Campsites by the Beach

2,811 bookable campsites


Why go camping by the beach? 

Simple pleasures 

Make the most of your open-air stay by settling down at a campsite or glampsite by the coast. After all, in the list of life’s proper simple pleasures, the mix of beach, barbecue and sleeping under the stars has to be right up there with the best…

The big bonuses of taking a break by the beach are well-known: there’s the dazzling diversity of scenery, the chance to cool off in hot weather and all of those seaside attractions, from theme parks to zoos to pleasure beaches.

But there are also perks that people visiting the coast for the day simply don’t get to experience. Two of our favourites? Having access to those magical hours at either end of the day before or after the crowds and falling asleep to the sound of the waves…

Types of accommodation

Holidays by the coast don’t come in one-size-fits-all, of course: your choices of accommodation are as varied as the scenery itself, covering everything from action-packed family holiday parks to soul-soothing farms, from bargain beach stays to swish seaside glamping

There’s no need to feel left out of all the seaside fun if you’re not in possession of all your own camping kit, or suspect that you might need a bit more space than that offered by a tent. Pack up your own rolling home and head to a campervan or caravan site by the beach, or make life properly easy by looking out for pre-pitched accommodation where all you’ll need to bring is a bucket and spade.  

Seaside suppers

It’s no secret – holidays by the beach usually end up taking on a distinctly foodie flavour. Whether you’re after traditional fish and chips in England or fine seafood in France, gelato in Italy or freshly-caught lobster in Australia, pitching up by the coast brings you closer to those culinary comforts that instill a sense of all being right with the world…

  • Find coastal campsites that provide barbecues

  • Skip the food prep and opt for a seaside spot with an on-site restaurant

  • Catch your own dinner at a campsite near the beach with on-site fishing


Top tips for a smooth trip 

Staying safe on the sand

While almost all of us are guilty of a lapse in our sun safety routine from time to time, it’s important to safeguard your skin when out on the sand using suncream, a sunshade or a broad-brimmed hat (which, combined with a smart pair of anti-UV glasses, can look a good deal more fetching than it sounds).

 Remember to take steps to stop your pets from overheating too – consider using a cooling mat or dog tent or avoiding the hottest times of day. 

  • Click here for more sun skincare tips from the NHS

  • Have a look at this PDSA advice to double-check you’re ready for beach time with your pet

Beach etiquette

The unwritten rules of the beach vary from place to place, so it’s well worth conducting a little research before you go.

Nude swimming on a quiet Spanish beach is unlikely to raise many eyebrows, while in the US you’d do well to stick to designated naturist spots to avoid a hefty fine. 

In Italy, most beaches in built-up areas are private, paid-for affairs, while in Scotland and Sweden travellers have the right to roam over pretty much the entire coastline. 

As a general rule, unless you hear otherwise, it’s better to leave all sea creatures, shells and pretty stones in situ all of that very attractive debris helps to hold coastal ecosystems together and can even act as a flood defence in low-lying areas. 

Get the whole gang involved

While many grownups would probably opt for blissful days of beachside lounging, kids may prefer more active breaks. Two things that are far from being incompatible – especially if you pick a coastal site with an outdoor pool or a holiday park with on-site watersports. You can also find a spot with a kids’ or teens’ club – a nifty trick for those holidaying with lively younger guests and who don’t always have the energy for papier-mâché or circus skills… 


What’s next? 

Get inspired

Every beach has its own charms, but every so often you’ll fall in love with a seaside spot. Even if you’re loyal to just one resort and return year after year, there’s no harm in having a look at some of the tempting options below…

  • Shimmy down the sand of Europe’s biggest sand dune at the Dune du Pilat in La Teste-de-Buch, France

  • Take the trip of a lifetime to Tayrona National Park, Colombia and explore the rainforest-fringed Caribbean coast

  • Dig for fossils and explore rockpools along the Jurassic Coast in South West England  

  • Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago’s coastal route through Portugal and Spain

…find what you’re looking for 

Experiment with our filters, search by location or use the map to find a coastal site that’s right for you. Once you’ve found one you like the look of, you can scroll down the listing to see water quality at the closest bathing spots. 

  • Browse seaside sites with access to electricity

  • Bringing the dog along? Find pet-friendly campsites near the beach

  • Keep things quiet at an adults-only site near the coast

  • Add a touch of class by staying in a five-star spot or pick a fully-serviced pitch for your touring vehicle

then pack up and go

Don’t worry too much about what to pack – unless your coastal stay is particularly remote you’ll probably be able to pick up bits and pieces once you’re there. That said, you may find the following useful:

  • A bucket and spade – the beach accessory that’s always in fashion

  • A beach wagon – no, they’re not exciting, but this is without a doubt a fully functional way to get your gear down to the coast

  • A small amount of cash – to make sure nothing stands between you and that ice cream

  • Sandwich bags – to make sure that sure none of that pesky sand gets inside your snazzy new smartphone

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