Our friends at Cool Camping have bought themselves a campervan , and it got us thinking about next year's holidays. What could be better than jumping in the van and touring some of the most beautiful parts of Britain? Here are some of our favourite and most scenically located places to stay to get you in the mood...
The only campsite right in St Ives, Ayr Holiday Park has stunning views and high-quality facilities, and is also an unbelievably easy trot from the town’s top attractions.
The closest campsite to Cambridge has spacious fields bordered by tangled hedgerows and trimmed at dawn by muntjack deer, plus is just outside a village with decent pubs and bus links to the city centre. You can also nip in and out of town on the river towpath.
Just four miles north of St Davids on the Pembrokeshire Coast, this place will have you dancing a little jig of joy as soon as you’ve arrived, with stunning views across the sea from what is by any standards a spectacular clifftop location. Take advantage of the outdoor activities on offer, with bushcraft and survival skills on-site and coasteering, surfing, sea kayaking available nearby, followed by a hog roast supper or surf-and-turf barbecue at the end of the day. There's also a sheltered swimming cove below, and the coastal path on your doorstep.
About a mile from the river, this site, fashioned out of the wooded grounds ancestral Clippesby Hall, pretty much has it all: a wonderful location with lots of trees for secluded camping, and a position that’s perfect for cycling and walking and exploring the Broads by boat. It has great facilities too – its own pub, an outdoor pool, bike rental and a great, well-priced café – and what’s more the people who run the place are passionate about their site and the Broads, for which they have lots of suggestions for cycle route, boat trips, walking routes and more.
An energetic and enterprising site, right on the main coast road this wonderful campsite-cum-hostel-cum café and information centre has around 80 pitches and 6 tipis and yurts – and diversions a-plenty in and around Burnham Deepdale. Hire a bike a bike or get on your walking boots, and take to the North Norfolk Coast Path.
Best sited campsite in the Lakes? In the world? Many keen campers think so, since the National Trust’s remote Great Langdale site is circled by some of the country’s most alluring peaks, notably the craggy Langdale Pikes. It’s open all year too – and many hardy souls come in winter º– but you should book well in advance in summer.
One of the best-equipped campsites on the north Cornwall coast, with excellent facilities and vast green spaces for tents and touring vans, and also well connected with Newquay town centre and local attractions via a regular bus service. It's a big site, so not really for you if you're looking for somewhere peaceful, but even at full capacity it caters brilliantly for the crowds that come here.
A beautiful and well-run South Devon campsite, from where it feels you could almost roll down the hill to the beautiful bay of Hope Cove about a mile below. Neatly laid out, the site offers ample space, with terraced areas separated by low hedges to give private camping zones.
It's lucky enough to be situated next to one of England's most iconic landmarks, and there's no doubt that the Stonehenge monument is a stellar reason to come to this neck of the woods. But the good news is that the the site itself is a destination in itself, a camping hub for travellers, hippies, families and couples, all looking for a peaceful place to rest their heads. It's won a buckletload of awards, the last one being cute camping pods, a scattering of well-kept grass pitches, plus a brand new gents and ladies shower block, the many plaudits 'Loos of the Year' in 2015. Need we say more?
Deep in the wilds of north Suffolk, keen camper Jonathan set up this seven-acre campsite with his dad five years ago, and it has grown quite a bit since. However, it remains a simple site exuding a very cool vibe, with two grassy fields separated by a small lake. There is some adjoining woodland to explore, and the position is perfect for bucolic strolls across the 12 miles or so of well-marked paths and bridleways of nearby Thornham Walks.
A short walk from the South West Coast Path and the great swimming spot at Dancing Ledge, and close to the pubs in Langton Matravers, Tom’s Field spreads across several semi-walled off areas, with a choice of secluded nooks and more open areas.
Pitch a tent on the western tip of the island of St Agnes and you are resting your head on the last inhabited piece of land before 3000 miles of uninterrupted Atlantic. The upside of this is that you can’t beat the scenery: a white-sand beach and boulder-strewn spits petering out into the ocean. Downsides? There's aren't really any, except that your pitch may will feel the full force of an Atlantic storm.
Deep amongst the birds and the bees, the bushes and the trees of the beautiful Waveney Valley, Wardley Hill Campsite is a simple rural meadow, a lush, six-acre space of long wild grass, ageing oaks and trickling streams that is a beautiful bucolic retreat on the outskirts of Bungay, with a mixture of car-free pitches for tents and camper vans and a handful of glamping alternatives – or, as they prefer to say, camping for those 'too posh to pitch'.
An oasis of activity in what truly feels like the middle of nowhere down in the southern Broads, Waveney River Centre is a well-equipped camping and glamping site right byon the river, with pitches for tourers and tents, all with views over the water, and great facilities that include a modern and well-equipped shower bloc, an indoor swimming pool, children’s play area, canoe hire, day-boat hire and cycle hire, river trips on the ‘Betsie-Jane’ and a ‘secret wildlife garden’ for kids. You will not be bored!
This site is about as basic as it gets, with facilities consisting of just a rudimentary toilet block and slightly sloping pitches. But the reason you stay at Whitesands Bay is because you can walk from your tent to the beach in a matter of seconds. It’s always busy in summer and pitches are limited, but if you want to be at the heart of the St David’s beach scene this is as good as it gets.