Club History - The Camping and Caravanning Club - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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Our History and Heritage

The largest Club for all forms of camping - experts in the field for over 120 years.

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In August 1901, six people went camping in an orchard on the outskirts of Wantage. From this small beginning, The Camping and Caravanning Club has grown to over 700,000 members over the last 120 years.

Club Presidents

Julia Bradbury, current Club President

Julia Bradbury, TV presenter and outdoor enthusiast, became President of The Camping and Caravanning Club in 2013. Best known as a presenter of BBC Countryfile, Julia’s passion for the outdoors make her ideal for the role. On taking up the post, she said,

        “I have always been a keen advocate of the outdoor lifestyle ever since my dad took me out walking into the Peak District after school and at weekends, and camping and caravanning is a priceless chance to get closer to nature and back in touch with who you really are.”

Thomas Holding

Our founder was Thomas Hiram Holding – the founder of modern camping. In 1853, he travelled across America with his parents as part of a wagon train and this fostered his lifelong love of camping. He was also a keen cyclist and published a book about a cycling and camping trip he took to Ireland. This led to the formation of the Association of Cycle Campers and ultimately to that first camping trip in Wantage.

Lord Baden-Powell

In 1919, Lord Robert Baden-Powell was appointed President of the Club. By that time, he had already made a name for himself as a soldier during the Second Boar War. Using ideas from this, he went on to set up the first meeting of what would become the Scout movement on Brownsea Island, Dorset in 1907. Scouting for boys, first published in 1908, went on to become the fourth best-selling book of the 20th century.

Scott of the Antarctic

Robert Falcon Scott was a naval officer before he began his polar exploration. He became President of the Club in 1909, a year before setting out to his fateful attempt to reach the South pole. Club lore says he took a Club flag on the journey. The team was caught in fearsome weather conditions on the return trip and never returned to base. Their bodies were buried under the tent and the location marked with a cairn of ice and snow.

More of our history

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