Motorhome travel: 15 campsites for wonderful walks
The UK is blessed with an abundance of locations absolutely perfect for exploring on foot, with a vast choice of hiking and walking routes. From tranquil countryside strolls to mountainous hikes and scenic coastal treks, there are walking opportunities to suit everyone.
And, if you want to combine a motorhome or campervan holiday with a walking experience, there are plenty of campsites perfectly located nearby. Why not try one of these 15 campsites?
Briarfields Motel & Touring Caravan Park, Gloucestershire
Gloucester Road (B4063), Cheltenham GL51 0SS
Telephone: 01241 235324
Open: All year
Briarfields is an adults-only site, well-positioned for exploring the pretty Cotswold villages and walking the Cotswold Way. You can also wander the many trails of the Forest of Dean, which is little over 30 minutes’ drive away.
The site is open all year and just two miles from Regency Cheltenham and only six miles from historic Gloucester, with a bus service to both. Cheltenham is famed for its racecourse and the many cultural festivals held throughout the year. Gloucester has a wonderful cathedral (where some of Harry Potter was filmed), a dockside, Waterways Museum and Quays shopping centre.
Briarfields is beautifully landscaped and surrounded by mature hedges, shrubs and lawns and has a good selection of trees to make it feel rural, with lots of birdlife. Pets are welcome. The washroom facilities consist of private washbasins, toilets and showers. There’s also a disabled washroom, a laundry and WiFi is available on site.
Smytham Holiday Park, Devon
Set in 23 acres of parkland adjoining the old manor house, the pitches on this site are spread across the spacious grounds and range from standard pitches to fully serviced. For a real treat try the luxurious en suite pitches with private shower, toilet and sink in a cedar-clad cabin.
Smytham has private access onto the Tarka Trail. This is one of the country’s longest continuous traffic-free walking and cycling paths. The section that can be accessed from Smytham Manor runs from Braunton to Meeth – a total of 32 miles. This can be broken up into smaller sections visiting the nearby towns, such as Bideford and Great Torrington.
Smytham’s facilities include a heated amenity block, an outdoor pool with sun terrace, shop, bar, games room and play area.
Rutland Caravan & Camping, Rutland
The location of this Caravan and Motorhome Club-affiliated site offers the chance to explore England’s smallest county, full of picturesque villages and towns. For walking, you are spoilt for choice: there’s Rutland Water close by where you can walk around the reservoir, taking in some wildlife spotting and rest stops in the country pubs. You can also cycle and do some fishing here. The campsite is adjacent to Greetham and the Viking Way runs through this village.
All pitches on site are serviced pitches, with water, drainage and electric, and hardstandings are available. The site is divided into an adults-only area and family area, both with their own facilities. Also available to all guests is an indoor swimming pool, a laundry and shop.
The adjacent woodland is ideal for dog walks and there’s a nature walk direct from the site.
Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park, Derbyshire
*Picture: © VisitEngland
Set in the south of the Peak District National Park, this site is ideal for walking, as the well-known Tissington Trail is right at the entrance, following the route of the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line. It is also conveniently located for visiting Dovedale (pictured above) with its famous stepping stones and scaling the heights of Thorpe Cloud.
The pretty town of Ashbourne is just over three miles away where you’ll find a selection of shops, cafés and restaurants.
Ashbourne Heights has a heated indoor pool, a play area, shop and dog walking area. There is a choice of grass or hardstanding pitches with or without electric. You can even choose a Premium Ensuite pitch where you get your own private toilet and shower on the pitch.
Pennine View Park, Cumbria
Station Road, Kirkby Stephen, CA17 4SZ
Telephone: 01768 371717
Open: 2 March – 4 November (closed 3 – 10 June)
Set between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District National Park means you are spoilt for walking options from this campsite. It’s just a mile to the centre of the market town of Kirkby Stephen. The town has a selection of footpaths and the site is on the Coast to Coast walking route.
Site facilities include WiFi, a small shop, washrooms, disabled facilities and a laundry. All touring pitches offer electric hook-up and there are a range of pitches including hardstanding and half gravel/half grass pitches.
Fairfields Farm Caravan & Camping Park, East Sussex
Eastbourne Road, Westham, Pevensey, BN24 5NG
Telephone: 01323 763165
Open: 1 April – 26 October
The South Downs Way is a National Trail that leads from Winchester to the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. Walks along this undulating route lead you to the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs, which make for the most stunning views of sea and hills. You can get down to the beach at places like the National Trust’s Birling Gap, where there’s also a café for refreshments en route.
Fairfields Farm is four miles to the north of Eastbourne and is part of a 200-acre working farm. Visitors can see the range of farm animals including ponies, donkeys, ducks, piglets and lambs. Site facilities include a small shop, WiFi, toilets and showers and a laundry.
Trossachs Holiday Park, Stirling
Gartmore FK8 3SA
Telephone: 01877 382614
Open: 1 March – 31 October
Trossachs Holiday Park is in 40 landscaped acres with oak and bluebell woods on the edge of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. Both parks offer walking routes galore.
Trossachs Holiday Park holds the accolade of AA Campsite of the Year for Scotland 2017/18. All pitches are fully serviced on hardstanding. Facilities include family shower suites, a games room, play area, laundry, site shop and WiFi café. Pets are welcome and there is an exercise field and woodland walk.
Glen of Aherlow Caravan & Camping Park, Co Tipperary
Newtown, Glen of Aherlow, E34 NH58
Telephone: 00353 6 256555
Open: All year
In an area perfect for walking and sightseeing, Glen of Aherlow has views over the surrounding hills and countryside of Southern Ireland. The site lies between Ireland’s highest inland mountain range, the Galtee Mountains, and the hill of Slievenamuck (Aherlow’s original Irish word, Eartharlach, means ‘low land between two high lands’). The slopes and lakes of this mountain range are just waiting to be conquered. There are also many woodland walks including lake walks to Lough Curra and Lough Muskry.
The touring area is comprised of mostly hardstanding pitches, some grass and some fully serviced but all with 10A electric hook-up. Other site facilities include a TV room, laundry, toilets and showers. Dogs are also welcome. One of the major attractions in this area of Ireland is the iconic Rock of Cashel, which is a group of medieval buildings set upon a limestone outcrop.
Burrowhayes Far Caravan & Camping Site, Somerset
West Luccombe, Porlock, Minehead TA24 8HT
Telephone: 01643 862463
Open: 15 March – 2 November
This site is in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, with its wooded valleys, streams, hills and coastal scenery. You don’t need to move the motorhome to explore here, with many walks leading directly into the woods and out onto open moorland. You can also access stretches of the South West Coast Path. The stream and woods around the site provide a natural playground for children, too.
Porlock is one mile away offering three pubs and a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants. The weir is a delightful little harbour where children can go crabbing and sea fishing trips can be arranged.
Situated beside Horner Water, the site has a view of Dunkery Beacon. The touring pitches have 16A electric and facilities include toilets and showers, a laundry and well-stocked shop.
The Quiet Site, Cumbria
Ullswater CA11 0LS
Telephone: 07768 727016
Open: All Year
The Quiet Site sits among the fells that overlook the lake of Ullswater. There are many walks of varying length that start from the site and others just a short drive away.
One leads to Aira Force waterfall and offers great views of Ullswater, another affords views of Blencathra and over to the Pennines, with a third that ranges from open fells to riverside tracks and woodland trails. There are pubs along some of these routes and also historic buildings.
The site has walking maps available to download from its website or to collect from reception.
There is a choice of areas to stay on site. One field is situated on the lower slopes of Little Mell Fell. The higher up this field you pitch the better the view, but the further you are from the facilities. These include a shop, games room, shower rooms, and a dog walk. There’s also an olde-worlde bar with open log fire, housed in an old barn, which is not to be missed.
Trevalgan Touring Park, Cornwall
This site has a great location, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as being just two miles from St Ives town centre.
Trevalgan is surrounded by farmland with spectacular views and an abundance of wildlife. There is a network of local footpaths which join up to the South West Coast Path. A regular bus service also runs from the site if you need to rest your legs!
Facilities on site include showers, family shower rooms, disabled shower facilities, indoor dishwashing sinks, a laundry room, shop and games room. There’s a range of hardstanding and grass pitches, serviced pitches and fully serviced pitches.
Long Meadow Campsite, Hampshire
The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst SO42 7QH
Telephone: 01590 622489
Open: 27 March – 31 October
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 that roam freely.
The site has an open, peaceful environment with 100 spacious pitches set in 19 acres of grassland and a choice of 10 electric hook-up grass pitches, or 18 hardstanding pitches with electric. Modern buildings house toilets and showers, along with 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 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 Lyndhurst and the sandy beaches of the Solent.
Harford Bridge Holiday Park, Devon
This award-winning site is set within the Dartmoor National Park alongside the River Tavy, with some pitches available along the riverside. There is a choice of grass or hardstanding pitches, with electric if needed; 17 pitches are hardstanding and most of these are fully serviced.
Site facilities include toilets and showers, three wet rooms, a shop, laundry, dog exercise area and dog wash. For recreation there is a tennis court, WiFi, indoor table tennis and table football.
There is also a cycle hub area with storage, route info and a cycle hire pick-up point. It is on the Dartmoor Way cycle route, so is an excellent choice for cyclists and walkers.
The historic market town of Tavistock is 2.5 miles away offering a choice of shops and places to eat, along with a unique indoor Pannier Market with a variety of craft stalls. A unique feature of the area is Brent Tor – a rocky outcrop with St Michael’s Church atop it, making a distinctive silhouette on the skyline.
Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park, Highland
This site has a stunning location in the midst of spectacular Highland scenery. Pitches here have views to Ben Nevis and the surrounding mountains. Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park lies at the foot of Ben Nevis and is part of a Highland estate extending to over 1,000 acres. There is a choice of walks on your doorstep and the path up Ben Nevis is just a short walk away.
If you want to get out and about there’s the opportunity to go on a guided activity with the Highland Mountain Company, with walks such as a Ben Nevis ascent, a trip to Steall Waterfall or an adventure walk that also includes a spot of rock scrambling and abseiling.
Glen Nevis has four fields with electric or fully serviced pitches. Facilities include toilets, showers, a shop and dog walking areas. Nearby is a restaurant and bar.
Bellingham Camping & Caravanning Club Site, Northumberland
Brown Rigg, Bellingham NE48 2JY
Telephone: 01434 220175
Open: 1 March – 5 January
Bellingham is located in the Northumberland National Park and Northumberland International Dark Sky Park – so a great spot for stargazing as well as walking.
Northumberland is home to the majority of the remaining sections of the 73 miles of Hadrian’s Wall, and five excavated forts including Houseteads and Vindolanda. From this site, the wall, museums and visitor centres are easily accessed, including by bus.
The Pennine Way also passes the site and only a short walk away is the village of Bellingham where you can continue on to Hareshaw Linn, a wonderful 30ft waterfall.
The Bellingham Club site has 70 pitches including hardstandings with electric hook-up, plus modern facilities including a shop, dog walk and drying room.
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