As we take a slow paced walk out of the pandemic and into life in between, where you can’t quite travel abroad but you need to scratch the itch of travelling, you might be considering camping this summer. As a seasoned camper, there are a few things that I want to talk about and have put together in this guide for you before you jump into a grassy field. Although my tips and tricks can be applied worldwide, I’m going to focus on the UK today. So here is my guide to camping in the UK!
What Type Of Camper Are You?
Traditional Campsites in the UK are broken down into (officially):
- A plain tent pitch (Just you, the tent and the ground. Beautiful)
- An electrical pitch (a tent with plug sockets)
- Caravan pitch (Either your own or theirs)
- A Chalet. (A home away from home)
- Finally, If you consider yourself a camper with a bit of glitter, you might be able to find a destination with a safari tent involved (also known as “glamping” and includes a sofa in your tent).
Depending what type of tent pitch you need is critical, it’s something they will ask you straight away before you even book. Depending on Covid rules too, they will ask you how many people will be joining you. If you think you can’t go without a cup of tea first thing in the morning? Get an electrical pitch. Want to prep meals? (Excluding BBQ) probably best for a caravan/Chalet option. Just spending the weekend away? Probably a plain tent pitch.
Which Campsite Options Do I have?
Typically most campsites are all family friendly, but there are usually two options out there. Those with evening entertainment, arcades and swimming pools (think Butlins or Haven Holidays) or family owned campsites. Some in the middle of nowhere on a local farm and some near tourist destinations. The type of campsite will be reflected in the price.
What Are The Prices Of Camping?
The popularity of camping in the past few years has definitely increased, with it the prices have too. With the situation of Covid, I suspect that rocking up to a campsite at 5 pm and hoping for the best won’t go down well this year and you may very well be stranded.
The cheapest option out of all of these is the plain tent pitch. Plain tent pitch camping prices can vary anywhere from £7 – £20 per night/pitch for family-owned campsites. I’ve personally experienced both of these prices. My experience says that if you’re camping in a site where it’s predominantly caravans surrounding you, it’s going to be on the pricier side. If it’s more of a field with a shower block, it’s more on the lower end of the spectrum. Chalets are typically more popular in Caravan dominated sites or those with Entertainment.
If you’re looking into caravan/chalet holidays, these are definitely on the pricier side and can actually equal more than a hotel room. But, as the UK cannot travel abroad this year, it’s worth considering. It all comes down to your budget and how long you’ll be staying.
Disclaimer: Life Is Not Like The Movies
Sorry future camping friends, rocking up with just your car, a tent and some sleeping bags really will not cut it. The ground will hurt you. Even if you think it won’t and you are given a nice patch of grass, you will be in agony and won’t be able to sleep. Please bring a yoga mat, a blow-up air bed or something to pad the ground with!
Also, there are rules for your BBQs. In most family-run sites, you simply cannot start burning firewood on the ground, start toasting some marshmallows and whipping out the guitar. You can BBQ, but you will be provided with campsite rules on arrival. Most are happy for you to have a BBQ, especially if you bring your own equipment. If not, they are happy with disposable BBQ’s, as long as you prop it up on some stones/bricks and dispose of it sensibly.
Please also do not be that person that pitches their tent in an unauthorised random field. That field is owned and will come with heavy fines and/or chewing of your leg from a local sheepdog (or cows!)
So, I Want To Go Camping! What Do I Need To Bring?
Depending on your camping tent preference, I would recommend the following:
Plain Tent Pitch:
- Waterproof Tent
- Some form of mattress, yoga mat or cushion
- Sleeping Bag/Duvet (I personally bring my duvet because I hate the cold sweat of a sleeping bag in the morning!)
- Disposable BBQ
- A shower bag & Flipflops (for the showers – no one needs Athletes Foot)
- Extra layers of clothing, the nights get cold.
- As above, but probably a kettle and your hair straighteners
- Electrical Hook-Up Lead (specifically for camping and usually with damp-proof sockets) or a generator.
Caravan Pitch (dependant on self-catering or full experience) :
- Pillows/Duvet (Self Catering)
- Food (Both experience)
- Depending on the length of your stay, washing up liquid, cooking oil and seasoning too
These usually have the plates, cutlery and everything else.
Chalet (Again, dependant on self-catering or full experience):
- Same as above
- Food, cutlery etc.
- Bedding is usually provided unless stated.
I must stress that if you are considering camping this summer to book in advance and check the campsites procedures with Covid. I suspect that most campsites will only allow a limited number of people this year to follow guidelines and allow adequate space.
Still not convinced? You can read my throwback post (posted in 2018) to Why You Should Give Camping A Chance, Especially If You Hate Bugs!
That concludes my post on Camping in the UK, Are you heading camping this year? Let me know!