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!

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.

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!

10 Reasons To Take Your Family Camping This Year

Family camp at Petruth Paddocks

Updated 23rd March 2021

Those that have taken their family camping before could no doubt think of at least 100 reasons to go again but others might not be so sure of the benefits: Is it worth ditching your usual home comforts? Won’t it be dirty? What if the weather’s rubbish? Won’t the kids be bored?

The thing is, family camping has come on a long way in the last few years. All of the above concerns are now easily dealt with at camp and glampsites that have excellent facilities ranging from washing, kitchen, entertainment, organised activities – really you can find whatever you want. But what is it about outdoors living that is so beneficial compared to just going to a hotel?

1. Fun

When you’re on the conveyor belt of life, you can forget what having fun as a family is all about. Well, camping provides the perfect chance to offload the weight of responsibility and get silly. From singing tunefully (or tunelessly, who cares?) round the fire to riding your 5 year old’s bike (and getting chased by him) or shamelessly beating young children at Uno, there are endless options. Campers are notoriously friendly people and kids will make friends as will you. Who knows when an impromptu game of rounders or football might break out? Or when the kites will come out?  You will find that the further into your holiday you get, the more you relax and regress until everyone appears to have the mental age of 9.

Campsite with lots of fun facilities: Stowford Farm Meadows, North Devon

2. Freedom

Freedom when camping comes in many guises:

For children, it is the freedom from the usual constraints of four walls – they can roam, run about, be by themselves or make ten new friends, discover wildlife, sing, dance, ride their bikes, basically whatever they want!

Freedom from routine. When on “camping time” you just do what you want when you want. There is no alarm to obey, no work to get to so just do whatever you feel like on that day. If you want to stay at camp, do it. If you want a day out, go. If you’re hungry, eat. Just don’t look at your watch, you don’t need that.

Freedom from electronic devices. These things are a blessing and a curse. I don’t doubt their usefulness in terms of researching, developing skills, etc. But is it just me that feels that whilst they are great for keeping connected generally, they also “disconnect” you from loved ones? Give a 3-year-old an iPad and you’ve lost them to Peppa Pig; give a 10-year-old an XBox and you’ve lost them to Fortnite; give a teenager a phone and you’ve just plain lost them. The good news is that camping allows you to find them again. You can have actual conversations with your teenager, play real games with your 10-year-old and make up stories with your 3-year-old. Your children are free to be children and you can make some wonderful memories as a family.

Campsite that values freedom: Petruth Paddocks, Somerset

Petruth Paddocks

3. Food and drink

Now, when taking your family camping it really doesn’t matter if you aspire to a gourmet banquet or a couple of sausages in a bap. I have a friend with a full-on converted trailer/kitchen who cooks up gigantic pots of loveliness for 20 guests and another who only takes pot noodles. It really is up to you. As far as the kids go, every meal is a picnic so you’re winning from the get-go. There’s just something so lovely about eating your meals outside. And the smells that come from a barbecue – bacon sizzling anyone? A lovely treat late at night is hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows around the fire. My main aim with this is to lull the kids into sleepiness so we can chuck them into bed and crack open the wine…works a treat!

Campsite with Farm shop and café: Haw Wood Farm, Suffolk

4. Weather

When the sun is shining, there is nothing better than camping! We had a glorious summer last year and wow, did we love our trips! The children had a feral old time, we did everything outside and everyone was happy.

Then the rain came.

Did it ruin it? Did it heck! There’s something about the rain falling on your tent whilst you’re safe and snug inside it that’s quite therapeutic. You just need to make sure you have some indoor entertainment such as books, playing cards, games, drawing and colouring pencils and away you go. Or you might have made sure you found a holiday park with lots of indoor facilities for when the weather turns. You could also take the opportunity to go on a day out somewhere or just embrace it – get your waterproofs on and get out there!

Campsite will all-weather facilities: Forest Glade Holiday Park, Devon

Family Camping at Forest Glade

5. Nature

For most people, the driving force behind wanting to camp out is to be closer to nature and the great outdoors. From drinking in amazing views to breathing in the fresh, clean air, there’s something about it that relaxes, replenishes and re-energises. Little pleasures such as walking through wet grass in bare feet, listening to birdsong, spotting a hare running for cover help to de-clutter crowded minds. Your children appreciate the freedom to roam and will no doubt find that most magical of things – the stick – and think of all sorts of uses for it: a sword, a fishing rod, a magic wand, beating their younger sibling…hmph! But they might also be entranced by a dragonfly, spot the trail of a deer or any number of creatures, particularly if you take them with you for an early morning dog walk.

Campsite for beautiful nature: Harry’s field, Hampshire

6. Campfire

A personal highlight is listening to and getting ‘lost’ in a good crackling fire. There’s a certain cosiness that comes with everyone sitting around a fire watching the sun go down. It encourages actual conversations where you remember that your partner is more than the person you order about and get cross with at home when you’re trying to keep to your manic schedule. It is a place to reminisce, to tell jokes and stories, to bond with friends and family and to make plans for your next adventure.

Glampsite with firepits: Longberry Farm, Kent

7. Family Time

With no work, school, clubs, appointments to get to, you will spend precious time together with your family. This might initially instil pure fear into you. However, do not panic! You will warm up to the idea as you gradually chill out over your holiday. You will not have to be a walking entertainment factory – the kids will doubtless run around happily and find their own fun. In fact, you will develop a self-satisfied glow as you watch them having a fabulous time, getting filthy (this is something you will just have to go with if you’re not used to it!) and racing back to you when they’re starving.

As with any holiday, it gives you a chance for days out together whether simply going to a beach, a bike ride, pony trekking or meandering around. At night, you can then snuggle up around the fire, discussing your wonderful day and remembering what a lovely bunch your family is when you aren’t nagging them to find their homework, their tie, or for the tenth time get dressed NOW!

Family friendly glamping site: Tinker’s Bells Family Glamping, Staffordshire

Tinker's Bells Family glamping

8. Exploring

We are very lucky to live in this beautiful country and you don’t have to drive far to explore a little piece of somewhere different. Whether you are looking for sea air, mountains, hills, valleys, vast fields, woodland, there is a campsite that will match it. Discovering new places is fun and refreshing and the change of scenery does us the world of good. When camping, you are always close to walks and bike rides for exploring the local area, making the most of the scenery. But you might also choose to jump in your car and go and find a castle, steam train, theme park or other such adventures.

You might choose to stay at your campsite and explore that thoroughly when walking your four-legged friend or letting the children guide you. They will be keen to investigate the stream, climb the trees, make a den and generally do their best to increase the burden on your washing machine…but heck! You don’t need to worry about that until you get back so just let them be feral and be glad that their immune systems are having such a boost as they wipe their muddy hands across their mouth!

Glamping site that is a great base for exploring the Pembrokeshire National Park: Beaver’s Retreat Glamping, South Wales

Beaver's Retreat Glamping

9. Peace and quiet

The peace and quiet that comes from outdoor living is totally different to that from behind double glazing. There is a serenity that allows you to relax right down – your mind empties of the usual worries and you can take the time to really appreciate your surroundings. From the beautiful scenery to the fresh, crisp air; it allows busy minds to just let go and rest. You become aware of unfamiliar sounds and start to look forward to them: owls hooting, birdsong, the breeze through the trees, the crackle of the fire, the satisfying sound of the zip. Even the sound of rain on the tent gives a certain smugness when you are cosy in your sleeping bag (and helps to lull you to sleep as well.)

Peaceful glamping site: Brocklands Farm Glamping, Hampshire

Brocklands Glamping

10. Simplicity

Outdoor living brings a certain amount of simplicity back to daily life. You ditch all the conveniences, routines, jobs and rushing around and strip it back to what is necessary: love, fun and food! Our family camping experiences tend to revolve around food (that might be everyday life too when I think about it…) and mealtimes are so much more social. You will talk more, you will have lots of comfortable silences, you will watch your kids happily without that usual dread that comes with confined spaces or crowds, you might even read! At night, you can watch the sun go down and then star gaze without the burden of light pollution. The usual hustle and bustle feels a million miles away.

Back to basics campsite: Brynawelon Touring and Camping Park, Ceredigion, Wales

Brynawelon