Our favourite camping, caravan, motorhome and campervan sites
With travel plans still on hold, the team at MMM, Campervan, Caravan and Camping reveal the top campsites they are looking forward to visiting again...
We visited these places prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are publishing this information for your enjoyment and to help you plan your future trips. Readers must follow the latest government advice before leaving their homes gov.uk/coronavirus
Peter Vaughan, What Motorhome Editor
Au Coin Tranquille, Savoie, France
6 Chemin de Vignes, 38490 Les Abrets
0033 476 321348
Open: 1 April - 4 November
Au Coin Tranquille (translation: At the quiet corner) at Les Abrets is one of those rare destinations where the on-site restaurant is good enough to attract locals, not just campers. Perhaps it’s the huge choice of menus, but more likely it’s the size of the sundaes. Well, at least you can work off the calories in the pool!
Or, maybe, with a swim in the nearby Lac d’Aiguebelette, said to boast the warmest and cleanest waters of any lake in Europe. Its colouring looks like a bad case of over-photoshopping but it really is that turquoise. The whole lake is privately owned, so you’ll pay to use its beaches, and €6 for the day for a family seemed pretty reasonable, especially as lifeguards were on duty.
This site’s remote location and super-friendly staff make for a holiday feeling as soon as you arrive. Hedges between pitches provide privacy and kids club activities and swimming pools keep any little ones amused. One of the best French sites we’ve ever stayed at.
Clare Kelly, Caravan Editor
Kelling Heath Holiday Park, Norfolk
Sandy Hill Lane, Holt, NR25 7HW
Open: 10 February - 2 January
Kelling is a thriving place, packed with top-quality facilities and activities, making it a great destination for families with children, as there's plenty to keep them entertained. Pitches here are surrounded by natural countryside and you can walk for what seems like miles through woodland without actually leaving the campsite.
Although the site is a couple of miles inland, you’re a short drive from the coast and the fantastic beaches, and you can walk there, too.
The amenities on site are of a high standard and there are plenty of them, all within easy walking distance of the various touring areas.
The hub of the site is the village square and this is where you will find the main facilities, including the well-stocked shop, café, pub and leisure centre. Keeping up the au naturel feel, all the buildings are wooden clad and fit perfectly into the surroundings here.
The leisure centre offers various membership options, allowing guests to take advantage of a 19-metre indoor swimming pool and a heated outdoor pool in summer, plus a spa, sauna and steam room, as well as a gym. If you want to head off site then bike hire is available, along with maps of different routes in the surrounding area.
Rachel Stothert, MMM Deputy Editor
Gibraltar Farm, Lancashire
Jenny Brown's Point, Silverdale LA5 0UA
Open: All year
Gibraltar Farm sits on Morecambe Bay in the far northwest corner of Lancashire, close to the border with Cumbria.
It’s a fairly long drive through the countryside to reach it, but it’s well worth it when you do.
As you drive through the farm entrance, past old equipment and outbuildings, you might not think so, but then you turn a corner and the campsite suddenly appears before you, stretching down a steep hill and running off towards the coast.
From the top of the hill the views over the bay and the surrounding countryside are simply breathtaking and, if you’re lucky, you will get to enjoy some of the most fabulous sunsets you’ll find anywhere in Britain, too.
There are hardstanding and grass pitches, with electric hook-ups available. And, while there’s no formal playpark, the rocky outcrop in the centre of the field acts as a playground for the kids on site. It all feels very back to nature – the site is clean and tidy but not pristine. Ideal if you like laid-back camping!
Helen Werin, MMM Travel Editor
Llanberis Touring Park, Gwynedd
Glyn Rhonwy, Llanberis LL55 4EL
Open: 1 March - 11 January
Driving through the Llanberis Pass to get to the ‘gateway to Snowdon’ is such a thrill! The main path up Snowdon (and the railway) is just a 20-minute walk from the site and Llyn Padarn – for swimming, boating and a railway – is almost on the doorstep, too.
Gentler pursuits in this adventure capital include walks in neighbouring woods and around Padarn Country Park to the fascinating National Slate Museum (free) and the atmospheric ruins of Dolbadarn Castle, so there's plenty to do!
Everything about this top-notch site is pristine. The wardens are knowledgeable about the area, the shop sells basic groceries and camping stuff, dogs are welcome and WiFi is available at a charge. The 35 hardstanding and 19 super pitches are well spaced, so it's great for campervans and motorhomes.
It’s only a five-minute walk into Llanberis itself, where you'll find a well-stocked Spar and a good choice of places to eat (we favour the Padarn Hotel’s bistro).
Oh, and my favourite castle ever, Caernarfon, is only six miles up the road! Well worth a visit.
Iain Duff, Camping Editor
Stonehenge Campsite, Wiltshire
Berwick Road, Salisbury SP3 4TQ
Open: All year
This site advertises itself as dog-friendly, group-friendly, child-friendly, campfire-friendly... In fact, they are pretty much everyone-friendly and that, more than anything, is what makes it a special site.
When we visited there were signs posted offering you free toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, body lotion and soap. The wardens will even supply you with a toothbrush if you don’t remember to bring your own!
The shower blocks are spotlessly clean, too. The site is relatively small and tranquil, and has been extensively landscaped, ensuring it blends in with the surrounding countryside. There are various walks in the area and you can reach at least five pubs on foot, including the Bell Inn in Winterbourne Stoke, where full English breakfast is served from 9am. You can also walk to a farm shop at Berwick.
The site is an ideal base for exploring all that this county has to offer but there’s no doubt it is Stonehenge itself that is the biggest draw. It’s just 10 minutes away by car – or an hour’s walk if you’re feeling energetic.
Claire Tupholme, Campsites Content Editor
Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, Cornwall
Pentewan, St Austell PL26 6BT
Open: 29 March - 2 November
As the rhyme goes, ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’, and for beachside campsites you can’t get much closer than Pentewan Sands. The front row pitches are literally a few steps from the golden sands, but they do get booked up quickly.
Cornwall’s beaches are stunning, and this site’s location between Pentewan and Mevagissey is no exception. An extra bonus is that the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan is just a short drive away.
The site pitches are grass with electric, and servicing the 400+ pitches are four toilet blocks, with disabled facilities and a laundry.
It’s a great site for any season. In summer there are watersports and a snack bar on the beach but, if the weather isn’t favourable, there are two indoor pools to choose from. For food and drink there is a bar, restaurant, fish and chips and a supermarket – everything really is covered at Pentewan!
Carol Kubicki, Travel Writer
Burravoe Pier Trust Caravan & Campsite, Shetland
Burravoe, Yell ZE2 9AY
Open: All Year
The northern island of Yell is a short ferry ride from Shetland’s mainland. This is my favourite site because it is small (just eight campervan pitches), peaceful and run by volunteers with the proceeds ploughed back into the community. There is a small sanitary facilities block with a good shower, toilets and a kitchen. The roof of the sanitary block is made from one of the lifeboats from the SS Canberra.
You can sit in your campervan and watch the fishing boats come and go and a lorry collect the catch (if you ask nicely you will be given a handful of mussels for your tea). You can also chat to the local volunteers who come to empty the honesty box for payment and take care of the site.
From the site there is a splendid walk to the cliffs to watch puffins and other seabirds, and around the ness (headland), where you might see otters and seals. The nearby community-run Burravoe Old Haa houses a local museum that serves tea and fantastic homemade cake.
Geneve Brand, Campervan Editor
Tyddyn Llywn Park, Gwynedd
Morfa Bychan Road, Porthmadog LL49 9UR
Open: 1 March-31 October
This site is in a great location in Snowdonia, close to places like Porthmadog, so it’s within easy reach of both mountains and the stunning Atlantic coast. During our weekend stay, we hiked up Snowdon via the quieter north ridge on one day, and then went out to the beach on the next. We spotted the stunning beach and castle at Criccieth, and had to stop! There is excellent seafront parking suitable for campervans here.
The site itself is perfect. It’s not too big and is tiered so that you have nice views of the hills wherever you pitch, and you should also get the morning sun. The way it’s laid out with plenty of hedges and trees makes it feel like you’re camping in the countryside, so it has more of a rural and rustic feel.
Facilities are excellent. Not just the loos, and shop, but how often do you get an on-site pub that serves proper beer? It even has its own own American-style smokehouse, too, and a meal in its restaurant is certainly not one to be missed. We’d go back just for this alone!