The UK’s 11 Coolest Camping and Glamping Sites

With campsites reopening on 4 July, we've scoured the UK for the best and most beautiful places to pitch up. It's exactly the kind of staycation we need right now: rich with nature, affordable and - bonus point - good for the environment. Expect off-grid tent pitches that could be in the Caribbean, bohemian bell tents and pimped-up huts for fair-weather glampers. Happy campers, guaranteed.

Where to pitch up when lockdown ends

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Cornish Tipi Holidays

Bodmin, Cornwall

Unlike Cornwall's headline destinations - St Ives, Penzance, Falmouth - this site offers a back-to-nature, no-WiFi, few-crowds kind of getaway (small wonder Alice Temperley spent her honeymoon here). Hugging a spring-fed lake, 20 acres of thick woodland invites guests to pitch up where they desire - whether that's a secluded clearing or a more sociable open meadow. As you've likely guessed, ready-built, North American-style tipis are available too. Tramp through ferns that tumble down escarpments to the lake; fishing, canoeing and wild swimming are popular. Stargazing by the totem pole is optional, but highly recommended.

Address

Tregildrans Quarry Trelill PL30 3HZ

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Wild Boar Wood

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Nestled among flourishing woodland in High Weald, these nine bell tents (pre-erected; no fiddling with pegs here) are within easy reach of London and the South Coast - though you'd never guess civilisation was just a short journey away. Venture out to spot birds, deer and rabbits before circling back for dinner around the campfire - each tent comes with a bag of firewood as well as eco-toilets, bucket showers and proper beds. Just don't forget to wave to the passing steam trains of the Bluebell Railway. Like this? Visit sister site Beech Estate.

Address

Treemans Road RH17 7EA

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Fidden Farm

Isle of Mull, Scotland

A ferry ride from Oban, this off-grid campsite is for those who aren't afraid of embracing nature's rougher edges - for this, you'll be rewarded with white sands and clear waters that wouldn't look out of place in the Caribbean. Fidden Farm backs onto sheltered coves, so you'll wake to the symphony of waves. From here, days are best spent spotting dolphins and sea eagles on the coast, cycling along traffic-free roads or hopping over to the neighbouring islands of Iona, Staffa or Erraid. The site has portacabin toilets and basic showers.

Address

Knockvologan Road PA66 6BN

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The Shepard's Hut Retreat

Crewkerne, Somerset

This is a campsite for those who don't like sagging air beds and flimsy tents - or are dragging someone of that persuasion along. Trade in sleeping bags for these adults-only huts, which snagged Campsites' 2019 Best Glamping Site award. Interiors vibe somewhere between Scandi and #vanlife, while the lakeside sauna and hot tub melt away city stresses. Location-wise, you're in a great spot for exploring Somerset, Devon or Dorset - we like to stay here as part of a trip along the Jurassic Coast. If you like this, you'll probably be sold on no-luxuries-barred glamping site Brownscombe Farm near Torquay.

Address

Fords Croft Farm TA18 7TU

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Castle Knights

Usk, South Wales

Built around 1120, this Norman castle could be straight out of a Grimm tale, with time-worn gargoyles and creeping ivy decorating an imposing tower that gazes over Usk to the Black Mountains beyond. Live out medieval fantasies from one of its striped pavilions (each sleeping four to six, with beds) or tent pitches. The ruins are free to explore, while archery and bicycle jousting are among the activities on offer, though we'll probably stick to the woodcraft sculpture trail. There's a shower block with hot water and a fully-equipped kitchen.

Address

Monmouth Road NP15 1SD

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Low Wray Campsite

Ambleside, Cumbria

It's no surprise that the Lake District is peppered with great campsites, glampsites, caravan parks and the like. New to the area? Pitch up at Low Wray; you'll be within ambling distance of Lake Windermere, but not overwhelmed with crowds that often gather in peak seasons. There are traditional pitches, safari tents and hammock camping, but you'll find us in one of its two spherical tents suspended from the trees. For something more under the radar, head to this Ravenglass campsite on the west coast.

Address

Low Wray LA22 0JA

Finn Lough Bubble Domes

County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Fringed by the Muckross Woods, a pebble's toss from the shores of Lough Erne, the Finn Lough estate enjoys several accommodation options including lakeside lodges and cottages. Want that sleep-under-the-stars experience without sacrificing home comforts? Bubble Domes are the top choice, thanks to 180-degree transparent walls, plush beds, pressure showers, coffee machines, breakfast delivery and telescopes for admiring Orion's belt.

Address

37 Letter Road BT93 2BB

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The Private Hill

Malton, North Yorkshire

These eco-friendly geodesic domes make for a green getaway in every sense of the phrase; set on a hillside of the North Yorkshire Wolds, its views stretch 100km across the vale. The site is part of a farm, though this isn't the kind of place you need to put your wellies on - however, we do recommend saying "hi" to the resident alpacas. Each pod offers many of the creature comforts you'd expect to find in a hotel, including a pillow menu, Sonos speakers, a flushing toilet, wood-burning stove and small kitchenette. Guests also have access to a communal chill-out dome with newspapers and a café, as well as a shop selling local products - including the farm's own steaks and cakes. York is a half an hour drive away.

Address

Thrussendale Road YO17 9RG

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Roulotte Retreat

Melrose, Scotland

Unlike the rest of the UK, Scotland allows wild camping, meaning that if you're in the market for going off the beaten path, this is your place to do it. For those less than au fait with damp roll mats and tent poles, try the bohemian gypsy-style caravans of Roulotte Retreat in the wildflower-strewn Eildon Hills. If you're not busy seeking out eggs from the roaming hens (we jest, produce can be ordered in too), on-site yoga classes, massage treatments, horse riding, painting and a writing studio are there to keep your mind away from work.

Address

Bowden Mill TD6 0SU

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Crafty Camping

West Dorset

Ever wondered what Glastonbury's Healing Fields would look like if they were reincarnated in Narnia? This ethereal campsite is a solid guess, thanks to its family of yurts, tipis and bell tents decked out with gnarled oak double beds and serviced by a safari-style kitchen, woodland showers, a craft library and a sauna. Owner Guy Mallinson is an expert carpenter; to see his work at its best, check in to the RIBA-award-winning Woodsman's Treehouse.

Address

Yonder Hill TA20 4NL

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Windmill Campersite

Isle of Wight

This delightfully quirky site lets you bed down in a Bollywood-themed VW, a thatch-roofed shack or a converted Falklands Rescue helicopter. There are various other huts, Hobbit houses and electric grass pitches too. Set in the Isle of Wight's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there's plenty to do and see on your doorstep - but we recommend heading back here in the evening when Big Bertha (the pizza oven) fires up and SiloFlix cinema is in full swing. Other amenities include a laundrette, a bus converted into a kitchenette, a Showershack and Pigglett's Superstore honesty shop. The loo situ will delight fans of puns and Dr Who. Chickens wander about the site - pick up their eggs for breakfast.

Address

Froglands Lane PO30 3DU

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