Six of the UK’s best unspoilt camping locations
With its striking peaks, lush valleys, and rolling hills, the UK is home to hundreds of fantastic camping grounds. All over the country, you’ll find tent pitches, farms, caravan parks and prefabricated holiday homes to spend a few days away on your own or with your family. Depending on the time of year (or if there's an event like a festival nearby), some campsites can become extremely busy, making them a little less pleasant for those who like a serene camping experience.
Thankfully, there are plenty of unspoilt camping locations across the country offering peace, quiet, and privacy. Below, we’ve pulled together our favourites for those looking for a 2021 staycation. Ranging from back-to-basics, wild-camping to luxurious stays with plenty of amenities, we’ve included a little something for everyone. For those who aren’t regular campers (or if you’ve not been camping for a while), we’ve also included some tips on what to pack for camping. Here’s to staycations in 2021!
Hoathwaite Campsite, Cumbria:
“A simple site in a stunning location close to the shore of Coniston Water.”
Located in the beautiful Lake District, Hoathwaite Campsite boasts incredible views and a back-to-basics vibe that offers all the essentials without the frills. With plenty of iconic walking routes on its doorstep, it’s ideal for those who love hiking and sightseeing while camping.
Graig Wen, North Wales
“Succumb to the tranquil hills of Graig Wen. Smart, sustainable and quite simply, lush.”
Sitting on the west of Snowdonia National Park, Graig Wen claims to be one of the best camping locations in all of Wales. Preservation of the surrounding wilderness is at the heart of Graig Wen’s ethos, making it an ultimate unspoilt location for campers. Tent owners benefit from an additional quiet area, accessed only by foot down a steep path.
Swinton Bivouac, Yorkshire Dales
“One of the most picturesque settings in the Yorkshire Dales”
Both a glamping site and a local historical site, there’s so much to see and do at Swinton Bivouac. Offering plenty of amenities in a lush rural setting, this campsite is ideal for those who love activities like historical sightseeing, cycling, falconry, horseback riding, fly fishing, and clay pigeon shooting, all the while having nature on their doorstep.
The Little Wild Campsite, Cornwall
“A world heritage site with stunning views of Mounts Bay and the surrounding area”
Located only two miles away from the sea, The Little Wild Campsite is yet another basic, nature-based campsite that will give you a near-wild experience. This campsite keeps things super-simple - no electricity, and no busy or loud amenity areas - just the basics. This rustic campsite also has a lovely communal fire, ideal for getting to know your fellow campers in the wild.
Camping in Nature at Vallis Veg, Somerset
“A quiet, secluded, beautiful setting”
Vegetable and fruit farm first, campsite second, Vallis Veg offers a rustic, woodland camping experience for an exclusive number of tents. If you like things a little unconventional this is the one for you.
Sitting on the outskirts of Frome, Somerset, Vallis Veg promises wooded areas, surrounded by shady trees, shrubbery, and plenty of wildlife. With a wealth of family-friendly activities available in nearby Frome, this campsite likes to keep things simple, peaceful, and quiet.
Loveland Farm, North Devon
“North Devon’s most unique eco-retreat...where sustainability comes first without compromising on luxury”
Offering its guests a sustainable camping experience that’s as luxurious as it is memorable, Loveland Farm is one for those seeking something truly unique. Located just one mile from Devon’s coastline, Loveland Farm allows guests to relax in their state-of-the-art tipis and geo-pods before soaking up the striking views of the coast. Ideal for couples and groups of campers looking for a high-end staycation.
Your essential camping list
Before deciding what to pack for camping, it’s best to have a look through the amenities of the campsite you’re visiting. Is there electricity and running water? Are there washing facilities? What about a food shop nearby? All of these questions are essential if you are going to pack the appropriate kit for your stay in nature. As one of the more accessible, affordable, and popular ways to camp, we’ve created the below list for campers staying at a site with basic amenities only (limited access to electricity, with basic toilet and showering facilities), who would be sleeping in a tent.
- Sleeping bag + pillow
- First aid kit
- Self-filtering water flask
- Multi-layer jacket or fleece
- Non-perishable snacks and food
- Backpack/hiking bag
- Walking boots
- Lighter or matches
- Map/navigation app
- Thermals/base layer
Nice to Have
- Solar-powered or wind-up power bank
- Multi-use tool (such as a Swiss Army Knife)
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Cooking equipment (camp stove, pots and pans)
- Bamboo / reusable cutlery
- Padded roll or airbed
- Backup firewood
- BBQ essentials
- Waterproof backpack cover
- Packaway waterproof clothing
Whether you’re looking for a home-away-from-home glamping experience with plenty of amenities, or you’re keen to get back to basics through wild camping, walking and hiking, you’ll find all you need right here. This shortlist only scratches the surface of the many unspoilt campsites across the UK, perfect for a memorable 2021 staycation. Camping is one of our most treasured outdoor activities. Not only can we enjoy what nature has to offer, but it’s also an environmentally friendly alternative to international travel. Wishing our fellow nature lovers an enjoyable and memorable 2021, wherever your adventures take you.