10 Sizzling Seaside Resorts For A Camping Break
Everyone loves camping near the seaside. It’s especially a favourite option for families with younger children and in some ways is what camping holidays are all about. But how about actually camping at one of Britain's famous holiday resort towns? It might all sound a bit too hectic and busy for many, but with a little thought and planning there is nothing to stop you enjoying staying on a nice quiet camping site which is within a short drive of the resort. Some are on bus routes and others even within walking distance of the resort’s attractions. What could be better than taking the kids not only to the seaside but to a coastal resort with all the trimmings we all love – fairs, donkey rides, arcades, rock and hot dogs? And such outings seem even more special in the long days of the summer months. It need not be confined to school holiday periods either - you can go any weekend you choose for a couple of days. Here's 10 of our favourite resorts, with a great campsite for each.
St Ives is one of Cornwall’s best known and best loved seaside resorts. It is quaint and lovely and is a quintessential beach town which has both charm and character. Often referred to as ‘the dazzling jewel in Cornwall’s crown’, it is easy to see why as you wander around the narrow cobbled streets and take in the picturesque harbour with its fishermen’s cottages. There are four superb beaches to choose from and St Ives is reputed to have one of the UK’s mildest climates. Tourists flock here in their thousands and return year after year to experience it all over again. Everyone loves St Ives and on a sunny day, with the beaches looking golden and the sea an azure blue colour, you can easily believe you are on the south coast of France not the south west corner of England! Water sports enthusiasts are well catered for and the blue flag rated Porthmeor Beach is a surfer’s paradise. Add to this the interesting shops and great food and you have all you need for a great family holiday.
AYR HOLIDAY PARK
Ayr, St. Ives, Cornwall TR26 1EJ
Ayr Holiday Park is the only campsite actually in St Ives and is less than half a mile (or a 15 minute walk) away from the resorts attractions. Ayr Park has a four-star grading and has won several awards, and the site works hard to keep things spotlessly clean and tidy to live up to this. The camping areas have some slightly sloping sections due to the nature of the coast here and there are electric hook-ups if you need them. There is a clean shower and toilet block, a launderette and a children’s play area. The view from your tent over the sea and St Ives is stunning and it is worth booking in advance before coming as it is always popular and busy.
Weston-super-Mare is the biggest and longest established of the traditional Somerset seaside resorts. It has been host to thousands of family holidays down the years and is a bustling and vibrant beach location. The views over to Wales and of nearby Exmoor are enhanced by the long sweep of Weston Bay and the broad flat sandy beach has as much open space as any youngster could wish for to run around on. The tide goes out a long way here and Weston-super-Mare has the second highest tidal rise in the world. Weston has everything you would expect of a seaside resort including fairground rides, arcades and plenty of shops. There are three piers, and if you are looking for somewhere to occupy the kids for a long time try visiting the Grand Pier, which has been rebuilt after a big fire. There are lots and lots of cafes, restaurants and pubs and if you have a babysitter for the youngsters there is a vibrant night life as well. All in all, a great place to come and visit for all age groups.
WESTON-SUPER-MARE CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB SITE
West End Farm, Locking, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS24 8RH
Weston-super-Mare Camping and Caravanning Club Site is set a little way back from the attractions of this seaside tourist town and is near to a helicopter museum and to Locking Village. The site has 90 pitches – grass for tents – and is only open to members of the Camping and Caravanning Club. Some of the pitches are sloping and there are plenty of electric hook-ups for those who need them. The site is well run and looked after and the toilets and shower block are clean and tidy. There is also a laundry and Wi-Fi is available. A fish and chip van visits the site at peak summer times.
Generations of holiday makers have loved visiting Tenby, and for quaintness and charm it must rank as one of the very best of all the Welsh seaside resorts. The town is charming and great fun to explore and the harbour is colourful and pretty and if anywhere is a quintessential traditional beach resort, then this is it. In 2016 it was awarded a Silver Award for the best UK coastal resort and few who have been here would argue with that. You have a choice of three lovely beaches each with its own character and all facing in different directions so you should be able to find at least one sheltered one for the kids to play on even if it’s windy. Water sports are very popular here and you can hire kayaks and motor boats and even go on a Jet Ski safari! Mackerel fishing boat trips leave from the harbour regularly. Tenby may be bustling and busy on hot summer days but it has a captivating connoisseurs feel to it as well. As a seaside resort it has much to offer and plenty to savour – be warned, once you have been you will keep coming back!
TREFALUN PARK CARAVAN AND CAMPING SITE
Devonshire Dr, St Florence, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 8RD
Trefalun Park Caravan and Camping Site is three miles from Tenby and is set in 11 acres of grounds. It caters for tents, caravans and campervans and electric hook-ups are available for all. The camping areas are flat and a good access track runs around all sections of the site and there are low bushes around the edge offering good screening and some shelter. Some of the camping and caravanning areas are separated by low fences and odd trees. Trefalun Park is dog friendly and has an exercise field for them to use. The site is well landscaped and there is an enclosed play area for children. The shower and toilet block is clean and tidy and there is also a laundry room.
Aberystwyth is not only a university town it is also the principal holiday resort of the West Wales coast. The town is sheltered by three low hills and has two good sandy beaches where kids can dig away happily. Most holidaymakers will head for the seafront and here you will find lots of colourful Victorian and Edwardian buildings which make a pretty backdrop to the sand. A wide promenade makes walking easy and enjoyable and the town has a laid back holiday air to it. Away from the front you will find a bustling town with lots of shops, pubs and cafes, so you will never be short of places to go. Although it may not have the arcades and fairs of some other seaside resorts, Aberystwyth has a quiet charm and gets very busy in the main summer season. And thanks to the students resident in and around the university, the town is always vibrant and lively. It can be busy and bustling, but as seaside resorts go it is gentle and mild and a pleasure to visit. And on top of all that, the climate is generally mild thanks to the Gulf Stream.
GLAN Y MOR LEISURE PARK
Clarach Bay, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DT
Glan Y Mor Leisure Park is a great base to visit Aberystwyth, It is three miles north and set on a rugged coastline in an area of camping sites and caravan parks. Glan Y Mor is a medium sized site taking around 45 units and it welcomes tents, caravans and campervans. The main camping field is set high above the sea and the bay below with stunning views of Cardigan Bay overall. This is a real family site with a bar and club, a takeaway and a restaurant, a shop, an indoor swimming pool, an indoor games areas plus arcades and there is also Wi-Fi. The toilets and shower are clean and tidy and there is a laundry. Camping pitches are grass and there are electric hook-ups available for those who need them. This is the sort of site that kids always remember as it gives them just about everything they think a seaside holiday should. The beach is lovely and sandy and very relaxing to spend time on, although remember that the camping field can get windy at times as it is high above the sea itself.
Any look at coastal towns has to include Blackpool, still the UK’s most popular seaside resort. Surely everyone has been to Blackpool at some time. It is big, brash and bustling and attracts millions of holiday makers every year who come to savour the traditional (and very busy) attractions the town has to offer. The seafront is iconic and easily recognised on any photo with the unmistakable tower high in the sky above the sea, the three piers jammed full of fun and things to do and the wonderful Pleasurebeach at the south end of the front. There are arcades a plenty and lots and lots of shops. Mention Blackpool and images of ‘kiss me quick’ hats, candyfloss, burgers, donkey rides and days in deck chairs on the sand all come to mind. And to extend the season beyond the summer the town has the famous illuminations which draw in even more people with coaches in abundance. And there is even an atmospheric tram service running along the front. If you really have never been to Blackpool you just have to come – but bring plenty of money as there is so much to do you’ll need it!
HIGHBANK FARM CAMPING SITE
Hardhorn Breaks, Poulton Le Fylde, Lancashire FY6 8DN
Highbank Farm Camping Site is located three miles from Blackpool and is a traditional farm run location that offers quiet and secluded camping. The field is long and narrow and screened by trees with fencing to keep it private and an access track running part way around the field. The toilets are in a low building by the children’s play area. You will find a modern shower block in the farmyard itself near the reception. Once on the field you will find plenty of space to pick a pitch and plenty of electric hook-ups for use by tents as well as caravans.
Whitby is without doubt one of England’s most popular and visited seaside resorts. Sitting on the Yorkshire coast, it is a traditional seaside town but not in the arcade and fairground sense. Whitby is more genteel in its approach to its many visitors. The town is split in two by the River Esk and has a pretty working harbour and plenty of shops. Whitby always makes a grand seaside day out; fish and chip shops are abundant as are cafes and walking around the beaches and town with rock or candyfloss seems to be obligatory. West Cliff Beach is a favourite with families and is backed by traditional beach huts. Captain Cook was born nearby and lived in a house in the town which is now the Captain Cook Memorial Museum and the Church of St Mary sits atop the East Cliff and is reached by a climb up the famous 199 steps. Also on the East Cliff you will find the ruins of Gothic Whitby Abbey which was part of the inspiration of Bram Stokers legendary book Dracula.
LYTHE CARAVAN AND CAMPING SITE
High Street, Lythe, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3RT
Situated overlooking the coast and only four miles from Whitby, Lythe Caravan and Camping Site has space for 20 units plus four camping pods and a shepherd’s hut for hire. The camping field has hard standing and grass pitches and offers electric hook-ups. The site is accessed down a rough lane from the A174 and has a good track running around it. There are one or two quiet hidden and tucked away corners for camping in including a long narrow area at the top of the site that is bush screened and very private. The toilets and showers are to be found in a low building at the top of the site and are clean and tidy.
Once the railway reached Skegness in the late 1800s the day trippers started to arrive and after the first Butlin’s holiday camp opened near the town in 1936, Skegness developed rapidly as a traditional seaside resort. It is the largest resort town on the Lincolnshire coast and boasts award-winning sandy beaches where mums and dads can sit in deck chairs while the kids dig in the sand. There is a promenade and great seafront with plenty of landscaping where you can walk and just soak the atmosphere of the place in. And of course there is a pier and fairground attractions as well as arcades and a bustling and busy nightlife for the younger visitors and for older ones too if they can get a babysitter! Near the centre you will find the famous clock tower and Jolly Fisherman sculpture and there are plenty of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Skegness can get really busy on hot summer days and the beach very crowded but it has all the ingredients for a great seaside experience.
WINDFARM PARK CARAVAN, CAMPING AND FISHING PARK
The Hollies, High Lane, Croft, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE24 4SH
Set in 140 acres of rolling farmland, Windfarm has been run by Tim and Helen Spencer since 1990. It is a lovely rural site that is still only a four mile drive from the attractions of Skegness. The site welcomes tents, caravans and campervans and tents go on grass with electric hook-ups available for those who want them. There is a well-stocked and lovely fishing lake which is very popular. There are also several miles of private walks you can do on the adjoining farmland. For children there is a small playground. The site has a large and very clean toilet and shower block and there are disabled facilities.
Great Yarmouth is set on a spit of land that is sandwiched between the North Sea and the River Yare. It is every bit a traditional seaside resort but is close to the famous Norfolk Broads too. The town has a superb and large sandy beach where you can soak in the sun and let the kids play to their hearts content. There are two piers to enjoy, Britannia (which is a Grade 11 listed building) and Wellington and both are worth a look at. England’s only full time circus, the Hippodrome, is just off the main seafront. Great Yarmouth front is known as The Golden Mile and has arcades and fairground rides and numerous other attractions – it attracts millions of visitors every year. The town has been a recognised seaside resort since 1760 and is well versed in looking after its numerous visitors. As well as general tourist themed things to do there are also plenty of shops. For a seaside break Great Yarmouth takes some beating as the regulars who flock back here year after year prove only too well - so get here early on a sunny summers day!
HIGHGATE FARM CARAVAN PARK
Swim Road, Runham Swim, Great Yarmouth, NR29 3EH
Highgate Farm Caravan Park takes tents, caravans and campervans and is a short 15 minute car journey from the attractions of Great Yarmouth. The site is also well located for visiting the Norfolk Broads and Norwich too. Highgate Farm Caravan Park makes a great rural and peaceful base to pitch your tent so you can enjoy busy days out at the seaside but have somewhere relaxing to return to at day’s end. There are a couple of areas to pitch with fencing separating them and for tents there is well cut grass with electric hook-ups. The shower and toilet block is clean and tidy and the site overall is well landscaped and very well looked after.
Brighton is one of the south coast’s most famous seaside resort towns. It is in fact a city as it joined with neighbouring Hove in 2000 to form the City of Brighton and Hove. Despite its size it still retains the charm and excitement of a traditional beach resort and as it is due south of London (and only an hour or so’s car journey away) it is a very popular destination for summer daytrippers and longer term holidaymakers. On hot days the long pebble beach is simply stuffed full of sun seekers and families enjoying a breath of sea air. There is even a nudist beach east of the resort! Swimming can be a bit painful as you get in out of the water (due to the stones) but at least you avoid sand between your toes! There is a marina and an area for surfers just beyond it too. Brighton originally had two piers but only the Palace Pier remains now. Here you will find fairground rides and arcades. The resort has a lovely seafront walk and an excellent shopping area. Brighton is always busy and can be a bit hectic but it is a true seaside resort and a great place to spend a summer’s day.
HOUSEDEAN FARM CAMPSITE
Housedean Farm, Brighton Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 3JW
Housedean Farm Campsite is on a working farm and Brighton is a te10n minute drive away The site is right next to The A27 and is part of a 900 acre family run farm. There are twenty five pitches and no electric hook-ups, but the camping areas are very spacious and are spread over two fields with some pitches being slightly sloping. Each camping pitch has access to a fire pit so campers can have a real fire. There is a small shop on site that sells basic provisions. The site has modern facilities which are kept clean and you will find five toilets in portaloo type structures. The showers are in wooden enclosures with one having no roof so you can wash al fresco if you wish.
In many ways, Weymouth is the quintessential English holiday town with a slight pleasing tackiness alongside the considerable charm of its Georgian architecture and seafront attractions. The town was a very early holiday resort, made fashionable by King George III who came here bathing – his chalk figure is on a hill on the approach to the town – local legend has it that he was supposed to be shown arriving at the town, and is instead shown leaving. The sandy beach is very gently shelving, making it ideal for young children, though it can take quite a while to get deep enough for grown-ups to swim! The seafront may be the headlining act but in the summer season the town itself is a joyous place, with street entertainment and a bustling harbour. Smallish branches of the main chain stores are here and there’s an M&S and a Debenhams as well as supermarkets, so it’s a useful place to stock up and to see a movie. Don’t miss a walk around the old harbour though, with its quirky little shops and cafés. In 2012 the developments around the Olympic Games Sailing Events included a revamped network of cycleways and it’s possible to cycle over to the island of Portland.
MORETON CAMPING AND CARAVANNING CLUB SITE
Station Road, Moreton, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8BB
A beautifully kept site, that is surrounded by trees with most of the camping areas nice and flat. Tents, caravans and motorhomes all mingle together. The reception houses a small shop selling milk and papers and some other basics but for a bigger shopping, there’s an excellent Co-0p convenience store a two minute drive away. Nearby Dorchester and Weymouth also have large 24-hour supermarkets. If you fancy a night (or two) off cooking, a takeaway van visits twice a week – Thursday is fish and chips night, and on Saturdays it’s pizza and chicken. Like all Club sites, the two amenities blocks are spotlessly clean, although they are a little dated. At peak times they do get busy and you might have to wait for a shower. Although this is a site where relaxation and peace and quiet are the order of the day, a major railway line runs along one side of the site, with trains running fairly regularly from early in the morning until around midnight. If you think the noise will be a major problem, though, do request a pitch on the opposite side of the site, if you can.