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The top 10 family campsites


If you're looking for a site where family fun is guaranteed, read on ...




For a proper seaside resort holiday, you can’t go far wrong with Great Yarmouth. On the eastern coast of Norfolk, this town retains its traditional charm and has everything you might want for a beach-based break. Check in to Vauxhall Holiday Park, though, and you might find there’s so much to do that you hardly venture off the site. On those rare rainy days, the indoor Tropical Water World, Splash Zone and Sports World facilities offer a huge range of activities for all ages. There are organised children’s activities at various times of the day, and the evening entertainment programme strikes the right note with a range of quality acts including top tribute bands.

Acle New Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 1TB - 01493 857231 - vauxhall-holiday-park.co.uk

Peppa Pig World
If you’ve got young children in tow what could be better than taking them to a theme park dedicated to one of their favourite TV characters? You can do exactly that at Paultons Family Theme Park (paultonspark.co.uk), home to Peppa Pig World (peppapigworld.co.uk). Unique to the UK and a world first, this attraction has rides, play areas and even a restaurant that is Peppa Pig-themed. Paultons Park itself is aimed at younger children and has adventure golf, the Water Kingdom splash park and ornamental gardens.

Ower, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 6AJ - 02380 814444 - greenpasturesfarm.com


Located a mile and a half from Fishguard, this site is ideal for families who want to get out and about in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This is the smallest of the Welsh National Parks and the only one to be almost entirely coastal in nature. Fishguard is a small harbour town, with many independent shops, galleries, restaurants and even a cinema in the Theatr Gwaun. The building which houses the theatre was built in 1885 and converted into a cinema in the 1920s, and it retains many old features such as an old-fashioned ticket machine.

Llanychaer, Pembrokeshire SA65 9TA - 01348 874698 - gwaunvale.co.uk

Plenty of walking for the whole family
The River Nene runs around the perimeter of this site; many river cruisers and narrowboats traverse its waterways daily. Children will be entertained as the boats navigate the lock gates, or spotting the varied waterfowl which frequent the five-acre fishing lake. Yarwell is a great natural caravan park with plenty of open space for ball games, kite flying and picnics. You can walk from the site by waymarked paths to Yarwell Victorian station, which forms part of the Nene Valley Railway, and enjoy a ride on a steam locomotive.

Nr Peterborough Cambs PE8 6PS - 01780 782344 - yarwellmill.co.uk

Premier ParksCUMBRIA

While Park Cliffe, near Bowness-on-Windermere, has a restaurant, bar and games room on the park, it’s the vast open space surrounding it that we love. The excellent family bathrooms and shop are simply added conveniences. There are 25 acres of Cumbrian countryside here, with views over lake and fell. A natural feature of the park is the shallow beck running through it, which children will enjoy playing in on warm, sunny days. Moor How, a 229m hill at the back of the site, gives great views of Windermere from its summit; you can walk to it through the children’s playground. Bowness is a thriving tourist hotspot on the shore of Windermere offering cruises and watersports.

Birks Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3PG - 015395 31344 - parkcliffe.co.uk


The name of this site might be a bit of a giveaway as to its location – one mile from possibly the UK’s best-known theme park, Alton Towers (altontowers.com). In our minds if Carlsberg did theme parks, then Alton Towers would be it. A bus stop from right outside the campsite will deliver you to the entrance and save you on costs and queues for the car park. Alton Towers is a fun-tastic mix of rides and roller coasters with many special events throughout the year. It’s more than just a theme park; there’s also a water park and even a spa.

Star Road, Cotton, Nr Alton Towers, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 3DW - 01538 702219 - campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk


Opening in 1959, close to the North York Moors National Park, Flamingo Land was the first park in Europe to combine funfair rides with a zoological garden. With a slogan of ‘wild animals, wilder rides’ the resort has a variety of rides, across seven themed zones, for the whole family and the zoo has a host of animals. Where Flamingo Land excels is in the events it offers to guests. There are daily animal shows and handling sessions, encounters with the likes of meerkats and sea lions (must be pre-booked) and even a behind-the-scenes zoo safari exclusively for resort guests. The campsite is set with easy access to the rides and attractions, but also benefits from a host of facilities itself. These include an outdoor pool, a gym, spa pool and sauna. There’s evening entertainment in the clubhouse and a nine-hole golf course.

Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 6UX - 0871 911 8000 - flamingoland.co.uk

Go Ape
If the kids in the family (or the adults for that matter) have ever fancied flying through the air with the greatest of ease then Go Ape Tree Top Adventure in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is a must (goape.co.uk). The arboreal adventure mixes forest, scenery and treetops with high ropes, harnesses, steel cables, tricky crossings and awesome zip lines. There are locations across the country, but Aberfoyle is home to two of Britain’s longest zip wires, each stretching over 400m, flying people 50m above the ground and over a 30m waterfall.

By Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire FK8 3SA - 01877 382614 - trossachsholidays.co.uk

Adventure golf at Marton Mere
On the edge of the town of Blackpool, and just three miles from the world-famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Blackpool Tower is actually visible from the park), and with an important local nature reserve right next door, Marton Mere already ticks a lot of boxes for a family caravanning holiday. Add in to the mix a full range of leisure facilities including an indoor pool, outdoor SplashZone with flume, mini golf, mini tenpin bowling, kids’ clubs, evening entertainment and games, and you’ve ticked a few more.

Mythop Road, Blackpool, Lancs FY4 4XN - 0871 231 0881 - martonmere.co.uk


Surf dudes and chicks of all ages will find plenty to keep them busy at Ruda Holiday Park, one of the Parkdean Group’s complexes. Situated on beautiful Croyde Bay in north Devon, the site has easy access to the beach and, in summer, has an on-site surf school, with surfing equipment for sale or hire. A huge range of leisure facilities is available on the park. The Cascades adventure pool has an enormous 230ft slide, plus rapids, waterfalls and underwater geysers. Tennis courts, an arcade zone, pool tables and an indoor soft play area are also here. Entertainment is laid on nightly in season in the Atlantic Blue lounge, including live music, comedy, and spectacular musical shows. With a wide selection of food and catering outlets, a holiday here could keep all family members fully occupied.

Moor Lane, Croyde Bay, Braunton, Devon EX33 1NP - 0344 335 6799 - parkdeanholidays.co.uk

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