After several months of sitting heavily on the pause button holiday-wise, unable to head off for a spontaneous weekend or even venture out of the house, it is looking like there is a small light at the end of the tunnel. That light, my friends, is a head torch.
Oh yes, 2021 is looking distinctly like The Year of Canvas. When lockdown lifted briefly over the summer, the people of the UK surged forward as soon as their town was given the green light (literally) and headed towards campsites in the UK like they never had before. You don’t need to fly, you can stay with your own family bubble (anyone else losing it with that word?) and you actually bring your own living quarters. No antibacterial hose-down necessary.
Here are some of my favourite campsites with such glorious views across the water that you’ll feel like you never want to be indoors again. Just don’t tell everyone…..
This is an absolutely stunning location, right on the Gower Peninsula in Wales and overlooking the breathtaking Three Cliffs Bay, undoubtably one of the best views in the country. It is an excellently well run, family friendly campsite and ideally situated for the beach which is only a 10 minute walk way; the coastal path runs right through it so finding your way around and exploring is easy. Campervans, motorhomes and caravan are also welcome.
The extra mile: don't panic if you feel you cannot face pitching your own tent. These lovely folk have put up a collection of very comfortable yurts (sleeping 5) with en-suite facilities, proper beds, electricity and linen. Hurrah!
I've included this one - not for its back to nature/listen to the birds/grab your guitar and sing Kumbaya vibe - but for it's out there, waves on the doorstep, incredible proximity to one of Cornwalls best surf beaches. If you manage to bag one of the front pitches on the Tristram campsite, you are literally beachside. In fact, you can lob the kids over to surf school, enthusiastically wave and watch their whole lesson, all without having to leave your campsite pitch and bacon sarnie. There is an excellent cafe right next door called the Cracking Crab if you don't want to make your own. Seaside holidays simply do not come any easier than this.
It's a busy beach and you are on the coast path, so lots of people will be walking past and shouting "surf's up," but if you like people watching this adds to the fun. Keep your eyes peeled for David Beckham and his pal Gordon the chef. They like surfing at Polzeath too.
The extra mile: The towns of Rock and Padstow are right around the corner as well as many other lovely places, so you can stay down here for the whole summer and will never run out of things to do.
Mae hwn yn lleoliad syfrdanol i osod pabell. And if you don't speak Welsh, don't worry, I'm here to help. Loosely translated, it means: this is a stunning location to pitch a tent. And it really is. Treheli Farm, a rural hideaway perched over the beach of Porth Neigwl with miles of golden sand and clear water, has panoramic views across Cardigan Bay. It is very relaxing here. Pitch your tent or park your van anywhere in the field along the cliff; all pitches have the same incredible view and no electric hook up to get in the way of it. Light a fire, gaze across the water, watch the stars.....relax.
The extra mile: If you don't have a tent of your own, they've got some simple but gorgeous bell tents for hire - choose a stargazer pitch for that extra bit of privacy and quietness.
picture credits : Treheli farm campsite
Situated in the northwest Highlands of Scotland, Clachtoll beach is remote but well, well worth the trip. On arrival at this award winning, family-run campsite, you will be greeted by a tropical looking beach, crystal clear waters and gently lapping waves. Enjoying the seclusion and the environment is what is on offer here in this spectacular seascape; dolphin or whale spotting, playing on the beach, swimming, kayaking, fishing, cycling or hiking around the coast. Leaving will be a shock.
The extra mile: the beach is one of a very select few on the Scottish Wildlife Trusts award- winning snorkel trail. The clarity of the water is quite simply exceptional.
Surely the Lake District National Park in Cumbria is one of the finest places to visit. The jaw dropping mountain scenery, plenty of activites to do and adventures to be had, and some of the most beautiful stretches of water in England. Low Wray campsite is run by the National Trust and sits on the western shores of Lake Windermere, offering waterfront pitches with incredible views across the water or meadow and woodland pitches if you'd prefer. You can make the most of the water and head off in a canoe or boat or explore the woodland trails and shallow shores of the lake. This one is a beaut.
Extra mile: if you don't have your own tent, don't worry - just book a dangling giant tent bauble, which will rock you to sleep in your own double bed while swinging from the trees.
Photo credit: National Trust holidays
This idyllic and secluded campsite in Bodium, East Sussex is nestled into ancient woodland and close to the banks of River Rother. Some of the pitches are near the river and others have views of the magical Bodium Castle, but wherever you are you will be surrounded by trees, wildlife, grassy meadows, farmland and orchards. Hire a canoe or a paddleboard and quietly drift up and down the river, go wild swimming, or make a campfire on the banks and watch the sun go down. There are excellent, eco friendly facilities and a communal covered area if it gets a bit wet.
The extra mile: There is an excellent on-site cafe called The Hub (and it's licensed - hurrah!) which served great food if you don't want to bust out the bbq every night.
Situated in the heart of South Devon and surrounded by beaches and rolling grassy hills, Beryls is a wonderfully secluded and very special campsite, perfect for families who want to have their own bit of space to relax and for the children to play. The large pitches are well spread out (there are only 29 so it never gets crowded) and each has a different vista; sea view, evening sun, panoramic views - all set among beautiful lush green fields. The campsite is located near the southwest coast path and sits above the award winning beach of Beesands.
Extra mile: Salcombe is just down the road and there is lots going on water-wise in this pretty town. Head here if you fancy plunging into the crystal blue waters, whether it be sailing, canoeing or paddle-boarding. Then head back to Beryl's, light a campfire and relax.
High Sand Creek Campsite (don't say that after a long lunch) is a beautiful and unique family campsite, situated in Stiffkey in one of Norfolks Outstanding Areas of Natural Beauty. It overlooks salt marshes, mudflats and woodland with a sandy beach lying just beyond. The sheer amount of wildlife lurking around is extraordinary; seals, birds, owls at night, and the exploring to be done and adventures to be had is limitless. It's real Enid Blyton stuff (thinking Famous Five here rather than Noddy) and children of all ages will love the swimming, picnicking, seal spotting, crabbing and good old fashioned family fun.
Extra mile: take a boat trip out from nearby Wells to see huge colonies of seals. It really is a stunning sight.
Ocean Pitch campsite in the seaside town of Croyde in Devon sits as close to the beach as it possibly can, with nothing but sea and sky on the horizon. When I say seaside town, you might be thinking candy floss, dodgems and a Barry Manilow tribute act. Well, there is none of that here. Think cool, think Baywatch, think golden sands, grassy dunes, blue sea, high waves, roaming lifeguards and more wetsuits than you can shake a stick at. Croyde beach is awesome and Ocean Pitch is right at the heart of it.
It is campervans and tents only on this campsite, which always makes for a different vibe and a different set of punters, and it's chilled, laid back and everyone is welcome. Facilities here are spotless and there is a good cafe on site if you've got surfers elbow and can't lift the BBQ tongs. There are glamping pods too if you fancy an extra level of comfort.
Extra mile: Ocean Pitch consistently has excellent ratings on TripAdvisor and this year won a Travellers Choice Award from them too.
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