Hooks House Farm in Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby
You can’t beat a lovely bit of Whitby action, a place SO nice that Count Dracula travelled for months on a rickety old ship to get there and cause some serious havoc with the undead. Camping-wise though there’s the excellent Hooks House Farm which is perched high on a hill above town, providing stunning views of the coast and the perfect vantage point in which to have a proper explore.
Aberafon on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd
Located right on the fringes of the stunning Snowdonia National Park, Aberafon is one of the UK’s most beautiful sites, complete with its own private sandy beach which hugs the rugged coastline nearby. It’s great for a bit of a swim, although you should be prepared to freeze your nethers off a bit, and the whole coast provides the perfect opportunity for exploration, walking and chasing after crabs. I’ve even seen pictures of dolphins around here – not sure how much truth there is in that though – they could be photoshopped.
Turner Hall Farm in Seathwaite, Cumbria
One of the best things about this campsite is the brilliant boozer just a short walk away – because, nothing gets you to sleep on a cold, windy night in a tent better than a few stiff cocktails and a couple of packets of pork scratchings. Turner Hall Farm is pretty no-frills but the area it’s in is truly stunning, a rugged, raw landscape that’s strewn with boulders, dry stone walls and crags. It’s almost medieval around here – so maybe order some mead when you’re in the pub to top it all off.
Low Wray Campsite in Ambleside, Lake District
Set up camp right on the shores of Lake Windermere with Low Wray, a National Trust run campsite that is the perfect location for anyone looking to do some water-related sports. Dodged that pretty easily. So there’s paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking and rowing, or you could just jump in and have a swim and then play Pokemon Yellow on your Game Boy in the sun for a few hours. Apparently they also have a wood-fired pizza oven here in the evenings too – which would, of course, be brilliant.
Ettie’s Field in Atherstone, Warwickshire
This campsite isn’t as close to Manchester as the other ones but I’ve included it because it’s one of the coolest campsites in the UK – helped in part by the fact that you can book Airsteams – those chrome trailers that you see in the movies. There are also llamas here too which are always brilliant and a lot of fun to kiss and cuddle when you’ve had one too many 2-litre bottles of Frosty Jacks. Actually, don’t do that.
Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn
This place is more towards the ‘glam’ than the ‘camp’ when it comes to where you stay, as you won’t be lay under a bit of plastic but instead getting your head down in one of their brilliant little ‘Shepherd’s Huts’. They’ve got everything you could ever desire inside and they’re set on the grounds of the black and white hall which is apparently one of the most haunted places in the UK.
Headswood On The Wall, Hadrian’s Wall
Once again these are quite posh when compared to pitching up a tent, but the Lodges at Headswood are certainly well worth a try – especially considering they sit right on the cusp of one of the Roman’s biggest structures ever. The Lodges themselves come with all the mod-cons you should need, and some of them even have their own private hot tubs! If this place is full there’s also the Roman Wall Lodges on the other side of Carlisle too which is well worth a visit.
Delamere Forest, Cheshire
To be fair this is much more of a caravan site than a camping site, but you can still pitch up a tent and enjoy all the delights that Delamere Forest has to offer. There’s walking trials, cycling, Go Ape, Chester Zoo or if you fancy a dead good day out – head on into Chester and explore its ample boozers and restaurants.
Lazonby Campsite, Penrith
There’s one reason and one reason only why I’ve put this place on this list and that’s because it has an outdoor swimming pool. I’m sure the other facilities are excellent, and indeed the area it’s in is actually really beautiful but I’m sat here in my house, sweating my face off in this heat and I want to jump into a swimming pool. Now.