We are huge fans of campsites and can’t wait to be able to head off with our tent again, whatever the season. The fresh air, outdoors, crackling campfires, starry nights, and even those rainy days all make up some amazing memories and a great base for exploring the countryside.
With our camping trips usually just being me and Lily, I find I do a great deal of research before visiting any campsites to check they’re going to be as safe as possible to be visiting solo with a small child. If you’re not a fan of canvas, check out our top family-friendly staycation ideas here.
What do we look for in a campsite?
For us, they need to be quiet (few big groups of people) as Lily goes to sleep quite early and we feel safer on the quieter, smaller sites. They need to be family-friendly, peaceful, close to some lovely walks, and be clean!
We do a great deal of research and tend to go for family-run farm sites rather than mainstream campsites, where there are good reviews and often provide a more local experience of where we are staying.
As we’re usually on our own, I tend to lean towards campsites that are within about an hour of home in case of any kind of emergency, which means most of these recommendations are in the East Midlands. They also mean we can visit for a weekend, heading straight from school on a Friday then back for football on a Sunday morning!
We have some beautiful places to explore in the East Midlands, and whether we’re 10 minutes from home or several hours away, any camping trip is a wonderful little escape.
Our campsites further afield are usually stop-offs on the way to visiting family – so if you have any you recommend, please let me know as we’re always up for some inspiration.
Either way, I hope the below helps for some recommendations, and as we stay at more that we really do recommend, I’ll build the list and link to our full reviews for you.
Middlehills Farm, Matlock, Peak District
We can’t recommend Middlehills Farm in the Peak District enough – we loved it so much the first time we stayed that we returned again with a friend the following year. With both electric and non-electric pitches, Middlehills farm has everything you need for a stay with the family close to Matlock.
With a beautiful wooden play area, a small shop on site open at set times with local produce as well as camping essentials, and clean toilet and shower facilities, all surrounded by gorgeous views, you are sure to have a fantastic time at Middlehills Farm.
Prices were very affordable too – we paid about £13 a night for both myself and Lily with our tent, with pitches well spaced out and such friendly staff too.
West Lodge Farm Park (summer weekends), Kettering
Each summer, West Lodge Farm Park opens up their farm on set weekends for camping overnight and in 2021, they’ve not only added extra dates through June too, but also added the option of an extra night too.
While you’re there, you are assigned your own pitch for each of the weekend dates, keeping it family-friendly and peaceful, with quiet entertainment such as nature hunts for the kids and an early family quiz too.
What’s more, a farm-fresh breakfast and dinner is included and the staff are always beyond fantastic.
You also have access to the farm park for the weekend too, which is officially one of Lily’s favourite places. She never wants to leave when we visit, so the camping weekends there mean we don’t need to head home once the farm closes, we have the play areas, walking trails and animals to ourselves, and everything we need on hand for the weekend.
Upper Hurst Farm, Buxton, Peak District
Our stay at Upper Hurst Farm was definitely one for the memory books – it was just perfect, and everything we look for in a campsite. What attracted us first was the fact it is small, quiet and family-run, with camping pitches surrounded by stunning views across the Peak District.
The facilities were some of the cleanest and most beautiful we have come across on a campsite and there are accessible pitches too.
We felt extremely safe and Lily loved having the open fields to run around away from the tents and caravans, as well as the animals on the farm. The staff were so friendly and there were plenty of maps and guides on hand too to help plan for any local trips.
Prices were around £30 per night for a pitch with electricity and each pitch was well spaced out leaving you plenty of space around your tent. A fantastic location and a stunning campsite that we not only recommend, but we will definitely return to too.
Brook Meadow, Market Harborough
Although we have yet to stay at Brook Meadow, we are booked for June and cannot wait to stay. It is already on our list for recommendations, mainly because of the amazing customer service already, as well as the facilities on site.
Brook Meadow is a beautiful lakeside campsite, with electric pitches, hardstanding pitches, as well as non-electric lakeside spots. They are fantastic for families thanks to their pirate area that can be booked for groups if you wish, their natural play features, and all their facilities that are so welcoming for families too.
Surrounded by woodlands and meadows, Brook Meadow is a working farm, with even the option to collect your own eggs in the morning, and an open air cinema in the summer too. Prices are around £20 for a non-electric pitch and £24 for electric in high season, and there are also lakeside glamping options too.
We can’t wait to stay this spring, so full review will be coming soon, but the team have already been so friendly and helpful when I was booking. For more information and booking, check out their website here.
Stonehenge Campsite, Salisbury
One of our favourite ever campsites has to be Stonehenge Campsite near Stonehenge itself. We regularly visit family in Dorset, and it is the perfect place for us to stop off at on the way.
Stonehenge Campsite has some of the most beautiful facilities we have come across at a campsite on one of the most peaceful campsites we have ever visited.
The staff were just so lovely, extremely welcoming, and every little detail had been thought of, from the little shop serving everything you could need on a campsite, through to award-winning toilets and showers.
There are full recycling areas, hidden by beautiful trees, as well as different camping fields including the Meadow Field and Campfire Field, all surrounded by the stunning countryside.
We stayed in the basic Festival Pod as were only stopping by as we drove to Dorset, however we still needed to bring all our camping essentials and everything from the beautiful washing up area to the shower facilities were perfect for all the family to enjoy. We can’t wait to go back already.