The best new camping and glampsites around the UK, from festival vibes to no-frills meadows

The best new camping and glampsites around the UK, from festival vibes to no-frills meadows

Festival vibe, Bedfordshire

Wild Canvas, one of the recent wave of pop-up campsites with a festival vibe, has a host of new additions for its fifth outing this summer. The campsite makes the most of its riverside setting on the Turvey House Estate near Bedford. It has a new wellness area, the Nest, with direct river access (BYO paddleboard!) plus a yoga yurt, a mobile sauna, a treatment tent for massages and free early-morning activities from meditation to boot camp.

A new hub, the Canvas Social – two giant tipis linked – will host kids’ activities, talent shows and evening events. There is a supper club on 24 August, with local food cooked over fire, and new food trucks serving empanadas, pizzas and barbecue. Two boutique camping villages have bell tents and tipis (guests can also book a yurt or bring their own tent/campervan). As in previous years, there are flushing and portable toilets and hot showers; a riverside cafe, courtyard bar and shop; and DJs at weekends.
Camping from £30 a night adult/£10 child. Glamping from £180 for four, 25 July to 27 August, wildcanvas.uk

‘An abundance of fun’, Buckinghamshire

Fawley Field Camping is a pop-up campsite is set around a grove of trees, where there are hammocks, a communal fire pit and views of the Chilterns. Guests can pitch their tent or park their campervan anywhere on the five-hectare site, which has showers, toilets and a washing-up area, but no electricity or wifi. The owners say: “We are a family-friendly campsite with an abundance of fun activities. You can expect sunset wine tasting, outdoor cinema nights, games, art and great coffee.” Footpaths lead to Stonor Park, country house and deer park, and Oaken Grove Vineyard, which does tours and tastings on Saturdays. The nearest town is Henley-on-Thames, about four miles away.
From £30 a night for four sharing, 7 August to 3 September, hipcamp.com

Cosy glamping pods, Lake District

Hardrigg Hall, a farm near the village of Skelton, just north of the Lake District national park boundary, has opened two glamping pods in the grounds. The pods have a double bed and sofabed, bathroom, kitchen and deck. There are fire pits and barbecues to hire. Guests can take a guided tour of the historic farm, which has a Grade II-listed farmhouse with a pele tower dating back five centuries. Nearby are the ruins of late-14th-century Penrith Castle. There are walks and cycle paths from the farm, or it is a 20-minute drive to Aira Force waterfall and Ullswater in the Lake District.
Pods from £90 a night for two, campsites.co.uk

No-frills meadow, Gloucestershire

New to pitchup.com this year is no-frills France Lane Farm, which has a meadow for tents, campervans and caravans, with basic facilities including lighting, toilets and showers. It is 10 minutes’ drive to Westonbirt, the national arboretum, and Highgrove gardens. Another addition, Eastgate Farm in Cambridgeshire, is even simpler: an off-grid camping field with toilets and shower (and lambs in the field next door). Barbecues are allowed, the nearest shops are in Royston, a 15-minute drive away, and it is half an hour’s drive to Cambridge.
France Lane Farm from £30 a night for four, pitchup.com. Eastgate Farm from £18 a night for two, pitchup.com

Across the stepping stones, North Yorkshire

Photograph: Pitchup.com

Just south of the Yorkshire Dales national park, Draughton Heights is a back-to-basics site and a peaceful spot for tents only. There is a toilet and shower block, and fire pits and barbecues are allowed. There are three lakes to attract wildlife, though sadly not for swimming. This is hiking territory: it is a scenic walk along the River Wharfe and across stepping stones to Bolton Abbey, a 12th-century Augustinian priory, or a steeper climb to Beamsley Beacon for views across the moors. For shops, pubs and restaurants, it is a one-hour walk on a Roman road to Skipton (or a 10-minute drive), and a 15-minute drive to Ilkley.
From £20 a night for four, pitchup.com

Perfect for hikers, Gwynedd

There are pitches for everyone at Cae Du Caravan & Camping Park by the River Glaslyn in Eryri (Snowdonia) national park. Cae Du caters for all campers, from small backpacker tents to campervans, motorhomes and caravans, and offers a choice of electric or non-electric pitches, some with water. Facilities at the 12-hectare site include toilets, showers, wifi, a laundry room, picnic areas and fishing spots. It is a short walk to Llyn Dinas, for swimming, paddleboarding and canoeing on the lake, and major hikes from the campsite include climbing Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). The village of Beddgelert is less than a mile away, with craft shops, cafes, pubs, and an ice-cream and pizza parlour. Sygun Copper Mines, an underground attraction, is also within easy walking distance.
Tent and motorhome pitches from £28 a night for two, open until 3 November, hipcamp.com

Curries delivered to your tipi, Devon

There are four tipis set in 19 hectares of wildflower meadows at Harta Retreat, just inland from the north Devon coast. All have kingsize beds, wood-burning stoves and private washing facilities. Two also have underfloor heating, roll-top baths and outdoor kitchens; the others have outdoor showers, porches and a fire pit/barbecue. On the site there is a stream-fed wildlife pond with a jetty and a hammock; orchard and woodland walks; and a tennis court. The owners can deliver breakfast or dinner (a variety of curries) to the tipis. It is a 15-minute drive to the nearest beach, a little further to Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands, and 20 minutes to Exmoor.
From £125 a night sleeping two, year-round, towanderuk.co.uk

Alpaca yoga, Dorset

Photograph: Martin Smith

There are 10 tent pitches at Flowerdew Farm, an alpaca and goat smallholding near the Jurassic Coast with three unfurnished bell tents, and one with a double bed and a single. The site is off-grid, with portable toilets and showers, picnic tables, and logs to buy for barbecues. Guests can book animal wellness sessions, including alpaca yoga, or have an inflatable paddleboard or kayak delivered to the site. There is a pub and a farm shop in walking distance, and it is a 10-minute walk to the Jurassic Coaster bus stop – the owners recommend Golden Cap for views, Cogden Beach for foraging, Hive Beach and West Bay for fish and chips, and Charmouth for fossil-hunting. Bridport is a 10-minute drive away, Dorchester 20 minutes.
From £26 a night for two, campsites.co.uk

A campervan site of your own, Northumberland

Preston Tower. Photograph: North East Stock/Alamy

Wild With Consent works with landowners to gain permission for campervans, and sometimes caravans, to spend the night on private land. This year, a new location is Preston Tower, a 14th-century pele tower on a 243-hectare estate. Bookings are exclusive, for individuals or small groups (up to three campervans). There is a toilet and a tap, and barbecues and raised fire pits are allowed. The camping field backs on to woodland that is home to skylarks, whitethroats and chaffinches. Visitors can climb the tower ramparts for 360-degree views: south to Heiferlaw Hill overlooking Alnwick, east to the sea, west to Ros Castle and the Cheviots, and north to the Scottish border. Also new for 2024 is Hole Park in Kent (£60 a night).
£45 for one campervan, £22.50 for each additional van, wildwithconsent.com

Wildflower haven, Hebrides

Photograph: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Gigha, the most southerly of the Hebridean Islands, has been community-owned since 2002. The island’s Heritage Trust recently opened the Isle of Gigha Campsite near the ferry slip, with 17 tent pitches and 10 for campervans and small motorhomes. A new group tent pitch away from the rest has room for four small tents, so families or groups of friends can camp together. The trust has aimed for a wilderness feel, with lots of long grass, bracken and wildflowers.
There are showers and toilets; a basic kitchen (with kettle, toaster, microwave and fridge); a reception stocked with boardgames and books to borrow; and a communal fire pit. The island of Gigha is just 7 miles long by 1½ wide, with a network of new walking and cycling paths for exploring the sandy beaches, archaeological sites and Achamore Gardens. It is less than three hours’ drive from Glasgow and 20 minutes by ferry from the mainland.
From £15 for one/£23 for two adults and two children, gighacampsite.co.uk

Wildlife watching, Dorset

Coppet Hill near Bridport has been a dairy farm since the 1950s, but in 2021 the family decided to manage their land in a more environment-friendly way. As well as increasing biodiversity and improving soil health, the farm has diversified into camping and glamping. There are 14 pitches (each big enough for two family tents), plus a Lotus Belle Stargazer tent and two Landpods. New for 2024 is the Pond Hideway, a two-storey tent with a sofa bed for adults and a mezzanine bed for children, solar lighting and a nearby shower and compost toilet. As the name suggests, the tent is by one of the ponds, and has a fire pit, picnic table and deck chairs.

Families can go wildlife-watching – on the farm’s land it is possible to see barn owls, kestrels, deer, badgers and even polecats, and there are regular Moth Club and Owl Prowl activities in the school holidays. There are eight miles of circular walks around the farm, a sunflower maze in high summer, a tea room in August, and four pubs in walking distance.
Camping from £60 a night for up to four adults and four children, Pond Hideaway from £95 a night, sleeps four, coppethill.co.uk

‘Gastro camping’, South Downs

Photograph: Jo Hunt

“Gastro” operator Woodfire Camping has a new site this year. Chapel Field on the Firle Estate has pitches for tents and campervans, plus five large touareg tents. There are showers, compost toilets and a washing-up area, but no electricity. Fire pits and raised barbecues are allowed, but most campers take advantage of the Woodfire Camp Kitchen, which offers daily breakfast and dinner and occasional feasts with guest chefs. Local ingredients are cooked over a fire and served at trestle tables; guests receive the menu a week before their stay (mains from £9). The site is beneath Firle Beacon in the South Downs and walking distance from Charleston (the former home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant), Firle Place manor house and two pubs.
Weekends and school holidays until the end of August, pitches from £21pp, glamping from £39pp, woodfire.co.uk

Mountain biking and climbing on site, Hampshire

Avon Tyrell, an outdoors centre in the New Forest, has a new pre-pitched camping area, in addition to its existing pitches for tents, campervans and caravans. The pre-pitched tents come with camp beds, making them a good option for families new to holidays under canvas. Activities on site include mountain biking: there are bikes to hire and tracks for all levels, including blue routes for beginners, red routes for intermediates and “pump and gravity” tracks for experienced riders. Other options include climbing, kayaking, archery and bushcraft (£15 for a 90-minute session). There is also a free bouldering wall and adventure playground, communal fire pits, a shop and a cafe.
Pre-pitched tents from £100 for two nights for five, weekends and school holidays until 17 July, pitches from £29 a night for four, until 31 October, avontyrrell.org.uk

Flamingos on the doorstep, Norfolk

Photograph: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe nature reserve, 11 miles from the north Norfolk coast, is opening a pop-up camping and glamping site this summer. There are 24 pitches and six bell tents, each with one double bed and three singles. The site has solar-powered toilets and showers, but pitches are off-grid (phones can be charged in the Courtyard Cafe).

Fires are allowed in fire pits, which are available to hire, and slabs are provided for barbecues. There is a food truck serving pizza, and Fakenham’s pubs and restaurants are just two miles away. In the 283-hectare nature reserve, there are four walking routes for sighting flamingos and other birds, five gardens, a sculpture trail, and indoor and outdoor play areas. Glampers receive free entry to Pensthorpe nature reserve (which is pricy at £16.95 for adults, £15.95 for over-threes) and campers get a 50% discount on entry.
Camping from £30 a night, sleeps six, glamping from £120 a night, sleeps five, two- and three-night stays only, 9 July to 1 September, pensthorpe.com

Star Wars meets Capability Brown, Staffordshire

Photograph: Richard O’Donoghue/Alamy

Himley Hall, the 18th-century former home of the Earls of Dudley, has opened a glampsite in the Capability Brown-designed grounds. The site, which sleeps just 14, is in a “secret” wood enclosed by the walls of the original kitchen garden.

Acommodation includes a bell tent, an onion tent and domes used in the first Star Wars film, plus a tiny vintage caravan, all with private bathrooms. Fire pits and barbecues are available to hire, and there is a pub and a restaurant in walking distance. In Baggeridge Park, a 30-minute walk away, there is a high-ropes course, playground and cafe. Other facilities on the doorstep include a golf course, fishing lake and sailing club, while the fabulous Black Country Living Museum is a 15-minute drive.
From £160 for two nights for two, until 30 September, himleyhallglamping.co.uk

Mindfulness in the almost-wild, Somerset

The Heal Somerset rewilding site comprises 186 hectares of undulating pasture, with miles of hedgerows, three small tributaries of the River Frome, mature oaks and many other trees. It is in the early stages of rewilding, having been bought in December 2022, but nature is already bouncing back, especially in the southern and eastern fields. New this summer is an almost-wild basic camping site – a mown field for tents only, with portable toilets and a tap. Campers can walk on paths to see how the regeneration is progressing, or book a two-hour introductory or immersive tour (from £28) – the latter involves periods of mindful walking in silence, with talking stops. All funds go towards the rewilding project. The site is just outside Witham Friary village, about a 15-minute drive from Frome and Bruton.
£16pp, 22 May to 25 August, healsomerset.org.uk

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