Pitch Up, Look Sharp: Nine Cool Camping Spots

Camping - the marmite of the travel industry. If you're haunted by a childhood experience of sheltering from incessant drizzle under a flimsy nylon roof or bemused as to why anyone in their right mind would choose this as a holiday, we've taken it upon ourselves to persuade you otherwise. Carrying your bed on your back may not scream luxury but it certainly smells like adventure - and thanks to running water facilities at several sites, we're not just talking about eau de you.

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Anywhere in Sweden


The adventurous Swedes consider campsites to be so last year. Instead, this forward-thinking country has a freedom to roam policy, which means things can get really wild. Nature isn't just to be admired - any grassy spot has the potential to become a temporary home. So pack up your best explorer kit (torch, wet wipes, snacks) and set up camp wherever takes your fancy.

Kruger National Park

South Africa

Not one for light sleepers, at Kruger things really do go bump in the night. With only a fence between your tent and the Big Five it soon becomes apparent that the entire animal kingdom comes alive and makes the most glorious din just as you are settling down for some shut-eye. But why would you sleep in such a once-in-a-lifetime location? Forget counting sheep and head out on a dawn safari, where you'll find some far more exciting animals to count.

Camping Arolla


At 1,950m above sea level, this campsite in the Swiss Alps is Europe's highest, making for a trip which is breathtaking in more ways than one. Waking up to snow-capped mountains makes for a view so dramatic that you will feel as though you have just been transported into your desktop background.

Yosemite National Park


When adventure calls, Yosemite is California's answer. If none of the 13 campsites quite do it for you, apply for a wilderness permit and take advantage of the fact that 94% of the park is uninhabited wilderness, making it the perfect spot for stargazing. With a limited number of annual permits, this is ultimate solitude. Just look out for the black bears.

Whitehaven Beach

Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia

One for those on the camping fence, this remote island of lush rainforests and white sands in Australia will convert even the most reticent of explorers. Think Robinson Crusoe or Castaway minus the struggle to survive. With only those who are camping allowed to stay overnight, we know it sounds cliché but this truly is a slice of paradise.

Everest Base Camp


It might be an obvious one, but we couldn't leave the most famous camp in the world off this list. Europe's highest campsite pales in comparison to this giant, which stands at an incredible 5000m above sea level. This is bucket-list stuff which will also provide you with a lifetime of boasting rights.

Hang Son Doong Caves


A similarly ambitious destination that receives far fewer visitors than Mount Everest, camping in the heart of world's largest cave is about as exclusive as it gets in the tenting world. This cave is so vast that it has its own river, jungle, bio-climate and the tallest stalagmites in the world - pack a head torch.

Coronet Creek Camp Ground

Jasper National Park, Canada

The dramatic landscapes of Canada are encapsulated by Jasper's vast and varying terrains, offering an array of campsites depending on what kind of trip you're after. If you want to push the adventure that little bit further then Coronet Creek is our ground of choice. Located on the edge of Maligne Lake, the only way to get to this remote plot is to paddle yourself there, so if water sports are your thing then this site is definitely worth the trip.

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Miyajima Island


Most travellers to Japan stick to the big cities, forgetting that the country has much to offer beyond the bright lights and skyscrapers. There's no better way to escape the 24/7 urban buzz than with a camping trip to the island known as the "gateway to god" thanks the orange Grand Torii Gate which marks the entrance to the 12th-century Itsukushima shrine. With wild deer, plenty of Buddhist temples and a Jurassic Park-esque landscape, camping in Miyajima is an alternative way to get in touch with ancient Japanese culture.