The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Camping in the UK
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The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Camping in the UK

Unzip the excitement of the great outdoors by leaving behind your worries and enjoying a relaxing camping holiday in the UK. In fact, did you know that 97% of campers say happiness is their primary motivation for camping? So, why not try it yourself? If you’re a newbie to camping, here is a guide on everything you need to know about it – from finding the perfect camping destination to picking the right camping gear.

This guide will cover

Planning your camping trip

Before setting off on an unforgettable adventure, you’ll need to plan and prepare to ensure your camping trip runs smoothly. We’ve included steps to follow for beginner campers and some helpful tips to make your adventure a little easier.

Step 1. Find a camping destination

The first thing you’ll need to do is find a great camping destination. Lucky for you, the UK is flooded with beautiful countryside, sandy beaches, deep valleys and towering mountains. Spring and summer are the most popular times for camping in the UK, but you can experience the joy of camping throughout the year with our campsites which are open all year round.

If you don’t have anywhere specific in mind, check out some of our popular camping destinations.

More camping destinations

Step 2. Select a campsite right for you

Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to find and book a campsite that fits all your needs. You can filter through our campsites by unit type, pitch types, campsite facilities and features and the activities around the campsite.

All of our Club Sites are family-friendly, and many of them also dog-friendly. To make sure your chosen campsite suits your needs, you can scroll to the bottom of the campsite and see what’s included in each one.

Step 3. Choose what to camp in

For a successful camping trip, you’ll need something to camp in. The camping unit we highly recommend for new campers is a tent, but if you already have a camping unit on hand, you can skip to the information below regarding the maintenance and safety of your unit.

If you’re looking to purchase your first camping unit, a tent or rooftop tent are more affordable options for beginners. These require less maintenance, and it’s a brilliant way to test the waters and experience camping. If you then join the millions of campers who love exploring the UK, you could invest in a bigger camping unit such as a trailer tent, caravan, motorhome or campervan.


When buying the right tent for you, there are a few key questions to ask yourself:

  1. How many people are going camping?
  2. How frequently are you camping?
  3. What time of year will you be camping?
  4. How much are you looking to spend?

After you’ve decided on the above, you can pick your ideal tent. Here are some great advice blogs to help you make your decision.

Now that you’ve got your tent, you’ll need to know how to pitch your tent, how to take care of your tent and how to insure your tent for that extra peace of mind.

Beginner camping tip: Ask the retailer to show you how to pitch your tent or practice pitching your tent at home. This way, if anything is missing or damaged, you can solve the issue before reaching your campsite.

Check out our video and easy-to-use guide on how to pitch your tent in 8 simple steps.

Caravans and motorhomes

Caravans and motorhomes come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re great for frequent campers. If you already have one of these units, then the articles below will help you understand how to look after your caravan or motorhome and how to run it safely. If you don’t, you can check out our guide to buying a caravan and buying your first motorhome.

Beginner camping tip: Try looking for second-hand vehicles for more affordable caravan or motorhome options. Check out our guide to buying a used caravan and understand what price to pay, what to look out for, what documents to have and more.

Trailer tent or folding camper

A trailer tent or folding camper can be just as expensive as a caravan. As mentioned before, if you’re new to camping, it’s worth tent camping before investing in more expensive units. However, if you already own a trailer tent, or you’re looking to invest in one, here are some useful articles to read beforehand.

Step 4: Purchase insurance

The last thing you want or need is for you to get to your campsite and something goes wrong. To make sure nothing ruins your perfect camping holiday, purchase Club Care insurance.

More on insurance

Step 5. Purchase camping accessories

You’ve got your camping unit, and you’ve booked your campsite, what’s next? Well, there are a few other camping accessories that you’ll need to consider purchasing before you set off on your holiday.

Beginners camping tip: Save money and the environment by purchasing second-hand camping equipment. If you’re a member, you can also save by checking out our member-exclusive offers and discounts.

Step 6. Create a checklist

We know that planning any holiday can be stressful, especially if it’s your first camping trip. For that reason, we’ve put together the ultimate camping essentials checklist, so you won't forget a single thing.

If you’re camping with your family or your dog or taking a caravan or motorhome with you for the first time, you may need to remember a few extra items. Check out the pages below for some added inspiration and create your own personalised checklist.

Step 7. Plan out your camping meals

No one’s happy when they’re hungry. Plan your meals in advance so you don’t have to overpack or underpack. You’ll need to consider what ingredients to bring as well as any cooking utensils.

More food inspiration

Mapping out your route

To nail the confident camper look, you need to know where you’re going and how to get there. Whether you’re driving, cycling or catching public transport, plan your route ahead of time.

Driving to campsites

Some campsites are easy to reach, and others can be more challenging. It’s wise to set your navigation up beforehand and plan regular stops to refuel your vehicle and yourself.

To find the travel information for all of our Club Sites, scroll down to the ‘Travel’ section on your chosen campsite, and you’ll find the campsite address, directions, and clear instructions on how to approach it safely. If you’re still unsure, contact the campsite for further information.

Catching public transport to campsites

We have over 100 campsites that are accessible by public transport, meaning you can still love camping without a car. Make sure you pack light to avoid lugging too much around, and plan your journey in advance so you won't miss any buses or trains.

What to do while camping

Camping is all about enjoying the beautiful outdoors and taking in the fresh air. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, sunbather, nature lover or a history buff, you’ll definitely find something for you when camping.

More camping activities

Beginner camping with children

Camping is a fantastic, family-friendly adventure where you can step away from technology and make many new memories with your children. Our family-friendly campsites have on-site play areas for kids and great activities to do all around.

Beginner camping with dogs

Sometimes all you need is the company of your canine companion. There’s plenty to do when you’re camping with your dog. Not only do some of our Club Sites have designated dog walks and dog facilities, but there are also great dog-friendly activities nearby.

Before you leave the campsite

After you’ve had a spectacular camping holiday at one of our breathtaking campsites, make sure you leave no trace behind, so the next campers can enjoy a hassle-free trip. If you need caravan or motorhome storage, make an enquiry about our Club Site storage pitches.

Most importantly, remember to book your next camping trip in advance and check out our member-exclusive discounts to bag yourself some great savings.

Book a campsite today

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