12 Perfect Sites For Early-Season Breaks
Make the most of the year ahead with an early-season caravan getaway. We pick 12 excellent sites around the country to help you make the most of the start of the New Year.
Lincoln Farm Park, Oxfordshire
Lincoln Farm Park offers 90 all-weather pitches, 22 of which are fully serviced, set in nine acres of beautiful landscaping.
Pitching up here is like staying in someone's immaculately manicured garden, at the gateway of the Cotswolds. The heated amenities feature family bathrooms, disabled facilities, and a laundry.
The main facilities are located at reception and these include a shop and an indoor leisure centre complex with pool, steam room, sauna and fitness centre. Close to the site are two village pubs serving food and drink. If you have little ones in tow there's a play area, games room and mini golf available.
Being open from January to December means you can stay on site and easily visit the architectural and cultural delights of Oxford at any time of year. There's a bus stop at the site entrance with services to Witney and Oxford, for convenient access to the city.
High Street, Standlake, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7RH
T 01865 300239 W lincolnfarmpark.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £32
Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, Derbyshire
This 37-acre sheltered park, is ideal for those who enjoy walking and cycling as it is located just 100 metres from the Tissington Trail. Footpaths also lead from the site directly into Eaton, Biggin and Dovedale.
All this open space and the endless walking opportunities also make this site a great choice for dog owners. In poor weather, Chatsworth House, Alton Towers, Kedleston Hall and Haddon Hall make great options to explore locally, and there are the pretty market towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton and Matlock nearby, too.
Facilities at Rivendale include heated toilet buildings, a café with WiFi, and a rustic pub and restaurant with warming log fires.
Fly fishing is also available. There are a choice of pitches available – full hardstanding or hardstanding with grass – most having hedges at either side providing privacy and encouraging wildlife. All pitches have a 16-amp hook-up, some also have fresh water and waste disposal; these can be requested when booking.
Buxton Road, Alsop en le Dale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1QU
T 01335 310311 W rivendalecaravanpark.co.uk
OPEN 27 January – 2 January PRICE £28
Strathclyde Country Park Caravan & Motorhome Club Site, Glasgow
Located on the edge of picturesque parkland, this Club site is only a 10-minute walk from the country park, with 1000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, open parkland and wildlife refuges. It is set around Strathclyde Loch and offers nature watching, miles of walking and cycling routes and various watersports and golf.
Within the country park there are also several sites of historic interest, like the Bothwellhaugh Roman Fort and Bath House. Glasgow is also within easy reach, and further afield are Loch Lomond and Edinburgh.
On-site facilities include hardstandings, toilets and showers, a laundry and modern family washrooms plus disabled facilities. There are also a handful of pitches suitable for larger vehicles.
For younger children there is a play area, and all guests can enjoy the on-site woodland walk. There are shops located about three miles away and bus services from nearby Motherwell and Hamilton.
Bothwellhaugh Road, Bothwell, Glasgow G71 8NY
T 01698 853300 W camc.com
OPEN All year PRICE £28.50
Tudor Caravan Park, Gloucestershire
Nestled between the Cotswolds and the River Severn, Tudor Caravan Park has a fantastic location alongside the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. There are 75 pitches set over two touring fields.
The first is The Meadow – an area designed for families, the second is The Old Orchard – a more secluded area for adults only. Both areas are open all year with good-sized hardstandings and 16-amp electric. Facilities include a luxurious new shower block with large private cubicles, a laundry and underfloor heating for the cooler weather you might encounter in the early season.
Next door to the site is the Tudor Arms, a quiet country pub and restaurant with a host of Camra's pub of the year awards. There's lots to do within walking distance, like the famous Wildfowl and Wetland Trust centre at Slimbridge where you can see a host of birds and other wildlife and enjoy various events throughout the year.
Shepherds Patch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire GL2 7BP
T 01453 890483 W tudorcaravanpark.com
OPEN All year PRICE £23.50
Concierge Camping, West Sussex
Concierge Camping is located on a country estate near Chichester. The park holds an AA five-pennant gold award and the title of AA South East Campsite of the Year 2016.
The site provides high quality amenities with 27 spacious, fully serviced hardstanding pitches with 16-amp electric. Each pitch is set within its own enclosed grass recreation area with hedging to provide privacy.
Dogs are welcome at no extra cost and there is a four-acre dog exercise area within the estate. Toilet and shower facilities are more akin to what you would expect from a hotel – think granite-topped wash areas and complimentary toiletries.
There's also a shop on site with locally sourced 'essentials' – think croissants not baked beans – delivered fresh each morning. Concierge Camping is ideally located for exploring the South Downs, award-winning coastline and beaches and the Goodwood Estate with its regular festivals.
Ratham Lane, West Ashling, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8DL
T 01243 573118 W conciergecamping.co.uk
OPEN February – January PRICE £59
Bay View Holiday Park, Lancashire
Bay View Holiday Park is situated in a rural setting on the vast, sweeping Lancashire coastline. The park's location makes it perfect for exploring the Lake District, North Yorkshire and Forest of Bowland.
This holiday park was once a working farm, and the surrounding rolling green fields offer stunning views over Morecambe Bay where great sunsets can be enjoyed. The site is a peaceful retreat in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the outskirts of the coastal villages of Arnside and Silverdale. There's plenty of walking to be done in the area and the coastline is a beautiful sight.
The original farm buildings have been sympathetically converted into a bar, restaurant and shop. There are also toilets and showers, a playground and games room. Pitches on site are hardstanding with electric.
Guests of Bay View are welcome to use the leisure facilities at sister park, Silverdale Caravan Park, which include an indoor swimming pool complex, bar, restaurant and gym. The parks are 20 minutes' drive apart.
A6 Main Road, Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9TN
T 01524 701508 W holgates.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £30.50
Sandy Balls Holiday Village, Hampshire
The great thing about the New Forest National Park is it is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, especially on a misty morning with dappled sunlight filtering through the trees.
Take a walk around this wooded wonderland in early season and you could practically have the forest to yourself, aside from the ponies and wildlife, of course. There's also the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu if you need an indoor attraction or to get your fix of all things petrol.
Not that you need ever leave the site. Sandy Balls Holiday Village has plenty to keep you occupied whatever the weather.
On fine days you can take to your bike and explore the many trails, but if you need to seek shelter indoors there is an indoor pool, pub and restaurant. In school holidays and at weekends there is a host of kids' activities and entertainment.
Touring pitches on site are fully serviced hardstandings with access to toilets and showers, a shop and laundry.
Godshill, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 2JZ
T 01442 508850 W awayresorts.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £55
Ludlow Touring Park, Shropshire
This purpose-built Caravan and Motorhome Club Affiliated site has 100-plus luxury pitches with water, electric, digital TV and WiFi and a separate adults-only area in one section. There are also super pitches with grey waste disposal. The heated toilets and showers feature individual shower rooms and privacy cubicles and for families there is an outdoor play area and family bathroom.
Other facilities include a shop, laundry and a fenced-off section for dog walking.
The surrounding area is rural fields, with the River Teme bordering the site on one side. The ancient market town of Ludlow is two miles away, with shops, restaurants and cafés. There's also the historic castle with tours, shop and tearoom.
If you'd prefer not to drive, there is a bus service direct from the park gates. Locally there are several historic houses including Stokesay Court, a Grade II listed mansion set in landscaped grounds. For those wishing to get out and about there are great cycling and walking routes close to the site.
Overton Road, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 4AD
T 01584 878788 W morris-leisure.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £31.90
Erwlon Caravan & Camping Park, Carmarthenshire
Near the pretty town of Llandovery and handy for exploring the Brecon Beacons, Erwlon is a tranquil and well-maintained site. There are 40 spacious pitches, including some full-service super pitches, with a heated amenity block featuring family rooms.
There's also a children's play area on site and bike hire can be arranged. If relaxation is your thing you can just sit outside on site and watch red kites fly overhead, spot kingfishers on the riverbank and keep an eye out for wild mink spotted here.
For adrenaline junkies there is a full-scale mountain bike park in the South Wales valleys, a 45-minute drive away. Bike Park Wales offers various trails from beginner to pro level, around Gethin Woods near Merthyr Tydfil.
For those who prefer their bike rides on the genteel side, the country lanes around Erwlon are ideal, with routes around the Towy Valley and through the Brecons. The campsite can even arrange bike hire if needed, along with storage and cleaning.
Brecon Road, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire SA20 0RD
T 01550 721021 W erwlon.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £19
Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park, Somerset
For an early-season, adults-only break, Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park is set in a beautiful location just 10 miles from Bath, Bristol and Wells and all the attractions that these three historical and cultural cities offer.
The site is a peaceful retreat, in a garden-like setting, with thoughtful planting making each pitch private and secluded. There are 45 pitches, all hardstanding with electric, and many of them fully serviced with TV, water and drainage.
Near the site entrance is the reception area and heated toilet block. There are private cubicles with toilet, shower and basin in each. The site also has a laundry. Plus, there is an acre of woodland set aside as well as a dog walking area and 800 metres away is Chew Valley Lake.
Here there are walking, fly-fishing and bird watching opportunities. You can also hire a car at reception for making the most of touring the area.
Ham Lane, Bishop Sutton, NE Somerset BS39 5TZ
T 01275 332127 W bathchewvalley.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £30
Canterbury C&CC Site, Kent
Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club site provides the perfect base to choose between city, coast and countryside.
It's also a great choice as a stopover when travelling to or from France. The site is a couple of miles south of Canterbury, approximately a 40-minute walk away, or you can catch a bus from outside the campsite.
Facilities-wise there's a mix of grass and hardstanding pitches with electric. The toilets and showers are newly refurbished, and there's also a washing-up area, play area, dog walk, plus WiFi.
Canterbury is a city packed with history, heritage and culture. It has a stunning cathedral and the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church and castle. It also has a mix of independent shops, bars and restaurants.
You can also head to the coast for Whitstable with its trendy harbour, or the more traditional Herne Bay with two miles of seafront, colourful beach huts and pier.
Bekesbourne Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT3 4AB
T 01227 463216 W campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
OPEN All year PRICE £22.90
Clippesby Hall, Norfolk
Set within mature pine woodland and the owners' gardens, Clippesby Hall is situated in the Norfolk Broads National Park near the city of Norwich and the coastal resort of Great Yarmouth.
The campsite is also close to Ludham and Potter Heigham on the Norfolk Broads, the latter being one of the major centres for boat hire and boat trips.
Pitches at Clippesby are spread over eight areas with a choice between secluded, individual pitches set into the natural woodland, and more open family-orientated areas – both with electric hook-up available.
There are also hardstanding pitches in some sections and pitches offering individual water and drainage. Dogs are welcome on site but there is also a dog-free camping and touring area.
Throughout the season there are lots of on-site activities and facilities including archery, cycle hire, an outdoor pool, tennis courts, 18-hole mini golf, canoe hire, and an adventure play area with zip wires, cargo net, climbing wall and tree house.
For food and refreshments there's Susie's Coffee Shop and The Muskett Arms – serving meals and local real ales and ciders.
Hall Road, Clippesby, Norfolk NR29 3BL
T 01493 367800 W clippesbyhall.com
OPEN All year PRICE £41