Motorhome travel: 15 campsites for family adventures
The summer holidays are just around the corner, which means us parents will soon have our work cut out, trying to think of ways to entertain the kids for the next six weeks. If a break away with the family is just what you need, take a look at 15 of the best campsites for holidays with children. Including family-friendly campsites close to beaches, theme parks, swimming pools and museums, you'll be struggling to fit everything in!
Southfield Lane, Tunstall, East Yorkshire HU12 0JN
Open: 24 March – 3 November
The beach at Tunstall is great all year round. In summer it is ideal for families spending the day there and for beachcombing or rockpooling. Meanwhile, in the winter you can take a bracing walk along the sands (four-legged friends are welcome here, too) listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Tunstall Beach is set among low, craggy cliffs, four miles from Withernsea – a traditional holiday resort with promenade, lighthouse and summer open-air concerts.
Sand-le-Mere Holiday Village sits above the beach at Tunstall, with direct beach access and a range of facilities for all ages. The dedicated touring field offers a range of pitches, including fully serviced super pitches and new ‘en suite’ pitches with their own private toilet and shower. There’s also public amenities along with a laundry and washing-up sink area. The leisure facilities include an indoor pool, playgrounds, and entertainment all included in the pitch price. There’s also a restaurant, bar, café and takeaway, amusements and crazy golf.
Loch Ken, Parton, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway DG7 3NQ
Open: March – October
The Galloway Activity Centre is a family-run outdoors centre set in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Ken. It’s nestled in the heart of the Galloway Hills, just 10 miles from Castle Douglas. The centre has a host of outdoor activities and courses and it can provide equipment hire. There are instructor-led taster sessions, offering a fun introduction to activities throughout the year. You can partake in laser tag, archery, windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and mountain biking, as well as enjoying the inflatable waterpark and waterslide.
For motorhomes and campervans there are 15 generously sized pitches along with a modern toilet and shower block. The Waterfront Café offers home-made food, breakfasts, refreshments and meals, with a glass-fronted seating area looking out over the loch.
Thorness Lane, Thorness, nr Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8NJ
Open: March – October
Set in the Isle of Wight countryside, on a hill with great views of the coast, there is plenty of entertainment nearby to entertain the family. Being part of the Parkdean Resorts group, you can expect a packed entertainment programme both day and night, with big stage shows and acts. Other boredom-fighting facilities include amusements, football, archery, crazy golf, an adventure playground, plus an indoor pool with flume and water-based activities including an inflatable assault course and paddleboats. That’s the children happy and adults will appreciate the convenience of an on-site shop, bar and restaurant.
There’s a range of pitches, including grass with electric and Electric Plus that are hardstanding and also have water connection. There are toilet and shower facilities, along with baby changing and disabled facilities. The Isle of Wight is a small island, so getting to the many attractions across the island is easy. There is cycle hire nearby, plus a range of beaches and coastal towns, such as Alum Bay with its famous multi-coloured sand cliffs, and chairlift down to the beach. The island is also home to a zoo park, Dinosaur Isle museum and much more.
Dawlish, Devon EX7 0LX
Open: All year
The location of this site will appeal both to families looking for a beach holiday and people with an interest in nature. It’s less than a mile from the beaches of Dawlish Warren and close to the 500-acre Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve. The beach is one-and-a-half-miles long, backed by sand dunes. Near to the beach you can find shops, amusements, go-karts and adventure golf.
At Lady’s Mile Holiday Park, swimming is a major attraction. There are indoor and outdoor pools with flumes and a separate plunge pool. There’s also a bowling alley, indoor play facilities and an adventure play area with an eight-metre tower and slides – no young members of the party could ever say they were bored here.
Lady’s Mile also benefits from a gym and sauna, a restaurant and a take-away food service option. Grassed and hardstanding pitches are available in four areas; you can choose your own pitch to suit your needs. Some pitches also have water and drainage points. Electricity is charged via top-up cards that can be purchased from reception on arrival.
Cropper Road, Marton, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 5LB
Open: 17 March – 6 November
You can’t beat Blackpool for a family seaside holiday. There are plenty of attractions in this coastal town including Blackpool Tower, the Pleasure Beach and the annual illuminations. At the Pleasure Beach you’ll find rides, attractions, shows and events, while the tower offers amazing views, a ballroom, indoor adventure playground, circus and spooky tower dungeon.
For days at the beach, Blackpool has miles of golden sand stretching along the promenade and there’s also three piers with a tearoom, arcades and ice cream parlours. The Blackpool South C&MC site gives convenient access to the town and has a children’s playground, parent and child washroom facilities, a laundry and part-hardstanding pitches. Please note that this site is for members only.
Holywell Bay, Cornwall TR8 5PW
Open: 1 April – 28 October
For a family holiday at the beach, look no further than Trevornick. It’s located just a few steps from the sandy dunes that lead to Holywell Bay, with its dog-friendly beach and only a short distance from Newquay. The site has seven touring and camping fields and six different pitch types. Some pitches have lakeside views and there are both dog-friendly and dog-free pitching areas.
This site has all the facilities you could possibly need as a family and more. There are toilets, showers, family bathrooms, a laundry and farm shop. There’s Fodders Café and Restaurant for food, a takeaway, ice cream parlour, lounge bar and entertainment venue.
For daytime fun you can explore the nature trail, hire bikes and surfboards or head to the Holywell Bay Fun Park. Entry is free and you’ll find over 20 rides and attractions. After all that activity, why not head to the Tranquillity Spa where you can experience a range of relaxing and pampering treatments, including ones specifically tailored for children?
Fforest Farm, Hundred House, Builth Wells, Powys LD1 5RT
Open: 1 March – 4 January
There’s nothing like a traditional family holiday, enjoying the great outdoors and with plenty of things to do. Add to that all the comforts of home and you’re onto a winner. Fforest Fields Caravan & Camping Park is a secluded 12-acre rural site a few miles from the market town of Builth Wells in mid-Wales. The site was awarded the top accolade of AA Campsite of the Year for Wales 2017. With all mod cons, such as an award-winning toilet and shower block with two family rooms and a disabled wetroom, a laundry and drying room, shop, hardstanding pitches and electric hook-ups, you should be right at home here.
Fforest Fields Caravan & Camping Park is all about holidays as they used to be – there’s no clubhouse, no games room, but there are two big lakes for paddling, swimming and canoeing, a mountain stream and ponds to play in, and woods and hilly areas to explore. You’re also welcome to have barbecues and campfires on site, so why not sit out of an evening as a family, watching the stars and give the modern world and technology the elbow for a while?
Dartmouth, Devon TQ9 7DQ
Open: 24 March – 29 October
Close to Dartmouth, Woodlands Grove combines an award-winning campsite with a large theme park. Due to the valley location, and the fact that the leisure park is hidden in 60 acres of woodland, the site is also perfect for adults during term time.
For families, the leisure park is excellent – and entry is included in the pitch price for stays of two nights or more. There’s a wide range of rides to suit all ages and, for rainy days, there’s a large indoor play area. More sedate activities include a falconry centre, zoo farm and woodland walks. There are lots of places to eat, too.
The campsite pitches are grouped together on terraced plots of five to 10 pitches, sheltered by hedging and shrubs. Electric hook-ups and hardstandings are available. Facilities include toilets, showers, family washrooms and bathrooms, a laundry, and facilities for the disabled.
Puddledock Lane, Great Hockham, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 1FJ
Open: All year
A campsite set in a large natural playground, such as Britain’s biggest lowland forest, is a great spot for a family holiday. Puddledock Farm is a peaceful campsite located within Thetford Forest, home to rare butterflies and plants, and where you could see various deer and many species of birds. The local area is known as The Brecks, one of the driest parts of Britain with a distinctive landscape. The Peddars Way National Trail passes near the site, with the walk following a Roman road from Suffolk to the Norfolk coast. There’s also High Lodge in nearby Brandon, where you’ll find a Go Ape high wire adventure, plus plenty of walking and cycling trails.
The site is spread over 19 acres, with 160 pitches, a mixture of grass only, grass with electric, and hardstanding with electric. There are two modern, heated facilities blocks, a full disabled wetroom, family bathroom, and parent and toddler room. In addition to all this, there’s also a laundry, WiFi, a shop, children’s play area, recreational space and gated fishing pond.
Dalwood, Axminster, Devon EX13 7DY
Open: 24 March – 30 October
Andrewshayes’ location means you can enjoy the best of the Devon countryside and the Jurassic Coast. The site is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the Blackdown Hills. It’s just six miles to the fossil-rich coast at Seaton and eight miles to extremely pretty Lyme Regis.
As well as plenty of open space, the campsite has a heated indoor pool with retractable roof that can be opened in the warmer weather to create an outdoor pool. Use of the pool is included in the pitch fee. The site also has a bar and takeaway that is open on Friday and Saturday nights (and daily in the school holidays). Other family-friendly features include a games room with air hockey, pool table and video machines, plus a toddler soft play room, outdoor play areas and a nature trail with information boards.
Pitches on the site are terraced to allow for countryside views, with a choice of standard grass pitch with electric, up to super pitches on hardstanding with water and waste water drain. Facilities include family shower rooms, a full wetroom for disabled guests and a laundry.
Ratten Row, Seamer, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 4QB
Open: All year
Just five miles from Scarborough is Arosa Caravan and Camping. The campsite has a children’s play area and plenty of open space for the children to play outdoors. There’s a games room with pool tables and a club house bar open every evening in peak times, offering entertainment. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available from Sharron’s Kitchen and there’s a campsite shop selling the basic essentials. The campsite is fully serviced by toilets and showers, along with facilities for the disabled. There’s metered electric hook-up to pitches.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the site is a regular bus service to Scarborough. The seaside resort town has two bays with sandy beaches, split by a headland with a castle atop it. A funicular railway links the town centre with South Bay and its harbour. Other attractions of the town include Japanese gardens and a Sea Life Centre.
Watermill Lane, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 5JA
Open: 1 April – 1 November
For a more traditional family holiday experience, Cobbs Hill Farm is perfect. There’s plenty of open space in the Sussex countryside, coupled with good campsite facilities. Cobbs Hill Farm is a small, family-run site close to Bexhill-on-Sea. The pitches are mainly level grass, with a few hardstandings, and electric hook-ups. There’s a toilet block and laundry, with a small shop at reception. The children’s play area is secluded and well-equipped and there are a selection of farm animals for children to see.
A good network of footpaths lead from the site and there’s a dog-walking field and the Sussex Downs are close by. Bexhill-on-Sea, just three miles away, is a quiet beach resort with a two-mile promenade and views out to Beachy Head and Eastbourne. There’s a good selection of shops and supermarkets, along with lawn bowls and a swimming pool. The towns of Eastbourne and Hastings are slightly further afield, with larger shopping complexes and the latter having obvious historical connections.
Star Road, Cotton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST10 3DW
Open: 1 March – 6 November
Alton, The Star is perfect for thrill-seekers as it is only one mile from Alton Towers. For family thrills and spills, the theme park has a host of family attractions, ranging from adrenaline-fuelled roller coasters through to gentler rides for the little ones. There’s even a bus stop right outside the campsite that will deliver you there.
This site is also on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park where there are plenty of outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling and climbing – depending on the adrenaline fix you need. Northeast of the site is Carsington Water and Visitor Centre, offering a wide range of activities on and off the water, such as footpaths and bridleways, a play area, fishing and, of course, many watersports.
Pitches here include grass, hardstanding and Super Service (with electric, water and waste). There are toilets and showers, a family room with a bath and a play area.
Mersea Island, Colchester, Essex CO5 8SE
Open: 1 March – 30 November
With everything on site, Waldegraves could be just what you need for a fun family holiday. Not only is it situated within walking distance of the beach, but there’s a host of activities on site. For those who want to keep active there’s an outdoor heated pool, adventure playgrounds, crazy golf, a driving range, pitch ‘n’ putt and an all-weather sports court. An entertainment programme runs all season during the daytime, and you can have a go at FootGolf – a wacky combo of football and golf. The beach also has a slipway for launching watercraft so bring your dinghies and windsurfing board.
If you prefer your fun more relaxed, then how about fishing the four coarse lakes, taking to the boating lake, or enjoying a lakeside picnic? In bad weather you can head to the games room, and evenings will never be boring with a host of shows and entertainment on offer.
Pitches include serviced and hardstanding, with electric hook-up and water point. There are two toilet and shower blocks, a laundry, outdoor drying area, Granary Bar and Restaurant and a shop.
Dalbeattie, Dumfries & Galloway DG5 4NY
Open: 24 March – 2 January
For families looking for plenty to do but on a smaller-sized site, there’s just 25 pitches at Sandyhills Bay Leisure Park. The site is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at the foot of wooded hills and close to a sheltered, sandy beach. Here you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a smaller, more intimate site, but still with plenty to keep everyone occupied nearby.
Sandyhills has pitches with electric and a centralised toilet and shower block. There’s also a licensed shop, laundry and children’s play area. It’s the immediate area that will appeal to families, though… The beach itself is one of the best in the area and is accessible directly from the site. You could choose to picnic in one of the sheltered coves or take a stroll along the headland. Next to the site is the 18-hole Colvend Golf Course and, within a few minutes’ walk, is the Barend Riding Centre.