are still worried about getting around there are car hire companies around England which should be able to assist you. Whatever you choose, transport is not an issue for any of the spots we have reviewed for camping in England.
What is the local currency?
In England, they use the British Pound. You can change money at most post-offices which are found in most small towns and villages. It is unlikely that you will be able to use Euros. Most campsites have online booking so you can always ensure you have a place to stay if you don’t have the correct currency immediately available.
What facilities do these campsites have?
Each campsite has different facilities to offer but all of them have the basics such as comfortable shower blocks, car parking and fire pits. Most also have on-site camp shops and electrical hook-up. If you require bespoke facilities, you can always check ahead to see what other facilities the campsites have. You need to ensure you bring a summer tent as the weather, contrary to popular belief, can get really warm which will be uncomfortable in anything other than a specialised tent. I have reviewed some of my favourites here.
How can I book one of these sites?
Each of these sites can be booked online or by giving the campsite a call. For all but one (Whitby) I just turned up on the day and managed to get a pitch. However, for the more travel conscious I would recommend calling ahead to ensure you have a reserved a place to camp.
Conclusion: Camping In England
England is a place of natural beauty. An island with rolling mountains, wonderful coastline and tremendous lakes. Whether you are camping alone, with friends or as a family it has something to offer. The campsites reviewed in this article are some of the best and are dotted all around the country.
The best camping in Enlgand is found, in my opinion, at Coniston. This place is truly unique and is hidden away in the depths of the Lake District. With mountains, lakes and pubs galore it is the perfect retreat for the whole family. You can get lost in an adventure or take up a new hobby whether that be water sports at the boathouse or rock climbing up the face of a mountain – this is the place. Perhaps the best thing about Coniston is, as with all great places, the people. They will welcome you on arrival and will only add to your experience by being tour guides and friends for the duration of your stay.