Summer may be coming to a close (cue the tiny violins) but that doesn’t mean camping season is over. Early autumn is a great time to camp — less competition for top spots, beautiful multicoloured forests to explore, and it’s still not so cold that you can’t get a cosy night’s sleep with the right equipment. Plus, autumn is the ideal weather for a late-night campfire, where you can try out your spooky stories in time for Halloween.
Here are our top choices for autumn camping in the UK, featuring crackling campfires, fairy trails and sweet stargazing spots.
1. Celtic Woodland Holidays (Powys, Wales)
Source: Celtic Woodland Holidays
Nestled between the Elan and Wye Valleys, Celtic Woodland Holidays offers plenty of amenities while still enveloping you in beautiful nature. After a day of setting off to explore the valley or Brecon Beacons further south, take advantage of the fun extras this spot has to offer. You can buy locally-sourced meat and homemade treats on site, pick herbs from their “help-yourself” herb garden to use in your meal prep, or have a go in the wood-fired sauna.
Book one of their all-weather grass pitches for camping, with a BBQ area, picnic bench, and access to the communal fire pit. If glamping is more up your alley, try one of their timber glamping pods or book in the Ty Coeden treehouse.
2. Beach Estate Campsite (Sussex, England)
Beech Estate delivers woodland camping with tons of fun extras, and is a great choice for busy city dwellers. Although it feels worlds away, Londoners can get to this campsite in around 90 minutes from London Charing Cross and London Cannon Street (including train ride and taxi). The short commute makes it great for a long weekend or even just an overnight getaway to escape the city.
While you’re there, visit nearby castles, try your hand at gourmet campfire cooking (you can rent the materials at the campsite), walk the trails, and check out the multiple activities just for kid campers. Tent pitches are secluded, great for groups or families that want a little privacy. You can also rent bell tents if you’d rather not lug your gear from home.
3. The Loft (Moray, Scotland)
Although located in a chilly climate, The Loft more than makes up for it with secluded nature. Based on a farm and surrounded by trees, the campsite gives the sense that you are tucked far away from the world, but with easy access to attractions like beaches along Burghead Bay and the Malt Whisky Trail. You can also explore the nearby trails, including the Fairy Trail made especially for kids.
You can book wilderness campsites (bring your own tent) from £25 for four people, but you can also choose from wigwam or shieling cabins (some even come with hot tubs!). If you’re feeling somewhere in between, go for the “Lazy Camper”, a bare-bones cabin for up to 4 people.
4. Chase Camping (Staffordshire, England)
If you’re less into luxurious glamping and more for roughing it, Chase Camping may be up your alley. They call their own campsite “no-frills”, meaning no showers, no charging stations, and no toilets (it’s a bring-your-own-loo situation). What you get in return is an inexpensive overnight stay on some of the most gorgeous land in the district.
Cannock Chase is named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and campers should have their eyes peeled for the wildlife that are “free roaming” in the area, like red deer, owls, buzzards, and rabbits. Wildlife lovers won’t find a better spot to put up their tents.