Family camping: a guide to the bestest family holiday ever
Think ‘family holiday’ and you might be tempted to run, screaming, for the nearest hills. But a caravan or camping trip is one of the easiest types of holiday to take the kids along to. Whether it’s a camping pod, family sized yurt, caravan for hire or tent on a family campsite, there are thousands of family camping options available - no screaming required. Here are a few of our popular family holiday parks and campsites, with tips below on keeping kids and big kids happy:
A quieter option but still with plenty to do, as it's set beside an award-winning clean and safe beach in a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Book a two or three-bedroom caravan here from £180 for three nights, with electricity, gas and linen all included.
Another award-winning park, with a pool, play area, games room and bar serving meals. Guests also have access to the 20+ activities at Oakdene seven miles away. Merley Court pitches start from £15.25 a night.
Another award winner! Callow Top has a fishing lake, evening entertainment, a pool, games arcade - and its own brewery. Pitches start from £17 a night, with special offers available in spring and autumn 2013.
Pitch up at this scenic site for kids' clubs, indoor pool with flume, Jacuzzi, evening entertainment and more- and with a championship golf course on the doorstep for the grown-ups. Pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes from £14 a night. Also in Dumfries and Galloway, you can hire a luxury holiday home within strolling distance of three sandy beaches at Castle Point Caravan Site, from £180 for four nights.
And onto the tips to have your best family holiday:
- Look through our hundreds of family friendly campsite or holiday parks first, then use other filters according to what your family wants – you can look for family-friendly campsites where dogs are allowed, holiday parks and campsites by the beach or in one of the country’s national parks.
- All our listed sites have details of what’s on nearby, from theme parks to beaches to walks, in the 'Local Attractions' tab, and you can narrow your search further by using our dozens of filters. If you've something specific in mind, filter your search by what's available on site, such as sites with fishing or a play area, or what leisure is nearby, like horse-riding or a leisure/theme park.
- Stuck for inspiration? We have a batch of blogs on family camping to help. There’s our blog guide to family-friendly camping, with tips on bathing a baby in a washing up bowl, making sure everyone pitches in to help with everything and even how to get your teenager to put down the DS and come with you to that nearby stately home.
- Save cash for your family campervan with the tips in our camping on a shoestring blog and finding sites where campfires are allowed so you can do your own cooking – our campfire cooking blog has some ideas. Older kids and teenagers will also probably enjoy learning how to build a campfire, if only so they can roll their eyes when you burn yourself with the matches.
- For specific family-friendly sites, we have ten top holiday parks here where everything you need is on site. We also have info on keeping the kids happy on a budget, our top ten family beach activities, tips on camping with small people in wet weather and quirky British museums to take them to. And if they're going camping on their own for the first time ( = parental lie-in), we've also put together a camping checklist for kids.
- If you want to do something energetic, have a look at our cycling and camping blog – there are loads of cycle trails all over the country, and you can also look for sites with cycle hire (add this to the ‘family-friendly’ filter to get the best options). For budding bookworms, our literary Britain blog gives details of some children’s book events around, such as the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire or The World of Beatrix Potter in Kendal.
- Finally, mainly because it's fun trying to explain manners to children, read our blog on camping etiquette to ensure the best ways to ensure peace and love all round (man). Throw the kids in the back of the car and away you go.