The UK may not be what you initially envision when thinking about a sunny escape – but with the gorgeous spring sun – the prospect of camping in the great outdoors is becoming increasingly tempting. Camping is a tried and tested favourite for all the family, low cost and mobile, it allows you to book just weeks or days in advance depending on where you are heading to.
Camping staycations have become steadily more popular throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are taking a tent and the family out on an extended road trip or taking the time to explore what your local area has to offer, there are hundreds of ways to make your camping staycation perfect for you.
With lockdown rules relaxing, self-contained accommodation is now available for the in-country holiday maker, and this has prompted an outpouring of campers heading off to areas like Cornwall, the Lake District and Kent.
Renting a spot at a campsite is low cost and often comes with extensive facilities included on site, from bathrooms and kitchen facilities to small shops so you can pick up any essentials on site. Camping can give you a wonderful change of pace, without a fixed itinerary you can spend your holiday exploring local towns and villages or hiking through local trails.
While buying a tent and other camping paraphernalia isn’t necessarily low cost, if friends or family have camping equipment sitting unused in the garage, borrowing anything you don’t have on hand is an excellent way to drive down costs even more. Much of the camping equipment offered in shops such as canvas chairs and transportable barbequing equipment may be unnecessary for your trip. Taking just a tent bedding and a few utensils will be enough if you don’t mind buying other necessities once you arrive.
Less planning required
When you remove both the cost of international travel in the plane or the ferry as well as extra costs for accommodation, camping staycations are a low cost option which requires minimum hassle to organise.
While many experienced campers or hikers with camping equipment are capable of setting up their own camp, less intrepid campers may choose glamping as an option. Staying in pre-set-up camping areas with beds in interesting environments such as a tepee or tree house, glamping offers the experience of camping for newcomers, albeit with more home comforts.
Glamping is a great compromise between traditional camping and a more traditional hotel room. The tent and often cooking facilities being provided on site means you can camp a lot lighter than you would otherwise, making it a good option if you are taking a train or bus to your destination.
Taking a camping staycation is all about getting in touch with nature and exploring the wilder parts of the UK. There are many fantastic activities you can access from your campsite.
- Kayaking or canoeing
A fantastic way to explore the coast line or rivers of the UK. Kayaking and canoeing trips can become the highlight of your camping trip. Fun for all the family, you can book a guided tour if you are an inexperienced kayaker or have young children you want to take with you and need an extra pair of eyes on them, as well as expert safety advice.
Fishing is a fantastic way to unwind, whether you book a boat trip to go mackerel fishing or purchase a permit to go freshwater fishing at a reservoir like Bewl for perch or trout, sitting out by the water has a soothing effect. Catching fish for your dinner can give you a real sense of achievement. If you aren’t happy with killing the fish and preparing it for food, you can always release your catch back into the water. Going hunting for mussels and other shellfish on the coast is another fantastic way to forage your own food.
The UK coastline has some wonderful areas for surfing and body boarding, if a bit cold for most of the year. If you are a new comer to the sport, then booking a space in a surfing class can be an excellent way to get started. If you have some experience, then renting some surf boards and a wetsuit is all the preparation you need!
- Paddle boarding
Paddle boarding has been a huge lockdown success, as a fun and socially distanced water sport it’s availability to all ages has guaranteed that many have given it a try. Paddle boarding is a great low intensity sport for people to try. The calm pace of paddle boarding allows you to slowdown and enjoy the scenery.
- Nature walks and bird watching
Bird watching is an enduring hobby for all ages, enthralling many nature enthusiasts. Looking up unusual plant species that can be spotted in the area and keeping an eye out for any interesting animals that may pass by is a fantastic way to spend a morning walk.
Many wild species like black berries and wild garlic can be used for cooking if you are interested in foraging. Be very careful if you are looking for edible plants, booking a foraging course with an expert is perhaps the best way to learn about the edible plants near where you are staying.
- Fossil hunting
There are hundreds of areas with a rich palaeontological record, with ammonites and other fossils found often along the beaches and quarry areas. Many areas which have previously had fossils are easy to find. Any fossils you find can often be identified with a quick search online.
Whether you are a budding palaeontologist or an interested novice, anyone can find interesting specimens.
- Card games
Easy to keep on you, tucked into a pocket, a pack of cards offers infinite options. From snap and poker to go fish, there are hundreds of potential games to play together and enjoy at multiple difficulties. If you are interested in other games, travel sized chess and checkers sets are available at bookshops and newsagents around the country.