Best family campsites in the UK
For a successful family holiday you need a campsite that’s going to keep children happy
From countryside campsites with plenty of open space for children to run around and let off steam, to a holiday park with lots of facilities on site, such as a swimming pool and games room, there are family-friendly campsites across the UK.
- What makes a family-friendly campsite?
- What do you need to consider for family camping?
- Family campsites: our pick of the best
- About our magazines
Words by Claire Tupholme
What makes a family-friendly campsite?
(Photo from Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com)
Wondering what you can expect on a family-friendly campsite? Our choice of the best campsites for families guarantee to be a hit with all ages. The best family-friendly campsites have it all, from handy facilities to sandy beaches, and lots of things to do for all ages.
Family-friendly campsites will generally have a top-notch location – near a popular family beach, or within easy reach of family attractions, such as a theme park, for example.
The campsite’s facilities will also be geared towards families, with things like family shower rooms, baby changing, and maybe a shop for those essentials, or a restaurant for hungry tummies.
You’ll also likely find plenty on the campsite to occupy any free time – after all, happy kids mean happy parents. So there might be swimming pools, games rooms, play areas, and also evening entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.
What do you need to consider for family camping?
Before heading off on a family holiday it is worth taking some time to prepare and also think about what you want from a family-friendly campsite. Do you want an all-singing, all-dancing holiday park with arcade, swimming pool and restaurant, etc? Or do you want a more back-to-nature campsite with plenty of green space? Whatever kind of family-friendly campsite across the UK you’re looking for, here are some handy things to think about:
- Choose a campsite with a play area, or lots of open space to play games, or with a natural play area such a woodland.
- If your kids like to ride bikes, check if the campsite has a no bikes/scooters policy. The same applies to ball games if your children like a good kick-about.
- Campsites within walking distance of something to do with water are always a good choice, especially in warmer weather – it could be a swimming pool on the campsite, a stream, or even a family campsite near the sea.
- Perfect family evenings can be spent toasting marshmallows, so have a look for a campsite that allows campfires.
- If you’re planning to eat out, a family-friendly pub on the campsite or within walking distance will come in handy.
- One sign of a good family-friendly campsite is that you won’t be able to drag the kids off it! But if you are planning to explore the surrounding area, check out what children’s activities are nearby.
- Plan a few rainy-day options in the local area just in case – a local cinema, museum, or even an indoor games room on the campsite.
- And don't forget all the wet-weather essentials you'll need for the family, such as waterproof jackets and wellies. Likewise, be sure to pack the sunscreen for sunny days, too!
- A campsite that has organised activities organised, such as water sports or archery, will give the kids the chance to try something new.
- If you are camping with a baby or toddler, you might want to add a family bathroom to your checklist.
Family campsites: our pick of the best
Below are some of our favourite family-friendly campsites. They range from family-friendly campsites by the beach in Cornwall, to the perfect campsites for families in Scotland and Wales. Not just ideal for the kids, they are sure to make for a holiday to remember for adults, too. Whether making memories as a family at the seaside, spending some time bonding while playing pitch ‘n’ putt, or just settling down for an evening of family entertainment, these family-friendly campsites are some of the best for family camping.
Polmanter Touring Park
This award-winning touring campsite, set in the Cornish countryside, is ideal for families looking for on-site entertainment and the convenience of the fishing town of St Ives within walking distance. For younger guests, there are two playgrounds, indoor soft play and a games room, while everyone can enjoy the outdoor pool, tennis courts, putting green and playing field. Practicalities are taken care of with an on-site shop, bar and restaurant, and four-legged family members have a dedicated exercise field and shower.
There is a choice of pitches at Polmanter, including grass or hardstanding with electric hook-up and multiserviced hardstanding pitches with the addition of fresh water and drainage. Toilets and showers, accessible suites and family bathrooms complete the campsite’s facilities. Guests can enjoy cross-country walks direct from the campsite and there is also a regular shuttle bus into St Ives.
Find out more: Polmanter Touring Park
Meadow Lakes Holiday Park
In an ideal location for you and your family to discover the best of Cornwall, Meadow Lakes is an award-winning, family-run holiday campsite, set within the picturesque Cornish countryside, with beautiful woodlands and lakes waiting to be explored. Close to some of Cornwall’s 'must see' attractions such as the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and of course Cornwall’s stunning coastline.
Offering accommodation to suit all budgets, including tenting and touring pitches, glamping, caravans, cottages, the newly refurbished farmhouse (ideal for large family getaways) and luxury hot tub lodges, there is plenty of choice for you and your family!
With the four beautiful lakes where you can fish until your heart’s content (free during your stay), or simply enjoy nature at its finest, Meadow Lakes is the perfect place for you and your family to relax and spend time together…
Find out more: Meadow Lakes Holiday Park
Rutland Caravan & Camping
England’s smallest county is home to one very big, family-friendly attraction – Rutland Water. One of the largest man-made lakes in Europe, it is surrounded by over 4,000 acres of open countryside. You can hop between the main car parks, or choose to walk the 23-mile circuit around the lake and peninsula.
Things to do and enjoy here include cycle hire, an aqua park, man-made beaches, picnic areas, water sports, boat cruises and osprey spotting, a nature reserve and golf course. There is also pretty Normanton Church, and a selection of pubs for that all-important refreshment after a day’s activity.
Ten minutes’ drive from Rutland Water is Rutland Caravan and Camping, near the village of Greetham. The campsite has grass and hardstanding pitches, all with water, drainage and electric hook-up, spread across two touring areas, one for families and one for adults only. There are toilets and showers, dishwashing facilities, motorhome waste point, a play area and indoor swimming pool.
Find out more: Rutland Caravan & Camping
Hurley Riverside Park
Hurley Riverside Park is a family-run and pet-friendly campsite situated alongside the River Thames in the picturesque village of Hurley between Henley-on-Thames and Marlow. The campsite is only a 20-minute drive from Legoland Windsor and only 30 miles outside Central London. There are a wide variety of other attractions in the area, with many discounts available to the campsite’s customers.
Facilities include heated shower blocks and family shower rooms, a shop, laundry room, accessible facilities, free WiFi, a playground, outdoor table tennis, football goals and a riverside picnic area. For walkers and dog owners there are a wide range of footpaths, including the Thames Path and there is a nature trail for children to learn about wildlife. A slipway is available for boats and there are charging points for electric cars. Caravan holiday homes are available to hire or purchase on the campsite.
Find out more: Hurley Riverside Park
Kelling Heath Holiday Park
Set close to the north Norfolk coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Kelling Heath is a 300-acre holiday campsite offering a wide range of accommodation and activities to enjoy.
As well as the usual amenities, Kelling Heath has a Village Square complete with Village Store, bar and restaurant, café and seasonal outdoor bar. There’s even a health and fitness club with an indoor swimming pool, spa pool, sauna and steam rooms, plus a free seasonal outdoor pool. Free bookable family activities, entertainment and events in peak weeks, self-guided walks and trails available, alongside on-campsite cycle hire from ‘Huff & Puff’.
Find out more: Kelling Heath Holiday Park
Waldegraves Holiday Park
Located on Mersea Island, overlooking the beach and waters of the Blackwater Estuary, Waldegraves Holiday Park has lots of on-site offerings to keep all ages happy. There is an outdoor heated pool, play areas, crazy golf, pitch ’n’ putt, table tennis, fishing lakes and a family arcade.
In the evenings, guests can head to the Granary bar and restaurant, then over to the Barn & Wheatsheaf Clubhouse, which plays host to children’s fun in the early evening, followed by cabaret and comedy acts later on. Four-legged family members are not forgotten, either, as there is an exercise area.
The holiday campsite has a choice of grass or hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up, plus toilets, showers, family bathrooms, washing-up area, a laundry block, shop and motorhome waste point.
Find out more: Waldegraves Holiday Park
Broadhembury Caravan & Camping Park
Set in the countryside, this campsite is only 20 minutes from the coast, 30 minutes from the cathedral city of Canterbury and 40 minutes from London by train, giving you all sorts of options to occupy your time. There is a bus stop under a mile away, and the town of Ashford (10 minutes’ drive) has all the major amenities, including a train station and outlet shopping centre.
The campsite is split into two sections – choose the Family Park for easy access to the play areas, sports field and games room, or The Meadows, for a quieter, adults-only area. Both areas have toilets, showers and launderettes. There is also a small campsite shop. Pitches are on grass or hardstanding with electric hook-up, with some fully serviced pitches in The Meadows area.
Find out more: Broadhembury Caravan & Camping Park
The Hop Farm
This superb touring and campsite is open all year round and is delightfully set in over 500 acres of beautiful open fields and woodland. It is an award-winning Kent campsite alongside a historic oast village with the largest oast house collection in the world. It's the ultimate backdrop and a fantastic base for exploring Kent's Garden of England.
On the campsite you can enjoy the best in camping in a glorious setting with all the creature comforts you need. There are showers, toilets, washing facilities, a camping shop and there is also a pub/restaurant within short walking distance. Camping at the Hop Farm campsite in the heart of Kent doesn't get better than this.
Stanwix Park Holiday Centre
The holiday that has it all. Whether you love the seaside or the Lakes, Stanwix Park is the place. It’s all here on the campsite. Newly refurbished leisure centre with indoor swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Outdoor pool, JJ’s Bowl, café, shop, outdoor play park and more. The Sunset Inn hosts fantastic family nights of crazy fun, music, dancing and cabaret plus entertainment available in The Dunes Cabaret Bar for adults only.
Self-catering caravans and apartments for hire. Camping pods, fully serviced pitches for tents, touring caravans and motorhomes. Holiday homes for sale. Start creating family memories here!
Find out more: Stanwix Park Holiday Centre
Elie Holiday Park
Elie Holiday Park occupies a stunning location behind a wide expanse of dunes that lead to a vast beach on Scotland’s east coast, 13 miles from St Andrews. Appealing to both couples and those travelling with children, the coastal location is ideal for anyone who loves to be beside the sea.
Guests can walk the coastal path, go rock-pooling, and look out for wildlife. Youngsters can go wild at the Robinson Crusoe Adventure Park and enjoy the arcades in the games room, and everyone will appreciate the convenience of the on-site restaurant and bar.
Pitches at Elie are hardstanding with electric hook-up. There are toilet and shower facilities, a shop, a launderette, a café and takeaway and the campsite is dog-friendly. Cycle hire is available locally, with bikes delivered to the campsite.
Find out more: Elie Holiday Park
Plassey Holiday Park
Plassey Holiday Park, Retail Village & Golf Course provides first-class facilities for those seeking a luxurious holiday in north Wales. For touring guests in their caravan, motorhome, or tent, every one of the 60 pitches are all-weather hardstanding with full services including 16A electric supply, waste water, fresh water, lighting and TV hook-up. Facilities at your disposal include an indoor pool, children’s playground, fishing ponds, badminton and table tennis, nature trails, and nine-hole golf course and clubhouse.
At Plassey you will find a converted Edwardian Retail Village which is home to more than 20 independent traders as well as a coffee shop and a licensed restaurant.
Find out more: Plassey Holiday Park
Abererch Sands Holiday Centre
One for families who love the beach, Abererch Sands Holiday Centre is by the sea but sheltered by a large sand dune. At four miles long, the sandy beach here is vast, so there’s plenty of space for everyone, and it is only up and over a few steps from the campsite. Along the other side of the campsite is a trainline with a station – handy if you want to head into nearby Pwllheli to access the shops, pubs and restaurants of this seaside market town. There is also a marina and slipway here.
The campsite has touring pitches, all with electric hook-up, and water-fill point on firm grass. There is a toilet and shower block, launderette, dishwashing facilities, a snooker room, play area and indoor pool. A self-service shop is open during school holidays, too.
Find out more: Abererch Sands Holiday Centre
Pitton Cross Caravan Camping Park
This is the perfect choice for a beach holiday, just one and a half miles from Rhossili Bay, where there are three miles of sweeping golden sand, backed by hills. The beach is a firm favourite among Tripadvisor travellers and is also dog-friendly. You can access the coast path here and may even see seals or dolphins playing in the water. Walk to the beach, drive (there is a large car park) or take a bus from outside the campsite. In the village above the beach is a pub, some cafés and a shop.
Pitton Cross Caravan & Camping Park offers grass pitches with electric hook-up across several paddocks. On the campsite there are toilets and showers, a laundry room and play area. There is a shop at the campsite entrance and also a kite shop – ideal for making use of those coastal breezes!
Find out more: Pitton Cross Caravan & Camping Park
Campsite Finder 2023 magazine
Campsite Finder is a comprehensive 212-page guide, packed with over 250 sites to help motorhomers, campervanners, caravanners and campers find their dream destination, whether this is in the UK or Europe.Campsite Finder 2023
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