It may not feel like it yet but the camping season is here, and with that in mind Cool Places have picked a few of their fave pitches around the country
These are great places to camp at any time of year, but as a bonus they're all decent places to be should the weather not turn out to be as perfect as you’d hoped... which, knowing the UK, is more than likely.
Campsite location: St Ives, Cornwall
Open: All year round
Pitch up from: £7.50-£19 per tent, per night, plus £4.50-£7.25 per adult.
The big draw: Great loos!
Stunning views and great facilities make this the perfect camping choice at any time of year. In spring it’s a particularly good site... There is a bunch of static caravans available should the weather take a turn for the worse. Plus it’s a temptingly short walk from the restaurants of St Ives should it take an hour to heat your beans.
Campsite location: Settle, North Yorkshire
Open: All year round
Pitch up from: £4 per tent, per night. Plus £5 per adult, per night
The big draw: Cracking location
Again, this is a good choice for spring, in that it has a bunkhouse and B&B as well as regular camping pitches, should the weather turn nasty. And my, is it in a great, scenic location, with walking routes galore and the whole of the western Dales on your doorstep.
The good people at Dalesbridge also have great contacts with local tour companies, offering activities from caving to mountain biking.
Campsite location: Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk
Open: All year round
Pitch up from: £4.50-£9.50 per person, per night
The big draw: Classes on site from cookery to star-gazing
One of our favourite campsites in the country, with a choice of regular pitches and ready-made yurts and bell tents, and a wonderful position on the North Norfolk Coast. Equipped with a cast-iron chimenea for heat, including kindling and fuel for the fire, foldaway chairs, a BBQ and a lantern, you'll wonder why you bought your own canvas shelter.
Deepdale is just a five-minute walk to the nearest pub, from where you can strike out across the marshes; or go for long moody walks across the sands at nearby Holkham Bay.
Campsite location: Hurley, Berkshire
Open: From April through to September
Pitch up from: £8 per pitch, per night
The big draw: Island location, right in the middle of the Thames
Nothing beats camping on the riverbank, and the nice thing about Hurley Lock is that it’s easy to get to, yet feels very peaceful and exclusive, situated in a quiet village backwater on the Thames. It’s a small site, spread over several tiny islands in the river; and the cosy Old Bell pub is nearby, for pints, sustenance and even emergency shelter should the weather turn foul.
Campsite location: Ashley Heath, Dorset
Open: From mid-March to the end of October
Pitch up from: £12-£14
The big draw: Peaceful setting
We love this classic tent-only campsite in Dorset, which opens in early spring and enjoys a gorgeous rural location yet is only three miles from the sea. There’s great swimming at nearby Dancing Ledge and gorgeous walks along the clifftops. They have a decent shop, and a barn for those windy nights when a tent just won’t do.
Campsite location: St Peter, Norfolk
Open: From mid-February right through to early January
Pitch up from: Prices are by pitch, from £10-£33
The big draw: Adventurous activities galore!
This lovely, well-equipped campsite nuzzled alongside the River Waveney – on which you can take a boat or canoe, or just go for dreamy walks or cycle rides along the reedy banks – feels like an almost forgotten corner of the Broads. There’s an indoor pool for rainy days, a well-stocked shop, and lots of eating and drinking options.
Cool Places is devoted to selecting and celebrating the best of UK travel, whether you’re booking a last-minute weekend or looking for longer trip ideas. They cover the best of the UK, from stunningly located campsites to cosy boutique hotels, great gastropubs to beachside cafés, and the country’s quirkiest independent shops and markets. Check it out, and add your own local favourites.