Motorhome travel: 16 campsites for the stunning southwest
The southwest of the UK remains hugely popular with holidaymakers and it's easy to understand why. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset are blessed with breathtaking scenery, golden beaches, quaint villages - and lots to do. If you're planning to visit the region in your motorhome or campervan, here are 16 campsites to check out.
Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall
West Road, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 4NY
Open: 23 March-9 November
Located just minutes from popular Newquay, with its golden beaches and famed surf scene, Hendra Holiday Park has pleasant countryside views, surrounded by 85 acres of farmland.
It’s a large and spacious park with lots of facilities and attractions, making it a real favourite with families, but it also retains a quiet and tranquil atmosphere. Of course, it’s close enough to the coast to serve as a perfect site on which to stay for a seaside holiday.
Tourers will no doubt be impressed by the pitches at Hendra, which are allocated according to the size of the motorhome or vehicle - so you’ll get plenty of room. Super Pitches are available, too, and if you choose to book one of these you’ll have access to Freeview TV (providing you have a compatible TV).
If you want to really treat yourself, Hendra’s Grand Premium pitches provide lighting, fresh water, mains power, TV aerial points and waste water drainage, all as standard. There are 15 of these.
Facilities include the Oasis indoor fun pool complex, complete with water slides, river rapids pool and toddler area. There’s also a heated outdoor pool, evening entertainment, bowling, pitch & putt, arcades and nature trails. On a more practical note, there is a selection of bars and restaurants, as well as a supermarket, and top-quality shower blocks.
Burrowhayes Farm Caravan & Camping Site, Somerset
West Luccombe, Porlock, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8HT
Open: 15 March-2 November
With a view of Dunkery Beacon, this site is in the heart of the Exmoor National Park and is ideal as a base to explore the surrounding wooded valleys, streams, hills and coastal scenery. The touring pitches have 16A 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 for all levels 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 and walk to your heart’s content. The stream and woods provide a natural playground if you have children with you, too.
Porlock is one mile away offering pubs, a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants. Porlock Weir is delightful little harbour where sea fishing trips can be arranged.
Picture courtesy of VisitBritain, Adam Burton
Padstow Touring Park, Cornwall
Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8LE
Open: All year
Padstow Touring Park has views over countryside and is only one mile from the fishing harbour town it’s named after – access is easy via a public footpath into the historic town. It also has a luxury award-winning toilet block, with underfloor heating to keep you comfortable all year round.
The site’s facilities include a disabled and family wetroom, electric hook-ups and hardstanding pitches, a play area and a shop. The site is also dog-friendly. An added bonus is the heated coffee lounge where you can relax while planning days out.
You could visit a different beach each day of your holiday as there are seven bays for seven days – Trevone, Harlyn, Booby’s, Constantine, Mother Ivey’s, Treyarnon and Porthcothan. As well as exploring these beaches it is also easy to get to Wadebridge, Bodmin and Newquay.
Dartmoor View Touring Park, Devon
Whiddon Down, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2QL
Open: 1 March – 31 October
Situated between the cathedral city of Exeter and the pretty town of Okehampton, Dartmoor View offers easy access to the vast expanse of Dartmoor National Park, where walkers and cyclists can explore as much as they want.
The site is set in 20 acres of landscaped grounds with 27 hardstanding pitches with electric. Facilities include an outdoor pool, toilets and showers and an accessible shower and toilet. There’s a garage, shop and pub all within a mile.
As well as Dartmoor the historic town of Okehampton is on the doorstep. The National Trust’s Castle Drogo is also nearby. Overlooking the Teign Gorge there is a terraced garden with stunning views, a rhododendron garden, chapel, and winding paths leading from the castle down through the ancient gorge. Inside the castle are plenty of historical displays.
Durdle Door Holiday Park, Dorset
West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5PU
Open: 1 March-30 October
Think of Dorset and several things may spring to mind - one of the most iconic being the limestone rock arch of Durdle Door and the sweeping turquoise waters of Lulworth Cove.
For a campsite with great access to both of these beautiful attractions, it has to be Durdle Door Holiday Park. Part of the family-owned Lulworth Estate, the campsite backs straight onto the South West Coast Path. You can easily walk from here to the Jurassic Coast and explore the dramatic cliffs and secluded coves.
There’s a choice of pitch locations on site including sea view and country views. Facilities include electric and grey waste hook-up, play areas, toilets and showers, a laundry and WiFi. There’s also a shop and café bar.
Riverside Caravan Park, Devon
Leigham Manor Drive, Marsh Mills, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8LL
Open: All year
For a secluded site with easy access for motorhomers, try Riverside Caravan Park just off the A38 in Plymouth. Located in the Plym Valley, bordered by both a river and woodland, the site has pitches with electric hook-up, including some fully serviced ones. Facilities include an outdoor pool, a bar, restaurant and takeaway, a laundry, games room, play area and motorhome service point.
The Plym Valley is home to the Plym Peregrine Project where you can enjoy falcon watching annually from March onwards, and there is also Exmoor Zoo.
If sailing is more your thing then Plymouth Sound is the place to be.
Back on dry land there is plenty to do within the city, from watching boats in the harbour to browsing the shops. It’s no problem getting into the city, either, as the park and ride facility is a level 15-minute stroll from the site along the riverbank.
Picture courtesy of VisitBritain, Visit Devon Neville Stannikk
Carvynick Holiday Park, Cornwall
Summercourt, Newquay TR8 5AF
Open: All year
Ideal for large motorhomes, Carvynick is a purpose-designed resort with level pitches being up to 40-feet long. Many come with timber decking and are fully serviced. As well as toilets and showers there’s a bar and restaurant that offers fine dining.
Just 10 minutes’ drive from the site (or there is a bus stop half-a-mile away) is the bustling town of Newquay. This surfers’ paradise has vast beaches, plus an array of restaurants, cafés and bars. You can also explore seaside shops and the harbour. If you’re interested in nature then the Eden Project is just 15 miles away, showcasing many plants from a range of environments.
Meadow Lakes, Cornwall
Hewas Water, St Austell, Cornwall PL26 7JG
Open: 23 March-3 January
With 56 acres of beautiful meadows, woodlands and lakes, Meadow Lakes is an award-winning site in Cornwall, close to St Austell.
For those who love fishing and nature there are four lakes waiting to be explored, set at the bottom of the park in tranquil surroundings.
Pitches are large and spacious with electric if required and there is a choice of grass or paved hardstanding. Dogs are welcome and there is a dedicated dog walking area on site.
Facilities at Meadow Lakes include four shower blocks, with private bathrooms, indoor washing-up areas, a heated outdoor pool, a café overlooking the pool and two outdoor and indoor play areas.
There’s also a pets’ corner with miniature Shetland ponies, donkeys, goats, ducks and chickens. So, plenty to keep grandchildren happy.
Minnows Touring Park
Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7EN
Open: 4 March - 4 November
Minnows has all-weather pitches set in over five landscaped acres alongside the towpath of Grand Western Canal. The site is ideal for those (over age 14 only) who enjoy walking, cycling and canoeing.
The canal towpath is part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network and the Grand Western Canal Country Park and Nature Reserve. The towpath runs beside the canal for over 11 miles with various access points and a variety of circular walks are available, incorporating the towpath and local footpath network.
All pitches have electric and there are hardstandings and 14 fully serviced pitched. Bus and train services are within walking distance, cycle hire is available locally, while the village has a historic church and several pubs.
Back of Beyond Touring & Camping Park, Dorset
234a Ringwood Road, St Leonards, East Moors Lane, Dorset BH24 2SB
Open: 1 March-31 October
Back of Beyond provides an adults-only oasis within a 30 acres of woodland, heathland and lakes. The site is a haven for wildlife and located a short drive to beaches and the New Forest.
Pitches are all spacious and on firm grass, with 10A electric hook-up. The modern toilets and showers offer luxurious comforts, such as power showers. There’s also a warm water dog wash and a fishing lake stocked with carp, chubb and tench. Recreation facilities include a pitch and putt course and also a boules pitch – clubs and balls are provided.
Moors Valley Country Park and Hurn Forest are close by, with New Forest villages and Ringwood just a cycle ride or short drive away.
Major coastal resorts such as Bournemouth and Poole are within 30 minutes’ drive of the site.
Picture ©Warners Group Publications
Bath Chew Valley Caravan, Somerset
Ham Lane, Bishop Sutton, Bath & NE Somerset BS39 5TZ
Open: All year
Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park is set in a beautiful location just 10 miles from Bath, Bristol and Wells and all the attractions these three historical and cultural cities offer.
The site is a peaceful, adults-only 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. There is also a laundry. An acre of woodland is set aside as well as a dog walking area and 800 metres away is Chew Valley Lake.
Here there are walking, fly-fishing and birdwatching opportunities. You can also hire a car at reception for making the most of touring the area without needing to move the motorhome.
Lobb Fields Caravan & Camping Park, Devon
Saunton Road, Braunton, Devon EX33 1HG
29 March – 3 November
Perfect for outdoor adventurers, Lobb Fields overlooks Braunton Burrows sand dunes, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The dunes lead to Saunton Sands, a beach that welcomes dogs all year round. The South West Coast Path passes by the beach so you can enjoy longer walks, too. The site is also on the outskirts of Braunton village, where the Tarka Trail cycle path runs for 30 miles to Meeth using old railway lines. The village itself has a selection of shops and places to eat.
Lobb Fields has 180 pitches, 115 with electric and 12 on hardstanding. Facilities available include toilets, showers, laundry rooms, a play area, dog walk, surf hire and Hideaway Café for hot food and drinks.
For those who would like to take to the water, surf lessons are available at nearby Croyde Surf Academy.
Widemouth Fields Caravan & Camping Park, Cornwall
Park Farm, Poundstock, Bude, Cornwall EX23 0NA
Open: All year
Located just a mile from the golden sands of Widemouth Bay, and only five miles from Bude, this campsite has spacious hardstanding pitches that can cope with even the largest motorhomes. Most pitches have views over rolling countryside and all have electric hook-up. There are dog-friendly areas, too.
Facilities include toilets, showers, a laundry, play area and small bar. Guests of Widemouth Fields get free access to sister site, Bude Holiday Resort, with its outdoor pool and summer entertainment programme.
As well as having the seaside resort of Bude close by (there are plenty of car parks in Bude accessible to motorhomes), there’s also the English Heritage’s Tintagel Castle 30 minutes’ drive away. Steeped in Arthurian legend, there are outstanding coastal views from the dramatic castle ruins. There are also plenty of walks and the beach to be enjoyed here.
Tehidy Holiday Park, Cornwall
Harris Mill, Illogan, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 4JQ
Open: 5 April-2 November
A family-owned, award-winning site with less than 30 pitches, making for a haven of peace and tranquility midway between St Ives and St Agnes. There are 11 hardstanding pitches, with electric available, and the pitches are surrounded by wildlife areas, hedging and shrubs.
There are woodland walks direct from site, with the Tolskithy Valley having a network of picturesque footpaths tracing the course of the stream and meadows.
There are also footpaths starting in the village leading down through the woods to the local beach.
Cyclists can join the Minerals Tramway route to the coast at Portreath, just one mile from the site at Marys Well.
On the campsite itself, you’ll find a shop stocked with basic groceries and local produce, a play area, games room, showers, laundry, a disabled and family room and WiFi. No pets are allowed on this campsite.
Galmpton Touring Park, Devon
Greenway Road, Galmpton, Brixham, Devon TQ5 0EP
29 March-26 October
This site is ideal for exploring the English Riviera and features 122 pitches set over 10 acres overlooking the River Dart. There are grass and hardstanding pitches with electric, a shop and large shower block, with separate disabled bathroom, plus laundry and motorhome service point.
The site is within walking distance of a village shop and a local pub, and within a mile of two train stations and the park and ride to Brixham – a small fishing town (motorhomes can park in the Cayman Golf Course car park).
Attractions in the area include Paignton Zoo, the seaside town of Paignton and the larger coastal resort of Torquay.
Galmpton offers unique ways to get around the area including a steam train, and even ferry routes from Greenway Quay.
Newlands Holiday Park, Dorset
Charmouth, Dorset DT6 6RB
8 March-3 November
Nestling beside the World Heritage village of Charmouth, Newlands Holiday Park is also close to Lyme Regis, West Bay and the stunning Jurassic Coast. Set in 23 acres of landscaped grounds and surrounded by countryside, the site is only a 15-minute walk from the beach. There are many walks in the area including the National Trust’s Golden Cap, which is a hill and cliff situated on the Dorset coast.
Facilities include both indoor and outdoor pools, a games room, indoor and outdoor play areas, and activities and entertainment in peak season. There is also a restaurant on site where you can eat in or take away, and then the usual amenities such as toilets, showers, a laundry and shop.
With a handy bus stop at the site entrance you can easily explore. If you head for Lyme Regis you can go fossil hunting, or in the opposite direction to West Bay’s harbour where the TV drama Broadchurch was filmed.
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