Escape the crowds! Secluded locations for campervan holidays

Back to the camperbug blog  April 06, 2020

Are you longing to drop everything and retreat to the countryside for a few days? This list just might provide the inspiration you need to get moving! Read on for some of the most relaxing and remote locations in the UK and discover the uplifting sense of freedom that comes with setting up camp in wild and remote areas.

Lundy Island

Photo credit: drew_anywhere on / CC BY-ND

Derived from the Old Norse words Puffin (Lundi) and Island (Ey), Lundy is a relatively small island (three miles long and a width of 0.6 miles) yet packs a rich selection of wildlife. There is no service to transport motorhomes or campervans to the island so you’ll need to pack in camping equipment, cooking gear, food and plenty of water to delight in the seclusion of a people-free island! Don’t forget your binoculars to get a good view of the puffins, wild pony, dolphins, wild sika deer plus countless species of birds thriving on the island. Wake up early to see waves of mist roll of the island for an utterly otherworldly experience. Intriguing accommodation options include a 13th-century castle, a Georgian villa and a fisherman’s cottage. Climb all 147 steps up the Old Lighthouse and enjoy the stunning panoramas from the highest point on the island, with a bottle of your preferred tipple. The diving conditions are sublime, and the walking around the island offer a one on one experience with nature. The island is only accessible by helicopter or ferry and is home to a population of 28 individuals. Marisco Tavern, the only pub on the island frowns upon the use of mobiles inside the pub. You’ll have to pay a fine if your mobile rings inside the pub! Disconnect from the outside world? You might not have a choice!

Photo credit: shirokazan on / CC BY

You’ll need to leave your campervan or motorhome behind to catch the ferry to Lundy Island, so pack in camping gear, food, cooking equipment and plenty of water for your stay.

Blackdown Hills, Taunton

Photo credit: Doolallyally on / CC BY-ND

The Blackdown Hills are a spectacular Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering outdoor enthusiasts a seemingly endless expanse of changing views, Extending from East Devon to South Somerset, the lush countryside and dense woodlands stand as a testament to the wealth of natural beauty in the region. Admire the vistas, soak up the relaxed countryside atmosphere or explore the scenic biking and walking trails. Whether you’re visiting for a day or enjoying a more extended stay, there’s so much to do in the Blackdown Hills. There are several walks suitable for adventurers of all abilities. Follow a gentle stroll, admiring impressive views over the village of Orchard Portman, and the Vale of Taunton. If you’re inclined to favour more challenging routes, head to Blagdon Hill and take on the five-mile trek over the hillside, forest and meadows. Sprinkled with walking paths, and nature reserves Blackdown Hills is bursting with things to do. Explore the heritage of the area with a visit to the Castle Neroche set amid the backdrop of the Somerset countryside. There are plenty of areas to view in your motorhome or campervan hire, including the beautiful rural village of Churchinford. Stop at The York Inn Pub for a taste of locally harvested ingredients and fabulous home-cooked meals. View the diverse array of wildlife.

Photo credit: Doolallyally on / CC BY-ND

The Otter Vale Wild Camping site is perfect for keeping in vein with the idea of wild camping. The eight-acre campground is on a dairy farm, looking out over the Otter Valley. Set up camp amid untouched woodland, and feel at home in a peaceful corner of your choice. Sit back and take in the stunning sunset, relax by a log fire, or observe badgers, rabbits, falcons and squirrels in the bluebell woods. You can stock up on produce for your road trip journey at the site. The owners can accommodate campervans and motorhomes on the site; however, the woods are only accessible to tent campers. Pack in your camping gear to make the most of this beautiful site. If you adore nature and the great outdoors, Otter Vale Wild Camping is right up your street!

North Wessex Downs

Image by North Wessex Downs AONB on Flickr

The North Wessex Downs are widely considered some of England’s most exceptional landscapes and was titled an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1972. The area is perfect for a motorhome or campervan holiday and encompasses a wealth of woodland, charming villages, sparkling chalk streams and archaeological heritage. The district covers the beautiful countryside West Berkshire, which includes a picturesque network of horseback, walking and cycling paths. Enjoy a picnic by the riverside, or take on a leisurely woodland stroll. If you’d like a challenge, tackle a downland hike or a cross country hike. Reach the crest of Walbury Hill for awe-inspiring views of the enclosing countryside. Keep an eye out for the famed white horses in the North Wessex Downs, the oldest and most popular is Uffington White Horse which is 3000-years-old.

West woods Tony Bartlett, North Wessex Downs AONB on Flickr

There are several locations where you can wild camp in North Wessex Downs. Secure a pitch away from prying eyes and livestock, set up camp at dusk and leave as early as possible in the morning. Enjoy sweeping views as your dinner bubbles on the stove.

Read our wild camping guide to camp responsibly in the UK.

Forest of Dean, United Kingdom

Image by Afshin Taylor Darian on Flickr

The magical woodland of the Forest of Dean brims with adventures and fascination attractions. The ancient forest was a hunting forest for royals and later went on to supply timber for Tudor warships. Today the 27,000-acre playground houses a thriving variety of wildlife, caves, and mazes. Observe the excellent scenery or follow a four and a half-mile long sculpture trail generously sprinkled with sixteen sculptures. Hop on a bike and enjoy the fresh air and freedom as you explore the undemanding routes. Paddle down the river in a kayak or visit the Why Valley during the spring months to fall in love with the vivid bursts of colour as the ancient forest bursts into life. Stroll through fields of bluebells, and daffodils, or enjoy a picnic in an area blanketed by bright flowers. Take a meandering walk past moss-covered rocks, and tangled overhead branches at the Puzzle Wood. Enjoy the mysterious ambience of a forest once frequented by JRR Tolkien in the 1920s. Hike up to the crest of Symonds Yat Rock to take in the striking views of the surrounding landscape and the winding River Wye. Enjoy a picnic at the village pub or enjoy a picnic as Buzzards soar above. There are five walking trails and a cycling trail if you’re up to a demanding day of exploring. Take Fido out to Mallards Pike Lake to enjoy a walk amid stunning sceneries. If you’re looking for a quieter dog walking spot, Cannop Ponds is the right place. Pack in binoculars to view local birdlife.

Photo credit: antonychammond on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

You can wild camp at Cannop Ponds or Speech House Woodland. Cannop Ponds takes a beautiful route through hills, valleys, and narrow country lanes. The forestry commission site contains a free car park however the barrier is locked at night so if you don’t fancy being closed it, drive over to the adjacent side of the ponds where you’ll find a smaller car park. Drink in the idyllic atmosphere, and the gentle babbling of small streams. There are a lot of walks and cycle trails around the pond. Speech House Woodland is a few minutes from Cannop Ponds and is another forestry commission site that is a great wild camping location. The only downside is the place is close to the main road, opening up room for noise on a busy day.
Read our wild camping guide to camp responsibly in the UK

Brecon Beacons National Park

Photo credit: dolbinator1000 on Visualhunt / CC BY

Brecon Beacons National Park covers some of the most beautiful views in Wales. The national park contains an enticing blend of landscapes, fantastic walks, waterfalls, castles, and history to say nothing of wild camping spots! Extending over 42 miles from the east and splits into Black Mountain region in the west, Fforest Fawr and the Brecon Beacons at the centre and the black mountains in the east. Ther is a range of exciting outdoor activities to try, including climbing, mountain biking, rafting, horse riding, paragliding and more! It’s an ideal location to camp out under a twinkling canopy of stars as Brecon Beacons is one of the UK’s four International Dark Skies Reserve. There’s plenty of space and almost no crowds, guaranteeing a peaceful, remote vacation. Pack a picnic and set out to observe the birdlife at Llangasty Bird Hide on llangorse Lake, or enjoy a dip in the waterfall, and ‘witches pool’ in Pwll-y-Wrach Nature Reserve.

Photo credit: dolbinator1000 on Visualhunt / CC BY

There are an estimated 1,250 farms within the park, so there are plenty of locations to wild camp during your Brecon Beacons visit. If you are camping without permission, set up camp late, leave early and ensure no waste is left behind. There is a cracking wild campsite at Cwm Llwch. It is a no-frills field with a stream running through it, and for a couple of quid a day, you can use the area and campers are allowed fires. Enclosed by mountain views, Cwm Llwch campsite is a perfect way to enjoy the freedom of wild camping.

Mwnt, Wales

Image by Reading Tom on Flickr

Blessed with golden sands, rolling waves, and wildlife, the secluded cove of Mwnt rests on the coast of Ceredigion, and is a lovely location to take in picture-postcard panoramas, and unwind. The perfect beach is enclosed by a hillock on which stands a solitary 14th-century church. Drive about 4.5 miles from Cardigan town centre, down breezy country lanes to find stunning vistas over Cardigan Bay when you arrive. To reach the beach, climb down a series of steps or access the area through Wales’ Coastal Paths. A stroll to the top of the conical hill of Foel y Mwnt is a must! It rises above the beach and provides captivating views of Cardigan Bay and frisky dolphins or seals playing in the bay. The 14th-century Church of the Holy Cross once served as a medieval shelter for pilgrims travelling to Bardsey or St David’s in Wales. The cove tends to get busy during the summer months; however, things are very peaceful for the rest of the year, and the coast is all yours!

Photo credit: Reading Tom on Visualhunt / CC BY

Stay at Ty Gwyn Caravan Park rests on a working farm of sixty acres and rests along the coastal path allowing for great walks and easy access to heaps of locations plus Cardigan. The no-frills camping approach does away with unnecessary extras and overlooks the sea with views of dolphins and more wildlife. The attractive site is adjacent to Mwnt beach, and a walk to the top of the hill adjoining the cove offers exceptional views of Cardigan Bay and the lovely 13th-century church at the bottom. The Ceredigion Coastal Path runs beside the inlet and behind the campsite. There are no pubs or shops nearby, but a short drive leads to the charming fishing villages — stock up on food and drink or visit beaches like Llanrannog cove, Penbryn, and Poppits beach.

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