14/08/2019
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10 Ways To Get Active On Your Camping Trips

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For the more active camper, a holiday under canvas is an excuse to pull on a wet suit, hiking boots, trainers or Lycra shorts and take advantage of some of the great activities on offer, either onsite or nearby.

Heading off on holiday is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to explore the UK’s great outdoors. From cycling country trails, to taking to the water in a kayak, there is a range of activities to keep everyone happy.

Whatever activity you choose to do, always remember to make sure you have the right equipment and that you know how to use it. If you’re trying something new, follow instructions and don’t break the rules. Know your limitations and when it’s time to call it a day, and always know what to do in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

But most important of all – get out and enjoy yourself! 

CYCLING

Whether it’s frantically pedalling along country roads with the wind in your hair, hurtling downhill on a mountain bike or simply enjoying a genteel family ride along on the country’s many trails, cycling is a brilliant camping activity. And it’s a great way to explore the area around your campsite properly, giving you the chance to enjoy the scenery at your own pace and get a close-up view of the wildlife from your saddle. Many campsites will even arrange bike hire for the whole family if you don’t want to carry your own with you.

WHERE TO GO
With its hills, moors, and pretty villages, Yorkshire is terrific cycling territory, whether you want to take it easy or are looking for an adrenalin rush.

WHERE TO STAY
Callow Top Holiday Park
Buxton Road, Sandybrook, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AQ 
01335344020
callowtop.co.uk
Bike hire onsite, with direct access to the Tissington Trail cycle route

WALKING

Britain is blessed with great walking country, whether you fancy leisurely family rambles with the kids, long days on the hills or stunning hikes along the coast. There’s a world of opportunity out there, no matter if you’re a novice or a seasoned walking veteran. One brisk, 10-minute walk every day is enough to dramatically improve your health, so imagine the benefits of regular long walks in the countryside. As campers we’re perfectly placed to take advantage of the myriad routes that criss-cross our land. Many of the best footpaths and trails are located close to campsites, so they are easy to access from your tent and you can usually pick up leaflets and guides from the site’s information desk to show you where to go when you pull on your walking boots.

WHERE TO GO
The Anglesey Coastal Path is a 130-mile circular route around the beautiful island off the north coast of Wales, that can be done as one long multi-day trek or in bite-seized chunks.

WHERE TO STAY
Penrhyn Bay Caravan Park
Llanfwrog, Isle Of Anglesey LL65 4YG
01407 730496
penrhynbay.com
The Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path runs right through the park

GEOCACHING

Geocaching is basically a sophisticated version of the good old-fashioned treasure hunt for today’s tech-savvy world. It has its origins in the game of letterboxing – where small boxes were hidden in the wild, and their locations only shared by word of mouth. People who discovered them placed letters or postcards inside, and the next person to find the box would take the letters and post them. With the development of GPS and the grows of the internet, it all switched online and geocaching was born. Some caches are harder than others to find; under rocks, up trees, under bridges, or in small holes, for example. Many are in the countryside, in beauty spots or popular hiking locations, but equally there are loads in urban areas and even some in city centres.

WHERE TO GO
The New Forest is a favourite location for geocaching enthusiasts, with thousands of caches dotted around the area.

WHERE TO STAY
Ashurst Caravan and Camping Club Site
Lyndhurst Road, Hampshire SO40 7AR
02380 292097
campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
An idyllic forest setting, surrounded by over 1,300 caches as well as the area’s famous free roaming ponies.

WILD SWIMMING

Wild swimming – or outdoor swimming – is essentially a pastime enjoyed by those who don’t want to be confined to an indoor pool. Rivers, lakes, seas – even lidos – are all part of the experience and the UK is blessed with numerous places adventurous swimmers can go to get back to nature and appreciate chemical free waters and picturesque scenery. It’s an amazing experience that puts you back in touch with nature and is also great for your health. You don't need to be a good swimmer to enjoy wild swimming – there are plenty of lakes and river pools where you can stay within your depth. And while the English Channel’s not exactly the Med and the North Sea can be just a bit chilly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the plunge off Britain’s coastline. What could be better on a sunny summer’s morning than an early morning dip in the briny before rushing back up to your tent for bacon and eggs and a mug of tea?

WHERE TO GO
The Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is blessed with numerous beautiful wild swimming spots, both inland and on the coast.

WHERE TO STAY
Nantcol Waterfalls Camping And Caravan Park
Llanbedr, Gwynedd LL45 2PL
01341 241 209
nantcolwaterfalls.co.uk
An award-winning site next to Nantcol River and the falls where there are three pools that are relatively shallow and safe for a plunge.

CANOEING AND KAYAKING

If you love nothing more than messing around on the river (or the lake or sea for that matter),  then paddling about in a canoe or kayak could be for you. Whether you are experienced or a mere beginner, whether you are navigating a river, or are pitched by the side of a lake, packing a canoe along with your tent can really new dimension to the camping experience and take you to amazing new places. If storage space is an issue at home, an inflatable kayak is a great option and they are easier to transport than a rigid vessel. If you are canoeing on rivers and canals in this country, then you will more than likely need a licence. The cost-effective way of obtaining a licence would be to join British Canoeing, the national governing body.  Membership entitles you to navigate more than 3,500 miles of waterways in Britain, as well as cover for civil liabilities insurance.  At sea, tides, currents, winds and waves all combine to make the pastime a little more hazardous and extra care should be taken when canoeing in tidal waters.

WHERE TO GO
If you can put up with the midges, there are few better places to spend a day paddling than Loch Lomond. Campers can launch their vessels free of charge and explore the loch’s numerous small islands.

WHERE TO STAY
Cashel Campsite
Cashel Campsite, Rowardennan, Stirlingshire G63 0AW
01360 870234
campingintheforest.co.uk
Right on bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, you can launch your kayak or canoe directly onto the water here.

GHYLL SCRAMBLING

Ghyll scrambling is one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities you can experience, yet it is suitable for everyone from young kids through to experienced adrenaline junkies. The clue is in the name - it basically involves scrambling up or down a mountain stream, in and out of the water. You’ll also find yourself negotiating rock faces, clambering up waterfalls, sliding down natural rock chutes and plunging into crystal clear pools of water. Lots of companies offer ghyll scrambling experiences in the Lake District, and experienced instructors will guide you through the various challenges as well as providing safety equipment and wetsuits. You’re going to get wet, so take a towel!

WHERE TO GO
Guided ghyll scrambling days with trained instructors take place throughout the Lake District.

WHERE TO STAY
Great Langdale Campsite
Great Langdale, Near Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9JU
015394 32733
nationaltrust.org.uk
A friendly site in a super location that provides great access to the best ghyll scrambling locations in the Lake District.

SURFING

Surfing and camping are great bedfellows. As well as being able to find places where you can camp right next to the beach there is a similar sense of escape that goes with both. For a weekend, life is stripped bare of all the unnecessary stuff and rubbish and you can focus on having fun without worrying about the bills. Kids love it too. Surfing has never been more popular – everyone’s at it on all kind of surf craft, from traditional belly boards to Malibu boards. Cornwall, Devon and Wales are top locations, but wherever you find waves will do for starters. Before you take the plunge, take some lessons with a surf school.

WHERE TO GO
North Cornwall is the surfing capital of the UK and it would be daft to go anywhere else.

WHERE TO STAY
Trevornick Holiday Park
Holywell Bay, Cornwall TR8 5PW
01637 832916
trevornick.co.uk
An action-packed holiday park close to the glorious surfing beach at Holywell Bay

CLIMBING

Climbing might sound like the sort of daredevil activity you could only do if you’re super-fit and have had a lot of practice. But it doesn’t have to be about hauling yourself up a sheer rock face on a remote Scottish mountain. Britain has many outdoor centres with climbing walls where you can literally get to grips with the basics of climbing in a safe environment. The nature of the centres means they’re often in the same sort of locations as campsites – and several sites actually have walls of their own. You don’t need any specialist equipment to participate – you’ll be provided with all the ropes and helmets you need and instructors will guide you through the process. Once you’ve got the hang of it you can progress to the real thing, and obviously you’ll find loads of great places to camp in the heart of all the major climbing destinations.

WHERE TO GO
Combine a holiday park break with climbing and other activities in North Devon.

WHERE TO STAY
Easewell Farm Holiday Park
Mortehoe, Woolacombe EX34 7EH
Park Reception: 01271 871 400
woolacombe.co.uk
Grass camping pitches and a walk across the road to sister site Twitchen House where there’s a climbing wall and loads of other activities on offer

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING

For some hardy souls camping is an all-year-round activity, but most of us pack our tents away in the cold winter months and don’t venture out onto a campsite until the first signs of spring. You might think that means combining a camping trip with skiing is impossible, as even with Britain’s unpredictable climate, there’s unlikely to be much snow between May and October. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still hit the slopes. A visit to a site close to an indoor snow centre or a dry slope – or even better, one with its own – means you can spend a few hours impersonating Franz Klammer (one for the millennials there) before heading back to the campsite for some après ski at your tent. As well as skiing, you can turn your hand to snowboarding or tobogganing.

WHERE TO GO
The UK’s flattest county might seem an odd choice for skiing or snowboarding, but while Lincolnshire might have little in the way of hills (or snow for that matter) it does have a campsite with an excellent dry ski slope.

WHERE TO STAY
Tallington Lakes
Barholm Road, Tallington, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 4RJ
01778 34 7000
tallington.com
As well as a dry ski slope where you can go skiing, tobogganing and snowboarding, Tallington Lakes has a huge variety of other outdoor activities.

WINDSURFING AND WATER SKIING

A camping trip to the seaside is always popular, but you don’t have to spend your whole time sitting on the beach soaking up the sun. Windsurfing combines elements of both surfing and sailing and the large boards used have a mast, boom and sail and require great skill to control properly. An off-shoot of windsurfing is kite surfing which is a cross between wake boarding, windsurfing, snowboarding, paragliding and skateboarding. The much smaller board is pulled along beneath a specially designed kite and the speeds reached can be breathtaking. Water skiing is tricky to master but is a real buzz for adrenalin junkies. Facilities can be found all over the UK, using lakes, reservoirs and the sea.

WHERE TO GO
Bala Lake is the largest natural lake in Wales and a paradise for lovers of watersports of all types. Swimmers, walkers and cyclists are well catered for too.

WHERE TO STAY
Glanllyn Lakeside Caravan And Camping Park
Glanllyn, Llanuwchylln, Bala Gwynedd LL23 7SS
01678 540227
glanllyn.com
Awesome views of the lake and the nearby Arran Mountains. Bring your own wind surfing outfit for the lake. 

 

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