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Tent at sunset (Alastair Humphreys)

The Wanderlust guide to the best of camping in the UK


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11th July 2014

Rain or shine, camping in the British Isles is always an adventure. Here’s your guide to getting your trip off to the best possible start

Don’t let that dodgy family camping trip you went on one wet summer put you off for life. Like you, camping in the UK has grown up and can be as sophisticated – or as wild – as you want it to be.

Here’s your guide to the many faces of camping in the UK – and your chance to fall in love with canvas all over again.

Camping in Scotland (Cool Camping)

The coolest campsites

Camping is cool. So much so that Cool Places, the arbitrators of all things cool in travel, have put together a list of the UK’s coolest campsites.

Not specific enough for you? Luckily, the good folk behind the Cool Camping guides love a good list as well and present their 10 coolest campsites in England and 7 coolest in Scotland. Not to be outdone, the coolest camper in Wales, Katherine Price, nominates 7 campsites in Wales that are pretty chilled as well.

More information

The UK's coolest campsites – Cool Places

Top 10 Cool campsites in England – Cool Camping

Scotland's 7 coolest campsites – Cool Camping

7 hidden campsites in Wales – Katherine Price

Camping by a lake at night (iStock)

Go wild

How do you enjoy all the best of camping without the crowds? The answer is wild camping, and Wanderlust magazine editor Phoebe Smith is regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject.

The premise is simple: choose your area, pack your tent and head into the landscape, map in hand for a night (or several) out under the stars. Phoebe reveals all in her article on how to sleep wild. And has also put together a helpful list of the dos and don’ts of wild camping.

Still need convincing? Then check out Alastair Humphreys’ blog extolling the joys of wild camping and why it beats staying in a five star hotel every time.

More information

Extreme sleeps: how to wild camp – Phoebe Smith

The dos and don'ts of wild camping – Phoebe Smith

In praise of wild camping – Alastair Humphreys

Camper Kart (kevincyr.net)

Now for something completely different

Dixie Wills is a renowned expert on tiny spaces and has recently written a book about tiny campsites. The great thing about tiny campsites, he says, is that there are no crowds, simply because they can’t fit in. He nominates his five favourite ‘cosy’ campsites in the UK here.

If you’re after something a bit more glamorous, you need to read Jonathan Knight’s guide to the UK’s top 5 ‘glamping’ sites. All the comforts of home with nature just outside just the other side of your yurt’s canvas walls.

Yurts too mainstream for you? Then you need to check out our guide to the world’s most bizarre tents. The shopping kart tent sounds like it might be right up your aisle.

More information

Five tiny campsites to squeeze into – Dixie Wills

Top 5 UK Glamping sites – Jonathan Knight

The world's most bizarre tents – Weird@Wanderlust

Tent in English wood (Cool Camping)

Readers’ experiences and advice

The experiences and photos posted by our readers are an excellent resource for travellers planning a trip. And it is true of camping adventures in the UK as well.

David Ross went wild camping in Scotland’s Western Isles and has written a piece about his experiences that is as inspirational as it is informative. Fiona Trowbrideg, meanwhile, extols the virtues of glamping and offers advice on the UK’s glamping hotspots.

Sangreya turned to our online community for advice on escaping into Britain’s wilderness and received a tent-full of useful and up-to-date advice. Gerty, on the other hand, wanted to know which camping site was the best in the Lake District. You’ll find the answer here.

More information

Wild camping in the wild Western Isles – David Ross

Glamping – Fiona Trowbridge

Where to escape into Britain’s wilderness – Sangreya

What’s the best campsite in the Lake District? – Gerty

View all posts from this blogger

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