Motorhome travel: 12 campsites for National Parks
Become immersed in the natural beauty of Britain’s national parks with 12 unmissable campsites:
Ferry Road, Reedham, Norwich NR13 3HA
Call: 01493 700999
Open: All year
Situated in the heart of the Norfolk Broads and close to Norwich and Great Yarmouth, the Reedham Ferry Complex offers an idyllic setting with plenty of facilities. The site has a rural aspect, next to the river. The Reedham Ferry is a vehicular chain ferry (the only remaining one in Norfolk) that crosses the River Yare.
The site is a landscaped four acres, with flat and spacious pitches and uninterrupted views over the local marshes. There are electric hook-ups available, toilets, showers and a BBQ area. There are also two on-site fishing lakes and the Reedham Ferry Inn. The surrounding marshes are a haven for birds and the Broads offer leisurely days of boating. Other attractions include Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens and Wroxham Barns.
The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QH
Call: 01590 622489
Open: 26 March – 2 September (excluding Hampshire Show week: 21 – 28 July)
The beautiful New Forest offers meandering streams, leafy paths and open heathland. At Long Meadow visitors can walk or cycle the miles of trails or just sit and watch the forest ponies and other wildlife that roams freely. The site has an open, peaceful environment with 100 spacious pitches set in 19 acres of grassland and a choice of electric hook-up grass pitches or hardstanding pitches with electric. Modern buildings house clean toilets and hot showers, along with dedicated disabled facilities.
There is direct access from the site onto the ancient woodlands that will leave all ages spoilt for choice of outdoor activities. Bike hire can be arranged with bikes delivered to and collected from site. This campsite is set in the countryside yet within walking distance of the restaurants, shops and pubs of the village of Brockenhurst. Here, ponies and donkeys still roam the streets. It is also just a short drive to all the facilities of Lyndhurst, the capital of the New Forest, and the sandy beaches of the Solent.
Coylumbridge, by Aviemore PH22 1QU
Call: 01479 812800
Open: All year
Set among Caledonian pine trees, Rothiemurchus offers sheltered camping in a wild setting but with plenty of home comforts. There are 17 pitches for motorhomes, all with electric. There is a heated amenity building with the usual facilities.
There are plenty of walking and cycling trails directly from site and the pitches are only a 20-minute stroll from Rothiemurchus centre. The estate includes a thirteenth-century island castle and a forest. You can enjoy ranger led tours, wildlife photography and a multitude of water activities. There’s also a farm shop and café.
Venton, Drewsteignton, Devon EX6 6PG
Call: 01647 231695
Open: All year
Exclusively for adults only, Woodland Springs is set within Dartmoor National Park surrounded by trees and farmland. The campsite provides a natural setting so as to encourage wildlife, meaning you may see a variety of birds, as well as rabbits, deer, foxes and stoats. The site boasts fully serviced and standard pitches, serviced by award-winning facilities. These include toilets and showers, a laundry and shop. Woodland Springs welcomes dogs and there is an acre of open land for exercising dogs off the lead.
A 10-minute drive away are the moors, where there are many walking and cycling routes and different tors to explore. Not forgetting the Dartmoor ponies and their foals that can be seen in spring. It’s also only 18 miles to the city of Exeter, where you can walk the canal or enjoy a coffee in one of the quay cafés.
Old Church Road, Betws-y-Coed, Gwynedd LL24 0AL
Call: 01690 710310
Open: 17 February – 3 January
Set within Snowdonia National Park, Riverside Touring Park is a five-star site with 60 pitches. These consist of all-weather pitches, super pitches and a camping area. The site nestles alongside the river and is close to the shops and pubs in Betws-y-Coed. A multi-million pound investment means high-quality facilities, including a motorhome service point, fully equipped laundry, showers and toilets, electric hook-up, a shop and facilities for the disabled.
In the local area are Bodnant Gardens and Llechwedd Slate Caverns where you can travel deep underground to explore the mine and take an off-road adventure round the quarry. For the adrenaline junkie, Zip World and Bounce Below are located at the caverns; Zip World is the largest zip zone in Europe and Bounce Below offers trampolining underground.
Brunt Acres Road, Hawes, North Yorkshire DL8 3PS
Call: 01969 667338
Open: 16 March – 3 January
This site is situated within the stunning scenery of Wensleydale, where the famous cheese has been made for nearly a century. Situated between the River Ure and the market town of Hawes, it offers attractive views and was redeveloped in 2017. There are 10 serviced pitches with a total of 119 touring pitches, a games room, laundry and toilet block.
The Hawes site is set within in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. With the Dales right on the doorstep of the site, walking enthusiasts will have hours of captivating landscape to explore. The Pennine Way is another must.
Also within easy reach from the site is Hawes, one of the highest market towns in England. Hardraw Force – the highest single-drop waterfall in England is close by, too. Other attractions include the waterfall at Aysgarth, Ribblehead Viaduct, White Scar Cave, Bolton Castle and the scenic Settle to Carlisle railway.
Kielder, Northumberland NE48 1EJ
Call: 01434 239257
Open: 19 March – 31 October (excluding 7 – 14 October)
Nestled in the heart of Kielder Forest, within the Northumberland National Park, Kielder Village Campsite claims to be the remotest site in England. The forest is ideal for long, quiet walks, cycle rides that can keep on going, and many miles of dog walking. The Kielder Water and Forest Park has an art and architecture trail that follows the 26-mile route around the reservoir and the Tower Knowe Visitor Centre is only a 15-minute drive away.
On site there are hardstanding pitches, with toilets and showers, a laundry and play area. Kielder village is a five-minute walk away where you’ll find a dog-friendly pub, tea rooms and bike hire. However, grocery outlets and shops are quite a drive away, so do go prepared! The area is renowned for its lack of light pollution and the site is located within a Dark Sky Park with clear views of the night sky. Kielder Observatory is just 10 minutes’ drive away.
Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1SR
Call: 01229 717250
Open: 8 February – 2 January
The Lake District offers a multitude of attractions and activities, with endless opportunities to explore hills and lakes, plus historic houses, castles and museums. This national park also has a coastline, too, and the Ravenglass site is the perfect place from which to explore it. Set in six acres of woodland and only 500 metres from the seafront, the site is hidden away on a wooded bank looking out over the Irish Sea. The hamlet of Ravenglass is within walking distance where there’s a natural harbour, craft shop and pubs.
The facilities at the club site include hardstandings with electric, toilets, showers and a shop. What really makes the site’s location special is its proximity to the 130-year-old miniature railway, which links the mountains and sea.
West Luccombe, Porlock, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8HT
Call: 01643 862463
Open: All year
Situated beside Horner Water in the Horner Valley and with a view of Dunkery Beacon, this site is in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, which is ideal to explore with its wooded valleys, streams, hills and coastal scenery. The touring pitches have 16-amp electric and facilities include toilets and showers, a laundry and well-stocked shop. The farm buildings have been converted to riding stables and escorted rides are available.
You don’t need the motorhome to explore here, with many walks leading directly into the woods and onto open moorland. You can also access stretches of the South West Coast Path. The stream and woods provide a natural playground for children, too. Porlock is one mile away offering three pubs and a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants. Porlock Weir is a delightful little harbour where children can go crabbing and sea fishing trips can be arranged.
Dinas Cross, Newport, Pembrokeshire SA65 9ET
Call: 01348 811415
Open: March – January
Located within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, this site has to offer one of the best views from a pitch ever. Set on the coastline, there are a choice of hardstanding and grass touring pitches with electric. Facilities include toilets and showers, a laundry, play area, games room and shop. Walkers and nature lovers can explore many paths and trails that are directly accessible from the site or you can sit back and enjoy the views.
The coastal path runs directly through the resort or there is also a gentle circular hour-long walk giving great views. There are several hidden coves and beaches located on sections of the path that are accessible from the site. Two unique features of Fishguard Bay are the luxury hampers you can pre-order for your stay – there’s one that covers all things breakfast, or cheese and biscuits and a selection of Welsh goodies. The other on-site treat is the Pamper Pod where you can relax and enjoy a facial or a massage.
Gartmore, Stirling FK8 3SA
Call: 08001 971192
Open: 1 March – 31 October
Trossachs Holiday Park is set in 40 landscaped acres, with oak and bluebell woods, on the edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. Cycling, hill walking, fishing and golf are all available nearby. Both parks offer walking routes galore and lots of wildlife. For those looking for action and adventure, Aberfoyle is a 10-minute drive away where there’s Go Ape Treetop Adventure – a high wire adventure playground for all ages.
Trossachs holds the accolade of AA Campsite of the Year for Scotland 2017/18. All pitches are fully serviced on hardstanding with individual water supply, grey water drain and TV hook-up. Facilities include toilets and showers, family shower suites, a games room, play area, laundry, site shop and WiFi café. Pets are welcome and there is a dog exercise field and woodland walk.
Buxton Road, Alsop-en-le-Dale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1QU
Call: 01335 310441
Open: 26 January – 30 September
Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park lies within the Derbyshire Dales part of the Peak District National Park, known as The White Peak due to the limestone rock that makes up the gorges, cliffs and caves of this area.
For walkers and cyclists the Tissington Trail is just 100 metres from the site, following the route of the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line. Footpaths from Rivendale lead to the dramatic scenery of Dovedale and there is access to the Trails Triangle, formed by the High Peak Trail and the cycleway around Carsington Reservoir. The Peak District also offers cultural and historic sites like Chatsworth House, Alton Towers and Buxton Opera House.
Pitches on site are hardstanding or hardstanding with grass and have electric hook-up. Fully serviced pitches are also available. The usual facilities include toilets, showers, a laundry and play area. There’s also The Stables Café for drinks and snacks and a pub and restaurant for evening meals.
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