They do say that small is beautiful, and there’s no doubt that this is true when it comes to campsites. The larger variety certainly has a tendency to look like a cross between an internment camp and a refugee holding camp. If you pitch your tent on a site that caters to the more static of the caravanning fraternity, you may be forgiven for thinking you may have just as well have stayed home and found a sprawling suburb to take your holiday at home in. Small campsites can be harder to find than the larger variety, by definition being much harder to spot. While wild camping is technically illegal and may not be suitable for family camping, in England and Wales, small campsites can give you that taste of the wild, with nearby toilets and facilities. Here are three of the best in three of England and Wales’ favourite destinations.
A corner of Cornwall
Broad Meadow, near Charlestown in Cornwall offers camping in one of two small fields overlooking the sea. Just off a back street in the village, close to the harbour and the choice of renting one of the site’s own luxury tents or bringing your own. You can choose their tent and breakfast option, which makes wild camping much less wild and inconvenient, but the view, the limited number of pitches (only 12) and the spectacular location makes up for that.
Welsh, Wild and Wolfish
Even the name Lone Wolf Campsite gives you a fairly good impression of this site situated in South Wales. Located in West Glamorgan, the site prides itself as a quiet site, where getting close to nature doesn’t involve also getting close to your fellow campers. You’ll need to book in advance as the owners don’t like to overcrowd the site, which offers two options; an 18 acre woodland for the truly wild at heart (there’s not much in the way of facilities) and several pitches in more civilised surroundings of the farm’s fields. There are basic facilities available on the main site but the ethos of the site is leaving you to get on with it. Quietly.
Baps, breakfast and Buttermere
Buttermere in the Lake District is a well known and popular tourist destination. The Dalegarth Guesthouse offers, in addition to the guest house itself, a 35 pitch quiet site. Situated in lush garden/woodland surroundings the limited number of pitches caters to the quieter camp lover but features a newly refurbished facilities block, including toilets, showers and washing up area. Less wild than some of the sites, but the surrounding landscape makes up for this should you need a dose. The Site offers a range of snacks, baps and breakfasts, but only outside of the main school holidays.
Advance booking required
Finding a micro-site in advance is relatively easy if you contact local tourist information offices and if you’re heading to a national park, check out the park’s main website which can help to find those off the beaten track sites. Most small sites have limited spaces and tend to be very popular, so it’s nearly always advisable to book in advance.
Stocked up with necessary camping gear and good to go? Check out the smaller, quieter sites for a taste of the UK’s wilder places, with the advantage of facilities and even breakfast close to hand.