Epic UK Campsites for Outdoor Action and Adventure
Dave Johnson | On 03, Sep 2013
Camping is making a comeback with us Brits and young people are now choosing to camp as a great way of enjoying an outdoor holiday with a difference. Whether it’s a great ‘glampsite’ with all mod cons or a traditional site to pitch your tent and cook you’re b beans, if you’re into the outdoor adventure, you might as well go the whole hog and sleep under the stars. We’re taking a look at some of the best places in the UK to go camping and enjoy a whole range of outdoor activities to boot.
Cwmcarn Forest Campsite – Cwmcarn, South Wales
Cwmcarn Forest Drive covers about 7 miles of stunning countryside on the site of a former colliery and is now owned and operated by Natural Resources Wales, who took over from the Forestry Commission. It’s situated not far from Cardiff and is close to many visitor attractions in the South Wales area such as Castell Coch, Caerphilly Castle, Rhondda Heritage Centre and Barry Island resort. There’s a Visitor Centre, picnic areas and car parks along the route and nestled alongside the Nantcarn Stream is Cwmcarn Forest Campsite.
Onsite facilities include a laundry room, showers and toilets, chemical waste disposal and EHU. If glamping is more your style, then there are a number of ‘camping pods’ available in standard and family sizes. These are basically wooden tents with picnic tables and barbecue. This is campsite that’s mostly suited to people who are into outdoor activities such as biking, waking, fishing, bird watching, etc. Culture vultures will be delighted with the Forest art Collection – chainsaw carvings of totems and mythical figures that litter the wayside.
Gillside on Ullswater Caravan and Camping – Penrith, Cumbria
Set on a Lakeland family farm, Gillside Campsite overlooks the stunning Ullswater, second largest of the Lake District’s lakes stretching in a long, lazy V shape between the surrounding mountains. The Ullswater Steamers provide trips round the lake with stops at nearby Glenridding, Hotown and Pooley Bridge. These Steamers have a rich history and started life as working boats.
Ullswater Lake itself with its many marinas is a popular destination for sailors but there are also facilities for motor boating, rowing and diving. The surrounding fells invite visitors to enjoy some spectacular walks, whether gentle rambles or full blown hikes.
This campsite boasts a range of modern 6 berth holiday homes with all mod cons, including TV, shower, cooker and fridge. If you have your own rolling accommodation in the shape of a caravan or motor home, then you’ll be glad of the EHU and individual pitch lighting. The campsite also sports a Bunkhouse with rooms sleeping 7 and 13 which was designed with Climbers and youth groups in mind.
Llyn Gwynant – Snowdonia, Wales
Nestled on the shore of Llyn Gwynant near Caernarfon in North Wales is one of the most bustling campsites in the UK. The facilities are basic, but modern and clean with a shower in each of the toilet blocks and half a dozen unisex showers. Fires are allowed in the fire pits provided, but you must buy the wood from the campsite as this is a conservation area.
It’s said that if you want outdoor action and adventure, a family holiday with a punch, then this is the campsite for you. Everybody on the campsite seems to be doing something, sailing, rafting, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge scrambling, coasteering, canoeing and even plain old waking. And if they’re not ‘doing’ it, they’re preparing to do it or recovering from it! With such a wide variety of outdoor activities on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Marthrown of Mabie – Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
This is Scotland Does Glamping 21st Century stylee – a range of extraordinary types of accommodation including a Tipi, a Yurt, a selection of Bunkhouses, an Iron Age Roundhouse and forest pitches for tents. The campsite boasts two cry composting toilets and hot shower facilities, as well as cooking areas and washing up facilities.
With so much to do, including clay pigeon shooting and mountain biking – the area is renowned for leading the way in Scottish Waymarked Trails and contains a world class 7 Stanes mountain bike venues. There is the Marthrown Challenge course – a sort of huge adventure playground while nature lovers can be on the lookout for the local red squirrels and woodpeckers. If you’re lucky enough you may see roe deer, badgers and the elusive wild boar. At the end of a busy day, just relax in the Finnish hot tub and gaze up at the stars.
North Lees Campsite – Hathersage, Hope Valley, Derbyshire
Ideally located for exploring the breathtaking countryside of the Peak District, North Lees Campsite is open all year round (though weekends only from November to March). It caters for tents only on the gentle grassy slopes and doesn’t provide for caravans/motor homes having no EHU. Facilities on the site include flush toilets, showers and a drying room. Fires and barbecues are not allowed, nor is music, including musical instruments.
The surrounding wilderness offers a myriad of activities to visitors, including fell running, horse riding, rock climbing, caving, cycling, fishing and even paragliding. For the truly adventurous at heart that don’t mind roughing it a little bit, this really is the place to go.