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Favourite UK campsites for getting away from it all

October 5, 2013

IMG_6590After a long working week there’s nothing like escaping to the countryside, and for me it’s even better if I can wake up under canvas.  Whatever the weather, I get an incredibly restful sleep in my tent and the escape from home clears my head quicker than anything else. So I’ve compiled four recommendations for UK campsites that offer a rural retreat.








Side Farm, Patterdale, Cumbria (tel: 01768 482337, postcode: CA11 0NP)View of Ullswater from campsite at Side Farm

The view from the tent sells it. In one direction, you’ve got the marvellous blue Ullswater and Hellvellyn rising opposite.  Behind you Place Fell looms temptingly, and to either side there’s the lakeside path for easy strolls.  You’ve access to two tiny bays for evening drinks by the lake, or swimming if you can brave the chill.  Simple camping, this, but the loo block is clean and spacious (with a plug for your phone) and there’s a small shop and cafe with restricted hours onsite.   Pitch away from the Lake edge for a better chance of avoiding the midges.

Treyarnon Bay, north Cornwall  (tel: 01952 581007, postcode: PL28 8JR) – no current website

Seaside camping doesn’t get better than this – a simple field a stroll away from the stunning Treyarnon Bay and the West Country Coast Path.  Ideal for active types, but basic amenities and a slightly hair-raising walk along a country road to the pub might keep away those looking for a more cultured Cornish retreat.  Pitch near the edge of the field to protect yourself and your stuff from the west coast wind that sweeps across the site.

Yurts and tents at Low Wray

Yurts and tents at Low Wray

Low Wray, nr Ambleside, Cumbria (tel: 01539 432733, 10am – 3pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturdays/Sundays from 10am – 1pm, postcode for satnavs: LA22 0JA)

This well-located site is as far from wild camping as you can find, but the lakeside location will have you believe you are roughing it.  The National Trust do a good job of making you feel you’re in Center Parcs, with extra charges for everything from a lake view to plugging your phone in and freezing your icepacks.  Having said that, paying extra for a lakeside spot gave us benefits like a flat(ish) pitch and the Windermere window we were looking for.

Birch Bank Farm, Christleton, Cheshire (tel: 01244 335233, postcode: CH3 7QD)

You drive in through the farmer’s yard, past the red brick farmhouse, then pop out into a green field which is the entirety of this teeny tiny campsite. Amenities are basic, with one loo each for the ladies and gents, but the back-to-basics feel has its advantages as you’re allowed to pitch wherever you like and there are pastoral views in all directions.  Great spot for Chester (a ten minute drive) or for a rural stopover when you’re on your way up or down the M5 (it’s worth the 25 min amble from the motorway).

Have you stayed in any of these campsites? Where do you go to get away from it all?

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