Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

Beach Camping in the UK | 10 of Britain’s Best Coastal Campsites

Looking to go beach camping in the UK? Here's some places to pitch your tent

When it comes to the various forms of camping, beach camping in the UK is hard to beat. The secluded coves, the spectacular clifftops, the fresh sea breezes, and the sandy stretches as far as the eye can see; it doesn’t really get much more idyllic. And, of course, what with Britain being an island the options for beach camping close to home are almost endless. So from the top of Scotland to the southernmost point of England, here’s 10 of the UK’s best beachside campsites

1) Glenbrittle Campsite – Isle of Skye

Pictured: Glenbrittle Campsite on the Isle of Skye

In a country that’s home to as much beautiful scenery as Scotland, it says a lot that the Isle of Skye is widely considered by many to be the most beautiful place north of the border. A genuine feast for the eyes this place, even if the weather isn’t always up to much.

Wild camping in Scotland is of course something that everyone should try at least once, especially as Scotland (alongside Dartmoor) is one of only two places in the UK it’s legal to wild camp. But, of course, this approach doesn’t sit right with everyone and that’s why we’re telling Isle of Skye visitors looking for a coastal campsite to check out Glenbrittle Campsite.

Sitting at the base of Skye’s epic Black Cuillin mountains, Glenbrittle is a seriously rugged place to spend the night. Chuck a stone in the right direction and you’ll hit Loch Brittle Beach. Get your walking boots on and head in the opposite direction, and you’ll hit some fun / gnarly terrain that’s got something for everyone – whether you’re a climber, a hiker, or a scrambler.

The campsite, home to a nice little cafe that’s ideal for caffeine addicts, is open from the start of April to the end of September. Prices per night are £10 for adults, £7 for children (free for under fives), and £6 for an electric hook-up. Oh and, of course, if you love the tasty of whisky be sure to stroll on over to the famous Talisker distillery for a wee taste test – making sure, if you can help it, not to fall asleep in a random hedge on the roughly 10 mile walk back to your tent.

2) Sango Sands Oasis – Durness, Sutherland

Pictured: One of Scotland’s most northerly beaches

A very different part of Scotland from the Isle of Skye and one that’s definitely not going to short change you when it comes to soul-warming views, Sango Sands Oasis is a campsite situated on one of Britain’s most northerly points. It’s location, high up on the map, means that in summer the sun doesn’t go down here until 11pm and, what’s more, you’re ideally placed to not only watch the sun rise over the Atlantic but also set.

With the clifftop camping spot providing access to two sandy beaches, and Cape Wrath (Britain’s most north-westerly point) just a few miles way, this could be the ideal place to pitstop if you’re cycling or road tripping round the North Coast 500 (also known as ‘Scotland’s Route 66’).

The site is open from April to October and charges £9 a night for adults (£6 for kids).

3) Aberafon – Llyn Peninsula, Wales

Pictured: The view from Aberafon

From bonnie Scotland to north-westerly Wales then with Aberafon standing out as one of the rugby loving country’s very best campsites – especially if surfing, sailing and / or sea fishing is your bag. Nestled in an extremely scenic armpit between mountain and sea, Aberafon campsite is situated adjacent to a private pebble beach and, if you so choose, you can pitch your tent up against its low cliffs.

Moving away from the campsite, there’s wakeboarding and paragliding opportunities nearby with Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales) a mere 30 minutes away by car if you fancy the challenge of hiking up it. The site’s open from April right on through to the end of September, with prices per night of £8.75 for adults and £4.25 for children aged 3 – 15.

4) Whitesands Camping – St Davids, Wales

Pictured: Whitesands Bay in Pembrokeshire

Winner of BBC Countryfile’s ‘Beach of the Year 2014/2015’ no less, if you’re a lover of great beaches then Whitesands in Pembrokeshire is most definitely where it’s at. Situated on the most westerly tip of South Wales, surfers come from all over the country (as well as further afield) to experience this beach’s superb surf ‘breaks’ and EEC Blue Flag certified waters.

Located right next to the beach, Whitesands Camping is ideally positioned for dawn raider surfers looking to hit the swell at daybreak. There’s no pre-booking to speak of here, just rock up on the day, choose your spot, and find “Famous” Pete who manages the site (usually found in the Car Park Ticket Office or Tan-y-Bryn, the white house opposite the tent site).

The main site is normally open from Easter right on through to the end of October, although in 2019 the site will actually be closing at the end of September to allow for a new toilet and shower block to be built in time for the 2020 season. Prices, which are done on a per nightly basis, are £8 for adults, £3 for children, £4 for electric hookup, and £2 for dogs.

5) Ocean Pitch Campsite – Croyde, Devon

Pictured: Surfer at the Ocean Pitch Campsite in Croyde

Widely considered England’s surfing capital, Croyde Bay has a special place in UK surfers’ hearts. With acres of sand, pounding surf that refuses to quit, and relatively more favourable weather than you’re likely to get elsewhere on this island, it’s about as close to Australia’s Gold Coast as you’re likely to get without spending a day of your life on a plane beforehand.

The Ocean Pitch Campsite is right next to Croyde Beach and has all the facilities to keep even the fussiest surfers / campers smiling. Think hot showers, BBQ bricks, super clean toilets, free WiFi internet access, mobile phone / tablet battery charging, surf hire and much, much, more. If you’re feeling flash, there’s also glamping pods on-site.

The site’s open from middle of April to end of September with the standard price set at £15 per person per night. The luxury glamping pods meanwhile are available at £95 per night.

6) Wild Luxury Campsites – Norfolk

Pictured: Wild Luxury’s bell tents, perfect for glampers

Despite what you might have heard, there’s actually more to Norfolk than Alan Partridge and Delia “Let’s be having you” Smith. The East Anglian coast, for example, is a treasure trove of properly nice beaches and coastal camping / glamping options.

Take Wild Luxury as a glamping case in point. While definitely not at the cheaper end of the pricing spectrum, have a look at their website and you’ll see what we mean, the company’s three Norfolk campsites (The Hideaway, Thornham Bay, and Wild Camp) are all located within a few miles of each other on the North Norfolk coast and are, quite frankly, about as close to five star luxury as you can get with outdoor accommodation. Groups of family and / or friends looking to treat themselves to something special need look no further.

7) Bryher Campsite – Isle of Scilly

Pictured: Bryher Campsite, Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly, situated off the coast of Cornwall, have the highest average temperatures of anywhere in Britain. Not a bad place then for a little spot of outdoor sleeping down by the beach. The island of Bryher, with its population of 84, is one of the smaller inhabited islands that make up the Scilly archipelago. It’s home to the much-loved Bryher Campsite.

Nestled between two hills, just a moment’s walk from a picture-perfect white sand beach, Bryher Campsite is the dictionary definition of idyllic beach camping. Guests here, when they’re not busy exploring every nook and cranny of the tiny island, are free to soak up the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean to the west or gaze across the scenic Tresco Channel towards Cromwell’s Castle in the east. Pack your camera.

Visitors to the Bryher site are free to either bring their own tents, or rent a bell tent instead. Standard camping, where you bring your own tent, is priced at £11 per person per night with children under four camping for free. The bell tents are priced between £64 and £51 per night, depending on how many people are staying in them. The site also offers a luggage transfer service to help you get your kit to and from the quay, which is about 10 – 15 minutes walk away (£4).

8) Wold Farm Caravan And Camping Site – Yorkshire

Pictured: Flamborough Head

Yorkshire might not offer visitors quite as many feel good summer beach vibes as places like Cornwall and Devon, but what it lacks in sunny disposition it makes up for with its epic coast and rugged beauty.

Wold Farm Caravan and Camping Site is a peaceful coastal spot, situated on the edge of Flamborough village near Bridlington. Offering stunning views out to sea, walkers who come here will relish the chance to walk along the headland – taking in a number of the county’s  coastal beaches and bays as they do so. Wildlife lovers, be sure to bring binoculars with you as this neck of the woods offers ample opportunity to see puffins flapping about.

9) Trevedra Farm Caravan & Camping Site – Penzance, Cornwall

Pictured: The cliffs around Land’s End

Located just one mile from Land’s End, Trevedra Farm Caravan and Camping Site is likely to be familiar with a number of people who’ve taken on the famous John o’ Groats to Land’s End challenge – especially as the site was established way back in the 1940s (by the Nicholas family who’ve owned and run the farm for four generations).

Situated on a genuinely epic clifftop location, the campsite offers incredible views, first-class facilities, and easy access to England’s westerly tip. Prices during off-peak season are £7.25 per adult per night, £8.25 during peak season. Children under 15 are priced between £4 and £4.50, depending on the time of year, while children under four camp for free.

10) Hemscott Hill Farm – Northumberland

Pictured: Low Hauxley and Coquet Island

Campers looking to shake things up on their next outdoor excursion might want to consider doing some rough and ready, no frills, dune camping in Northumberland.

Hemscott Hill Farm, which is open for tent-sleepers Monday to Thursday throughout the summer, doesn’t offer much in the way of facilities – just compost loos, extremely basic cold water washing up facilities, and showers that are also cold. While this might sound a bit too much like hard work for your average diva, it’s worth pointing out that what this campsite lacks in luxury it more than makes up for with its funky dunes and awesome, right up it against, location on the North Sea.

The Northumberland Coast, deemed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is just north of the campsite and, what’s more, Hemscott Hill Farm is home to actual, real-life, alpacas.

What more could you possibly want?

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