If you’re always on the look-out for a new place to pitch your tent, how about trying one of these pop-up campsites open during the school holidays only? Picked out by Amy Woodland from coolcamping.com, each of these campsites opens for less than a month each year, ensuring a brief but brilliant camping existence…
Flowers aren’t the only things that pop up and lend a bit of colour to the countryside in summer. The good weather and school holidays also see temporary, tent-only campsites spring to life across the country. Whether you fancy camping in the New Forest National Park, among the remote dunes of a Northumberland beach or in a rural area of outstanding natural beauty, these 28-day-long campsites are a great way to visit places that are usually out of bounds. The experts at coolcamping.com have been keeping an eye out for new arrivals and have put together this little collection of some of the best sites popping up this year…
For most of the year Pete’s Field belongs to Cole Farm and the Clayson family who have been grazing their cows in this corner of Kent for generations. But in August 2018 they are inviting campers and glampers to share the views they enjoy across the beautiful Kent Downs. It’s a gently sloping six-acre field with plenty of space for 20 tents and some blissfully basic facilities. Showering and washing-up are done in the open air with flushing loos in a converted container. Three pre-pitched bell tents are available to hire on site too. Situated in the pint-sized village of Paddlesworth, it’s in the midst of countryside but just four miles from the beach at Folkestone and not far from historic Canterbury either.
If you like camping on a manicured pitch with a clubhouse nearby, Hemscott Hill Farm might not be your cup of tea. If, on the other hand, you relish the idea of an off-grid getaway, with a wild feel and a touch of adventure, you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere better. This working farm offers 40 tent pitches, six bell tents and a shepherd’s hut among the dunes of beautiful Druridge Bay. Facilities are basic but what does it matter when a seven-mile stretch of sand is just steps away? Beachcombing, walking, cycling and joining the farm’s alpacas for a stroll are just some of the wholesome ways to spend your time here and, when dusk falls, you can enjoy some of the best stargazing in the country too.
Although a lucky few campervans or motorhomes are welcome at Mousehole Camping throughout the year, tent campers have to wait for the football season to finish. That’s because this well-situated campsite pops up within the grounds of Mousehole’s football club. It’s a genius idea that means the clubhouse kitchen, changing rooms, toilets and even bar are given new purpose in the off season when they bustle with happy campers. The temporary site has 25 pitches for tents and is located in the tiny Cornish village of St Pauls which offers a pub and church a short stroll away. Walk a little further and you’ll find quaint, harbourside Mousehole with its sandy beach, independent shops, eateries and art galleries.
There’s high demand for the pitches at Chase Camping as it pops up for just six weekends throughout the year. Thankfully for those who manage to get booked in, those weekends tend to be pretty special: three-day bank holidays and weekends which coincide with events within the neighbouring Cannock Chase Forest. There are pitches for up to 100 tents with 20 pre-pitched bell tents for glampers too – and campfires are allowed. As it is usually relatively undisturbed, this 32-acre farm site teems with wildlife including red and fallow deer, tawny owls, barn owls, buzzards and more. And with the Forestry Commission’s Birches Valley Visitor Centre just across the road, you won’t be short of things to do.
The gate is opened at Harry’s Field for summer camping and selected bank holiday weekends. Once you’ve arrived and unpacked the car you’re unlikely to need it again as you can stroll straight out from here to explore all that the New Forest has to offer. Situated in the heart of the national park, there’s a pub next door and footpaths in to open forest and heathland directly from the site. The hedgerows around Harry’s Field are full of birds and you won’t have to wander far to catch a glimpse of New Forest ponies and herds of deer. This quiet site has campfires allowed, is family-friendly and welcomes well-behaved dogs too.
Based on their leading guidebooks, the Cool Camping website now offers an online collection of the very best camping and glamping sites in the UK and Europe. Discover their full collection of pop-up campsites here.