From remote Scottish bays to wild camping in the moors, here’s nine of the best spots to spend the night under canvas
1. Sandwood Bay, Sutherland
Wild camping at Sandwood Bay| swan-scot via Creative Commons
This is about as remote as it gets. A four mile slog from the nearest road along a snaking footpath leads you to a beach straight out of a film set; golden sand, turquoise oceans and ragged sea stacks. Wild camping is legal in Scotland, so pitch up and fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves, though do follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code .
2. Troytown, Isles of Scilly
Enjoy firey sunsets like this on the island of St Agnes |Fotolia.com
Situated on St Agnes, the southernmost populated island in the UK, Troytown campsite offers views across the isle of Annet, Bishop Rock lighthouse and beyond. Poised on the west coast of the island (population: 70), expect stunning sunsets across the Atlantic. And don’t forget to try the homemade ice cream – it’s a winner.
3. Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Explore Stowe’s landscaped gardens straight from your tent | Fotolia.com
Embers Camping Stowe is set at the entrance of Grade 1 Listed Stowe House, so there’s 250 acres of landscaped gardens and grand parkland to explore, plus a lake where you can try Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding. The campsite itself boasts fire pits at every pitch, along with tent hire and warm showers.
4. Rhoslefain, Gwynedd
Hills, farmland and sea all in one campsite |Nick Sarebi via Creative Commons
It’s tough to choose which direction to pitch your tent here. Behind the campsite at Cae Du Farm lies the enchanting foothills of Snowdonia and in front the vast expanse of the Irish Sea. Shrewsbury is easily accessed via train (Tonfanau station is a mile’s walk away) or explore the tranquil trails that surround this rustic site.
The Langdale Pikes, Lake District, England, from Copt Howe
A National Trust campsite set at foot of the lofty Langdale Pikes, this is perfectly situated for exploring some of the most photographed scenery in the Lake District. There’s an orienteering course and bouldering wall on-site, along with three traditional pubs within walking distance.
6. Applecross, Scotland
Applecross peninsula in all its untouched glory | Fotolia.com
The isolated peninsula of Applecross was only accessible by boat until the early 20th century, but to this day the treacherous Bealach na Ba pass keeps the hoards (or at the very least, the caravans) away. Applecross Campsite offers views over the mystic Inner Sound, and is the perfect springboard for hiking, kayaking and gorge walking.
7. Dartmoor, Devon
Camping in a moonlit Dartmoor | Fotolia.com
While wild camping is illegal in most of England, Dartmoor National Park allows it in certain common areas (provided it’s just for a night or two in a lightweight tent). So hike to a safe, secluded spot, pitch up and enjoy the rugged remoteness of the moor. Read about where you can and can’t camp here.
8. Whitesands Bay, Wales
Pitch up next to one of Britain’s best surfing beaches | Fotolia.com
Whitesands Bay is one of the most photographed in the UK, with a wide sandy beach offering up some of the best surfing in the country. At the northern end of the beach lies Whitesands Camping, a no frills campsite with views over the bay and beyond.
9. Burnham Market, Norfolk
Wild camp close to Holkham Hall and its much-filmed beach | Fotolia.com
A wild camping experience hidden away on the North Norfolk Coast. Norfolk Brickyard is so secretive that they don’t even publish the location on the website (you have to call for reservations and directions), and the shower consists of a bucket. It’s set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the North Sea, with secluded pitches and wildlife aplenty.