Camping: the UK's top locations

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By Avanti West Coast web team

Becky blog author avanti social team

4 min read

Yorkshire Dales

Without doubt one of the top UK camping locations, the Lake District National Park covers While much of the Yorkshire Dales National Park is, as you’d expect, in North Yorkshire, some of its western and northern parts are in Lancashire and Cumbria. It’s about the same size as the Lake District, but has a different feel to it – it comprises greater areas of moorland and agriculture, and features more rolling hills than sheer mountains.

There are some lakes where you can take on watersports like windsurfing and canoeing with your friends and family. Mainly though, the Yorkshire Dales is a walker’s paradise. Since many visitors love to take their canine friends with them there’s an abundance of dog friendly sites to choose from.

It’s not all about your step count, though. The Dales have many historic attractions to visit. The Ribblehead Viaduct is just one hugely impressive piece of Victorian architecture in the region. Part of the Settle to Carlisle Railway, it’s considered Britain’s most beautiful rail route. Bolton Castle, Cautley Spout and Orton Fells are some of the main attractions worth exploring.

There’s a whole range of camping sites available, from traditional tent pitches to camping in the lap of luxury in glamping huts, pods, safari tents and tree houses. Have a look on Airbnb as well as campsite websites to find these luxury or off-the-beaten track locations.

The Lake District

Without doubt one of the top UK camping locations, the Lake District National Park covers 2362 square kilometres of stunning scenery. The name is a clue to one set of attractions – it’s home to England’s 12 largest lakes. The area is also home to dozens of peaks, including England’s highest, Scafell Pike. This is key to the region’s appeal with a host of activities to try including water sports, mountain bike riding, fell walking and mountaineering.

Much of the Lake District is kept by the National Trust, including some of its beautiful towns and villages. There are a handful of moderately sized towns – Keswick, Bowness and Ambleside being the largest – and dozens of smaller villages to explore. There are also lots of pubs and cafés where you can enjoy a delicious meal, a cold drink or a well-earned cup of tea. Ambleside in particular is a real culinary hotspot.

As for the camping itself, you’re spoiled for choice. There are more than 100 campsites to choose from, ranging from working farms to sites with swimming pools, pizza ovens and glamping pods. It all depends what you’re looking for, so choose well and you’ll have a magnificent camping holiday in the Lake District.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is 1,865 square kilometres of unbelievable natural beauty, starting just 12km north of Glasgow and stretching 50km to the north. The loch itself – the largest body of water in Great Britain – dominates the south of the National Park, and there are many delightful campsites dotted around its banks.

The highest peak is Ben More, a perfect place for a bracing climb up 1,174m. Some of the most loved campsites are found around this Munro, so you might be able to reach the peak directly from your tent. This National Park is largely unspoilt with the population of the entire area being around 15,000 split between several towns and villages. A great spot for wild camping, you can really get away from it all and experience the wilderness in a special night under the canvas.

North Wales

North Wales is another popular UK camping location. It has a similar appeal to the Lake District with lots of mountains, lakes and villages, with a beautiful coastline that is unique to the region.

On the mainland and on Anglesey, you can find sites with sea views or mountain air, all of them with a warm welcome as standard. It’s also very easy to reach by train, with the line to Holyhead covering the coast and branching off right into the heart of the mountains and towards picturesque villages like Betws-y-Coed.

Walking and watersports are the most popular activities in North Wales, with attractions like Zip World and Surf Snowdonia turning the area into a thrill-seeker’s paradise. You can easily spend days exploring old mining villages, renovated railways and winding paths, not to mention one of the many castles in the region.

Finding a campsite is a piece of cake too, with around 130 to choose from in Snowdonia alone and many more on the coast and across Anglesey. From a simple family-run campsite to holiday parks with pools and bars onsite, you’ll find somewhere that’s pitch perfect.

Northern Ireland

Camping in Northern Ireland continues to be hugely popular as people look to experience this beautiful landscape. The hotspots for tent camping are mostly around the coast and on the banks of Lough Neagh, the UK’s largest body of water at 392 square kilometres. Northern Irish beaches offer some of the most dramatic landscapes the UK has to offer, not to mention the world famous Giant’s Causeway. The seaside camping theme continues way past Belfast and all the way down the east coast.

Further inland, the borders with Ireland and around Lower Loch Erne offer a completely different flavour of cool camping. The villages and bars around these parts are famed for welcoming weary travellers, and you’ll be no exception when you pitch up, so why not have a look around the best sites in the region.

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