Top 5 places to camp in the UK

Packing a tent and sleeping bags into the car is a particularly British trait. Heading off into the countryside for holidays with just the bare essentials of life means a trip which will take everyone as close to nature as possible.

There are many incredible places to camp in the UK and for the seasoned camper they will certainly have a long tick list of locations already visited. For those who are planning their first camping trip though, they may be unsure where to visit. Whether staying at a campsite with home from home facilities or in more basic surroundings, it’s a good idea to think about what you want to gain from the holiday.

Here then are the top 5 places to camp in the UK for those wanting to get back to basics whilst entrenching themselves in stunning surroundings.

New Forest

Declared a royal forest by King William I in the 11th century, the New Forest is located in Hampshire. A combination of largely unexplored tracks, woodland and acres of stunning heathland, there are many official campsites where you can pitch your tent before heading off to discover this beautiful part of the south coast. With the famous New Forest ponies which wander freely through the villages and into the surrounding vegetation, you’ll instantly feel at one with nature when you stay in any part of the 566km2 of this national park.

Peak District

If you’re looking for a walking or cycling holiday and want a central location within the UK, then the Peak District is the place to head. An area which offers mountains, rivers and fantastic climbing opportunities, it’s a part of England which had been designated a national park. You’ll find campsites with stunning vistas and the chance to explore towns such as Bakewell, Edale, Castleton and Derwent.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Standing proudly among the Brecon Beacon mountain range, this is an area of Wales to visit for mystical river valleys, rolling lush hillsides and deserted vales. Camping is taken very seriously in this part of the world and you’ll find everything from tiny independent sites on working farms all the way to luxurious glamping areas.

There’s a fantastic network of public transport to take you around the Brecon Beacons so if you want to leave your car at the campsite or you want a break from backpacking on foot, there are buses and trains which can take the strain as you take in the surrounding beauty.

Yorkshire Dales

For an abundance of wildlife and huge expanses of unbroken landscape to discover, you’ll certainly never run out places to visit in the 1,769km2 of the Yorkshire Dales. Another designated national park, there are around 100 campsites to choose from. Wander around the Dales Way, Ribble Way or the Pennine Way. Explore the caves and potholes with fellow experts or visit areas associated with famous cultural landmarks such as Wuthering Heights, Emmerdale or All Creatures Great and Small.


For anyone who loves to horse ride, cycle or take part in outdoor activities such as orienteering or mountain biking, it has to be a visit to Exmoor when camping for the first time. Located across west Somerset and north Devon, it has been shaped by the natural environment over thousands of years and now offers rivers, beaches and hillsides. There are hundreds of events which take place each year across the Exmoor area, so whenever you decide to visit, there’s sure to be an amazing adventure to be had.

Written by Elena