Both Kati and I have lived in the UK and it is an amazing place to camp. Yes, camp. Most people think of London when thinking of the UK, but there is so much more to see and do. And it is a chance to experience the real country and meet the real people of the UK and to experience incredible landscapes and history. Though it is an island, the United Kingdom borders several other nations by sea, and while some might find it confusing and use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England. Great Britain includes Northern Ireland while the United Kingdom does not. While the Union spans several hundred years, the UK has been continuously inhabited since at least 30,000 B.C.E and before the Roman conquest of Britannia the island was ruled by 30 tribes, In 30 A.D when the Romans settled much of the southern half of the island, they ruled for 400 years until Germanic Anglo-Saxons invaded and settled in the areas that would become Wales and Cornwall, then eventually by the 10th century they unified under the country that would become England while the Picts and Gaelic speakers of the north would eventually form Scotland.
The island and its surroundings are full of internationally acclaimed cities such as London, Manchester, Cornwall, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow but much of the country still remains pastoral with large swaths of forest, plains, and mountains setting the landscape apart. Camping in the UK is a wonderful experience with plenty of options for people who want to be near cities or villages, or near the mountains or rivers. Pitch-your-own-tent style campsites are commonplace and in recent years many farmers and campsite owners have allowed their property to open up to campers while still maintaining the safety of their fields and not overcrowding the space. If you’re looking to spend some time around mother nature and see the UK from a different perspective, check out some of these amazing camping spots in the United Kingdom.
Gill Head Farm, Cumbria
As previously mentioned, a lot of farmers and people with large spaces of land have opened up their properties for campers. Usually, these will be away from the hosts own property allowing visitors to experience a sense of privacy and that’s what you’ll get here. Gill Head Farm is located in the Cumbria region of the UK and the owners of the land maintain a working farm. The views here are incredible and will make you feel like you’re waking up in the morning and stepping out into another world. The rural setting spans far into the mountains with wide-open fields that seem to go on endlessly. Gill Head Farm is pretty well-equipped as well so if you don’t have a lot of camping gear or are looking for a more “glamping experience” little huts and pre-built shelters are also available upon request if tents don’t really do it for you.
Cilrath Wood Camping, Pembrokeshire
Wake up in the morning and feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. In fact, if someone told you there might be fairies here, you might be inclined to believe it. The spaces here are surrounded by untouched natural landscapes with camping areas all set within a private meadow. The flowers gleam in the morning while woodland and ponds nearby are perfect for exploring. The space offers a real sense of remoteness as you like being surrounded by trees, meadows, and ponds with the only nearby building being an 18th-century farmhouse. However, despite its sense of solitude the beaches of Saundersfoot and Amroth are within a close enough distance for a day trip.
Cornish Tipi Holidays, Cornwall
Bringing a little bit of North America to Cornwall, Cornish Tipi Holidays is the ideal spot for those who just want a little taste of camping without having to buy all their own gear. Guests can always feel free to bring their own tent, but Cornish Tipi Holidays provides guests with a tipi-style place to sleep in a hidden woodland area just outside the city of Cornwall. Whichever style of accommodation you choose, guests can also choose their preferred location with totally secluded forest spots, spaces in the meadows, or even near the lake where you can fish, swim, canoe, or just relax by the waterside. After a day out, light up the fire pit, roast some marshmallows, and do a little stargazing.
Invercaimbe Caravan and Camping, Invercaimbe
Located in Invercaimbe in Scotland, this campsite is a small family-run space that offers some incredible sights. For the astronomers out there you’ll want to bring your telescopes and binoculars because the views at night here are stunning with almost no light pollution and tons to observe in the night sky. In the daytime, you’ll be overlooking the isles of Eigg, Rum, and Skye and you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from some of the best beaches in the UK. The area is pretty remote with few amenities available so be sure to pack what you need ahead of time, but what the area lacks in amenities, it certainly makes up for in picturesque views.
Troytown Farm, Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly barely seems like it is part of the UK. The archipelago is located in the southwest of England near the Cornish coast and Troytown Farm is a great place for those looking to spend a few days by the beach. If the name doesn’t give it away, the camping area is on the property of a local farm but the camping spots for tents and accommodations are on a meadow that descends right onto a beach and then into the sea. Guests looking to spend some time here can just pitch their tent right next to the water if they choose with Periglis Beach on one side and wild rock formations on the other. Enjoy a little bit of Atlantic isolation with views of the sea or check out Troytown Farm’s dairy products and enjoy fresh homemade ice cream made right on the property.
Beryl’s Campsite, Devon
Located in Devon, getting to Beryl’s Campsite is almost like a treasure hunt. You’ll drive down pastoral roads with cows on the side of the road passing by little white signs that read “Beryl’s Campsite”. Then after hitting a dusty farm road you’ll wonder “is this the right place?” And it will be! Beryl’s Campsite is in a little hidden location on a farm surrounded by trees and hills. The hillside campsites offer scenic open views, and walkways leading to paddocks and into Start Bay. The property is also a good family destination with playgrounds, a small pond, and a covered picnic area for rainy days.
Abbey Home Farm, Gloucestershire
Located in Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, this camping area is a beautiful place surrounded by both rolling plains and greenery as well as picturesque villages and towns that look like they’re straight out of a medieval fairytale. If you’re into heading out to the towns and discovering local shops and village pubs, you can do that, or if you’d rather not see anyone for days at a time, you can do that too. The property at Abbey Home Farm is a very eco-friendly and organic place so guests are encouraged to recycle, clean up after themselves and employ a more DIY ethos during their stay. Plant your tent in a field and gaze out at the never-ending green views or set up in the forest and feel the seclusion of being surrounded by trees.
Bert’s Kitchen Garden, Wales
Located in the North West of Wales and stretching into the Irish Sea, Bert’s Kitchen Garden is right on the often quiet and less visited Llyn Peninsula. Bert’s Kitchen Garden is more than just a campsite, it is a place that came together with a simple idea. It is a place where nature is intended to breathe and where guests are expected to work around the natural surroundings and not against it. The campsite aims to be as eco-friendly as possible with only a handful of camp spaces and a vehicle-free meadow. The camp spaces themselves are nestled between the Welsh mountains and the sea with a path leading onto a private shingle beach. The owners of the property have their own organic farm and grow food that guests can indulge in while there.
If you’re wondering who Bert is, Bert is the name of the family camper van, which traveled around the world with the family for four years until they retired it on this farm. Now the van has been upcycled into a garden side café offering homemade pastries and bread along with hot coffee and tea.
Birds & Bees, Suffolk
Birds & Bees is in Suffolk and has all the appeal of a natural spot with the feeling of family-friendly and down-to-earth management. The campgrounds began their existence as a dairy farm with a family owning and operating the space as a farm when in the 1970s, Rendham Hall bought the place and continued to operate it as a dairy farm until the mid-2010s. Unfortunately in 2016, the farm became unsustainable to manage but this ending has a silver lining as the family noticed that this little slice of Suffolk would be a great campground. The giant hedges, colorful meadows, and tree-lined ancient pastures make the perfect spot for campers looking to immerse themselves in a little nature. Much of the landscape has been left untouched and most of the former structures on the property have been rebuilt into amenities for campers.
Speaking of amenities, while the property runs on an eco-friendly premise guests will still have access to lots of amenities such as a shower and bathroom, a small shared kitchenette area, and the opportunity to purchase some locally sourced meat and vegetables as well as homemade ice cream.
Manor Farm, Norfolk
Although it sits on one of Norfolk’s more popular stretches of beach, Manor Farm offers the best of both worlds when it comes to tranquility and seaside town fun. Manor Farm is part of a family-owned campsite along the coast and it can accommodate up to 250 pitches. The area is well-hidden however and guests will have to pass barns and hedgerows before the stretch of campground looms into view. And when it does, you be thankful you chose to spend some time here. Sweeping green meadows lead into the beach area where you’ll have sea views and since this is a working farm, you might even spot a lamb or two. If you’re looking to make a day or evening trip into more civilized areas, the local beach is a short drive away along with the traditional fishing village of East Runton.
Cleadale, Inner Hebrides
If you’re looking to do some real wild camping look no further than Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Cleadale is located about ten miles off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Eigg was bought by the local community back in 1997 and they turned the place into a completely eco-friendly reserve. The whole place runs on renewable energy and cars are not permitted, though there is a local minibus that can chauffeur people around the 4-mile length of the island. The campsite here is as wild as you can get with no amenities, no unnatural sounds, and no one in sight, so make sure to pack your gear accordingly. What it doesn’t have is what makes the place so special. Stunning views of the pitchstone cliffs, the sounds of the waves hitting the shores, and vistas of the Hebridian sound.
Our Final Word
There is absolutely no shortage of excellent places to camp while you’re in the UK. From coastal views to rugged mountainside sites and sprawling meadows no matter what natural space you’re looking to immerse yourself in, there is a myriad of great options. In these uncertain times, experiencing nature and camping anywhere in the world is special.