Sunshine, sandcastles and sea spray – the Great British seaside can be hard to beat when the weather decides to co-operate – and camping under canvas by the sea can be a fun and economical way to do it. Here is our pick of six great UK tent campsites close to the beach...
Eweleaze Farm, Dorset
Located right on the Dorset coast close to Weymouth, the ever-popular Eweleze Farm is set amidst rolling hills and offers tent camping for hundreds of families – all with a relaxed festival vibe. Facilities are good and there's access down to a pleasant shingle beach from one side of the site so it's entirely possible to stay on site for your whole holiday. It's only open for four weeks a year (the whole of August) and bookings are a must, but it's well worth the effort.
Three Cliff Bay, South Wales
The Gower Peninsula is a ruggedly beautiful finger of land sticking out into the Bristol Channel to the south west of Swansea – but despite being just a few miles from Wales' second city it's a world away in terms of ambiance. Three Cliffs Bay campsite occupies a marvellous position over looking one of the country's most sublime beaches – where wide, flat sand is perfectly framed by green, green grass and spurs of grey rock. Open from 1 April to 1 November, the site is proudly dog friendly and even offers free wi-fi alongside the usual facilities you'd expect such as showers, toilets and laundry room - so you can treat your friends to an Instagram or Facebook pic and watch the "likes" roll in while relaxing in your tent.
The resort of St Ives attracts thousands-upon-thousands of visitors each year, with a charming harbour, a branch of the Tate Gallery and a prime surfing beach among the draws. As a result accommodation can be scarce and pricey, so why not consider a stay at Ayr Holiday Park – which offer breathtaking views overlooking the famous Porthmeor Beach – with the town just a short walk away. Lush green fields, a sparkling clean toilet and shower block and cheap access to a local hotel's swimming pool all help bring happy visitors back for more – and it's open all year round.
Grange Farm, Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is part of England, but it's also slightly detached – lending it a bit of a permanent holiday atmosphere and leading to a slower pace of life. Set within an Area of Natural Beauty on the Brightstone Downs, the charming campsite is open from March to October and is perched atop a cliff six miles from Newport on the island's south western coast. With just a short walk down to a stunning long beach, a kids' playground and animals on site - it's not going to be hard work to keep the kids entertained.
Clachtoll Beach Campsite, North West Scotland
The North West Highlands of Scotland are one of the most beautiful places in the UK, whatever the weather - and when the sun comes out they feel like the most beautiful place in the world. Clachtoll beach in Sutherland are a long way from most places – past most of the big hills – and combines powder white sand with crystal clear water and dramatic shards of rock. The site (which is open from 3 April) might feel a long way from the rest of civilisation, but it offers good, clean facilities and free wi-fi – if you can't resist the lure of Facebook. Of course it gets wet and windy from time to time, but come well equipped and there's still plenty to enjoy in this wonderful part of the world.
Hooks House Farm, North Yorkshire
Overlooking Robin Hood's Bay, Hooks House Farm offers one of the most-scenic camping experiences in the north of England. As well as having a handsome beach just a short wander away, the site is also handily located for the North Yorkshire Moors and the pleasant but larger resort of Whitby a short way up the coast – where the ruins of Whitby Abbey provide a captivating sight. The site itself is clean, tidy and well organised – and is open from 1 March to 31 October.
Have you found a great beach camp site? Leave a comment below...