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THE BEST CAMPING SPOTS NEAR LONDON

12 PLACES

UPDATED SEP 8, 2020

Start a campfire. See stars. Wake up with the morning light… all the things you can never do in the city are the best part about camping. Pack a bag. These amazing campsites near London are just a short road trip away.

author

SAM WHITTLE

FITT LONDON CONTRIBUTOR

Eco Camp at Wild Boar Wood is tucked away in the heart of Sussex (between London and Brighton), just two hours from London. Smack bang in the middle of a five-acre woodland are fully-equipped private bell tents, fire pits, and eco stoves. And the only sounds you can expect to hear are the wildlife, a cracking fire, and the occasional passing train on the historic Bluebell Railway.

From April to October, you can take advantage of Beech Estate Woodland Campsite's "wild glamping" and "real camping" options. (Read: a bell tent or a pitch-your-own situation.) The campsite spans 20 acres and is nestled on the edge of a 600-acre woodland, which means there is plenty of space to explore. Take your mountain bike along to see as much as you can!

This place takes the idea of "roughin' it" lightly, as hot showers, bathrooms, and fire pits are there for your use. And they have a few different camping options to choose from. Book a traditional bell tent with log seating and a fire pit. Or, go for one of their "unusual" shelters, like a tree tent or gridshell. Either way, expect a relaxing escape in nature.

At this tiny Suffolk retreat two hours from London, you can stay in a yurt, bell tent, gypsy caravan, woodland hideout, or even experience full-blown country living in a converted barn. But if you prefer to bring a tent to pitch, that's fine, too. The campsite also has bikes for campers to borrow and an on-site pub that serves award-winning local ales.

An hour’s train ride will land you in Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty, which has some of the best and most beautiful walking trails in the countryside. The campsite has six Mongolian-style yurts, each decked out with locally made wooden furnishings and modern amenities for the ideal glamping experience. It's also a bike ride or long walk from Leith Hill and the famous Gothic tower, so make sure you check it out during your stay!

This Norfolk campsite is pitched to be more of a hangout for groups rather than a wilderness experience, but it’s perfect for a getaway with mates or a special occasion. There are multiple tents plus "The Wren's Nest” that sleeps six, a warehouse serving cocktails and coffee, and yoga classes on offer. From May to September, weekends are whole site hire-only, but smaller groups can go during the week.

Little Ropers is a small, no-frills campground a little over two hours from London in the Stour Valley. You won’t find any on-site breweries or fancy tents here. But there are 100 acres of woodland to explore. Oh, and if you forgot any essentials, there is a "Shop in a Box" where you can score some basics like matches, popping corn, and bread.

Any campsite that welcomes you with two bottles of cider is good in our book. Chalke Valley Camping is two hours from London on a working farm in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s somewhere between camping and glamping — aka the toilets flush, each tent is equipped with a double bed, and some cooking supplies. But it’s still off-grid. The tents can also sleep up to four, so bring a group and enjoy a weekend under the stars.

If you love taking care of Mother Nature as much as you love camping, you’ll feel right at home here. In a large expanse of Kent woodland, there’s recycling facilities, composting loos, and even biodegradable shower gel on sale; it's all very eco-friendly. The more secluded Bluebell Camping area is hidden deep in the woods, so if you’re in need of some R&R, head down for some peace and quiet.

A trip to Barefoot Campsites in Oxfordshire as a great excuse to unplug and appreciate the wide-open grassy lands of the countryside. The campsite is equipped with bell tents (you can also bring your own), composting toilets, two gas-fired camping showers, and tons of opportunities for outdoor activities. Think swimming or kayaking on the River Thames. Heads up: only wood purchased on-site can be burned, so bring cash.

Just under two hours from the heart of the city, The Orchard Campsite features 11 acres of tranquil, rural setting, multiple camping areas, and the option to have a tent pitched and waiting for you. The meadow is their largest camping area, with plenty of room to kick back and spread out. However, you can also set up among the trees at The Woodland site or near the area's pond or river. And with up to 20 electrical hookups, a camp store, and even coin laundry, you'll get a backwoods experience without having to totally abandon the comforts of home.

Holden Farm in Hampshire is far from glamping. You'll have to pitch your own tent, and you'll need to bring your own cooking and grilling equipment (fire pits are provided). But this spot has its fair share of perks. The grounds are on a working farm, and although campers are required to steer clear of the animals and crops, you'll be surrounded by grassy fields, plus ample space to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

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