5 LUXURY CAMPSITES FOR FAMILIES

09/07/18

5 LUXURY CAMPSITES FOR FAMILIES

Image source: Heatherton

A luxury safari tent... plenty of space for the kids to run wild in... proper beds...
Sound like your kind of camping? Sometimes spending a bit more on a camping holiday for the comfort and hassle-free bliss is worth it. You get closer to mother nature, enjoying traditional campfires and exploring the countryside, but without having to walk across fields in the middle of the night to find a bathroom.

Exton Park

Rutland

Exton Park

Image source: Lantern & Larks

  • Pets ✔ (£20 fee for cleaning)
  • Campfires ✔ (raised fire pits only)
  • Plugs ✘
  • Wifi ✘

Located within Exton Estate, these safari style tents sit in an old walled garden that has a (kid friendly) fenced-off lake, woodland and lots of mowed lawn for ball games.

Spread out within the garden for privacy the tents all have plenty of living space with full size beds, proper bathrooms (shower, toilet and sink) as well as a fully functioning kitchens. There are plenty of options for cooking meals - you can use the log stove, gas hobs or even BBQ over your personal fire pit. If you want to eat out, the Fox and Hound pub is within walking distance (25 mins) and there is also a local boutique bakery for fresh bread and cakes.

Five minutes' drive from the estate is Rutland Water. The nature reserve has over 25 miles of cycle and foot paths to explore – along with plenty of wildlife of flora. Slightly further afield but still only a short drive there is a falcon centre, bug museum, climbing centre, golf courses and much more to keep everyone busy.

Lockhouses Farm

East Lothian

Lockhouses Farm

Image source: Harvest Moon Holidays

  • Pets ✘
  • Campfires ✔ (raised fire pits/cooking pot)
  • Plugs ✘ (mobile phone charging only)
  • Wifi ✘

Approximately 30 miles east of Edinburgh, Lockhouses Farm sits at the mouth of Firth Estuary. The farm includes a variety of terrain (wetland, a loch, woods and open grassland) mainly growing arable crops and rearing a few specialised sheep breads.

Accommodation for your stay is a luxury Safari tent which sleeps up to seven people. The tent is divided up into two bedrooms, a dining room/kitchen and en-suite toilet/shower. It is all very comfortable and decorated in a farmhouse style, befitting a relaxed atmosphere. If you want to cook alfresco there are the raised fire pits for barbequing and making stews – although these do come at an additional cost.

On-site facilities include and honesty shop for all your essentials, farm shop and farm animal petting area. Just next door to the farm is a horse and pony trekking centre, ideal for equine lovers, young and old. Off the site you are a 10-minute walk from the dunes, beaches and Bass Rock. Ferry tours run from North Birwich up close to the rock and the thousands of bird that inhabit it and continues along the coast showcasing the other wildlife in the area.

The Dome Garden

Gloucestershire

The Dome Garden

Image source: The Dome Garden

  • Pets ✔
  • Campfires ✔
  • Plugs ✔
  • Wifi ✘

Think Mad Max meets glamping and you've got the award winning Dome Garden. A woodland retreat on the edge of The Forest of Dean, it's home to eleven Geodesic domes. Each of these is a different size and has a unique interior i.e the Skydome dome has a bed suspended towards the roof of the dome looking up to the Perspex roof and the stars.

The site builds on eco principles generating electricity from solar panels, sourcing fire wood from their own land and using regional ingredients at their informal café – which serves tasty BBQ meats and hearty breakfasts. A rocket stove and griddle pan are your tools for cooking during the week or you and the kids can take part in the twice weekly make your own pizza night.

Five minutes' walk from The Dome Gardens and you can rent a mountain bike and ride purpose built trails. These range from extreme downhills to sedate paths for kids. The forest has plenty of gravel paths to explore or you can head down to the river Wye and paddle along in a canoe. Other local activities include a Go Ape centre, butterfly zoo and local steam train.

Loch Ken

Kirkcudbrightshire

Loch Ken

Image source: Galloway Activity Centre

  • Pets ✔ (£20 fee for cleaning)
  • Campfires ✘ (the provided BBQ can be used as a raised fire)
  • Plugs ✔ (only USB for phone charging)
  • Wifi ✘ (available for free in the nearby activity centre cafe)

Overlooking Loch Ken, authentic Mongolian yurts provide a comfortable and unique home for your stay. They have six pull out beds, a log fire/cooker along with electric lights and traditional decor.

A few minutes from the yurts is Galloway Activity Centre. Its fully-qualified instructors provide a wide range of courses and supervised activities on and off the Loch. As well as the activity centre there is plenty to do at Galloway Forest Park. Known for excellent mountain bike trails, you can weave through the trees at speed or cruise along the flat trails. If you want to do a few more sedate activities then you can drop in at the park's visitor centre, walk over Bruce's Stone or go to the wild -watch hide.

Because the Loch/Forest is part of a 300 square mile dark sky area you are treated to amazing views of the stars and the Milky Way. It's a nice way to finish the day, sitting around the BBQ looking at the stars and chatting with your family and friends.

The Yurt Farm

Dyfed

The Yurt Farm

Image source: The Yurt Farm

  • Pets ✘ (except for service dogs)
  • Campfires
  • Plugs
  • Wifi

Upon arrival at your yurt you will find a complimentary basket of fresh produce from the farm, flowers and even organic tea for a cuppa. Each yurt is hand-made on the farm from locally sourced oak and sleeps up to 5 people. They all have a king size bed, bunk beds and come complete with a kitchen area, log fire and their own BBQ pit.

Each morning you can collect freshly laid eggs for breakfast and help feed the chickens or pigs if you want. The farm also has an on-site shop where you can buy any of the organic veg and meat they produce. All the facilities on site are geared to eco friendliness so they may seem a little basic (composts toilets and solar showers) but they work well and you soon get used to them.

Surrounding the yurts are wild flower meadows, streams and woodland; the whole area is very safe for children to roam free in. A great place to meet and socialise with other families is at the Communal hut in the middle of the camp - it has a big kitchen, sofas and an outdoor clay pizza oven.

A great way to end the day with the family is to make some hot chocolate and deserts over the campfire. Have a look at our recipes for easy to make campfire desserts.

 

About the Author:

Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert

Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A few decades later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding, or making a mean coffee.