Long summer weeks in the countryside with lots of walks and quality time spent together. This is the perfect way to build memories and have fun together as a family. In the UK, we have a big camping culture that goes back generations, so you likely have your own treasured memories from your childhood that you would like to pass on to your little ones.
Whilst camping has been a staple in our lives for many years, some things have changed over time. The equipment and facilities may have evolved and modernised, but this hasn't changed the camping experience. These changes have only enhanced the experience. There are still many wonderful campsites you can visit in most areas of England so you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your next camping holiday.
Camping is a lot of fun and hugely exciting for children of all ages, whether you choose to camp in a tent, book a caravan or take your touring caravan or motorhome. There's the excitement of sleeping in a brand new environment, the new places to go and see and of course, all of the fun activities you can do while on your holiday.
To make your camping holiday a huge success, it does take a little planning - as does any holiday with children. So, here are some tips and ideas to consider when planning your next holiday with your kids in England.
Choosing your accommodation
When it comes to your camping holiday with your children, your accommodation is one of the more important things to consider. After all, this is where you will be sleeping and living for a large part of your time. You are likely to be cooking at least some of your meals, and it will provide your base for rainy days or days when you don't want to head out on family outings.
Make sure you buy a tent or hire a big enough caravan for you and your family. You need enough space to sleep. So, consider how many beds or rooms you need. You can get some lovely family-sized tents with separate rooms. The same applies to your caravan or hired accommodation. Be prepared to get a little cosier than usual!
When considering the size and layout of your tent or caravan, you may want to consider both evening and daytime space. Rainy days can be a nightmare if you have nowhere to go. You can usually solve this by having an awning that can act as a place to hang out when you need it. Some campsites and caravan parks also have plenty of indoor clubs and bars that you can head to if you need a change of scenery but don't want to go too far from your base.
Choose family-friendly activities and days out
Another thing to consider when camping with kids is what you plan to do. Many campsites are perfect for kids with places to play and run to their heart's content. This is an opportunity for kids to experience a new kind of freedom. But, you are also likely to want to spend time as a family so make sure you take plenty of activities to do together. Pack a few board and card games - although we don't recommend Monopoly if you're looking for an early night! Don't forget to take some outdoor games too.
Consider taking a few quiet activities such as colouring books and any handheld video game consoles you have too. Sometimes you may need to calm the excitement a little so having plenty of activities to keep your children amused is a must.
When planning your camping getaway, you could also include a few family activities and days out. You can usually book some great outdoor hobbies which allow you and your children to try something new.
We are also spoilt for choice in England when it comes to fun places to go, such as local attractions and theme parks. You can do as much or as little as you like. Some attractions are even free! You can always check Visit Britain to find the correct local tourist board website for ideas on things to do in the area.
Choosing your campsite
The last thing we will be talking about is one of the most important things you need to think about when camping with kids - the campsite.
Campsites are peppered across the country. Wherever you are in the UK, you're never far from a campsite. But, not every campsite will be suitable for a holiday with children. Some campsites are aimed at adults only, and others are smaller and suitable for quiet, sedate holidays. There are many family-friendly campsites, ranging from more tranquil sites to campsites with full leisure facilities and clubs for children.
We have a great campsite finder which makes it easy to narrow down your location and the facilities you need. Pick your location and then choose the facilities you need, including kids-friendly campsites. Take a look here for the kid-friendly campsites in England.
Here are a few of the best family-friendly campsites in England. If these are not quite right or are not in the right location, don't worry, there are plenty more for you to pick from.
▲ Green Hill Farm Holiday Village, The New Forest, Wiltshire
The New Forest is a fantastic area to take your kids on holiday. There is so much to see and do. There are wild ponies, animals and a whole ancient culture of forest management to explore. This is the ideal place to take an active holiday exploring the forest, with Green Hill Farm as your base.
The beautiful park is set on a family-owned estate. It separates adults-only areas from family areas to ensure that everyone gets the holiday they need. There are options for fishing and lots of local pubs and restaurants for the adults. There is a playground and lots of space for the kids to run around and stay entertained.
Crealy Adventure Park is a family favourite that families in the South West of England have been visiting for years. The adventure park can provide hours of entertainment for the whole family, including petting zoos and thrill rides.
The caravan park is a newer feature, sitting next to the adventure park and owned by the same people. This well-appointed park includes all the facilities you would need for a great family camping holiday. It is well situated to explore the countryside and attractions that Devon has to offer.
▲ Malvern Hills Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, Worcestershire
Situated in the Heart of England and close to the beautiful Malvern Hills is Malvern Hills Caravan Club Site. This is a peaceful idyll of a caravan site where you and your family can rest and relax while making the most of the surrounding area.
There is a play area for the kids and plenty for the adults, with a bar on-site. This is a quieter site than some but is perfect if you are looking for a base to stay whilst you plan plenty of days out and family activities to enjoy.
You can head to Highlands End Holiday Park, near Bridport, for an enjoyable family holiday taking in the best of the Dorset heritage coastline. This is a park where you are within walking distance to the beach - perfect for family holidays exploring the seaside.
The park has plenty of options for accommodation, including tent pitches, touring and motorhome pitches and privately owned static caravans should you wish to treat your family! You can enjoy the bar and restaurant on-site and the swimming pool, play area and facilities.
Life on a campsite is tailored for children, so there’s never a dull moment from the instant you arrive at your pitch. They love the freedom, the space to run around and explore. And of course there’s plenty of opportunity for getting slightly grubby – and the chances of a bath are slim which is even better news for most under 12s.