Every week a reader gets a chance to put a travel question to the Been there community. Check out how this worksRead more on camping for the under-18s here
This week's question:
My partner and I are taking our kids (aged 11 and 8) camping. Can anyone recommend somewhere in the United Kingdom or nearby, such as France, where we can convince our youngsters that they are on holiday despite not having access to Sky TV? We'd like to be able to get there within a day and somewhere a bit unique would be great.
If I had to recommend one camp site that was unique it would be atClachtoll Beach
in Sutherland, Scotland. A truly amazing place and one of
geological importance. You drive through the stunning scenery of the North
Highlands and all of a sudden the hills open up and you find a secluded
beach. The beach itself is probably the most beautiful in the UK and the
children there spend the days in wetsuits body surfing.
A climb up the hill will take you to the remains of a 2000 year old fort which is easily accessible for exploring. In August last year the sun shone the whole time whilst the rest of country suffered downpours and we came back tanned and relaxed.
There is no tacky club there and at night it is very peaceful, although it can be windy camped by the coast so a good tent is recommended. You may even be lucky enough like we were last year to have dolphins come and visit in the bay.Lee Selwood
Simple and perfect answer: go to WOMAD
at Charlton Park end of July.Keith Turner
I'd recommend St Ives, Cornwall. The Ayr Holiday Park
camp site has fantastic facilities, and the camping area for tents has the best view overlooking St Ives itself and the surfers' beach.
Then there's the town itself with three beautiful beaches to choose from and easily within walking distance. If you do think it too far the local taxis are not at all expensive and a better alternative to attempting to negotiate the wonderfully narrow streets by yourself.
On top of that there are some really good local attractions close by such as the Tate St Ives
gallery, local tin mines and great coastal path walks. Some great seafood restaurants or simple bar meals should ensure a satisfactory evening out. Enjoy!Ian McKenzie
Campsites have transformed out of all recognition in recent years and Britain is blessed with some of the finest sites in the world. The Westcountry has some absolute crackers but if you want to get off the beaten track it's important that you do your homework. Camping, caravanning and static holidays are now so popular that many sites are owned by big corporates and it sounds like you want to avoid that scene.
Have a look at both the major caravan club websites here
- it's worth the membership fee if you're looking to get on one of their more intimate members-only sites.
Some of our favourite sites in the Westcountry include Mother Ivey's Bay
in Padstow, Trewethett Farm
in Tintagel and Damage Barton
in Woolacombe. These are all coastal sites with direct access to safe, sandy beaches and outstanding views out over the sea.
If France appeals, we can recommend these two sites in Southern Brittany: Camping Le Raguenez Plage
in Nevez, and Camping De La Pointe St Gilles
in Benodet. Again, they're both right by the sea, and while the first is relatively quiet and isolated, Bendodet is a 15-minute walk away from some smart bars and restaurants overlooking a pretty little estuary. It’s a bit like Dartmouth or Salcombe, except you can park for free on the seafront and get into most of the restaurants and cafes without booking three months in advance!
One last word of advice - if this sounds attractive, book now! Advance bookings on many sites are up 25% this year, so if you leave it much longer you may be disappointed.Mark Sutcliffe
in north west Wales is an amazing place to go camping. A vast
beach, sand dunes to explore, and the backdrop of the castle clinging
to the cliffs with the mountains of Snowdonia behind. Loads of things
to do: idyllic walks, picnic places, the mountain railway, cosy little
tea shops - and a short drive away from places like the GreenWood
friendly theme park and Electric Mountain
, an underground power
station. When the sun comes out the beach is just gorgeous, a real sun
For camping I would recommend Southwold
- mentioned by the Guardian two years ago
. There are no fast food chains, arcades or a cinema. There is however a great pier, lovely pubs to eat in and some great views from the small cliff upon which a working lighthouse is based. Being in Southwold is like stepping back into the late Victorian ages - the toy shop is old fashioned and specialises in things like kites and crab kits, our favourite when we were young! We would often pick up some bacon from the butchers, walk back to the harbour and get the old fashioned rowing boat passenger ferry across the river to Walberswick. Just before the sandy beach there's a small creek and we'd fill a bucket up with water and catch crabs all day long. Lazy summer evenings would be spent walking around the area through the gorseland by the huge water tower, flying kites in the coastal breeze, visiting the RNLI boat station or playing card games. The camp site fills up almost every summer so book far in advance – and the fish and chippy just round the corner has to be one of the best in the UK.Alex Banks
It was 20-odd years ago but I remember several idyllic family camping holidays at Trencreek Farm Country Holiday Park
in Cornwall when I was a kid. There were lots of animals and adventure-type playgrounds, plus a lovely local beach that had a stream running down it - perfect for building dams. Staying on a farm was really exciting. The holiday park still exists and although it's not a working farm it has donkeys, goats, pigs and chickens so would be worth a look if your kids like animals.Anna Hall
My partner and I went to Covert Cabin
in the Dorgondone, south west France, last May and had the best holiday ever! This is really posh camping in a wood cabin with the board games, books, fishing rods, a boat, paints and the additional option of hiring bikes all supplied. The owners Bob and Di are great - there is the option to have dinner cooked for you in the cabin and they are nearby to help with anything – and the cabins are situated in the beautiful Perigord Vert Natural Park. I cannot recommend this highly enough!Rebecca WyldSee previous questions and answers