8 Great Northern Campsites

I know we’re a teeny bit biased but camping is, quite frankly, one of the best ways to spend your time! We are spoilt for choice in this beautiful country that we live in – a fact that perhaps many are waking up to this year. From our stunning beaches and coves, the rugged landscape of the fells to the lush, green countryside. Exploring these wonderful places is one of the joys of camping. But with all this choice, it can be quite tricky to find the campsite that suits you. So, we have searched around the north of England and Scotland to find our pick of 8 great northern campsites. Here, you will find something to suit everyone – whether you are looking for the quietest corner to squirrel away in or a large campsite to bring the whole family with all their varying needs. Which one is your favourite?

1. Baystone Bank Farm

Northern campsites - Baystone Bank Farm
Cooling off in the stream at Baystone Bank Farm

At Baystone Bank Farm, you will be treated to the simply beautiful landscape of the southwestern Lake District National Park in Cumbria. The site comprises grassland, woodland and a stream to camp besides – perfect for paddling on those hot, summer days. Your neighbours will be cows, sheep and horses on this working farm as well as a wealth of wildlife. You can choose from wild camping through to electric hook ups, caravans or perhaps a spot of glamping in a luxuriously furnished bell tent or roundhouse. There is an option to suit everyone!

You might struggle to tear yourself away from this stunning site but when you do, there are plenty of footpaths to explore as well as the lakes and tarns nearby. Across the meadow is Baystone Bank Farm’s very own horse-riding centre, Cumbrian Heavy Horses. This is the world’s only BHS-approved Heavy Horse-Riding Centre with magnificent gentle giants such as Shire horses, Clydesdales, the rare Suffolk Punch and Ardennes. With horses to suit all levels of experience, this is a rare treat!

2. The Paddock

The Paddock Campsite
The site and views at The Paddock

The Paddock in Lancashire is rather special! The views are to die for and it truly is a place to relax and watch the world go by. This is a small but extremely friendly site with options to suit everyone. You can pitch up in a super flat field (possibly the only flat field in the whole area!), use the communal fire pit or hire your own. Charges are per person, but children under 12 are free – a fantastically family-orientated site.

If you wanted something a little different, there are a number of glamping options to try. Taking the whole family isn’t a problem with the awesome Safari tent that can sleep up to 8 people. Likewise, you could hire the fun and quirky land pods and enjoy a unique holiday experience. Or perhaps you might prefer the luxury of a fully furnished yurt, or brand new geodome? In all these options, your beds will be ready, and you can expect some little extras to make you smile and feel at home.

3. Rue de Chateau Camping

Northern campsites - Rue du Chateau
Wild camping by the river at Rue Du Chateau

Rue du Chateau, in the Scottish Borders, is a rare gem of a place for those that want to enjoy truly authentic, rural, wild camping. Here, you are free to choose your own perfect pitch alongside the mown riverbank among the wild primroses. You are welcome to indulge in a spot of wild swimming in the river and then warm up around your own upcycled fire pit. You will experience true peace and tranquility here, away from bright lights and noisy roads – the dark night skies and countless stars will take your breath away!

Trailer tents and campervans are also welcome, alongside tents. All pitches are a short walk away from the farm, where you will find fresh water, electric charging points, toilets and you can request a kettle for hot water and towels from your lovely hosts, Gemma and James. This is perfect for those that want to immerse themselves in a “wilder” experience and truly wind down amongst the stunning scenery and river song.

4. Park Cliffe

Northern campsites - Park Cliffe
Stunning landscape around Park Cliffe

If it is views you seek, then Park Cliffe could be the perfect place for you! Set in the stunning Lake District, you are treated to magnificent views down Lake Windermere towards the Langdale Pikes and across to Coniston Old Man. The campsite itself is also delightful because of the environmental commitment of the owners. An abundance of wildlife including squirrels, roe and red deer, foxes and birds might be glimpsed at this David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award winning site.

The owners pride themselves on being a wonderfully family-friendly site and provide facilities for all including heated showers, children’s adventure playground, shop, games room as well as a bar and restaurant. You can choose from a variety of accommodation from “wild” camping pitches to electric hook up, touring caravans, a luxurious shepherd’s hut, various levels of pod from cosy to deluxe all the way through to a self-catering cottage. This means that all the family could meet up and experience a holiday to remember in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District.

5. Bankybarn

Northern Campsites - Banky Barn
Sunset and views at Banky Barn

Bankybarn Caravan and Camping is located in the stunning landscape of the Peak District National Park. This is a family-run campsite with a warm welcome for all guests. There is plenty of space for the children to run around and you can choose your own pitch in the spacious, level field looking out over the beautiful, rolling, Derbyshire hills. Also, there are separate caravan pitches with electric hook-up, again with that picturesque outlook.

Your hosts, Jules and Dek, pride themselves on providing a fantastic holiday destination for their guests. Their excellent amenities block houses warm, scrupulously clean toilet and shower facilities. You can also visit the onsite “Oggy’s” bar with plenty of outdoor seating or if you would rather stay with your tent, hire a firepit to keep cosy and toast marshmallows. This is a place to make fantastic memories and have a holiday to remember.

6. Hazelmount Fellside

Northern Campsites - Hazel Mount Fellside
Picturesque views at Hazel Mount Fellside

Hazel Mount Fellside Camping is the perfect getaway for families wanting to escape from the usual hustle and bustle. This is a beautifully quiet, private site with glorious views of the stunning Lake District National Park. You can choose from different areas of the site from a traditionally mown hay meadow, pitches dotted around a conservation area through to a camping area that you can book exclusively for a larger group.

As you would expect in this area, there are plenty of lakes and footpaths to explore including one route directly from the campsite past the Swinside Stone Circle. There are also gorgeous sandy beaches close by such as those at Haverigg and Silecroft, just a 10-minute drive away. This site is ideal for those wanting to sit back, soak in the abundance of wildflowers and wildlife and reconnect with your loved ones.

7. Wild Oak Woods

Wild Oak Woods
Orchids in the nature reserve at Wild Oak Woods

Wild Oak Woods is an authentic Eco-Site, situated in an area of Dumfries and Galloway renowned for its breath-taking views, unspoiled wildlife habitats and fabulous local produce. This is one for the nature-lovers as this stunningly beautiful site is set within a 54-acre nature reserve. It is perfect for those hoping for a glimpse of red squirrels, deer, badgers or a whole multitude of trees, flowers and animals. With reduced capacity for 2021, you are guaranteed peace and privacy. Bring your own tent or choose a cosy, furnished camping cabin with your own wood burner and soak up the serenity.

Families are well catered for with onsite “Families in the Woods” activities such as den building. Nearby, there are walks and cycling trails galore as well as Sandyhills Bay beach just half a mile away. Not to forget the excellent local pubs, restaurants as well as a castle and biosphere close by. This is the perfect place to wind down and reconnect with loved ones and nature.

8. Camping at Cardewlees

Views at Cardewlees
Taking in the views at Camping at Cardewlees

Camping at Cardewlees is a small, friendly family run campsite on a working farm. Located near Carlisle, you are treated to stunning views over rolling farmland and fells. There is a variety of accommodation available to suit all the family. From the camping pitches on a level field, each with electric hook-up if required, fully serviced hard-standing caravan pitches, cosy camping pods each with their own private decking area or the new fabulous bell tents complete with beds and decorated with bunting and fairy lights.

If you are looking for room to breathe, a taste of rural life on a family farm with simply gorgeous landscapes, then Camping at Cardewlees could be just what you need. But the highlight of this stay has to be your hosts! The friendly Glaister family guarantee a warm welcome and no doubt some entertainment along the way. From Billy giving you his life story to random animals having a nosey at the camping field, you will spend your time with a permanent grin on your face! Do check out their Facebook page – they are hilarious!

Camping This Year – Who Is Ready?

Holden Farm Camping

Finally, there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel.

The stellar vaccination programme is rolling out like a steam train. Infections are falling. Restrictions are gradually being lifted. We are seeing actual people!

Since April, we have been able to camp as long as we take our own washing facilities with us. But let’s face it, not everyone wants to pack a shower as well as everything else (we are in danger of needing an articulated lorry to carry our bumph as it is.)

The next dates for lifting of restrictions, however, come with the glorious news that we can officially go on “normal”, full-on camping trips this year. This means that yes, we can use the campsite’s washing facilities and toilets – hurrah!

So, when can we actually go? And what do we need to be aware of? Let us clarify a few points.

Forest clearing camping
Camping is opening up at Forest Glade Holiday Park.

When can we camp this year?

Camping this year across most of the UK can go ahead fully from the 17th May. You can check the proposed rule changes for each region here: England,  Wales, Scotland.

We are now allowed to cross borders so we can enjoy the full range this beautiful country has to offer.

In Northern Ireland, things are slightly different with the proposed date slightly later at 24th May

Opening from 17th May – Harry’s Meadow

What should we take?

As a precaution, I would take plenty of hand sanitiser, soap and masks. Otherwise, all your normal camping gear should be packed – sleeping equipment, tent, cooking gear, washing equipment, more clothes than you will ever need, kitchen sink, jacuzzi, etc (nope I’m not totally serious about all of those items, but I’m sure it won’t be long until we see some!) Depending on how you feel about sharing facilities with others, you might still want to pack those extras such as a toilet, showering and wash facilities. Have a look at World of Camping for some excellent cost-effective examples such as this portable toilet, solar shower, wash basin.

However, do remember that campsites are “on it” this year when it comes to sanitisation. They have upped their cleaning regimes, some have implemented time slots for guests and many have installed extra toilets and showers. The facilities at Upper Hurst Farm in Derbyshire for example are plush! With underfloor heating in the regularly cleaned toilet/shower block, as well as a generous wet room you will stay cosy as you wash.

Upper Hurst toilet and shower facilities
Scrupulously clean facilities at Upper Hurst Farm

Will there be changes at campsites?

Yes there will, but nothing too significant. You will now be used to the NHS QR code poster and of course, NHS Test and Trace. Well, it is now a legal requirement for campsites, caravan and holiday parks to display these and follow the procedures.

You may well find the welcome side-effect that you have a larger pitch or more space available as campsites reduce the amount of bookings they take at one time to help maintain distancing. Otherwise, expect to see a lot of signs explaining what you should do to help keep everyone at the campsite safe. Expect to see one-way systems for shared facilities to help maintaining social distancing between different households. Expect to see a LOT of hand sanitiser!

Are there any more changes coming?

The next provisional date for opening up further is 21st June. This does, of course, depend on the data surrounding Covid-19 continuing in the right direction. There are no guarantees that there won’t be any further outbreaks, so we simply have to “stay alert” and keep checking reports and regulations. There is certainly a feeling of optimism around the country, however, so let’s continue to hope that the worst part is behind us.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is so important to support the UK’s tourist industry this year. It is certainly not the only sector to have been affected by events of the last year, but you can be sure that every single one of the businesses has suffered. All the owners want to do is get back to normality, welcoming visitors to their little piece of paradise whilst keeping them safe.

So do give camping a try this year. It is great for families, freedom for kids and you will be doing your bit to help this country to get back on its feet.

Why not have a look at these sites opening up on 17th May?

Petruth Paddocks Free Range Camping, Somerset

Bankybarn Caravan and Camping, Derbyshire

Holden Farm Camping, Hampshire

Long Acres Camping, Surrey

Brynawelon Touring and Camping Park, Ceredigion, Wales

Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping, Scotland

7 of the Best Family Glamping Sites in the UK

Many people tell me that they are not quite ready for “full-on” camping but do like the idea of getting more fresh air and a bit of outdoor living. To those people I say you must try glamping!

Glamping is the perfect compromise, particularly for families. You have all the benefits of being outside – fresh air, freedom for children to play and acres of space to explore. But you also have those home comforts such as a luxurious double bed, carpets and rugs underfoot and perhaps even a cosy log burner. On top of that, you don’t have to think about loading up your entire life into your poor, overloaded car but just need to take clothes and essentials – perfect!

There are many family glamping sites popping up across the UK as families are realising that this could be just the tonic they need after what can only be described as a “challenging” year. So, we have identified 7 of the best family glamping sites in the UK to help you on your search for the perfect, relaxing holiday.

1. Beavers Retreat Glamping, Pembrokeshire

This rather special glamping site will absolutely spoil you! Situated in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National park, you will relax happily in the quiet location with beautiful views. This family-run site knows exactly what families need from the large, luxuriously furnished bell tents to the range of fabulous geodomes with wood-fired hot tubs. Each unit has its own sheltered kitchen and cooking facilities as well as your own allocated toilet and shower. If you are dreaming about escaping and reconnecting with nature, family and friends then this could be just the place you need.

Geodome at Beavers Retreat

2. Harry’s Field, New Forest

This peaceful retreat in one of the most serene corners of the New Forest is the perfect place to get away from it all.  After exploring the local area including abundant wildlife from New Forest ponies and foals, deer and hedgerows teaming with birdlife, you can return to the comfort of luxuriously furnished bell tents. At night, you can cosy up around your own fire pit with twinkling fairy lights and lanterns to light the way. And if you don’t fancy cooking, regular visits from pop-up food trucks including pizza ovens, curries and cocktails, as well as Barista coffee, hot freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat at the weekends, should keep you going!

Harry's - night time

3. Longberry Farm, Kent

This stunning site is just an hour away from London but feels like another world! Nestled in the “Garden of England,” this family-run glamping site offers many accommodation options from luxurious, fully furnished bell tents to a cosy converted stable. Expect beautiful countryside views and every home comfort you could possibly need. Spend your days playing in the sunshine, gently rambling in the countryside; and then your nights gazing up to the starry skies, enjoying the peace and quiet while camped around your very own fire pit. Bliss!

4. Gorsey Meadow, Norfolk

This gloriously spacious glamping site is situated at the very heart of the beautiful county of Norfolk. With the welcome ethos of space and luxury, you will not find yourself on top of your neighbours You will have the opportunity to really escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and children have the freedom to explore and play. You can pick from one of 5 sumptuous bell tents to return to, each with excellent quality bedding, a double ring gas cooker with gas, crockery, cutlery, charcoal bbq, lantern, cool box and much more. In the evening, you can cosy up around one of our two fire pits whilst you chat about your adventures from the day.

 

5. Tinkers Bells, Staffordshire

This extraordinary site ensures you don’t have to worry about your neighbours at all as it is an exclusive use glamping site! You have sole use of 4 large bell tents, each beautifully furnished with real double beds and the option of up to two single Z beds so large families can easily be accommodated. You also have access to a fabulous kitchen cabin, outdoor seating area, fire pit with log seating and your own powder room. Your whole family can therefore truly relax and feel safe, children can roam happily, and you can take in the views of the stunning Staffordshire countryside.

6. Wye Glamping, Powys

This stunning site on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, offers a true getaway. Peace and space are guaranteed as there are only 5 locally built, canvas or wooden yurts available, each with superb attention to detail. Each pitch is totally self-contained with a large sundeck, a fully equipped kitchen hut, picnic bench, deckchairs, firepit/BBQ, private compost loo and a private shower room. With mountain views and beautiful dark skies at night, you will enjoy a fantastic family holiday relaxing and making precious memories.

Wye glamping views

 

 

7. Brocklands Farm Glamping, Hampshire

Accommodation here can only be described as exceptional. Provided via two spacious safari tents, each sleeping six with a king bedroom, twin bedroom and double cabin bed, the whole family can relax in full comfort. Every need is tended to – from the private bathroom cabin to the wood-burning range, the sofa and chairs to the solar-powered fairy lights. You will have a permanent smile on your face and will definitely not want to leave! With far-reaching views over the stunning Meon Valley in the heart of the South Downs National Park, you can suspend reality and make magical memories for the whole family.

Brocklands Safari Tent

Camping from 12th April 2021 – Should we go?

Finally, it is here! We can actually go camping from 12th April 2021 – huzzah! But wait – Where can we go? Will it really be back to “normal”? Is it safe? How many of us can go? Should we be packing extras?

The gradual opening up of the country raises lots of questions, particularly around holidays and, of course, camping. So, let us clear up a few points.

1. Where can we go?

Well, the 12th of April 2021 opening relates only to those in England. (More information here) In Wales, campsites opened for those living in Wales from 27th March. (More information here.)

Wye Glamping is one of the simply gorgeous welsh glamping sites opening for those lucky folks living in Wales!

For those in Scotland, the “stay local” message is in place until the provisional date of 26th April when camping can recommence. (More information here.) In Northern Ireland, the stay at home message is still in place and they will review the measures on 15th April. (More information here.)

This all means that for the time being, we cannot cross borders for holidays but must stay within our own country.

2. Will it really be back to “normal”?

Not as we know it. As already explained, we will be restricted to our own country and cannot cross the border to another just yet. At this stage, we will not be able to use shared facilities such as shower and toilet blocks. This means we need to be self-sufficient with our own facilities. Most sites will provide freshwater points and waste disposal facilities but check carefully before going. The gorgeously rural Haw Wood Farm in Suffolk will be open to all self-contained units from 12th April and they are so excited to be able to welcome guests at last.

Camping from 12th April - Haw Wood Farm

We will not be able to take off in large groups but need to stay with our household. This might make some of us joyful and others are probably sick of the idea of spending yet more time with our families after the last few months! There are a few sites about that can help take this pain away though. For example, the glorious backdrop of Brocklands Farm Glamping where you can bask in the delights of the South Downs National Park from the home comforts of a fully furnished safari tent – bliss!

Camping from 12th April - Brocklands Farm

3. Is it safe?

As you can imagine, camping, glamping and caravan sites around the country have put in huge preparations for a safe re-opening.  From contactless booking and check ins, restricted numbers to signs and hand sanitiser everywhere. As we know, camping, in all its guises, lends itself quite nicely to natural social distancing, particularly when you have the huge fields available in Petruth Paddocks, Somerset allowing plenty of space between pitches.

Camping from 12th April - Petruth Paddocks

Longberry Farm in Kent are only opening one of their beautiful bell tents at a time on their site and giving exclusive access to all facilities to the lucky family that books. So, social distancing really won’t be an issue there!

Camping from 12th April - Longberry Farm

4. How many of us can go?

Across all of the UK, the message is clear that campsites will not take any group bookings right now. It is families only, although “bubbles” can be accommodated. If you fear that this might compromise your holiday, why not look at a family glamping site such as Tinkers Bells, Staffordshire where you have the use of the whole site for your family? No-one else to worry about so no social distancing required – easy-peasy!

Camping from 12th April - Tinkers Bells

5. Should we be packing extras?

Yes! Self-sufficiency requires extras that we usually take for granted i.e. toilet, showering and wash facilities. If you don’t have these, pop over to World of Camping where they have plenty of cost-effective solutions such as portable toilets, solar showers and washing accessories.

Although sites will definitely have oodles of hand sanitiser available, it makes sense to pack plenty of your own. And don’t forget your masks!

6. What happens next?

To be honest, we just have to be patient. The next provisional date for opening up further is 17th May in England. And, of course, this depends on the data surrounding Covid-19 continuing in the right direction. As restrictions change across the UK, here at Gone Camping Co, we will keep you informed what that means as campers and glampers.

Langstone Manor Park are open for business from 12th April but are particularly looking forward to extending opening from the 17th May.

Camping from 12th April - Langstone Manor Park

If you are holding back from booking as you don’t want to risk losing out financially, it is worth checking out with your preferred campsite what their policy is as most are incredibly flexible during this uncertain time. After a torrid time over the last year, we can’t emphasise enough how important it is to support this industry in 2021. Many campsites have invested heavily to ensure they are “Covid-19 Safe” but at the same time have a hugely reduced income because of being unable to open and only then with a reduced number of guests.

People are feeling a range of emotions after a whole year of dealing with the pandemic. Some are champing at the bit to get out there, some are cautious about their and others’ health, some are confused about the rules and what they can do and others have grown entirely used to staying at home and don’t want to venture out at all! However the pandemic has affected you, we wish you all the best and encourage you to take the time to (responsibly) explore our beautiful country. Give camping a try, or if you are not quite ready to leave behind all of your home comforts, a bit of glamping. Either way, they are amongst the most natural ways to socially distance right now!

8 Campsites with Incredible Views

Campsites with incredible views

One of the many positive aspects of camping is the view to be savoured. This is particularly poignant right now after months of living with the same four walls, same garden fence and trudging round the same local landmarks. Just putting this list together had us positively drooling over the phenominal vistas and definitely dreaming of escape! Whether you are looking for that escape right now or hoping to travel next year, delve into our picks for 8 campsites with simply incredible views:

1. Park Foot Holiday Park

Park Foot Campsite with incredible views
Park Foot Ullswater Lake View

Wow! Just wow!

The views from Park Foot Camping and Touring Park are simply breathtaking. Set on the banks of Ullswater, in the heart of the Lake District, this family-friendly site offers three large camping fields with different vistas from each. Whether you have a tent, caravan or motor home, you can enjoy the beautiful Cumbrian site with its superb facilities and tranquil surroundings. With activities available both on the park and in the nearby area, your family are sure to have a holiday to remember.

2. Beech Croft Farm

Beech Croft Farm
The rolling hills of Derbyshire at Beech Croft Farm

Set in the rolling hills of the Peak District, Beech Croft Farm is located between the picturesque towns of Buxton and Bakewell in Derbyshire. An ideal base to relax in the peaceful countryside or explore the stunning Peak District National Park. Touring caravans, motorhomes and family tents are all welcomed and excellent facilities are available including a modern toilet and shower block with underfloor heating, children’s play area, a small onsite shop and recently updated reception area. Three different camping areas mean a great choice of where to pitch your tent with fantastic views wherever you choose!

3. Lilliardsedge Holiday Park

Lilliardsedge
Views over the Scottish Borders at Lilliardsedge Park

When searching for campsites with incredible views, you can’t go far wrong with the family-run Lilliardsedge Holiday Park. Less than 50 miles from Edinburgh and set within 110 acres, this beautiful site encompasses open fields with free choice of where to pitch, two woodland walks, a stunning nine-hole, eighteen tee golf course and well-thought out indoor facilities including an extremely well-maintained amenity building, restaurant, bar and function room. You can choose between camping, touring or a luxurious lodge complete with hot tub and will revel in the spectacular views across the rolling countryside of the Scottish Borders.

4. Brocklands Farm

BBrocklands farm Glamping
Looking out from Lapwing at Brocklands Farm Glamping

Brocklands Farm overlooks Hampshire’s stunning Meon Valley within the heart of the South Downs National Park and provide the perfect spot for a memorable and relaxing glamping holiday. This peaceful, rural area makes it highly possible to glimpse local wildlife such as hares, lapwings or deer. You can experience truly luxurious glamping within two spacious safari tents, each sleeping six with a king bedroom, twin bedroom and double cabin bed. With every need catered for via a fully equipped kitchen, beautiful furnishings, a toasty wood burner and even solar-powered fairy lights, you can relax and enjoy the sunset from your outdoor sofa whilst toasting marshmallows on your fire pit – bliss!

5. Forest Glade Holiday Park

Forest Glade Holiday Park
Forest, clearings and blue skies at Forest Glade Holiday Park

Forest Glade Holiday Park is set in a forest clearing on the Blackdown Hills in Devon, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whether you are searching for camping, touring, holiday caravans or glamping pods, you will find all options in the spacious fields surrounded by 300 acres of pine forest.  This AA 4-pennant family-run park offers excellent modern facilities as well as a covered heated swimming pool, shop with off-licence and take away, children’s play areas, games room and tennis court. So, take the opportunity to relax, unwind, enjoy the many forest walks and drink in those views.

6. Ynyshir Farm

Ynyshir Farm

Ynyshir Farm (pronounced ‘un is here’) is for those seeking campsites with stunning outlooks across the North Wales countryside.  Previously a working farm, this family-orientated 40-acre campsite has plenty of space for the kids to play and guests have the freedom to pitch up wherever they like.  You can expect well-maintained hot showers, a parent and child/baby room, toilets including disabled facilities, washing up areas as well as fire pits to hire to help you enjoy the sunset over the hills in this peaceful, tranquil site.

7. Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping

Ruberslaw - Campsites with incredible views
The Edwardian Gardens at Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping

Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping in the Scottish Borders is set in the heart of the beautiful Teviot Valley’s Special Landscape Area. Within an astonishing 500 acres of unspoilt upland, you have a huge range of choices in accommodation from totally wild camping, to woodland camping and fully-serviced pitches all the way through to glamping in a luxurious, fully furnished safari tent. Your choice of view is also unrivalled whether you prefer rugged hill views, wild woodland, or the more genteel Edwardian walled gardens surrounded by beds full of colourful flowers and shrubs. Some examples include the “Minto View” where you can look over the Teviot Valley across to the Minto Hills which the sun sets quite dramatically behind; The “Castle View” where you can look over the Teviot Valley across to a local gem “Fatlips Castle”; and “Gledswing Lookout” where you can take in the view of quirky hills around ancient Cavers parish. Either way, you are guaranteed to truly get away from it all by taking in the stunning views, peaceful atmosphere and nature all around.

8. Brynawelon Touring and Camping

Brynawelon
Sea views at Brynawelon

Brynawelon Touring and Camping Park is a tranquil campsite set along the beautiful Cardigan Bay coast of West Wales. Here you can gaze upon the ocean and sandy beaches whilst the whole family enjoys the freedom and space around them. Whether you prefer caravans, motorhomes, campervans, trailer tents or tents, you can be assured of a variety of super pitches and excellent modern, heated facilities. There are many popular places to visit nearby including New Quay, Cardigan, Penbryn, Tresaith and Llangrannog. You can also indulge in plenty of activities available locally from the beach to cycling, walking, horse riding and exploring the beautiful welsh countryside.

As this is possibly the strangest and most unsettling time that any of us have lived in, it is important to keep looking for the positives. Just dreaming about some of these campsites with simply incredible views gives a little light relief in this time of uncertainty. Do remember to keep supporting these small businesses where possible: booking them for next year could enable them to keep going and make it through these difficult times.

5 Wonderful Welsh Glamping Sites

Holidaying in the absolutely beautiful country that is Wales is finally possible again. On July 13th, the welsh government permitted the opening of holiday sites with “self-contained accommodation.” This means that customers must have their own toilet/showering facilities rather than sharing them with other families. Whilst this might present a problem to some sites, for many welsh glamping sites, it did not. Many already had self-contained pitches where you have exclusive use of toilet/shower facilities and for others, they have adjusted to make sure that they have.

Glamping is the slightly more luxurious relation of camping. You don’t have to lug your whole life in your car/trailer/roofbox but can travel a little lighter. You also have the bonus of not having to set up your whole site on arrival – it is all ready for you to enjoy whilst still reaping the benefits of outdoor living. There are so many options available, it is impossible to list them all but you may come across bell tents, yurts, shepherd’s huts, geodomes, tipis, cabins, pods to name but a few.

We have selected 5 simply wonderful welsh glamping sites that have gone out of their way to ensure they are Covid-19 secure as well as having accommodation and views to make lockdown feel like a lifetime ago.

1. Wye Glamping

If stunning views are what you need after staring at your garden fence for the last few months, then you will truly appreciate what Wye Glamping has to offer. From the mountain views and idyllic babbling brook to the luxurious interior of a locally built yurt, a beautifully handcrafted cabin or spacious bell tent. The team at Wye Glamping pride themselves on their attention to every detail on their eco-friendly, small, family run site. Suitable for families and couples alike, the well-equipped, peaceful and luxurious glamping site will help you enjoy a memorable break in comfort and style.

Please check here for Wye Glamping’s Covid-19 update.

Wye Glamping
Luxurious and cosy interior

2. Beavers Retreat Glamping

If you are feeling a pull towards the Pembrokeshire Coast National park, then the wonderful family-run site of Beavers Retreat will help provide that getaway. Here, you can choose from family-sized beautifully furnished bell tents or cosy Geodomes with wood-fired hot tubs, each unit having self-contained kitchen and bathroom facilities. This eco-friendly site takes nothing from the grid as the water on site is taken from a natural spring, and the high-pressure showers are gravity fed. With views of the stunning welsh countryside, a peaceful location and close proximity to nearby beaches and coastal path, this is truly the perfect place to get away from it all.

Please check here for Beavers Retreat Glamping’s Covid-19 update. 

Beavers Retreat
Cosy geodome at Beavers Retreat

3. Pembrokeshire Barn Farm

Perhaps you would like to experience a cosy shepherd’s hut this year? Well, near to the beautiful beaches at Saundersfoot and Tenby, within the rolling, green countryside of Pembrokeshire, lies the little gem that is Pembrokeshire Barn Farm. This family-friendly, luxury glamping retreat offers cosy, well-designed and equipped shepherd’s huts for you to relax and replenish within. Set on a 15-acre smallholding currently kept as hay meadows with a wealth of wildlife, it’s the ideal place for families and friends to escape to for a holiday to remember.

Please check here for Pembrokeshire Barn Farm’s Covid-19 update. 

Pembrokeshire Barn Farm
The view out of Apple Tree Hut

4. White House on Wye Glamping

Maybe a luxurious tipi within a cider apple orchard would be the holiday of choice this year? White House Farm sits deep in the heart of the beautiful Wye Valley and is perfect for families to explore the nature around them including the secret pebble beach of the River Wye that flows for over a mile through the farm. The small award-winning family-friendly glamping site was featured by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s top glamping sites. This comes as no surprise given their extreme pride in their well-decorated, fully equipped and cosy tipis, surrounding area and ultra-clean facilities.

Please check here for Whitehouse on Wye Glamping’s Covid-19 update.

White House on Wye Glamping
Tipis nestled in a cider apple orchard

5. Hare’s Form

Fancy a break ALONE, AWAY FROM THE KIDS?

This fantasy could be yours with Hush Hush Glamping at Hare’s Form overlooking the stunning Radnor Valley. Set within 90 acres of family farmland, you can stay in their cosy wooden pod for two sharing with no other humans, only the friendly alpaca, sheep, red kites, the odd hare and the occasional deer nearby. You will find true peace and quiet here and be able to spend quality time with each other away from distractions.

Contact Hare’s Form for their Covid-19 update.

Hare's Form Glamping
Unbelievable views at Hare’s Form Glamping

If any of these gorgeous welsh glamping sites appeal, not only will you be having a wonderful holiday to remember but you will be supporting a family-run small business to survive in the most difficult year they have experienced! #supportsmallbusinesses

The wonderful world of Bushcraft (with a little help from Big Hat Bushcamp)

Updated 10th June 2021

Halfway through the unfortunate experience called 2020, the time came for us to abandon the comforts of our living rooms and tentatively look to the outside world. Homeschooling during lockdown led many of us to the uncomfortable realisation that we were distinctly average teachers with particularly low anxiety and anger thresholds. From the battles over online classrooms versus YouTube, to the mental breakdown a single sum can induce to the 5 minutes of painting followed by the hour long clean up – we were more than ready to hand the reins back over to the experts.

However, it was a struggle to prise children, and indeed adults, away from their most precious digital items and once again sample what actual, real life had to offer. We also came to realise that many children missed out on valuable time with their peers, time outdoors and experiences in nature.  So it led us to think about providing authentic outdoor experiences for our children and activities such as bushcraft and camping experienced a surge of interest.

Bushcraft - den building

This is because in the “outdoors classroom”, there are invaluable educational benefits to be found. From the simple and almost intuitive conundrums, like tackling an overgrowth of undergrowth and an obstacle course of fallen trees and puddles to making your own shelters or dens. Children are being inspired by TV survivalists such as Bear Grylls to get outside and give bushcraft a go themselves. Anything that gets kids excited about venturing into the fresh air for a few hours is surely a good thing. But this isn’t about training the next generation to survive the apocalypse (even if it feels like we are in the middle of one), this is about families enjoying the benefits of nature, learning new skills and garnering a deep respect for the natural world around them. It has the added benefit of contributing positively to mental and physical health – hugely important at any time but particularly during these strange times we are currently experiencing.

Just hanging around

Some parents are happy to give bushcraft a go and perhaps have some distant memories of Scouts or Guides to draw upon, but other families might feel out of their depth and unsure where to start. For those families, a bit of help would go a long way. Ian from the Big Hat Bushcamp is a keen advocate of the full range of benefits that bushcraft can bring citing that “skills of communication, teamwork and leadership flourish” and that “children and adults draw more and more confidence.” He currently offers courses at his Surrey base for family groups – ensuring they are Covid-safe. This could be a great day out whether as a one off or as part of a planned holiday.

Den building

Big Hat Bushcamp 2021 dates:

20th June (Father’s Day)
Family Woodcarving session, 1400-1700
£30 per head, dinner included
1st August
Family Woodcarving session, 1400-1700
£30 per head, dinner included
Family Bushcraft Weekends, 0900 Saturday to 1300 Sunday
£100 per head, all meals included
26-27 June
31 July – 1 August
28-29 August
25-26 September
30-31 October
Kids’ Holiday Clubs, 0900-1700 Monday to Friday
12-16 July
26-30 July
2-6 August
9-13 August
Available for private bookings at all other times.

Wood whittling

Ian has a wealth of experience and is always keen to help, so came up with a few tips to help you get your family started in the great outdoors;

1) Dress yourself for the beautiful British climate. Someone very wise once said “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”.

2) Find somewhere with trees. These places look green on Google maps.

3) As a family, decide on your adventure for the day. Start with something easy, like jumping in every puddle between the car park and the top of the hill, or building a shelter using only sticks and foliage. You can work your way up to actually sleeping out in it and cooking up a three-course meal in a hole in the ground.

4) Find out what’s going on around you. Bushcraft courses for families and beautiful wild camping sites can be found around the country – just check about their Covid-19 booking arrangements. There’s no need to be shy; they exist to help indoor people become outdoor people and tend to be run by some of the friendliest of folk. Why wouldn’t they be friendly and happy when they get to work outdoors?

5) Get on YouTube. Outdoorsy bushcrafty types love posting videos showing how to do all the awesome things they do outdoors.

6) Try all those things. (Note: always check permissions for things such as lighting fires and take the utmost care to put them out fully afterwards.)

7) Let us know how it works out for you; go to the Big Hat Bushcamp Facebook Page to post photos and videos of yourselves doing all the #awesomethingsyoudooutdoors.

Campfire cooking

If this has inspired you to have a go, why not contact Ian for more information about his family bushcraft courses?

Thank you to Ian, Big Hat Bushcamp for his contribution to this blog.

Getting Prepared for COVID-19 Secure Camping

Beech Croft Farm

We now know that camping officially starts in England from 4th July – woo hoo! As we went to press, sites in Scotland can open to those with their own self-contained accommodation (i.e. own shower/toilet) from 3rd July and shared facilities from 15th July. Sites in Wales may open on 11th July for those with self-contained accommodation only and are awaiting further guidance about those with shared facilities. Sites in Northern Ireland are already open.

Visit Britain Good to go logo
Visit Britain – Covid-19 Secure Camping

You might have seen this badge (“We’re Good To Go”) popping up on various websites, Facebook Pages, etc. This means that according to Visit Britain, the campsite has successfully shown that they have met Government and industry guidelines, are thus Covid-19 secure for camping and can safely accommodate their guests. You can be sure that this means a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to update sanitation facilities, mark out pitches, train staff, set out new signs and notices, draw up new rules, etc. So we say congratulations to the many sites on Gone Camping Co that have achieved this including Red Shoot Camping Park in the New Forest, Forest Glade Holiday Park in Devon, Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire, Beech Croft Farm in Derbyshire to name but a few.

Covid-19 secure camping at Red Shoot Camping Park
Covid-19 secure camping at Red Shoot Camping Park

So, what will Covid-19 secure camping look like?

1. Booking

All bookings will need to be made in advance this year – there will not be the opportunity of “Oo, this looks nice, let’s try here!” as you drive by, so be organised and book in advance. This is for several reasons: to minimise contact, to allow for electronic payments, to ensure guests are fully aware of rules and conditions before arriving and most importantly for campsites to ensure the number of people on site are limited accordingly. This is actually a good thing as it will mean larger pitches and more space this season. As you might expect, prices may have to increase as sites will have less guests and a shorter season.

Covid-19 Secure camping at Beech Croft Farm
Socially distanced pitches at Beech Croft Farm in the Derbyshire Dales

Now, we are great advocates for camping with other family groups as it really can be great fun. However, this year, campsites will not be able to accept such bookings. Beech Croft Farm in Derbyshire has reiterated the government guidelines in their Covid-19 update in that they “cannot accept bookings for more than 2 units together if you are from different households.” This will be standard across the industry for the time being, so it is a case of more time with your family I’m afraid!

2. Checking in and out

All guests have a responsibility to stay away and isolate as per the government regulations if they develop symptoms of Covid-19 in the run up to their holiday. Disappointing though this would be, we all have a collective responsibility to guard against the spread of the disease as of course, the quicker it can be controlled, the quicker life can return to some sort of normality.

A warm welcome and safe conditions at Cotswolds Camping

Cotswold Camping, Oxfordshire are also keen to make sure everyone is safe and have installed a fever detection system to check temperatures thus ensuring all guests are protected from Covid-19.

Checking in and out will also be contactless and outdoors. Alex advises that at Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire, whilst guests will be greeted on arrival, social distancing will be maintained, and the keys would be left in the door of the camping pod. Similarly, check out would be contactless and guests would be asked to simply leave their pod key in the door.

Covid-19 secure camping at Stanley Villa Farm
Camping Pods at Stanley Villa Farm

3. Distancing

Most campsites have limited pitches available to ensure they can maintain social distancing and rotate facilities as appropriate. Holden Farm in Hampshire, will ensure that only 10 families/households will be onsite at any one time in their wonderfully spacious camping field. This has the benefit of plenty of space to fly a kite, play a game of cricket or just enjoy the fresh air. They will also provide each pitch with a complimentary firepit – perfect for lazy summer evenings.

For Covid-19 secure camping, expect to see more signs than usual, indicating spaces for possible queues or a one-way system where there is likely to be a bottleneck. Signs will also provide reminders for hand washing, use of hand sanitisers and maintaining distances – you may well feel you’ve seen it all before, but as we all know, we have to continue to “stay alert.”

4. Sanitisation

You can expect cleaning of facilities to be more frequent and thorough this year. You may well be greeted by someone in full PPE as you approach the facilities and you may also need to be patient to allow them to complete the thorough deep cleans required.

Holden Farm have the excellent modern camping facilities on-site that you would expect: clean flushing loos, hot showers and good washing up facilities. The small numbers onsite will work to your advantage, thus avoiding the need for queues. Cleaning and maintenance have been increased further to the Covid-19 secure standard. They have also installed perspex dividers between wash basins so you feel safe when brushing your teeth. You will need to bring all of your own toiletries and expect to be given loo roll on arrival as it won’t be kept in cubicles. Furthermore, there are hand sanitisers dotted around the site so everyone can keep germ-free and safe.

Holden Farm
Plenty of space at Holden Farm!

Fallow Fields Camping, Kent are enforcing a 24 hour period between bookings of furnished bell tents, as scientific evidence suggests the virus does not remain on surfaces after 24 hours. They will carry out their customary deep clean between bookings as normal, and use disinfectant on all hard surfaces. Additionally, all furnished bell tents will have an anti-bacterial fogger used – this kills 99.99% of germs and stays active on surfaces for up to 30 days.

5. Sharing Facilities

There are some sites that have invested heavily into their showers and toilets to ensure minimal sharing. For example, Fallow Fields Camping have added additional mobile showers and toilets to the campsite to help with social distancing. They have also employed a local, professional cleaning company to carry out 2 deep cleans per day alongside regular wipe downs of touch-points throughout the day.

Stanley Villa Farm in Lancashire have also added more shower units but will work these on a time slot basis, with cleans between each use.

Some have even gone so far as to allocated specific areas for guests so there would be no sharing. At Longberry Farm in Kent, the reduced capacity on site this season means that guests will have their own allocated kitchen/dining area and washing facilities that will not be shared with other guests. The hot tub option will also be private – how very lovely!

Longberry Farm
Pristinely clean bell tents at Longberry Farm

You may well need to pack more items than you normally do. If the site you go to usually has tea towels, crockery, washing up brushes, etc. it is highly likely that they won’t be able to do so this year, so check with them beforehand and as Mr Grylls would say “be prepared!”

6. Activities on site

Some playparks might be open but you will need to supervise children more closely this year rather than let them go “feral” and insist they use the abundant hand sanitisers before and after use.

But generally, you may well have to become more self-sufficient in terms of entertainment this year. Wonderful additions to your stay such as the “Kids’ Retreat Tent” or “Kids’ Cinema” at Fallow Fields Camping,  simply cannot be available at this time. So pack the bikes, tennis set, kite, football, hula hoop, Connect 4, Uno, etc and prepare to use your imagination to keep all entertained…sort of like you have done for the whole of lockdown really (sorry!)

A beautiful evening at Fallow Fields Camping

At the risk of sounding like a killjoy, it is extremely important that we adhere to the campsites’ rules and accept the changes to our “normal” holiday. These really are “unprecedented times” (had to say it) and the whole situation does not just affect us personally, but everyone around the country. If we want camping to return to normal, then it is vitally important to support the industry this year so that there are still campsites in business next year.

The alternative does not bear thinking about!

Why go Camping in 2020?

Park Foot

Well, 2020 has been fun so far hasn’t it?

Hmm, that might be stretching it somewhat! What with Australia burning, endless Brexit, a global pandemic and mass civil unrest to mention just a few of the fun times we have faced this year, you feel like ripping the year up and starting again at 2021! However, here we are, managing as best as we can with more than half of the year left to limp through. So, whilst Covid-19 is still raging, why on earth would we want to go camping in 2020?

Well, the fact remains that camping or glamping are simply the best types of holiday full stop (not at all biased). Many people are so committed that they have even camped during lockdown! No, not by breaking any rules but by the beauty that is…

1. Camping at home

Who else can remember the excitement of camping in your garden as a child? Well, camping at home became a thing this year and looks set to continue through the summer. Whether camping indoors, in gardens, on balconies and even on a trampoline – camping can happen anywhere with whatever equipment you have. Kids find it magical and it’s a real chance for family bonding and fun. You might even break a world record! Our family took part in the Scouts’ #CampAtHome record on 30th April and we couldn’t get the kids out of their shoddy blanket tent for another week!

For those that are desperate to get away from it all when camping in 2020 but simply cannot or do not want to whilst the threat of Covid-19 remains, why not try glamping at home? Tinkers Bells usually provide their gorgeous bell tents for use at weddings, festivals and other large social gatherings, so obviously, their business took a huge hit in the last few months. But have they come up with the perfect solution? After their initial shock, they took stock and diversified sublimely to now provide garden glamping whether you want the ultimate staycation, celebrate a birthday, anniversary or just have a change from your own Groundhog Day. You will be provided with a simply fabulous 7ft bell tent fully erected and furnished to your request in the safe confines of your own garden. Ali and Darren are wonderfully friendly to deal with and you can expect professional, meticulous standards.

Camping in 2020 - Garden Glamping
Garden Glamping with Tinker’s Bells

2. This Beautiful Country

For those that do wish to venture further for camping in 2020, without the pressure to go abroad, it is the perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful country. From the rolling hills of Devon at Langstone Manor Park to the stunning lakes of Cumbria at Park Foot Holiday Park , we are incredibly fortunate to have such diverse landscapes and fabulous campsites to view them in comfort. It might also be a chance to discover new parts of the coastline that you would not normally visit such as the sand expanses of Suffolk whilst staying at Haw Wood Farm. Or you might to choose to venture inland and meander through the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds whilst relaxing at Cotswolds Camping.

Camping in 2020 - Haw Wood Farm
Camping in Suffolk at Haw Wood Farm

It goes without saying that camping in 2020 and any exploring needs to be done particularly responsibly at this time – talk to your campsite owners about different places to go where crowding should not be an issue and report any evidence of the recent mob madness of leaving litter everywhere!

3. Change of Scenery

Most of us are proud of but thoroughly bored of our herbaceous borders, new fence, seats made out of pallets, fairy gardens, mud kitchens and other lockdown classics and simply need to see something/somewhere else. A fantastic site to explore the dramatic Jurassic Coast is The Dorset Hideaway who have come up with a comprehensive Coronavirus policy to ensure the safety of their guests whether camping, caravanning or in one of their fabulous glamping options.Camping in 2020 - Dorset Hideaway

Feeding the ducks at The Dorset Hideaway

Perhaps you are feeling adventurous about the type of accommodation you seek and decide to go for something really different like a Hobbit Hole in Hertfordshire, courtesy of Guilden Gate Glamping.

Hobbit Hole at Guilden Gate
The Hobbit hole at The Guilden Gate Glamping

4. Budget Friendly

David at Yurtcamp Devon, believes that camping or glamping could be the perfect holiday to turn to this year as many will be very wary of travelling overseas, and will be looking for a more budget friendly option to get away. Let’s face it, you immediately do away with expensive air fares and the costlier hotels, not to mention car hire, etc. And although prices may have to rise a little this year to take account of the additional changes campsites have to make, you still get incredible value for money. For example, you can camp in Cornwall at the picturesque Lower Penderleath Campsite for as little as £9.50/night/adult or in Somerset at Withy Water from just £10/tent (adult only).

Camping in 2020 - Lower Penderleath
Cornish camping at Lower Penderleath

5. Less People

There is no doubt that our holidays will look different this year and that campsites will have to limit numbers in order to ensure greater spacing. This is likely to mean that you will need to book in advance rather than turning up and hoping so you will need to be organised this year! The greater space will help to maintain social distancing and thus increase your peace of mind. It could also mean that camping in 2020 might be perfect for those who struggle with places that get too “peopley”.  The spacious site at Hale Farm, East Sussex has no set pitches, thus allowing plenty of space between tents and benefits from a separate glamping area. Similarly, Longacres Camping is set in 30 acres of peaceful Surrey countryside and offers different areas and fields to suit different tastes, ensuring campers can spread out with ease.

Camping in 2020 - Hale Farm
The huge fields at Hale Farm

6. Self-Contained Accommodation

You will be safe within your own family bubble whether in a tent, caravan or glamping option such as bell tent or yurt. Plus, the beauty of camp and glamping sites is that most have their own grounds and facilities. This means campers don’t have to worry about crowding local beauty spots, finding a car parking space and figuring out where to buy food. For example, at Yurtcamp Devon, there are 40 acres of beautiful woodland ready for exploration. You can easily return to your yurt for an open fire cooked feast, or a meal prepared inside your yurt given that you have full cooking facilities as well a cosy log burner. In addition, their onsite Woodland Café will be open for take out at least.

Yurtcamp Devon
Cafe at Yurtcamp Devon

For those with caravans or motorhomes, you might decide to opt for the wilderness of the Yorkshire Dales and venture to Thornton Hall Country Park. Here, Chris and Emma have diversified their onsite Farm Park into a Farm Safari Drive Thru to keep all their guests safe but still provide a change of routine. They also have quad biking available, ensuring each session is everyone from the same household with all helmets and gloves disinfected after use.

7. Mental and Physical Health

The good news about camping is that you will be in the fresh air, which we know lowers the risk of transmission of coronavirus, hence why some schools have adopted outdoor classrooms and why socially distanced small meet ups are now permitted as long as they are outdoors.

For those that need a touch of luxury to assist their mental health, The simply amazing range of glamping accommodation at Longberry Farm in the Garden of England, Kent is guaranteed to help you unwind and forget about your problems.

Ian from Big Hat Bushcamp, Devon is a firm advocate of the health benefits of nature particularly in this digital age. His business is another that has been hit by the Covid-19 outbreak and has pivoted to offer single-household bushcraft sessions. These provide excellent problem-solving challenges and allow families to develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills as well as learning survival techniques in the fresh air. And do not fear, as they are run by the friendliest of folk, keen to help you understand and be happy.

After weeks spent at the beck and call of electronic devices, a bit of “cold turkey” wouldn’t go amiss. It would certainly help people’s battered mental health.

Big Hat Bush Camp
Camp fire cooking at Big Hat Bush Camp

With all this on offer, camping in 2020 might not be so bad after all!

Re-opening Campsites – A Possibility in 2020?

2019 at Chestnut Meadow

There is a buzz going around that July 4th might be the official start of camping with the long-awaited re-opening of campsites – I know, the excitement is too much! After weeks of lockdown and confinement to our own homes, many of us are champing at the bit to look at a different piece of scenery – somewhere other than the garden fence would be nice! But we are also sensible people and know that we cannot put ourselves or anyone else at risk by being reckless at this still early stage in the pandemic.

So, is camping safe? And how can re-opening campsites ensure safety of their guests?

Camping mealtime
Missing this!

Well, many camping, glamping and caravan sites have started to gear up for a 4th July re-opening and have thought long and hard about the measures necessary. Luckily camping, in all its guises, lends itself quite nicely to natural social distancing, but there are some issues such as shared bathroom and washing facilities, close proximity to other campers, etc. that need careful thought.

Many re-opening campsites will require advanced booking as they need to limit numbers and thus help with social distancing and sharing of facilities. There are some camping sites that have plenty of space for ease of distancing between tents such as the spacious fields of Willowbrook Farm. This ethical working farm in beautiful Oxfordshire have also installed extra hand sanitising points and are looking forward to showing off their farm in all its glory once more.

Sheep at Willowbrook Farm
The flock at Willowbrook Farm

There are some glamping sites that offer ease of social distancing by the fact that there are few accommodation options that are very much self-contained such as the 2 huge safari tents at Brocklands Farm in Hampshire. These are 100 metres apart and completely independent with fastidious cleaning taking place in between guests. In addition, they guarantee a refund on any bookings that cannot be taken as a direct results of government restrictions.

Tinkers Bells have an exclusive use family glamping site at Field Head Farm in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside. That means your family can have the whole site to yourselves! Well, that certainly solves any social distancing issues! And family size is not a problem as the three luxurious bell tents can cater for up to 12 people. In addition, you would have your own hot power showers, toilet and powder room; kitchen, bbq and firepit area; a huge hideaway tent for you to snuggle up and relax in and plenty of scenic outdoor space.

Several campsites have closed some or all of their facilities meaning that campers need to bring their own. There are plenty of cost-effective solutions on the market such as these from World of Camping: portable toilet and solar shower.

Whilst some campsites have closed their toilet and washing facilities, Harry’s Field in Hampshire have actually increased theirs to help maintain social distancing.

Tehidy Holiday Park in Cornwall has invested in an activated oxygen fogger for sanitizing their accommodation – this effective and natural product kills 99.99% of pathogens present in under 30 seconds!

Some holiday makers may well want to hold back from booking until there is more certainty as they don’t want to risk losing out financially. It is worth checking out with your preferred campsite what their policy is as the vast majority of sites are keen to look after customers.

Some sites such as Fakenham Fairways in Norfolk are allowing provisional bookings to help with flexibility and peace of mind in case of a change to government guidance following an increase in cases. Similarly, Hook Farm in Dorset is taking bookings arriving from the 4th July but will happily change your booking to another date within 12 months of your arrival date. Chestnut Meadow in East Sussex offer refunds for Covid-related issues and have developed a new tool in their website booking system so you can move your booking if necessary, giving you total flexibility.

2019 at Chestnut Meadow
2020 camping might look different to last year at Chestnut Meadow!

Other sites such as Holden Farm in Hampshire and Lanyon Holiday Park in Cornwall guarantee that whilst there is uncertainty, you can move your booking to another date in 2020 or 2021. Also, plenty of sites such as Ruberslaw Wild Wood Camping in the Scottish borders, are looking to the future and offering online bookings made for 2021 at 2020 prices – worth taking advantage of and helps to secure the businesses’ futures.

Camping at Ruberslaw

It is really important to support this industry in 2020. Many campsites including Forest Glade in Devon and Petruth Paddocks in Somerset have invested heavily over the winter season to improve facilities but have already missed half of their peak season and thus income will be massively down. Re-opening campsites need to put measures in place to ensure our safety that will inevitably incur more costs. This, along with a reduction on number of guests expected mean that the second half of the season will not put them close to recouping lost income. The vast majority of these lovely sites are family-run small businesses, not huge corporations and if we want to go camping in the years to come, we need to make sure there is an industry to come back to.

If in doubt, postpone, don’t cancel.