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Camping in England?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by samid, 21 Jun 2008.

  1. samid

    samid Über Member

    Toronto, Canada
    I live in Canada, and going to tour the UK (England mostly) in August, would appreciate tips and advice on camping in England, both "rough" and on campsites. In particular, I would like to know how big is the risk of not finding a spot for a single bike on a random campsite without prior booking? Thanks.
  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    www.ukcampsite.co.uk is a great place to start finding a campsite!
  3. samid

    samid Über Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for the link, will check it out. I used Memory Map/OS Landranger maps to plot my route, and to find campsites along it. Is that a reliable source? I would like to avoid having to make reservations if possible, so as to not have to keep a strict schedule...
  4. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    It will vary from campsite to campsite ... some are very officious with marked plots, and others are much freer in how they let people pitch. I would think that one bike with a tent should be able to get on most ... they are having problems with the super tents which are upto 9 x 9 m in their footprint.

    And some sites won't take bookings at all...
  5. Riding in Circles

    Riding in Circles Veteran

    I am a member of the camping and caravanning club, it was started by cyclists, it was just the camping club for some strange reason then.

    You save the equivalent of the membership fee by staying with them about a week so it is hardly expensive, they have a huge number of sites and welcome cyclists and of course take bookings, I would recommend them.

  6. Percy

    Percy Well-Known Member

    The only time you'll have a problem gettting a spot on a campiste would be if it's a particularly hot weekend in a popular spot - nice coastal areas/New Forest/Lake District/Peak District etc., particularly on Bank Holiday weekends, but even then most sites will find you somewhere, just for a small tent. There's a bank holiday on 25th August, for example (if you'll be here then), and if the weather's good popular places will be rammed. Saying that, the weather's equally likely to be awful in which case you'll have no problem!

    Wild camping obviously depends what area you're in for opportunities to do it discreetly. Saying that, I know of people who pitch up in the middle of roundabouts, so I guess that also depends on your own preference for how 'wild' you want it!
  7. samid

    samid Über Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for replies everybody. I'm planning to be touring the week of Aug 10th onwards - before the bank holiday, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

    Percy - funny you mentioned pitching in the middle of roundabouts, I heard someone else (a friend of mine living in the UK) saying same thing... not sure I want to do that though :angry:
  8. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    My experiences were varied on my tour last year. Mostly I had no trouble with finding the campsites, however I took a list and maps of where they were with me and called each on ein advance, I am glad i did because several were full. It might seem odd that they could not fit in a small one man tent but I was rejected from two because they were full and the fire regulations would not let them allow me to pitch off of an official pitch (crazy).
    my advice is to make sure you know where they are, have contact details with you and call in advance; do not rely on just finding a site on the route and turning up, I dont think there as many sites here as there are in France for example. On the sites you will find 99% caravans and BIG tents...I didnt meet a single other 'small tent person'. It's all geared for the car.
    In terms of quality they vary a lot, from the most basic shoot holes up to clean tidy organised etc...the cleanest site I staye don was the same cost as the shittiest one...and on that shittiest one I felt I would hav ebeen better off just pitching late in the evening in a field somewhere.

    I wouldnt reley too much on wild camps either especially if you are in the south east. it's possible but you are pretty likely to get moved on if you dont ask the land owner for permission.

    Avoid bank holidays.
  9. Brains

    Brains Veteran

    If you do get 'caught short' when looking for a camp site, many a time I have pitched in pub gardens.
  10. samid

    samid Über Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for the tip. Did you ask for permission at the pub?
  11. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I'd strongly suggest it mate...
  12. Moonlight

    Moonlight New Member

    Wear flip-flops in the community showers, and if you can pitch as high as you can as the rain will run down into you're tent if your not careful. It will rain, it's England =D. Unless I'm holiday overseas, in which case it will be lovely here and rainy there. It's called 'Sod's law' and governs everything in England.

    Don't let me put you off!! enjoy your tour!!!
  13. Regulator

    Regulator Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography

    I would second Catrike's suggestion. Membership of the C&CC is an excellent way to access good sites, from fairly basic ones to full facilities sites. Membership is cheap too!
  14. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    One point to mention about rough camping is that every square inch of 'this green and pleasant land' belongs to someone so you could IN THEORY find the owner turning up to turf you off at any time. In practice this is not usually too much of a problem.
  15. samid

    samid Über Member

    Toronto, Canada
    It is a good idea about the flip-flops, I had planned to only take - wear - my SPD sandals and no other footwear, but your point re showers is a good one.

    I'm sure I will enjoy my tour in any case, thanks!