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TOP BRITISH SUMMER CAMPING DESTINATIONS

By National Trust
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Sleeping in the great outdoors is a great way to relax, unwind and spend time with family but the choice of campsites can be bewildering. To help, we asked our partner the National Trust to come up with a highlights list of their top UK campsites. From camping in Robin Hood country to perfect pitches in the Peaks, National Trust campsites offer the chance to get right to the heart of the stunning countryside the charity looks after.

When it comes to camping, there can be few places to match the beautiful beaches, tranquil watersides, enchanting woodlands and breath-taking peaks that National Trust campsites are set among. So why not make your next holiday an outdoor adventure and explore some of this stunning countryside?

The National Trust has chosen some top spots to pitch a tent and camp out in the wild – one of its 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾ – with activities right on the doorstep including fun for all the family.

 

CASTLE WARD, COUNTY DOWN

© National Trust Images/John Millar© National Trust Images/John Millar

With 820 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland to explore on the shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Ward is full of opportunities for fresh air fun. There’s space for 11 tents in the caravan park.

There’s lots to do from enjoying the 21 miles of multi-use trails to having a go at activities including archery, climbing and canoeing. Children can also enjoy the woodland play area and farmyard.

Why not try a glamping experience and enjoy a stay in the camping pods. Stay dry and cosy with sheep wool insulated standard and family pods all year round.

Things to see and do at Castle Ward »

CLUMBER PARK, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

© National Trust Images © National Trust Images/David Levenson

Pitch your tent in the heart of Robin Hood country at Clumber Park on the edge of Sherwood Forest and discover the 3,800 acres of parkland, heath and woods set around the magnificent lake.

Follow the walking trails and 20 miles of cycle routes or visit the Discovery Centre to find out about the wildlife. Clumber is home to Europe’s longest double avenue of Lime trees and there’s also fun for little ones at The Burrow play centre and Woodland Play Park.

For a glamping experience try the wigwams, camping pods or Clumber Park Bunkhouse. There’s also a caravan site.

Things to see and do at Clumber Park »

© National Trust Images/John Millar © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

This small campsite can be found at the foot of Leith Hill, the highest point in South East England. Topped with a gothic tower, Leith Hill has views over the surrounding Surrey Hills.

Scale the hill and climb the 74 steps to the top of the tower and see if you can spot the London Eye or the English Channel. Have an adventure in the surrounding woodland or visit Leith Hill Place, the childhood home of one England’s finest composers, Vaughan Williams.

Things to see and do at Leith Hill »

HAFOD Y LLAN, GWYNEDD

© National Trust Images/Joe Cornish © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Nestled in the Nant Gwynant Valley at the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, the peaceful and family-friendly Hafod y Llan campsite is ideally placed for exploring the surrounding area.

Discover the myths and legends of Dinas Emrys, have a go at kayaking on Llyn Gwynant or follow the Hafod y Llan family farm trail and see what farm animals and wildlife you can spot.

Things to see and do at Craflwyn and Beddgelert »

HIGHTERTOWN FARM, CORNWALL

© National Trust Images/John Millar © National Trust Images/John Millar

An environmentally-friendly campsite, Hightertown Farm in Lansallos is perfectly positioned for exploring the South East Cornwall coast and its picturesque fishing villages and is a stone’s throw from the South West Coast Path.

Go surfing at Sharrow Beach, Whitsund Bay, or swim in the tidal bathing pool at Polperro harbour. Families will also enjoy the beach at East Looe, rockpooling at Portnadler or hunting for geocaches along the coast.

Things to see and do at Lantic Bay and Lansallos »

HOUGHTON MILL, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

© National Trust Images/David Dixon © National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

Waterclose Meadows campsite on the banks of the River Ouse has views of Houghton Mill, a working 18th-century watermill. There are 15 tent pitches and space for 54 caravans.

As well as curious cogs, wheels and machinery to see and play with inside Houghton Mill there’s plenty of outdoor fun from boat rides and riverside picnics to wildlife adventures in the nearby Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve.

Things to see and do at Houghton Mill »

LAKE DISTRICT, CUMBRIA

© National Trust Images/Paul Harris © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

The Lake District offers an array of fantastic campsites. With so much choice, the National Trust campsites at Wasdale, Great Langdale, Low Wray and Hoathwaite offer access to various different Lake District highlights including Scafell Pike, Langdale Pikes, Windermere and Coniston Water.

Outdoor adventures aren’t in short supply and you’ll also find family fun at Wray Castle and Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse. Or why not take a trip across Coniston Water on the Steam Yacht Gondola?

More information including opening dates are on the National Trust’s Lake District campsites website.

There are glamping options available at all four campsites and facilities for campervans.

Things to see and do in the Lake District »

NOSTELL PRIORY AND PARKLAND, WEST YORKSHIRE

© National Trust Images © National Trust Images/John Millar

Nostell Priory Holiday Park is ideal for families. Right next door to Nostell Priory it’s within easy reach of over 300 acres of parkland and the house itself. There are pitches for six tents, 50 caravans and four motorhomes.

Whether you explore on two feet or two wheels, the parkland and gardens are full of surprises and perfect picnic spots. Youngsters can also test out the adventure playground, hunt for geocaches or have a go at den building.

Things to see and see and do at Nostell Priory »

UPPER BOOTH FARM, DERBYSHIRE

© National Trust Images/Leo Mason © National Trust Images/John Millar

Situated on a working hill farm in the Peak District National Park, Upper Booth Farm campsite nestles on the edge of Edale alongside Crowden Brook as it tumbles down from the Kinder Scout plateau.

See another side to the Peak District by discovering the night sky from Mam Tor hill fort, a great spot for stargazing. Geocaching fans can also join in the high-tech treasure hunt across the Dark Peak.

Things to see and do in Kinder, Edale and the Dark Peak »

50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 11¾

Looking for more activities to get your children excited about the outdoors? The National Trust has created a list of 50 adventures to get your kids exploring the wild places.

Find out more about 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ »

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National Trust

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