Looking for a great family campsite and a cheap family holiday? Here are our top 10 picks – all of them are in stunning locations, have great facilities – and some cost less than 10 pounds per night!
My mum refused to entertain the phrase ‘I’m bored’ when I was growing up. Once she even threatened to fine me, but I like to think that was only because she was trying to claw back the money she’d already showered on us for swimming and ice-creams.
Entertaining the kids on holiday is like organising a military operation – even if your children are as angelic as I was (only clamouring for ice-creams, like, twice a day.
Camp in beautiful, award-winning sites for less than £10 per night
The best way to keep us happy, my mum concluded after years of experimentation and tearing her hair out, is to pack the family up and move it to a family campsite for a week or two.
Loads to do on site, she reasoned, including kids’ clubs that’ll tire out anyone – plus plenty of theme parks and sightseeing attractions within driving distance (which will also tire small people out and ensure they sleep while she and Dad crack open the wine). Result.
If you too are considering fining the kids for saying they’re bored this summer, try one of the top 10 family campsites and holiday parks:
Lady’s Mile Holiday Park, Devon
This award-winning holiday park near the sands of Dawlish Warren has an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a play area for the kids. It even has a fitness centre if you feel like getting energetic (ha). And it’s only eight miles from the indoor jungle and rides of Crealy Great Adventure Park to keep little monkeys entertained off site.
From £15 pn.
Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall
Another award-winner, Hendra is a humongous park with so much to do that your holiday adventure might be getting them off site: there are kids’ clubs, soft play areas, three adventure playgrounds and indoor and outdoor pool complexes with flumes and waterfalls – and a toddlers’ area so tiddlers don’t get squished. Hendra is just minutes from Newquay with its surfing, sandy beaches, zoo, aquarium and more.
Callow Top Holiday Park, Derbyshire
Like Hendra and Lady’s Mile, Callow Top is an award-winner and is stuffed with loads to do. There’s an amusement arcade, playgrounds, games fields, volleyball court, bird hides, swimming pools, bike hire, a fishing lake… and for the grown-ups, a microbrewery serving up the park’s very own brew. Cheers!
West Bay Holiday Park, Dorset
For beachcombers and water babies. Miles of West Bay beach are just through the gates from this park with has pool and toddlers’ pool, amusements, bike trails, kids’ clubs and adventure playground complete with climbing wall. West Bay is a gateway to the kid-friendly Jurassic Coast with more beaches, boat trips and fossil hunting.
Loch Tay Highland Lodges, Perthshire
Every kid – and big kid – should stay in a wigwam at least once. The fab wigwams at Loch Tay not only overlook the Loch itself – they come with electricity, TV, fridge and microwave! Once the kids have finished playing house, there’s a huge choice of things to do on site (including fishing, watersports, bike hire, play area, games room and TV room). Wigwams start from £40pn, with tipis and a yurt also available from £40-50.
Newton Mill Holiday Park, Somerset
Award-winning loos and showers may mean nothing to kids, but that’s because they’re not yet old enough to appreciate such things. But they might appreciate this park’s wildlife-laden location just two miles from the heritage city of Bath. Weston-super-Mare, Brean and the Somerset coast are only about an hour away too – or take the clan to Longleat Safari and Adventure Park just over the border in Wiltshire.
Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, Ceredigion
Llamas, wallabies, guinea pigs, rabbits and Dilwyn the donkey – all on a park overlooking Cardigan Island nature reserve (complete with with seals to see under the cliffs and dolphins ducking about nearby). If this park doesn’t get your kids excited about the great outdoors, it’s hard to know what will. When they’ve finished spotting the local and park life, there’s an outdoor adventure playground to swing about in, and a beach within a mile.
Tattershall Lakes Country Park, Lincolnshire
We recommend booking at least two weeks here if you can – there’s a huge array of activities at Tattershall Lakes, including jetskiing, waterskiing, banana rides, pedalo hire, play areas, nature trails and a full programme of kids’ activities. Tired? Soak in the hot tub, decompress in the spa, stroll around the golf course or cast off from one of the three fishing lakes.
Crows Nest Caravan Park, Yorkshire
On the Yorkshire coast between Scarborough and Filey, Crows Nest has a heated indoor pool, games room, family bar and the essential seaside fish and chips takeaway for dinner every single night (after all you’re on holiday). Have an even easier time by booking a luxury heated caravan from £61 pn for up to six people (pets are allowed too).
Shorefield Country Park, Hampshire
Sometimes family-friendly parks should be considered for their adult-friendly facilities too. Shorefield Country Park has kids’ clubs, pools, a play area and even a nature centre – but there’s also a gym, sauna, steam room and spa with seven treatment rooms for parents too. Bliss. A heated three-bedroom caravan starts from £165 for four nights.
From £165 (4 nights, 6 people).
If none of the above take your fancy, see what sites are in your favourite part of the country by searching using the box below.
It’ll find you the best family holiday parks and campsites. You can then narrow your search by price, user reviews, location and more. Each listing also has a detailed map and info on what to do in the local area, including beaches, walking trails, bike routes, pubs, must-sees and local festivals.
If you fancy somewhere with guaranteed sunshine, check out our guide to cheap family holidays abroad for 2014.