The Alternative Holiday Guide (For Those On A Budget)

Published: 25/06/2019

We’ve all been there - summer is approaching, Instagram is saturated with glossy pictures of exotic beachside locations and you’re dreaming about a good long two weeks off work. There’s just one issue - money is tight. Flights, fancy hotels for the whole family and endless meals out, not to mention the inevitable holiday shopping, is just not on this year’s agenda if you want to pay rent or your mortgage on time too. What to do?

Just because money’s tight, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a summer holiday this year. That’s why camping was invented! These days, camping is not what it used to be. From modern eco camping villages to glamping, there really is a campsite and style to suit all types of holidayers nowadays and you can find them all right here in the UK, so you don’t even need to pay for flights! So where should you go? Here are some of the best camping sites the country has to offer…

Traditional camping sites:

Troytown Farm, Isles of Scilly

If total Atlantic isolation is your thing, you’re going to adore this farm, where you can pitch literally on the water’s edge. In fact, Troytown is the UK’s most south-westerly campsite. Explore Periglis Beach (packed with fascinating shells to collect), intriguing rock formations, the on-site dairy farm (ice cream!) and extensive walking trails. A pitch for two starts at just £22. There are 40 pitches in total.

Scaldbeck Cottage, Norfolk 

This tiny camping field (permitting just 12 people!)  is located just beyond a traditional Norfolk cottage and garden. Ideal for walkers and birdwatchers, the site is just five minutes away from the National Trust-owned Morston Quay, a marshy area of land where you spot local wildlife, go seal-spotting and watch the boats bob in and out at high tide. Pitch from £12 for two.

Elm Farm, Cornwall 

If you love bike riding, Elm Farm is for you. Located beside Cornwall’s picturesque Mineral Tramways coast-to-coast cycle trail, this family-run farm has two meadows for tents and campervans. There are just 20 pitches, so the site doesn’t get crowded and there are lots of beautiful beaches, as well as quarries and copper mines of Cornwall’s industrial past, to explore. Two people can pitch from just £16.

Ravenglass Campsite, Lake District 

There are few places more beautiful on this earth than the Lake District and Ravenglass is situated on the lesser known western side, among mountain-stream-fed rivers, gorgeous countryside and quaint fishing ports. The campsite itself has extremely comprehensive facilities and pitches 27. Two can pitch for around £20.

Lickisto Blackhouse, Isle of Harris

If foraging is your thing, you’re going to be obsessed with this relaxing campsite above a sea loch on the Outer Hebridean Isle of Harris. Go fishing (and cook your own catch), pick fruit and herbs from a communal polytunnel, taste the owner’s homemade bread and enjoy a simpler way of living on this truly outstanding slice of natural paradise. Pitch for two from £24.

Glamping (where camping meets glamour):

Brook House Woods, Herefordshire  

What makes this site truly unique is that children aren’t allowed, creating a truly relaxing and adult-oriented camping (or should we say glamping?)  experience. The site has gorgeous views across the Frome Valley and Malvern Hills and features some of the coolest accommodation (think: luxury treehouses and hanging tents) you’ll ever see, many complete with wood burners and glass roofs for stargazing. Prices start at £180 for two nights. It’s a little pricier but worth it!

Eco Retreats, Powys 

You. A (super glamorous) tipi. 40 acres of meadows and woodland. And a whole lot of peace and quiet. If this sounds like your cup of tea, this site hidden in the Dyfi Forest at the southern end of Snowdonia is for you. Pricing starts at £265 for a two-night mid-week stay or £319 for a two-night weekend stay for 2 adults. Children are free.

Ceridwen Centre, Carmarthenshire (Wales)

Nestled in the breathtaking Welsh countryside, this organic farm offers various glamping options including Middle Eastern-inspired yurts, a 1890s gypsy caravan, and a 1964 Leyland Titan double-decker bus, as well as traditional camping. Prices start at £13 per night.

Need some extra cash ahead of your summer holiday?

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Content correct at time of publication.
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