FIVE CAMPSITES FOR UK SUMMER ADVENTURE & HOW TO CAMP COMFORTABLY
As lockdown begins to ease and hospitality opens up again, I can't help but think of future mini-adventures and exploration.
I've been dreaming about sleeping under canvas, long balmy evenings with friends, cooking on the campfire, waking up to bird song and dewy grass.
We've booked a camping trip in May and I cannot wait to pitch up our bell-tent and unwind for a few days waking up somewhere different. What a luxury.
I wanted to share with you some of our favourite campsites and a few items we always bring to help create a cosy and comfortable stay.
Hope this helps to plan your next adventure.
1. Thistledown, Stroud, Cotswolds
A family run organic farm, with an alternative approach to camping - campfires are encouraged, no allocated pitches, plenty of green space including natural slopes, woodland and an elderflower orchard. There's a shop selling local produce and a cafe serving up delicious seasonal food (lots of options for vegans and veggies). They host a wood-fired sourdough pizza night on weekends, not to be missed. Thistledown is the perfect mix of wild camping with ease for those who like their home comforts (Ahem, a flat white in the morning!) We love this place!
If you are planning a trip to Thistledown you might be interested in our click and collect bell-tent rental service this summer.
A woodland valley surrounding a water lake created from the old Tregildrans Quarry. Tent pitches are dotted around the site, with the opportunity to book a private pitch for families and small groups. The lake is where it is at, with wild swimming, boating, canoes and fishing available. For fair weathered campers, or those who don't want the hassle of setting up your own tent, there are Tipi's available to hire, all kitted out with essentials. A cafe on site serves up wholesome foods and there's a bike hire on site for those wanting to venture further afield.
3. Eweleaze Farm, Osmington, Dorset
A pop-up site open during July and August with the most spectacular views of the dorset coastline and use of the farms own private beach. Tent only site, campfires allowed, no allocated pitches and lots of space for kiddos to play. By the central teepee yoga sessions are run each morning, all you have to bring is your mat. A range of food vans, a cafe, restaurant and shop all on site. Perfect for families and a great place for kids to be free and make new friends safely.
4. The Secret Campsite, Barcombe, East Sussex
With an ethos of nature, peace and space, this campsite delivers in down to earth camping and connection to wildlife. A calming site that limits it's numbers to ensure a restful quiet experience for those staying. There's an option to book a secret shelter - including a tree tent that's suspended between three oak trees on the edge of a woodland. The shop sells wood and basics, bring your own food and cook-up a storm on the fire-pit.
5. Fidden Farm, Isle of Mull, Scotland
A spectacular spot for those up for an adventure, the journey to the campsite is as much part of the experience, with a ferry trip and a long drive around single tracked roads. Once you arrive the views do not disappoint. Rugged landscape, fresh breeze and sandy coves. The campsite itself is low-fi, pitch-up anywhere. It's a slow pace on Mull, not much happening, a place to unwind and retreat from the pressures of modern life. Take a good book or two, and simply take in the scenery. You'll need to bring all your own supplies here.
Here are a few tips on how to create a cosy and comfortable camping experience.
1. Bedding & Warmth
Bring your duvet, pillow and pack lots of blankets, the more you have the cosier you will be. A blanket can double up as a picnic rug, dog bed or an extra layer at nighttime.
Make sure you have packed all the essential kitchen items. I'm a huge fan of enamelware for camping. It's hardwearing, light, durable and a brilliant alternative to single-use plastic alternatives. Plus it feels super nostalgic and adds to the experience.
Fairy lights always add atmosphere and make your tent extra cosy at night.
A box of matches, kindling and wood to get your cosy campfire started. You'll need the heat to toast marshmallows for your obligatory hot chocolate and to keep you warm late into the evening.
Take a portable speaker so you can wake up on the weekend listening to the radio or to play your favourite songs while cooking and hanging out at the tent.
It goes without saying we always take our bell-tent with us, this year we are modifying our set up by adding an internal compartment for sleeping and a porch awning for boots, kitchenware and any wet towels.
Here's some inspiration from our camping collection.