The Anti Glamping Movement

There are plenty of camping top ten’s that feature the best glamorous campsites. The top ten glamping sites. The best campsites with wi-fi, super showers, parking, onsite chefs and electricity for your Macbook.

But is this really what camping is about? Camping should be about getting out there and roughing it whilst you can surely? Before it’s time to go back home to the real world with its washing, bills, and your managing director BBMing, texting and ‘poking’ you.

Oak Cottage demonstrating real camping!

Packing up your tent, sleeping bag, pots and pans as well as your loo roll and a torch, you get a real sense of adventure when you are real camping, that many yurts, stylish pods and cozy guesthouses have eliminated.  Some campsites don’t even allow you to pitch your own tent! We think this is madness.

So as an antithesis to the other glamorous top tens- here’s a list of the Top 10 Real campsites from Camping Ninja, who know their stuff when it comes to idyllic, secluded but not boring, beautiful, ‘real’ campsites.

Wetherdown Lodge Campsite      

In the Roman invasion of Britain, Hampshire was one of the first areas to fall to the invading forces. If you feel ready to fall down, knackered to a weekend of sleep, stove cooked bangers and beans and relaxation, then might we suggest the idyllic Wetherdown Lodge in Petersfield, Hampshire. This is a great spot if you want to get away and explore the south of England. Based around one communal campground this has a fire pit and plenty of space for you to meet people, but it also offers private bays for precious alone time!

Surrounded by trees this feels like a your own little haven, and with wood supplied from woodlands, local charcoal, a straw bale building and solar power, this is far removed from the stresses of urban life.

Because the Wetherdown Lodhe is right near the South Downs National Park, you can easily get involved in walking, cycling and horse riding.

Dernwood Farm Wild Camping    

If animals make you coo with delight and the idea of a cow sitting under a local tree makes your heart sing rather than your mouth salivate, you’re going to love it in Dernwood in Heathfield East Sussex.  (And if it does make you salivate, the home produced beef and pork you can buy will sort that out…)

Nestled in  70 acres of ancient woodland 25 minutes away from Eastbourne, this campsite is also a farm, so you have animals like pigs, badgers, cows, rabbits and buzzards roaming around, and as well as a  chance to enjoy the peace and quiet the onsite falconry experiences, group campfires and real camping experience. A 10 minute walk from your car, this gives you a real sense of ‘getting away from it all’ – especially when you get to cart your gear to the pitch in a wheelbarrow.

Oak Cottage Campsite  


If you want to explore the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire without resorting to wild camping and an angry Tony Martin esque experience on someone else’s land, you need to try Oak Cottage.

Based in between the Wye Valley and the forest, this is a flat land area with wildlife, footpaths, trails and plenty of pitching space for your idyllic getaway.

Onsite eggs, milk or bread help you survive your long weekend, and the nearby sights like Go Ape for a spot of treetop climbing, Wintours Leap for climbing and Severn Bore for getting out on the tide surfing or kayaking makes this a great active getaway.  Horse riding, canoeing and walking, get back to nature at Oak Cottage.

Llechwrd Riverside  

If you’re determined to climb, walk or scramble Snowdon, then you don’t want to spoil your rugged, adventurous appearance you have with your new buddies by settling down in your wi-fi connected yurt for the evening. Llechwrd riverside is a traditional camping site that is right in Snowdonia’s National Park, so it’s spot on if you want to spend your time away climbing,walking, kayaking, cliff jumping and horse riding on the local trails.

Bring your mountain bikes and pitch up in the area known as Maentwrog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, a tongue twister that’s packed with beauty.

Wake up with a view of the River Dwyryd full of otters, kingfishers and other stunning animals, and spend mornings walking to The Rhaedr Cynfal waterfall and evenings on Felinrhyd Bach, pony trekking off the calories from your dinner or your ales from the nearby pubs.

Bush Farm Bison Centre    

 What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison? You can’t wash your hands in a buffalo. Oh, and Bush Farm doesn’t have any buffalo. But they do have bison. And raccoons, in fact as well as a multitude of animals usually spotted across the pond in America, all living quite happily in Wiltshire, and a visit to Bush Farm is ideal for any animal lover.

Spend an idyllic weekend away getting active in 30 acres of oak woodland surrounded by bison, elk, raccoons, prarie dogs and Guanacos (a pretty looking llama- like animal) before walking in the beautiful area.

Pitch up and then trail the red deer and then have a more English experience with the onsite poultry, owls, rare breed sheep and pigs, chipmunks. Enjoy teas and cakes as well as the seclusion on site that many larger campsites lack and go home feeling refreshed.

Etherley Farm    

   Etherley Farm, found in Ockley, Surrey, offers a real camping experience for anyone wanting a good, country trip with a tent, a backpack and a stove. Found at the bottom of Leith Hill you are right on the cusp of the National Triust Etherley Farm Loop Walks.

You can collect wood from he store, get your kindling at the ready and before you know it youc an be cooking your store bought eggs, sausages and bread for a butty of champions.

There’s a local pub and some walks to do in Wisley gardens, Boxhill and Polsden Lacey but if you’re aftera  weekend of reading, relaxing and general R&R, Etherley farm is ideal.

Pleasant Rise Farm, Alfriston Campsite     

Pleasant Rise Farm in Alfriston, East Sussex just sounds nice doesn’t it? Luckily it’s name doesn’t deceive and this campsite is tucked away in the South Downs National Park right near the Cuckmere river, the quaint village of Alfriston and even the Drusillas Zoo.

Really natural and interesting, this has plenty of facilities but is ideal if you want to see the local nature and parks.

The walks to be found along the South Downs Way and a trip toWorld Nature Centre are also an ideal way to spend a day.

Roadford Lake      

 If water sports is your thing and you want a day of adventure rather than reading with your feet up, may we suggest a trip to Roadford lake in Lower Goodacre, Lifton, Devon close to the Dartmoor National Park.

A 3 star site, this is an amazing site if you want a clean, simple and perfectly placed campsite for a weekend of kayoing, canoeing, cycling, walking , indoor climbing, archery, surfing and more.

Based near a 740 acre woodland and with the local lake filled with boats, rowers and people, your mornings can be spent canoeing round the lake, or using the lake ferry, fishing off a boat or bank, as well as walking on water with ‘wowballs’ or exploring the Cornish coastline and seaside at Bude.

Stithians Lake    

 Stithians Lake Country Park in Cornwall is an ideal place if you want to get away from the stresses of everyday life. You can choose to spend your time chilling with fish on the dock (the famous trout weight around 4lb – great for that baguette you brought with you), spotting birds and lakeside walking in the beautiful area of Redruth or Falmouth.

If that sounds  like a schedule set to give you itchy feet and ants in your pants, then fear not. Sithians lake is fantastic for a huge variety of sports thanks to the nearby Outdoor + Active centre where you can try your hand at windsurfing, sailing, rowing and kayaking,

Families can use the cycle trail, go the seal sanctuary in Gwythian and check out Gelndurgan gardens, so there’s plenty to do.  Oh, and there is a absolutely lovely pub called The Golden Lion nearby. (But you have to cook on your stove at least one night for the real experience. Deal? Good.)

Lochranza Camping site  

 Stay at the Lochranza campsite in Arran, and prepare to feel very majestic all of a sudden. It must be the Scottish west coast wind, or maybe the sight of wild red deer, the medieval castle, the whiskey distillery or the beautiful setting, but Lochranza will make you feel a bit medieval yourself.

There’s hot water and plenty of clean facilities though, so you won’t get an experience worthy of a serf, but you can still keep up the face that it’s yesteryear with a trip to said distillery,  a walk or a cycle ride, a tour of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and a trip on the ferry to Kintye where you can sing Mull of Kintyre until it’s time to come back to the campsite.

The site itself is a great place to visit Skipness beach and castle, to play gold, and makes a base to get involved in fishing, kayaking and pony trekking.

Do you have any experiences of real campsites? Let us know!



One Response to The Anti Glamping Movement

  1. Mike says:

    We should start “Proper Camping” movement!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: