Best UK campsites for a Tranquil Time
Dave Johnson | On 19, Aug 2013
The BBC recently published an article claiming that a week under canvas can reset our body clocks. Synchronising our body clocks with sunrise and sunset will get us back in touch with our biological rhythms, bringing health benefits to all. We take a look at some of the calmest and most tranquil campsites in the UK to find out the best places to go for a Body Clock Reset.
Crawshaw Farm – Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire
Crawshaw Farm is an 80 acre dairy farm with basic camping facilities – the loo is in a lean-to and water comes from a tap in the wall. Set in the heart of Lancashire’s sparsely populated countryside; this is a great place to camp if you’re looking to really get away from it all. The Forest of Bowland and the Arnside and Silverdale Areas of Outstanding Beauty are on the doorstep, offering an escape from busy city life and a chance to recharge your batteries in the tranquil rural landscapes. If you’re looking for a bit of exercise, you can tramp across the moors in perfect solitude.
Kielder Campsite – Kielder, Northumberland
The Kielder Campsite is owned by the Charity Kielder Ltd, meaning that all revenues help towards the regeneration of Kielder village at the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside. The campsite boasts a small shop for buying provisions as Kielder is billed as the ‘remotest village in England’.
The onsite facilities include showers/toilet block, a dishwashing room and a washing machine room. The site has a tent field with room for 40 tents and the camp boasts EHU for up to 30 caravans/motor homes. There are also camping pods available for hire if you don’t want to bring a tent.
Timber production continues in the surrounding Kielder Forest, though nowadays the forest is increasingly used as an educational resource and for sustaining wildlife. Only a stone’s throw from the border with Scotland, Kielder Forest is home to more than half of the red squirrel population in England.
For a quiet stay in the back of beyond, Kielder Campsite is the place to go. Kielder village is reputed to have the lowest light pollution in the UK, so this is also a great place for anybody into astronomy.
Lundy Island – access from Ilfracombe or Biddeford, Devon
Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel and is 12 miles off the coast of Devon – it’s resident population number just 28, including a warden, island manager, ranger and farmer. Most visitors to the island are day trippers on the summer ferry service or the winter helicopter service.
Camping on the island is basic, to say the least. Facilities are a field and that’s about it. However, Lundy Island is managed by the Landmark Trust who rent out the historic buildings on the island including the Radio Room, the Castle Keep, the Lighthouse Cottage and the Old School. Linens are provided, but facilities in each building are original, so if a shower is an absolute must, then check that the building you’re booking has one. The Marisco Tavern never shuts, keeping a warm welcome at any time of the day or night. There is a well stocked shop on the island as well and the fact that it does a roaring trade in heavy duty tent pegs should serve as a warning.
Lundy Island is just about as remote as it gets. Rich in flora and fauna with coastal walks and sheltered valleys, once you’re on this island haven, you can be sure that you’ve really got away from the modern world.
Rackwick Outdoor Centre – Hoy, Orkney Islands
Rackwick Outdoor Centre is really out of the way, in fact it’s way beyond the back of beyond, on the island of Hoy, the second largest of the Orkneys. Hoy boasts some of the highest sea cliffs in the UK and is famed for the Old Man of Hoy sea stack. There is a unique archaeological site on the island, the Dwarfie Stane which is similar to some of the Neolithic and Bronze Age tombs in the Mediterranean.
Access to the island is by ferry and Hoy is part of the Mainland National Scenic Area. Rackwick was once home to about 80 residents, but today is mostly deserted. Rackwick Outdoor Centre is a hostel with a kitchen, showers and washing up areas. Campers can pitch tent within the shelter of the walled grounds and have access to the hostel (and its facilities) during the day. Dogs are welcome on this campsite
Stone Creek Campsite – Sunk Island, Humber Estuary
Stone Creek Campsite is situated just 25 yards from a riverbank which means you can actually arrive by boat if you like! Just 10 miles from Hull, this campsite is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. The campsite is surrounded by land drains (which are similar to canals) which can be navigated for miles and the experience has been likened to a trip up the Amazon.
The campsite facilities include drinking water, free Wi-Fi and a CDP disposal point and the campsite accepts caravans, campervans and tents. Children and pets are allowed and the campsite is quite close to a number of local attractions such as Spurn Point Nature Reserve and Burton Constable Hall, a stately manor house set in fabulous gardens and parklands that were landscaped by Capability Brown. Nearby Hull houses The Deep, one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world.
For those who just want to get away from modern life completely, then strolling along the dykes overlooking the mudflats or cycling along the flat lands is probably more your cup of tea. This is a bird watcher’s paradise and if you’re lucky you may seem some seals in the estuary or even some deer roaming the woodland.