Top 10 camping and caravanning
Spectacular views, great facilities and wildlife all around
pectacular views, excellent facilities and wildlife on your doorstep make a camping or caravanning holiday the perfect get-away-from-it-all break. Take you pick from small, quiet sites to fully serviced resorts with restaurants and evening entertainment.
Explore the lush Golden Valley while staying at this 35-acre caravan and camping park on the River Dore. Top-notch facilities include a children’s play area, 9-hole pitch and putt, games room and a bar and restaurant. Free print outs of suggested walks are available from reception, which can also organise rental bikes. Take a trip to nearby Hay on Wye, famous for its independent bookshops, or visit the Tudor villages of Eardisland and Pembridge with their handsome timbered houses.
With summer entertainment, a heated outdoor pool, fishing lake and a brewery you’d be forgiven for not leaving this campsite during your entire stay. The setting’s not bad either: situated on an elevated position near the market town of Ashbourne. The 13-mile Tissington Trail, a walking and cycling route along a disused railway line, is just on your doorstep and the beautiful Georgian spa town of Buxton is close by too. If you fancy some more white-knuckle adventures, Alton Towers is only 20 minutes drive away.
You may spot red or roe deer when you stay at this quiet, family-run site in a woodland clearing. In the summer the owners organise hog roasts and BBQs and if you book a pitch at their neighbouring no-frills site, Muntjac Meadow (August only), you can enjoy a nightly campfire. Explore the pretty north Norfolk coast with its sandy beaches, nature reserves and gastro pubs, hire a boat on the Norfolk Broads or discover the city of Norwich with its half-timbered houses and Norman castle.
It describes itself as the ‘park with the view’ for good reason; Castlerigg Hall offers fine panoramas of the glistening waters of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, both backed by equally stunning fells. Tuck into traditional Cumbrian specialities while admiring the views in the on-site restaurant – there’s also a shop, campers’ kitchen and laundrette. Only 1.5 miles from picturesque Keswick. With excellent walking on the doorstep, this park is perfectly positioned to explore the best of the Lake District.
Enjoy spectacular views of imposing Bamburgh Castle at this touring caravan site. Facilities include the Ocean Club with its indoor pool, sauna and steam room, a children’s play area and nature trail. Restaurants and bars are located in the fishing village of Seahouses. From here you can take a boat trip to see the grey seals and sea birds on the Farne Islands or visit some of Northumberland’s dramatic, weather-beaten castles, including Alnwick with its opulent staterooms and Capability Brown parkland.
Set on the rural Roseland Peninsula, this 12-acre park is open to both touring caravans and traditional campers with a shop, an indoor dishwashing facility and children’s play area. Take a short stroll to the St-Just-in-the-Roseland church where sub-tropical shrubs and flowers tumble down to the water’s edge. Or walk two miles into St Mawes, home to a beautifully preserved castle commissioned by Henry VIII. Superb sandy beaches and idyllic public gardens are within easy reach.
Friendly owners will tow your caravan to its pitch at this well-manicured, tranquil site overlooking the Yorkshire Wolds. An on-site shop sells local eggs and honey plus all the other basics. Visit the traditional seaside resort of Scarborough, walk along the dramatic coast on the Cleveland Way or take a steam train ride across the wild, heather-strewn North York Moors National Park.
Children love to fool around in the stream running through this 25-acre, well-equipped site with its bar and restaurant. When they tire of that there’s also an adventure play area to burn off some energy or a walk up Moor How for spectacular views of the Lake District. Kids will also enjoy the Beatrix Potter attraction at Bowness, home to a three-screen cinema and a shop selling 36 flavours of ice cream. Now that’s bliss.
Enjoy access to an 18-hole links golf course, leisure club with indoor pool and two fishing lakes. This 72-acre country park has direct access to a sandy beach plus a nature trail where you can go bird watching. In the evening enjoy talent shows, cabaret and fancy dress competitions. Nearby Bridlington is a traditional English seaside resort with mini golf and donkey rides.
This large, well-equipped holiday park on the English Riviera is heaven for families. There's a heated outdoor pool, adventure playground and crazy golf plus an indoor soft play area and arts and crafts activities to keep youngsters entertained if it rains. Teenagers will love the table tennis, pool table and fruit machines. If you fancy a change of scene, take a walk along the promenade at Paignton with its 19th century pier and multi-coloured beach huts before returning to enjoy the nightly entertainment.