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Powis Arms Campsite, Shropshire
Within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Grade II-listed Powis Arms coaching inn and its attached campsite are a short walk from the Georgian country estate of Walcot Hall, home to one of the UK’s finest arboretums. Walkers pitching at this small site can do without a car: it’s an hour’s hike to the characterful town of Bishop’s Castle, and longer trails into the Shropshire Hills lead to the iron age fort of Bury Ditches and the ruins of Clun Castle. The beamed pub is a short stroll from the tents – welcome after a day of trotting about – and serves pub grub made with Shropshire ingredients. Campers can order cooked breakfasts for the following morning.
Pitches from £7.50pp a night, coolcamping.com
Winshields Campsite, Northumberland
This simple farm camp runs alongside the Roman Military Road (built in about 162AD and now known as the B6318) in the Northumberland national park. It’s popular with walk-in hikers tackling the long-distance Hadrian’s Wall trail, with tent pitches right below the wall. The Roman fort ruins of Vindolanda and Sycamore Gap are a 45-minute amble away. A 10-minute walk down the road is the Twice Brewed Inn, a small eco-brewery with tours, seasonal pub grub and stargazing nights that make the most of its location inside Northumberland’s international dark sky park.
Pitches from £10pp night, winshieldscampsite.co.uk
Stoats Farm, Isle of Wight
This quiet, dog-friendly campsite reopened in 2021 with upgraded facilities including disabled washrooms and a barn shop crammed with local produce. And its location, near the most westerly point of the island, is exceptional. It’s a short walk from the Tennyson Monument and the Tennyson Trail, which traces the white chalk cliffs over the headland to the Needles and down to Freshwater Bay. Opposite the campsite’s entrance, the Camra-rated Highdown Inn is the perfect country pub, with a wood-panelled bar, daily blackboard specials championing local seafood, and a sun-trap beer garden.
Pitch for two from £22 a night, stoatsfarm.com
Dark Skies Camping, Carmarthenshire
As a certified member of the Greener Camping Club, this Welsh eco-site prides itself on being an unplugged nature haven – meaning no cars on site, patchy mobile signal and a sense of true wilderness. Open for camping in May half-term and July/August, it offers space to spread out, with just 10 pitches across four hectares of wildflower meadow in a secluded fold between the Cambrian mountains and the Brecon Beacons. Both are known for their dark skies, so the chances of seeing the Milky Way from the campfire are high. There’s also mountain biking, hiking and wild swimming in lakes and streams. The foodie Neuadd Fawr Arms, with its barrel-dotted beer garden, is a five-minute walk down a track.
Pitches £33 a night for two, five-night minimum, darkskiescamping.wales
Great Langdale Campsite, Lake District
The Langdale Pikes are among the Lakes’ most dramatic peaks, which means spectacular views from this award-winning National Trust campsite in their foothills. To preserve the area’s natural beauty, cars have to park off-site. There are 120 tent pitches and newly upgraded toilet and shower blocks, plus a shop and a drying room for walkers. After a morning roaming the fells or slogging up Scafell Pike, the reward is an ale at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel bar, a 10-minute walk away. The fell-facing terrace of Wainwrights’ Inn is a one-hour hike east in the village of Chapel Stile.
Pitch from £32pp for two nights, two-night min, nationaltrust.org.uk
Deepdale Camping, Norfolk
The saltmarsh veins of the north Norfolk coast come right up to the doorstep of this award-winning campsite in the village of Burnham Deepdale. Powered by 100% renewable energy, the site has 85 pitches spread across six paddocks on an organic farm. Holkham beach and the Norfolk Coast AONB are a short drive east, and there are two pubs in Brancaster Staithe, a 10-minute walk west along the Norfolk Coast Path. Nearest is the White Horse, with local seafood and seating overlooking marshland. Further into the village is the Jolly Sailors, an 18th-century pub with a microbrewery, summer deckchairs and outdoor service from a huddle of garden beach huts.
Pitches from £17pp a night, deepdalebackpackers.co.uk
Limeburners Arms Campsite, South Downs
This family-friendly site near Billingshurst makes an ideal base for exploring the South Downs national park. It’s a 10-minute drive from the RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve, and the South Downs Way is just a little further. The campsite is in a tree-lined plot behind the 17th-century Fuller’s pub, which has a beer garden. The South Downs is also wine country, now home to more than 50 vineyards; wineries worth exploring include Nyetimber and Stopham.
Pitches from £35 a night for four, two-night minimum Friday and Saturday, pitchup.com
Masons Campsite, Yorkshire Dales
Spread along the banks of the Wharfe at the foot of the Appletreewick village, Masons attracts walkers and pootling summer boaters. The 80-mile Dales Way passes the site and there are easy day hikes tracing the river south to the Bolton Abbey estate or north to the lively village of Burnsall. Campers can order morning pastries and fresh loaves to pick up from the on-site shed cafe. Come late afternoon, the village lane fills up with campers heading up the hill to Appletreewick’s two old coaching inns, the Craven Arms and the New Inn, for a coveted table with views of Simon’s Seat.
Pitches from £30 for two, masonscampsite.co.uk
Bridge Inn, Herefordshire
Drinkers are spoiled for choice at this pretty site in the Herefordshire hills. There’s the Bridge Inn itself, an award-winning boozer serving local ciders, but also the Black Mountains Botanicals gin distillery and a coffee roastery, all in the small village of Michaelchurch Escley. The camping fields are either side of the tree-lined Escley Brook, and the surrounding farmland and orchards offer excellent hiking straight from the tent. Hay-on-Wye and the cathedral city of Hereford, with its medieval Mappa Mundi, are half an hour’s drive away.
Adults £10, under-12s £5, thebridgeinnmichaelchurch.co.uk
Ten Acres Vineyard Camping, Devon
Halfway between the north Devon coast and Dartmoor national park, Ten Acres is a low-key site with just 10 simple pitches, a single shower and two compost toilets. Guests can soak up the vine views or head to the woodland area strung with hammocks. On Tuesday and Saturday afternoons there are winery tours with tasting (£10pp). The campsite’s Devon Wine Shack offers local ciders, apple juice from the vineyard’s orchard, and a sparkling wine – a Ten Acres speciality. A 20-minute walk away, in the thatched village of Winkleigh, is the excellent Kings Arms pub.
Adults £9 a night, children £4.50, tenacresvineyardcamping.co.uk