So you’ve got a tent and all the gear, you’ve chosen an area to visit for your camping trip… now what? It’s time to book your campsite of course! And there are a number of key points to consider when looking for a campsite:
- Is the location suitable, ie can you walk to a town/village/nearest entertainment or are you happy to drive everywhere?
- What is the access like – will you need a 4×4 to get down a bumpy farm track, for example?
- If you are tenting, are the pitches flat. I’ve camped many a time on slightly sloping ground and it is pretty annoying when you all roll to one side of the tent in the night!
- What facilities does the site offer? If you are in a tent you will need a site that offers toilets/showers at the very least. If you are travelling with children, a play area is always nice to have.
- Do you need an electric hook-up? Whilst most tent campers don’t bother with electricity, if you are away for a few nights in summer you may want to plug in a travel fridge to keep a few bits cold.
- How much does it cost? Some sites with lots of facilities are a similar price to a cheap B&B… if you prefer a little more comfort, that might be a better option. As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the site, the less facilities it will offer, so think about what you want. There are some beautifully situated campsites with minimal facilities, but you have to decide which is most important to you?
- Who does the site mainly cater for? Does it allow big groups, dogs, children? Always check before you book… you don’t want to end up on a site full of rowdy twenty year olds if you are travelling with young children who will want to go to bed relatively early.
- Is it a members only site (some Camping & Caravanning Club and Caravan Club sites in the UK are only open to members) and is there a discount if you are a member? If you are planning on camping regularly it may be worth joining one of the above organisations as it is often much cheaper to use their sites if you are a member.
- Are there lots of rules and regulations at the site you have chosen? The fun has been removed from camping on some sites by a ridiculous amount of rules being imposed. Whilst some are necessary for the safety of everyone on site, some are unnecessary and can ruin a holiday if it’s not what you want (obviously if you want to stay on a site where you have to be quiet after 2030 and where fires are not allowed, then that is fine too!).
- Can you choose your plot? If you have no toilet facilities and small children you will not want to be at the opposite end of the site to the toilet block – particularly as most sites have little or very low lighting after dark (for obvious reasons)!
So those are some of the things to think about when you are booking a campsite!
I love camping and there are lots of fantastic campsites available… just make sure you chose the right one for you so you get the best from your camping trip!