We are absolutely thrilled that Go Wild Go West agreed to share some of their favourite camping spots in the South West with us. If you're looking for some inspiration as to where to unroll our Bundle Beds this Summer, then take a look below...
We’re two sisters adventuring around the UK’s South West and Wales with a few dogs and a number of kids in tow making recommendations for families who like to explore. From family-friendly walks to epic children’s outdoor climbing adventures; from wild swimming to hidden beaches, we love the great outdoors and want to share our passion with others.
Camping is one of our favourite things to do and we’ve seen a fair few campsites in our time - the good, the bad and the downright ugly! For us, there are a few small but ESSENTIAL criteria for discovering the perfect campsite;
- Campfire… because camping just isn’t camping without roasting marshmallows and drinking wine in the evening around the campfire
- Traditional camping… we’re talking tent, field, and ideally a loo and a shower, but not a lot else. If you’re looking for a site with swimming pool, mini golf, and a pizzeria then this isn’t the list for you
- Space… with dogs and kids, we need a place with space and freedom for them to safely run around (admittedly dogs may need to be in leads if on a farm)
- Location…. we like a campsite in beautiful surroundings and luckily we’re spoiled for choice in the UK. Whether it be beaches, mountains, or moors there’s got to be some good adventuring around and ideally a good pub within walking distance!
Here are a few of their favourite spots:
1) STEEPLE LEAZE FARM, Wareham, Dorset
This is my ideal campsite – masses and masses of space, beautiful views, and freedom to have a campfire. Don’t expect luxury – we stayed in the top field where there are 3 compost loos, 2 taps and not a lot else in terms of facilities. You can’t book in advance here: the farmer comes round a few times a day to take payment and offer firewood for sale. He also let the kids have a drive in his buggy which was the highlight of their trip.
As a campsite, I’ve never come across one so relaxed and easy-going. As for the location, you can walk down to Kimmeridge bay where the snorkelling is out of this world! It’s a shallow bay, great for kids to wade out with a huge expanse of shallow reefs and rock pools. I could have spent all weekend exploring the waters there. We then walked into Kimmeridge itself and relaxed over an ice cream and a cocktail in a local restaurant.
2) CAFFYNS FARM, Lynton, Devon
This is a great spot for exploring Exmoor and the North Devon coast. There’s acres of space, good facilities, and a well-stocked shop. You can even hire bikes from the campsite or ride a horse from their stables!
We stayed right at the start of the season and had the entire site to ourselves. From the campsite you can wonder down through the beautiful, bluebell woods straight to the beach at Lee Bay… or we went a little further to Woody Bay which has the most incredible natural pool to swim in plus a waterfall to boot.
You can also easily access the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth and take a ride on the cliff railway (absolute winner for the kids!) Dogs (on leads), campfires, and kids all welcome at this fantastic campsite.
3) GYRN DDU, Gwynedd, Snowdonia
This fantastic, friendly little eco-campsite at the top of the Llyn Peninsular, close to Snowdonia National Park is such a hidden gem that I considered keeping it a secret all to myself….. But the owners Mark and Germaine have done such a good job that it would never be a secret for long! There are only 12 pitches (a mixture of grass tent areas and a few bell tents to hire) along with compost loos and LPG showers. Each pitch has it’s own picnic bench and firepit. The campsite is in a fantastic location in between the sandy beaches and beautiful coastline of the Llyn, and the towering peaks of Snowdonia just to the East. You can wonder down to the little beach or look up at the mountains above. There is some road noise by day but when it quietens down at night you can lie in your tent and listen to the waves.
4) BERYL’S FIELD – Beesands, South Devon
This is simply a great campsite. Pre-booking is essential and this means that Liz, Beryl’s daughter, can carefully manage the numbers and ensure everyone has a really good size pitch. Generally everyone has about a quarter of a large field – so it’s ideal for dogs and children to run around and there’s plenty of space for lots of games. While campfires are not permitted, you can have BBQ’s and fire pits so long as they’re raised off the ground with the firebricks provided.
There is a small lake in the middle of the site, footpaths and woodland lead directly from the fields and it’s an easy walk down to Beesands beach. In fact, when you’re lying in your tent all you can hear are the sounds of the waves breaking down the valley.
The facilities are basic, but really good. I know it’s a silly thing, but the showers have really nice tiles and for some reason, that seems to make a big difference. It’s a campsite that just feels very comfortable and friendly in a great location.
5) WILD MOUNTAINS, Cwmdu, Wales
Wild Mountains is something a little bit different but a place that I’ve grown to love after a number of visits. It’s a small site limited to 4 beautiful bell tents each with a wood burning stove – and there’s a current plan to convert an old railway carriage too. There’s a communal kitchen, 2 showers and 2 incredibly well kept compost loos. We actually hired out the entire site for our family camping holiday and it was perfect for all, from the 70 year olds to the 2 year olds! We sat round campfires and drank wine whilst the children and dogs ran free. Lisa, the owner, was amazing in helping a very chaotic family group to organise our stay and gave us a hugely warm welcome on our arrival.
The local area is beautiful and the community-run pub, the Cwmdu Inn (within a stone’s throw from the campsite) is now in my shortlist of all time favourites. I highly recommend this place for a weekend (or longer) break. Whether you’re a hardened camper or total novice, this place is fantastic.