When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of London life – and boy do we need that sometimes – then the gorgeous British countryside is always a pretty good bet. Luckily for us, there are plenty of rural spots within a couple of hours drive of London, which are perfect for both camping and glamping. With the current heatwave that’s rumoured to be hotter than Tenerife this week, we figured that now was the best time to give you a go-to camping around London guide. Here’s our rundown of 10 of the best places to go camping near London:
1. Woodfire Camping at Firle, East Sussex
Just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful South Downs Way, Woodfire Camping is a small and secluded spot situated on the peaceful Firle Estate. There’s loads to visit, eat and do within easy walking distance, making it perfect for families, walkers and cyclists.
You’re close to the beautiful beaches of Newhaven West, Saltdene and Cuckmere Haven, and there are also some great country pubs nearby too. In terms of facilities, you’ll find composting toilets, hot showers and a covered washing-up area. Note that the campsite lies within a ‘dark sky reserve’, meaning that there is no lighting onsite. So if you really want to get off the beaten trail, then this is the place to come! They’ve also got a lovely sister site at Westerlands too. You can find out about that more here.
You’ll find Woodfire Camping at the Old Coach Road, Firle Estate, Firle, BN8 6PA.
2. Plush Tents Yurt Village, West Sussex
Going camping doesn’t always mean that you have to get rid of comfort. Also nestled within the picturesque South Downs National Park, the Plush Tents Yurt Village is an award-winning, sustainable spot close to Chichester and West Wittering – one of the most beautiful beaches on the South Coast.
There’s a wood-fired hot tub, a fire pit, a treehouse kitchen, hammocks and a children’s play area here, and you’re also close to Firle Beacon here too – home of July’s ‘Rally, Sprint and Supercar Festival’. You can grab your tickets for that here.
You’ll find Plus Tents Yurt Village at Chapel Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 9AW.
3. Holden Farm Camping, Hampshire
This independent, family-run campsite is set right in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, and it’s a wonderful place to go and pitch a tent. A traditional campsite, you’ll be surrounded by rolling farmland here, and this being a ‘dark skies reserve’, nighttimes are perfect for stargazing and for listening to the cries of barn owls.
Dogs are more than welcome here, and there are clean-flushing toilets, hot showers, washing-up facilities and designated fire pits at Holden Farm Camping for you to enjoy toasting marshmallows here too.
You’ll find Holden Farm Camping at Holden Farm, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0NX.
4. The Orchard Campsite, Suffolk
Another fantastic addition to this lineup of the best places to go camping near London, The Orchard Campsite is located within eleven acres of stunning Suffolk countryside – not far from Rendlesham Forest. You’re within easy reach of the coastline here, and they’ve got an excellent onsite shop which stocks around 150 types of wine, beer and spirits from around the world for you to try.
They’ve also got pre-erected tents and a safari tent if you’d rather not pitch your own digs, and groups are more than welcome so this is a great place to come with your family or a group of mates.
You’ll find The Orchard Campsite at 28 Spring Lane, Wickham Market, Suffolk, IP13 0SJ.
5. Embers Camping at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
When it comes to campsites near London, then you couldn’t really get any closer than Embers Camping. Just five miles from the M25 in Surrey, this lovely hidden gem is set within a stunning National Trust estate right in the heart of the Surrey Hills, and is surrounded by 1,400 acres of natural beauty.
While they’ve got all the modcons you need here to really get away from it all, the real star of the show is the pizza oven, from where you can get some delicious stone-fired pizzas. There’s also a snack bar, barbecues, pre-erected bell tents and sleeping mattresses here too for when you want a bit of extra comfort.
You’ll find Embers Camping at Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BB.
6. Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite, Hertfordshire
Another of the best campsites near London, the Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite is located on the border of Hertfordshire and Essex and offers you the chance to really get back to nature. The setting alone is pretty fantastic – nestled among mature woodland and a grassy glade surrounded by water on three sides, it’s real back to basics stuff.
With limited facilities and none of the trappings of more commercial campsites, you’ll be able to camp out under the stars, hang a hammock from the trees and enjoy an open fire in a fire pit. There are only 17 pitches here, so you won’t be sharing the place with loads of others, and you can also go canoeing and catch-and-release fishing here too.
You’ll find Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite at Nazeing New Road, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 6TD.
7. Little Ropers Woodland Camping, Suffolk
Continuing the get-back-to-nature theme, Little Ropers Woodland Camping is a lovely little campsite set within a small parcel of woodland at the edge of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They encourage real back-to-basics camping here, so leave your iPhones at home and really get off grid!
In terms of things to do, you can wander or go cycling through the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside to areas such as Tiger Hill Wood, Arger Fen Nature Reserve and along the Stour Valley Path. There are also campfires and a small campsite shop selling a variety of locally produced and sourced items – including country pies. There are even some resident llamas!
You’ll find Little Ropers Woodland Camping at Little Ropers Farm, Assington Road, Bures, Suffolk, CO8 5JX.
8. Welsummer Camping, Kent
This family-run campsite is tucked away amongst the trees right in the heart of the Kent countryside. Dogs are welcome and there are some excellent dog walks nearby, there’s a focus on solely using green energy, and you can even book the whole site for intimate weddings, family occasions, workshops and learning events.
You can choose various different accommodation options at Welsummer Camping – including three-man woodland tents, a larger bell tent and even a wendy house! If you’re looking for a pint or two, take a walk to the nearby Pepper Box Inn, a traditional country pub-come-restaurant.
You’ll find Welsummer Camping at Chalk House, Lenham Rd, Harrietsham, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1NQ.
9. Feather Down at Sunninglye Farm, Kent
Tucked away in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this next addition to this roundup of the best places to go camping near London is certainly one of the most scenic. Run by the Miles family for over half a century, Sunninglye Farm offers five canvas hideaways which can be rented for either four or seven days – it’s a great thing to do with the kids for a weekend.
Sheltered by a shady hilltop copse, each one enjoys panoramic views across the surrounding fields and woodland, which are frequented by chickens, sheep, dogs, cats, pigs, wild fallow deer and even a horse. Each tented cottage has a well-equipped kitchen and wood burning stove, as well as its own individual campfire site with an outdoor cooker, and there’s also a raft-building activity and even pony pampering too.
You’ll find Feather Down at Sunninglye Farm, Dundale Road, Sunninglye, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 9AG.
10. Alde Garden, Suffolk
Rounding off this list of the best places to go camping near London is one of the only ones which can be reached by train. As the name suggests, this tiny little campsite is hidden away in a ‘secret garden’, which hides an array of quirky accommodation – including yurts, a treehouse and even ‘Badger Cottage’ – as well as a campfire, covered field kitchen, a compost loo and even a jungle shower.
There’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding area near Alde Garden, including The Sweffling White Horse, an award-winning real ale pub, as well as a whole host of nature and cycling trails, the RSPB reserve at Minsmere and the market town of Framlingham.
You’ll find Alde Garden at Low Road, Sweffling, Saxmundham, IP17 2BB.