Fancy a night under canvas coupled with a day of exploring some of the most amazing landscapes in the UK? My favourite adventure campsites in the prettiest corners of Britain are the very best places for hikers, swimmers and explorers to sleep under the stars. Pack a tent and pick your favourite adventure campsite, from placid lakes and epic mountains to tiny island escapes.
Ten of my favourite adventure campsites in Great Britain
1, TROYTOWN FARM, ST AGNES, ISLES OF SCILLY
Troytown is one of the loveliest campsites in Cornwall, and that’s saying something. It’s also in one of my favourite places of all time – the Isles of Scilly, a dreamy sub-tropical archipelago off the Cornish coast where you can explore white sand beaches, kayak around the archipelago and walk the coastline before catching a ferry back to real life. Camp at this grassy family-run site on the island of St Agnes with a view out to sea and spend your days swimming in the ocean, exploring the coastline by kayak (you can rent kayaks and paddleboards a few steps away from your tent) or just toasting marshmallows over a fire on the sand when evening comes.
Cost: £10.25 per person
2, GLENBRITTLE CAMPSITE, ISLE OF SKYE
This remote campsite is perfectly pleasant, and boasts a great coffee shop, but what really makes it stand out is its epic location on the Isle of Skye, sandwiched between the shores of Loch Brittle and the spectacular Cuillin mountains. Lace up your hiking boots and head for the surrounding hills or pack a towel and go for a dip in the ice-cold, crystal-clear waters of the Fairy Pools, fed by a rushing waterfall, one of my favourite wild swims in all of Britain.
Cost: £11 per person
3, OWEN TYDDYN’S FARM, NORTH WALES
I have a real soft spot for this tiny, friendly little site in Snowdonia. More a farmer’s field than a proper campsite, what make’s Owen’s field stand out is the jaw-dropping view of Cadair Idris mountain in all its glory you’ll get when you unzip your tent in the morning. It’ll cost you under a fiver for a peaceful stay in this lush grassy field, as Owen pops around in the morning to collect donations for a night’s stay. Then all that’s left to do is head for the mountain trail beckoning you up to the peak.
Cost: £5 per person
4, LITTLE MEADOW, ILFRACOMBE, DEVON
Little Meadow has 50 grassy pitches and allows campervans, yet somehow it retains and intimate and charming vibe. Perhaps it’s the terraced fields, which make you feel like you have your own mini garden to camp in. Or perhaps it’s the panoramic views over the steep cliffs and indigo water of Hangman’s Bay in Ilfracombe. Either way, it’s a blissful place to spend a few days, surfing the nearby beaches each day and then cooking up fresh farm fare from the tiny shop. When evening comes, sit by your tent with a beer and watch the sun set over the water.
Cost: £20 for two people
5, THE SUNNY FIELD, KENT
Sunny by both name and nature. There are just 15 pitches in this balmy grassy meadow on the Kent downs, and if you’re lucky enough to nab one you can spend a few days relaxing in total peace and quiet. The North Downs way and some great quiet cycle routes go right past the site if you fancy getting active, and it doesn’t matter if you get back a bit sweaty – the site has smart showers made from converted horseboxes. Adventure campsites don’t come more idyllic than this.
Cost: £35 per night for two people
6, TARN FOOT CAMPSITE, LAKE DISTRICT
Basic in the very best sense of the word, this Lake District campsite is sweet, simple and a bit of a secret – a beautiful farm meadow on the edge of Loughrigg Tarn, a large deep lake that’s the perfect place for a cool swim or a spot of pond dipping on a hot summer’s day. The hikes and mountain peaks of the Lake District are easily reached by car. Just don’t tell anyone I told you about Tarn Foot – this campsite is a quiet haven in the Lakes even on the busiest summer weekend.
Cost: there’s no website listing current prices, so just turn up – find the campsite at Loughrigg, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9HF
7, BON CAMPING, PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES
Meadow pitch or woodland pitch? That’s the only tough decision you’ll need to make at this tiny, laid-back site in its own 29-acre nature reserve and so close to Pembrokeshire coast’s national park that you can hear the waves lulling you to sleep. Off-grid and eco-friendly is the name of the game here, and the site is also a haven for wildlife. Yurts and a pretty vintage camper are available if you fancy a spot of glamping, and there’s a cosy communal barn to hang out in on chillier days. Tres tres Bôn.
Cost: £35 for two people
8, BORVE CAMPSITE, BARRA, OUTER HEBRIDES
Fancy unzipping your tent to a view of white sand and clear blue ocean? No need to go camping in the Caribbean – Barra, in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Borve campsite (the furthest westerly campsite in Britain) lets you pitch up next to the Atlantic. Hike the island, swim in its icy waters or rent a bike and cycle across to Vatersay – and keep your eyes peeled for seals.
Cost: £18 for two people.
9, TREEN FARM CAMPSITE, CORNWALL
A walker and wild swimmer’s dream location, Treen Farm couldn’t be closer to the glorious South West Coast Path. Grassy fields overlook the blue ocean and you can expect simple amenities and a friendly vibe. Walk along the coast path to the left to unearth glorious coves and cliff paths, or hike to the right to catch an evening of live music at the Minack Theatre. Imagine the view below being a short stroll from your tent…
Cost: From £7 per person.
10, CWM LLWCH CAMPISTE, BRECON BEACONS, WALES
Dreaming of wild camping for the first time but not sure where to start? Cwm Llwch in the Brecon Beacons is about as close to wild camping as you can get without going totally solo. It’s also right at the foot of the mountain peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, making it perfect for a camping and hiking weekender. Expect no amenities here, just a beautiful meadow in the woods near a trickling stream to camp in.
Cost: a few pounds to the farmer