The recession has forced Britons, and families in particular, to look for more affordable holidays, and camping is perhaps one of the cheapest options available.
Here in the UK there are plenty of family-friendly campsites on offer, whether you're looking to spend lazy days on the beach, or explore the great outdoors with your children. Here are five of our British family favourites.
Caffyns Farm, Devon
A simply stunning destination on the Exmoor coast, Caffyns Farm in Lynton is family friendly but with a feeling of peaceful seclusion. Set within 160 acres, the site has views over the sea, and is an ideal base for walking, cycling (bike hire available at the site) or taking a short wander down to the beach at Lee Bay. The farm even has its own riding stables, from which adults and children alike can explore the area on horseback. Toilets, hot showers, family changing room, laundry, fridge and washing up facilities are available, and all camping areas have water standpipes, with electric hookups on the way this year. Whether you're pitching a tent or parking your caravan, adults cost £7.50 and children ages five to 15, £5.50, while under fives go free.
With panoramic sea views and sandy Cornish beaches just a short stroll away, visitors Arthur's Field in Treloan return time and time again. The site boasts private access to three secluded beaches, where you can swim, fish or dive, while sandy beaches are a short hop away. But the location is only half the story at Arthur's Field. The owners offer various events, including regular Wednesday 'Fireside Sessions' throughout the summer, where local residents and visitors alike can enjoy poetry and music. And the kids can join the owners collecting eggs and feeding the chickens, guinea pigs, sheep and rabbits each morning. Toilets, showers, dishwashing and clothes washing facilities are available on site, and prices for campers or caravanners start from £15 per night. Mobile homes, a snug and a yurt are also on offer for those who prefer a little extra comfort.
One for those with older children, Glenmore campsite, in the heart of the Cairngorms boasts a spectacular setting. The local area is rich in wildlife including deer, otters, golden eagles and red squirrels, so it's a great place just to go walking. But there is also fishing, sailing and windsurfing, not to mention kayaking and canoeing, available at nearby Loch Morlich, and white water rafting, river tubing and horse riding are also on offer in the area. Pitches in the high summer season start at £27, but if you're really brave, you can book in winter for £16.50 and make skiing your activity of choice.
Callow Top Holiday Park, Derbyshire
A site with a real family vibe, Callow Top Holiday Park is one with plenty to keep the kids occupied. From May to September there's a heated swimming pool and paddling pool for the little ones, along with a children's playground and sports field, pool tables, table tennis, and even an amusement arcade. Cycle hire is also available on site, and the park's own fishing lake is just a quarter of a mile down the drive, and there are restaurants, bars and a shop on site. In peak season there is also entertainment on offer, including the popular family discos, and this summer dads will be pleased to know England's World Cup matches will be shown, times permitting. Tent pitches start from £17 per night, while caravans and motorhomes start at £21.50.
Red Shoot Camping Park, Hampshire
This New Forest site is designed with families in mind. The children's play area includes a sandpit, balance beam and stepping stones for the little ones, and a rope climbing frame, activity castle, rope and swing bridge, and even a fireman's pole for the adventurous types. Riding and walking are on the doorstep, and the facilities are first class, and include a shop where the homemade cakes and hot chocolate will have you coming back time and time again. For mums and dads, the nearby Red Shoot Inn is fully family-friendly, and hosts beer festivals twice a year. Prices range from £17 per night to £28 depending on the season.
Do you regularly take your family camping in the UK? What sites would you recommend? Leave your comments below...