This place is called Hondo Hondo in the village because of the many hornbills which fly around the camp. The ensuite tents have great stone floor bathrooms and comfortable double beds so it feels like you are at home until you look out of the window or up from the bathroom - they are open air! When I had a shower there were monkeys in the trees watching me I am sure. The food is good and their bar has a good view up into the forest where we went walking in the morning. The forest is good for walking but very hot so make sure to take lots of water. A good place, very comfortable, and hidden from the rest of Tanzania
+255 (0) 784 479 427
It's a wonderful little campsite right on the river. Only a five minute walk to the town - BBQs allowed, as are pets, children and smokers. The shower facilities here are better than any others I've ever been to in my life. I'd go as far to say that the showers themselves are better than some in hotels. The owners are British and cook amazing food. The drinks at the bar are ridiculously over-priced but okay for a few nights. They also cook pizza in an outdoor stone oven.
It's also a few miles away from a fantastic volcanic region of France where you can swim in crystal-blue crater lakes.
Taking it back to nature in the most peaceful and rawest forms, we hired bikes and started a six day cycle and bivvy between the two great lakes Vänern and Vättern, and along the Göta Canal. With the Swedish camping laws allowing you to camp anywhere, the Lantmäteriet (O.S. map) becomes your ‘Best of BnBs’ guide. Look out for the patches of land marked ‘Open Land’ next to the lakes (avoiding Sankmark [Marsh]!), and surrounded by forests and you’ve found Eden. Your home for the night looks out onto lakes feeling as endless as the sea, you’ll fall asleep to the gentle slosh-slosh of the waves with no fear of rising tides, and the sun slowly setting, and in the morning you can take a wonderful swim in your own private ocean. Don’t expect anyone to bring you a cocktail at the side of the pool, this holiday is not for the faint-hearted, but for those looking for the true beauty of Scandinavia, this is the way to find it. And the best time of year is as close to June 21st as you can get, finding your camp spot at 10pm, cooking at 11pm, and eating as the sun (almost) sets at midnight. Bliss.
This little place on the lake shore - opposite the huge Overlanders place - is quiet and pretty with room for camping as well as the huts. Each of these is perfectly comfortable, even though the shower is more like standing under a dripping tap! But it's the staff that make this place - young, friendly and with Ronald cooking delicious food. Try the crayfish curry. The lake is stunning, especially from the top of the hill, the 29 islands seeming to float on its surface.
P.O Box 242,, Kabale, Uganda
Google map: bit.ly/nktzRQ
La Pedrera is one of Uruguay's most fun and friendly beach towns, and just fifteen minutes walk west along the beach is Pueblo Barrancas, a fantastically relaxed beach camp with its own stretch of wild and golden shore. We only meant to stop for a drink at the beach bar but couldn't resist the private yurts hidden in the woods behind the dunes and ended up staying for three days of swimming, snoozing, walking, book-reading and camping (in style and comfort).
Ruta 10 - Km 227,5 San Sebastián de la Pedrera, Uruguay
+598 447 9223
Buses stop at La Pedrera and you can walk down the beach from there, or if you're driving or in a taxi Pueblo Barrancas is signposted off the coast road (Route 10) a couple of miles west of La Pedrera.
It's a little deceptive, as there are no yachts and no club. There is however a lovely big shaded grassy area to swing a hammock or pitch a tent (as we did). There are also showers and toilets - bring a torch though. The great thing about the yacht club is it's probably the cheapest place in town to stay. The caretaker will charge a couple of dollars and he even looked after our bags. The beach and restaurants are just a short stroll. For the budget conscious this place can't be beaten. It's the perfect base from which to chill out or to return to after the rigors of a few days on the trails in Corcovado NP.
Corner of Aeropuerto Este and Parrot Acces. From the Boat Pier turn left walk 100m, the junction is in front of you, Yacht Club marked by a small house.
+506 2735 5051
Google map: bit.ly/pp7l6R
Just off the coast of the new European 'capital of culture' of Turku in south-west Finland, the island of Ruissalo is not to be missed if you are visiting that part of the country. A small but lush, green island in the Gulf of Finland, one of its main attractions is the spacious campsite at Saaronniemi, the farthest end of the island.
However, if you're just coming to the island for a day trip, there's lots more to do! The island has fantastic scenery, from beautiful plant life to the elegant Villa Saaro. This large late-19th century house is home to a quaint little cafe, perfect for snacks such as traditional pulla pastries and Finnish fish dishes, close to the island's pebbly beach and mild waters which, although Finland is not known for its beaches, beats many of the tropical beaches I have visited.
Overall, I think Ruissalo Island is a great off-the-beaten-track destination for all the family. I thoroughly recommend it to you and, if you do go there, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Saaronniemi, 20100 Turku
+358 (0)2 262 5100
Google map: bit.ly/poIWQa
Cafe Villa Saaro
Tel: +358 (0)2 262 5102
Bus number 8 goes to Ruissalo from the central marketplace in Turku.
This is the 'remotest bunkhouse' on the west coast of Scotland situated in a beautiful bay at Ardintigh on the south shore of Loch Nevis with a fantastic view over the sea to the Cuillin mountains and across to the remote peninsula of Knoydart. It is only accessible by walking or by sea and our party arrived by various methods including walking, boat taxi and canoeing via Loch Morar (deepest loch on the UK mainland). It is a wonderful place for adventure or just chilling out. We spent a long weekend canoeing and walking and thinking about swimming! The accommodation is in small wooden bunkhouses scattered around the bay with plenty space for campers too. We cooked in the large bunkhouse by the beach (showers and toilet block under the kitchen and dining room) We went as a small party of 11 but the site sleeps up to 24 (plus extras camping). You can go as a group or as individual at £15 per night for the bunkbed (take your own sleeping bag).
The sunsets are wonderful and the last night we watched the sun go down not long before midnight after a beach barbecue. I almost forgot to mention the whale ...
It's a great little campsite close to a beach and about 20 minute cycle to the main village where great food was served all day from a variety of eateries.
You can hire a tippee to stay in and watch the beautiful sunsets from the beach just across the road.
The staff were super friendly (even if somewhat intrigued by my bad allo allo-esque accent) and you can't knock warm croissants from the small shop first thing in the morning.
This place and its surrounding areas were a joy to explore and felt very similar to the Isles of Scilly.
What turned out to be one of the most enjoyable trips we have made to Africa, arranged by Chris and Lynne at Go2Tanzania. I took over 5,000 images, Manyara Ranch was the highlight. We had a wonderful time thanks to the skill patience and understanding of our guide Njano. Followed by bliss on the beach at Fumba.
The inside of Alaska is pretty wild yet very easy to access thanks to good roads plus unlike most remote locations, it is also very safe compared to most wilderness areas with emergency services just a phone call away (we had to go to the doctor with a sick child). Renting an RV means you can travel into the back country without forgoing your creature comforts! Kids will love sleeping above the front seats on the bunks, and the separate bedroom with queen sized bed gives you privacy and comfort. Got more kids, no problem there are models that sleep as many as 10! We travelled with toddlers but it is suitable from newborn to teens.
We rented from Alaskan RV's in Ancorage, though there are multiple outlets. You can fly via Seattle in approx 15 hours from the UK (Seattle is well worth a two day stopover) or why not do as we did and take the state ferry from north of Seattle to Seward south of Ancourage - its takes eight days and only runs once a month but its something you'll never forget.
Google map: bit.ly/qIEag3
Different parts of Manhattan used to have tent cities of homeless people. But if you see tents in city parks this summer, it's because some New Yorkers won an online lottery with the Urban Park Rangers program. There are generally 30 spots open at a time in parks in all five boroughs. This year, I'm aiming for a night under the stars at Central Park. If "roughing it" proves difficult, I know I won't be too far from civilization. In fact, I could order Chinese food to my tent!
There are a few spots on the Spanish coast that remain undeveloped and the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Nijar just east of Almeria is one of them. An area of cliffs, arid hills, spectacular beaches and picturesque fishing villages, although not undiscovered this area has a wildness and a sense of space for those seeking a more elemental seaside holiday. Stay in San Jose if you want a small taste of nightlife, otherwise stay at Los Escullos, either at the hotel or the campsite and during the day take a walk to the centre of the extinct volcano and spend the evening lying on the warm rocks by the sea watching the stars.
Los Escullos, 04118 Almeria, Spain
+34 950 389 811
Google map: bit.ly/jFdyTB
Los Escullos, 04118 Los Escullos Nijar Almeria, Spain
Google map: bit.ly/iIp4Kp
+34 950 38 97 33
Tristram Campsite is situated in what must be the best cliff side location in Cornwall with direct access down on to the beach. The site is made up of three fields, all safely fenced off so it is secure and safe for your family and belongings.
Stumble Inn is a traveller's rest in Elmina in Ghana, with accommodation in rondavels, dormitories and a dedicated camping site. The camping site is right next to the beach: you can walk straight from your tent onto the beach, have an open air shower with water heated up by the sun, and grill your freshly bought fish from Elmina market on the camping BBQ. The fish market and Elmina castle (an old slave fort providing a grim reminder of the cruel history of the slave trade) are a 30 minute beach stroll away, if you walk in the opposite direction you can walk for hours on bounty-like beaches, now and then stumbling upon a local village. After returning from your beach strolls you can get wholesome fresh meals and a Ghanaian beer at the lodge's bar. A true African delight!
Mo Ko Surin National Park covers an area of around 140km2 located 55km from the Thai mainland. It contains the Surin Islands and surrounding waters – of the total area, 80% is sea. There is a brilliant campsite on one of the islands. Our tent (sheets etc provided) was pitched on the edge of a pretty small white-sand beach and provided great views – turquoise blue sea in the day and beautiful sunsets in the evening.
The co-op run restaurant by the campsite is a great place to chill out, meet people and enjoy locally caught/grown fish and veggies. You can go snorkelling off the beach and explore the baby shark-filled mangroves. Staying at the campsite also allows you to go out snorkelling from longtail boats during the day rather than the bigger boats the day trippers use.
Mu Ko Surin National Park is fantastic for snorkelling, with pristine reefs, mangroves and crystal clear waters. We saw sharks (small and large), sea turtles and loads of beautiful reef fish, coral and plants. The park is stunningly beautiful and so far has been well protected by the government by limiting the number of day trippers and campers.
Tiwi Beach lies on the coast of Kenya between chaotic, crushed Mombasa (less than 20km to the north) and the over-developed package tour destination Diani Beach (about 10km to the south), but it is a universe apart from either. It takes a few moments for your first glimpse of the beach to register: it’s hard to believe that the wide expanse of pure white sand lined with tall palm trees leaning gently out towards the Indian Ocean is real, and not a computer enhanced image. At Twiga Lodge, you can camp on the edge of the beach, beneath the shady branches of enormous tropical trees frequented by silvery-cheeked hornbills and thieving monkeys. It’s easy to spend hours lazily staring out to sea, with only the occasional distraction of a languid youth selling key-rings carved from coconut shells. At low tide, the water recedes as far as the eye can see, leaving a vast expanse of squelchy mud popping with the air bubbles of buried molluscs. At high tide the sea is calm and shallow, and families wallow in the water for hours, watching the creamy-sailed dhows on the horizon, or the progress of clutches of local women carrying enormous sacks of brightly coloured kikois across the soft sand. As the sun sets, you can head over to the lodge bar for a cold beer, where you might be approached by a fisherman on an ancient bicycle, the basket between the handle bars crammed with just-caught red snapper. Later, you can bake your fish on coals buried beneath the sand while you contemplate the star-crammed African night sky.
Why not stay in the good old UK, and visit a tranquil part of Welsh Wales!?
This lovely family run campsite is right on the edge of the cliff and boasts absolutely breathtaking panoramic views of the coast.
A stunning and empty sandy beach is only 200m away, and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park runs past the site entrance. Next door to the campsite there is a great farm shop selling organic produce and freshly baked croissants.
Truly the perfect spot, and from £8 a night – you can’t be robbed!
Hidden in the most beautiful part of Cornwall near St Mawes is a campsite with a difference. Really you don't want to tell anyone because it is magic. We have just spent half term in our campervan there. Wednesday night was fireside with poets, storytellers and songs. Many children got up and sang, told poems and jokes - even as young as three! To cap it all we had toasted marshmallows! Each morning the bell rings and out run the children to feed the animals, with owner Debbie. My children found soulmates and friends, climbed trees and hung out or just played swingball all with a sea view. You can't get better than that! In the summer artists and poets visit and run workshops. We are going back - it feels like home!
Mossyard in SW Scotland is a small, family run site by a sparkling clean bay with clear, warm water to swim in off two sandy beaches with a headland between. There's a small area of dunes that make for perfect sheltered sunbathing if the weather is breezy. When the water is out the area is great for exploring by children and dogs and there's even a little island to walk to and watch the superb sunsets looking out to the west. You can watch local fishermen land their catch and see animals in the fields as Mossyard is part of a working farm. It is surrounded by beautiful, rolling countryside perfect for walking or hiking. The Isle of Man out in the bay offers great sea views and the absence of light pollution gives amazing starlit nights. Mossyard deserves the label idyllic and you don't even need to get on a plane.
Mossyard, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas,
Dumfries and Galloway, DG7 2ET
+44 (0)1557 840226
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