Food glorious food - fill your boots for winter camping and caravanning
As we wisely pointed out in our guide to winter caravan sites, winter is not the time to be worrying about waistlines. Tis the season to be jolly, eat until bursting and blame a dodgy setting on the tumble dryer for shrinking our jeans. A nice layer of podge over the winter also helps to keep the cold out. Hurrah!
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some easy as pie ways to round off your stomach on camping and caravanning hols this autumn and winter. Here are our top tips on finding sites and parks for you to feast at:
The very phrase conjures up images of oysters, rich dark chocolate and rosy-cheeked hobbitlike indulgence, which are all among our very favourite things. We've dozens of sites listed as in an area of gastronomic delight - in our search results go to ‘Filter by feature’ on the left, then down to ‘Themes’. Our listings are searchable by type of pitch, availability, user review, leisure on site, amenities and more.
For Devon delicacies, roll along to the Kingsmead Centre in Cullompton, which is not only named after honey wine but which has award-wininng foodie pub The Merry Harriers within a few minutes’ walk. About a mile up the road is The Half Moon, which has a Silver award from Taste of the West but which sensibly says it’s not trying to turn into a gastropub. Yay.
Bag a two-bedroom static caravan at Kingsmead from £50 a night or a restored Roma caravan from £60, both sleeping up to four; there are also electric and non-electric grass and hardstanding pitches from £10 - 15.
If you’d rather land your own supper, and get in a spot of glamping along the way, the tipis, yurt and wooden wigwam at Loch Tay Highland Lodges in Perthshire should have you hooked: you can take a boat out to land salmon and trout in the loch and the owners can even arrange your fishing permit. Steam gently afterwards by the fire at the on-site Boathouse restaurant with vintage wine and vivid views. Prices start from £40 per night.
Unfortunately browsing around a farmers’ market for the latest fresh local produce does assume that you’ll be putting together your own meal rather than having it placed tastily in front of you, but perhaps you can call in a favour from the other half (we find that flattery along the lines of their superior cooking skills works well here).
We have farmers’ markets sites all over the country: search for them by ticking 'nearby farmers' market' in the 'nearby amenities' section. One such is Moorlands Caravan Park in Lancashire, with pods from £40 and tent and touring pitches available from £14; or combine a farmers’ market stay with a fishing trip at Yet-Y-Gors Campsite and Fishery in Pembrokeshire with four coarse fishing lakes along with fishing lessons and hire rods available. A static caravan sleeping up to seven at Yet-Y-Gors starts from £35 a night.
Eating your way around the country like Pacman is one of the best things about camping and caravanning in the UK, so to help out we also have parks with local produce available right on site (filter these with gastronomic delight parks to really fill your boots).
These are up and down the land: bed down in a luxury bell tent or tipi at Magical Camping in Norfolk from £85 a night to cook indoors or over a firepit outside, or pick up some Glastonbury produce from the E-den camping cabins at Middlewick Farm in Somerset from £60.
We’re with The Half Moon in Devon in giving the evil eye to gastropubs, so it’s just as well we also list proper pub sites in our quest for the ultimate spare tyre: read our full guide to pub campsites here.
The Baron at Bucknell in Shropshire has pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes from £13 per night, steps away from an acclaimed country inn dishing up homemade grub and accredited real ale. There’s also snoozing your grub off at one of the three open fires at Cornwall’s Golden Lion Inn Lakeside Camping close to Redruth, Falmouth and Truro, with pitches from £13 per night for tents and £15 for tourers and motorhomes. Both sites are open all year.
Still hungry? Look for campsites and caravan parks with a restaurant or café on site – and/or a takeaway or food shop if you want to eat in your underwear (generally recommended for your caravan, tent or lodge and not in public, not that we know this from experience). Clashwhannon Caravan Park near Stranraer has a restaurant, takeaway and bar on site and is in Dumfries and Galloway with the food town of Castle Douglas as well as foodie events, farmers’ markets and a Flavour Fortnight every summer. We’ll have the salmon please (and a pint of Galloway Gold to wash it down).
Page updated October 2013