beach campsites, Campsites, Inspiration, Journeys
10 Best Beach Campsites from Bristol
10 Best Beach Campsites from Bristol
Beach Campsites are one of the most popular destination choices for our customers. Whether they are young families intent on spending their holiday building sandcastles and exploring rock pools, or adults looking for costal walks or possibly chasing the next big wave. Our base on the western edge of Bath is just a stones throw from Bristol. It is surprisingly the perfect place to collect your VW Camper hire for holiday destinations which feature beach campsites.
What is not surprising is the amount of people choosing to head down to Cornwall, despite the three and a half hour journey to get there. There is no disputing that Cornwall is a terrific place to spend your campervan holiday and has an amazing choice of beach campsites. But there are so many great beaches with in reach of Bath and Bristol. Many of which are within only two and a half hours drive.
Whatever your destination Bath is an amazing city to start and finish your holiday. We are well served by airport, mainline rail and motorways. Once you have collected your VW camper van hire for the weekend all you need do is choose a destination. To help you decide we have compiled a list of 10 of our favourite beach campsites within easy reach of our base. Hugging the coast line we have found choice beach campsites from Pembrokeshire in West Wales across to the West Sussex on the South Coast.
Taking Cornwall as our guide to the maximum distance to travel, we have stuck within a 200 mile radius of our base. So you can expect to drive no more than three and a half hours, traffic permitting, to reach your choice of beach campsites.
Our criteria for beach campsites to make the shortlist is simple.
- The beach must be walking distance from the campsite. Many campsites on the list have direct access to the beach, but the furthest away from the shore should be no more than a 30 min walk.
- They must have toilets, fresh water and hot showers. Electric hook up hasn’t been a priority as our VW California Campers are fine for touring off grid.
You will find campsites for all tastes, from back to basics farm campsites and relaxed eco sites through to family holiday centres. We tell you if dogs are welcome, if you are allowed a campfire and what facilities to expect. We also tell you about the local beach(es) including where and when to find lifeguards.
Gower Peninsula, South Wales.
1. Llanmadoc Camping & Caravan Site. (Closed until further notice)
Lagadranta Farm, Llanmadoc, Gower, Swansea, SA3 1DE
Beach Campsites: With direct access to Broughton beach, via charming gate cut through the boundary hedge, Llanmadoc is a an old school back to basics farm campsite. Unspoiled and laid back, you are sure to receive a warm welcome. The camping fields enjoy panoramic views across the sea to the coast of the ancient county of Pembrokeshire. The site is well placed and set in an unrivalled, well drained, sheltered location. Welcome to the “Best kept Secret on the Gower!”
There is a lovely site shop and cafe. If they don’t have what you need take a walk up the lane to the amazing community village shop and post office. It is full of wonderful treats, locally grown veg, fab wines, beer & cider etc. Fresh sourdough bread is available to order. Orders need to be placed by 4pm on a Monday to be collected Friday morning. They also have the best wifi signal too, so if you need to make contact with the outside world, grab a coffee and cake and surf away.
Open: May to mid September.
Facilities: The washrooms are slightly dated but clean and freshly painted. Showers are plentiful and the water is hot. The barn housing the washrooms also has a pot washing room too.
Dogs Allowed: By pre arrangement only.
Enquiries: 01792 386202
Booking: Phone between 9am and 8pm Mon to Fri, till 10pm Sat & Sun.
Beach: Broughton Bay beach sits at the north west of the Gower Peninsula. It’s one of the more remote retreats. The sands here can shift quite drastically with the tides, especially after a gale due to its situation at the end of the Loughor Estuary. At low tides, after the sands have shifted, many a rewarding find have been discovered by walking this stretch of beach. Not so long ago, the handle of a 17th Century sword was discovered. With a long history of shipwrecks in the estuary archeologists believe that this area still has a lot of treasure to disclose.
The tides can also make bathing here dangerous, so care is needed. Although at low tide a great kids bathing pool is revealed at a rocky head just to the north as you enter the beach from the campsite. Kids also spend hours diverting the small stream which empties onto the sands via the dunes by the campsite.
The southern end of the bay gives access, at low tide only to a series of small coves, the largest of which is Blue Pool Bay.
Broughton Bay is suitable for watersports and dogs are allowed on the beach all year.
Distance from Bath: 110 miles (2 hour 10 mins drive)
2. Carreglwyd Caravan & Camping Site.
The Seafront Port Eynon Gower Swansea SA3 1NN
Beach Campsites: With direct access to the beach, Carreglwyd is a busy, campsite on the South Gower Coast, overlooking the picturesque village and Bay of Port Eynon. The fifteen acre site, arranged across five well-drained and maintained fields surrounded by steep cliffs to one side and magnificent coastline on the other. The 400 pitches are non-marked or specified, enabling visitors to choose their own spot in relation to the facilities and the beach.
Open: All Year Round.
Facilities: Two modern sanitary blocks serve the Park which comprise of toilets, showers, laundry and dish-washing areas. There is also an outdoor wetsuit shower area. The campsite also has disabled persons and family washrooms which are wheelchair and pram friendly. All daily needs are catered for at the on-site shop, groceries, camping accessories, hardware, beach goods and off-licence as well as gas bottles and appliances.
Dogs Allowed: Yes. Please note there is a seasonal dog ban on some parts of the beach.
Camp Fires: No.
Enquiries: 01792 390795 – 9am -5pm
Beach: Port Eynon Bay is safe, sandy and award winning. Voted the Best British Beach in the 2011 Cadbury Flake 99 Great British Beach Awards. Port Eynon has both a Blue Flag and Seaside Award. Suitable for water sports.
Lifeguards: Yes on duty from May to September.
Distance from Bath: 108 miles (2 hour 20 mins drive)
Pembrokshire, West Wales
3. Whitesands Camping “Tan-y-Bryn”
Whitesands, St Davids, HAVERFORDWEST, Pembrokeshire SA62 6PS.
Beach Campsites: Situated on the most Westerly tip of South Wales, right next to Whitesands Beach, looking out to the Atlantic beyond – you can’t get much further away from the hustle and bustle of modern life than this! Pitch up alongside Whitesands Beach: choose the best waves from the comfort of your camper; go for a swim when the tide is just right; explore the rock pools below you; and experience the magic of a Whitesands sunset. The temporary Summer fields provide breathtaking views over Whitesands Bay. For those who enjoy “farm camping” and “wild camping”, then this will ‘hit the spot’. “A low-key, no-fuss spot with the best views around and effortless access to the beach. Nights are the real highlight: as the beach empties, campers at Whitesands more or less have their own private patch of sand – perfect for games and BBQs as the sun fades and the moon gradually illuminates the sea”.
Open: The main small site (30 pitches) open from Easter to 31st October. During August, the site expands to include additional fields.
Facilities: The facilities provided are basic. Electric hot showers (two with tokens, available from “Famous Pete”), outside cold water shower, toilets, an outside sink for the washing-up, fourteen electric hook-ups on the main site (“first come first served”, they cannot be booked in advance), and water taps dotted about the place.
Dogs Allowed: yes. (although Whitesands imposes a dog ban may to Sep, the coast path and nearby Porthsele or Porth Melgan beaches (15 minutes away) do not.)
Campfires: Campfires are not allowed (on the ground).
Booking: First come first served – there is loads of space, extra in August and another site 400 meters away operating the the same system.
Beach: Whitesands Beach awarded Blue Flag Beach 2016 and Seaside Award (Resort) 2016. Overlooked by the imposing craggy hill of Carn Llidi, this wide expanse of fine white sand curves north towards the remote rocky headland of St Davids Head.
This is one of the best surfing beaches in the country and therefore very popular. The surf ‘break’ is at the northern end and on busy days there are canoeists, surfers and body boarders competing for the best waves.
At this end, there’s a rocky promontory to climb on. At the quieter south end, there are some nicely sheltered bays.
Dog restrictions apply to the entire length of the beach between 1st May and 30th September.
If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times to make sure you’ve plenty of beach to play on and that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide!
Lifeguards: Yes, patrol between end of May and the beginning of September.
Distance from Bath: 164 miles (3 hour 20 mins drive)
4. Surfer’s Paradise Croyde Bay Campsite.
c/o Ruda Holiday Park, Croyde Bay, North Devon. EX33 1NP FOR SATNAV USE EX33 1PP
Beach Campsites: 60 seconds. That’s all it takes to reach the water from Surfer’s Paradise. You can literally roll out of bed, zip up the wetsuit, and hit the surf in about a minute. The campsite is so close to Croyde’s stunning surf that you can almost guarantee you’ll be first to the famous beach breaks. In fact, you are practically on the beach. The site is directly behind the sand dunes in acres of unspoilt lush green meadow, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And you’re only a short walk from the enchanting village of Croyde. Large groups are welcome.
Open: Fri 21st July to Sun 3 September 2017.
Facilities: Toilets, hot & cold showers, surf hire, picnic tables, RNLI lifeguards, weather & tide updates. Plus access to facilities at Ruda Holiday Park inc Laundrette, Bar & Kitchen, Shop, Soft play area and Surf School.
Dogs Allowed: No.
Enquiries: 0344 335 3677
Beach: Croyde Beach is famous as one of the UK’s best surfing beaches. The beach itself is very picturesque. A three quarters mile crescent of golden sand framed by two headlands, which offer protection from the wind. The fine sand is perfect castle building material and there are rock pools galore. To the rear are sand dunes. Despite being just on the other side of Baggy Point from Woolacombe beach, Croyde has a much less developed laid back feel to it.
In the summer months the beach can become quite crowded, especially during School holiday periods. But it is just a short hop over the hill to Putsborough Beach in one direction or Saunton Sands in the other and these are both several miles long!
Lifeguards: Yes, between Easter and late October.
Distance from Bath: 110 miles (2 hour 28 mins drive)
5. Cerenety Eco Campsite.
Lynstone Lane, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 0LR
Beach Campsites: Cerenety is peaceful, old fashioned, back to nature camping, where you can spend the morning surfing, delight in a relaxing afternoon picnic and while away long summer evenings watching camp fire smoke spiralling idly into the Cornish sky.
Make friends with the camp’s rescue animals. An amazing collection of animals live at Cerenity, Tipsy, the rabbit, horses and ponies, alpacas, friendly sheep, goats, chickens, tortoises, cats and Flipper the dog. They’re all very hungry so anybody who wants to help at feeding time, is more than welcome. if you are there in the spring you may even get to bottle feed a lamb or two!
Meander down the canal into town or take a 5 minute wander down the country lanes to the local secret beach.
Open: All year round.
Facilities: There are two good pressure, private showers, which are heated by solar panels. As is the nature of eco camping and the weather in the UK, hot water cannot be guaranteed all of the time, but it’s usually pretty good. The campsite recommend bringing a flannel and kettle for an old fashioned strip down wash when the weather is particularly bad. Toilets are compost . Those that are new to them, are usually pleasantly surprised. A team of dedicated volunteers clean the toilets and showers several times daily.
These toilets and showers are fantastic for the environment and take the edge off what would otherwise be wild camping!
Dogs Allowed: Yes.
Enquiries: 07429 016 962
Beach: You can choose from two beaches at Cerenety Campsite.
Upton Beach is a five minute ramble along country lanes and an easy clamber down the cliff path reveals a little known treasure. At Upton Beach you can explore rockpools, scramble over stones and cook on an open fire.So secret you’ll usually have it all to yourself!
If you feel like a change of scene a 15 minute walk will get you to Summerlease beach in town
Summerleaze Beach is Bude’s central hub of sand, surf and sun, and is a 15 min walk from the campsite. Clean safe and pretty. Summerleaze offers level access and a sheltered sea pool is ideal for young ones to have a salt water dip.
Distance from Bath: 158 miles (2 hour 52 mins drive)
6. Treveague Farm Campsite.
Gorran, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 6NY.
Beach Campsites: Treveague Farm truly is traditional camping as it should be. With room to roam and space to relax and extensive sea views in every direction, you can’t go wrong. You will find 40 pitches and generous tent space and there is also a wooden adventure fort in a safe area for the kids. Grown ups are also welcome to join in with a round of cricket or a game of tennis!
Open: Beginning of April to end of September.
Facilities: The heated shower and toilet block is designed to the highest standard including separate accessible facilities. Ladies have a dressing room with power sockets, mirrors and a safe baby changing area. There is a laundry and drying room for boots and coats, along with a kitchen equipped with fridge, power sockets and microwave. Amble down the coastal footpaths and explore a selection of beautiful dog friendly Cornish beaches, from the child safe sands to the secluded and romantic coves. A short stroll away friendly local pubs await.
Dogs Allowed: Yes.
Enquiries: 01726 842295
Beach: Treveague farm campsite is ideal for taking a beautiful walk to the beach. With 3 beaches surrounding the farm you are sure to find one that suits your needs. Being on the south coast of Cornwall the swimming waters are quite safe and mostly calm. This area of the coastline is generally great for families who just want to swim and play in the sea.
Gorran haven is a sandy beach only 10 minutes walk away from the campsite, accessed via a footpath over the farm and down a short bit of country road. You will find a beach shop, fish & chips, a restaurant, pub & general stores.
Hemmick Beach is a bit further away. A 15 minute walk will get you to this sandy beach with rockpools. There are no shops or facilities here.
Vault Beach is a further 10 minute walk beyond Hemmick beach. Vault beach is a long secluded, sandy beach, with pebbles, rock pools and good fishing.
Be aware that the far end of vault beach is a naturist beach.
Distance from Bath: 186 miles (3 hour 24 mins drive).
7. Maker Campsite.
Maker Heights, Millbrook, Near Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1LA.
Beach Campsites: This is Cornwall’s forgotten corner here on the beautiful Rame Peninsula. Expect spectacular sea and moorland views from this somewhat wild camping site.
Maker run a ‘Wild eco friendly site’ where they offer basic facilities, showers, loos and fantastic views. There are no designated pitches so you can choose where you would like to camp. However you are asked to please be aware of others views and personal space. As the site is in a high and exposed area you are recommend to bring lots of warm clothes and find a sheltered spot. Maker Campsite is an incredibly laid back place where everyone is welcome. To ensure everyone gets the holiday they desire there are 3 camping areas, Quiet camping, Family camping and Group camping. A short walk from the campsite are The twin 17th Century villages of Cawsand and Kingsand. Once a hotbed of smugglers the narrow and twisting streets with pretty pastel-coloured houses haven’t change much over the years. Please be aware that these streets can be hard to negotiate for people not used to them so campervans are best left at the campsite. You will find plenty of pubs, cafes and shops and two pleasant little beaches.
Open: All year round. By appointment during the winter months.
Facilities: Showers, flush and compost toilets.
Dogs Allowed: Contact the campsite.
Campfires: Yes, you will find fire pitches on site and logs can be bought in sacks from behind the reception shed.
Enquiries: 07900 994231
Booking: See website.
Beach: There are two small beaches a short walk from the campsite in the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand.
Cawsands Beach is a calm sheltered bay which is a great place for families and is generally considered a safe place for swimming. The beach is made of sand and shingle and also has plenty of rock pools to explore around the edges. Boats can be hired and there is a slipway from the beach. During the summer season you can catch a passenger ferry to Plymouth. There is a dog ban in place during the Summer.
Kingsand Beach, consisting mainly of sand and shingle is a south east facing beach which backs right onto the village. You will aways know the time due to Kingsand’s seafront clocktower, built to commemorate the coronation of King George V. Just like Cawsands, the beach is sheltered and has some great rock pools at low tide. Take advantage of the neighbouring pubs and enjoy a pint while you watch the ships coming and going from Plymouth Sounds. Kingsands beach is dog friendly.
Distance from Bath: 144 miles (3 hour 5 mins drive).
8. Leadstone Camping.
Warren Road, Dawlish, Devon. EX7 0NG.
Beach Campsites: A traditional campsite in an outstanding setting and just a 10 minute walk to the “Blue Flag” beach at Dawlish Warren. Leadstone Camping is set in just over seven acres of rolling grassland in a natural secluded bowl. Situated in an area designated as being of outstanding beauty, the beach and sand dunes are only an easy and safe half mile walk away. There is also a family-orientated pub en route which serves excellent bar meals at mid-day and in the evenings.
Open: 26th May to 4th September 2017.
Facilities: Leadstone has a modern toilet and shower block. Privacy and accessible rooms with shower, toilet and wash basin are available. You will also find a launderette and washing-up facilities. There is even a children’s adventure playground.
Dogs Allowed: Yes.
Enquiries: 01626 864 411
Beach: Dawlish Warren is a family beach resort with a “Blue Flag” beach. Backed by sand dunes and small lakes it is a haven for a great variety of wildlife. The Warren beach stretches for miles to reach the Exe estuary in one direction and Dawlish Town in the other. A perfect place for seaside fun, the beach is great for families to enjoy playing in the water knowing that the experienced lifeguards are keeping an eye on safety. During the summer there are many free open-air events, children’s entertainers and spectacular firework displays.
Distance from Bath: 114 miles (2 hour 4 mins drive).
9. California Camping.
California Cottage, Swanage BH19 2RS, UK
Beach Campsites: A small campsite, lies in the meadows of California Cottage. It has a firepit away from the tents, which can be used for small evening gatherings. Situated only a few minutes from dramatic cliffs and the south west coast path, there are stunning sea views across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight. The safe sandy beach at Swanage is only a mile away and rocky coves a short drive.
Open: Contact the campsite for details.
Facilities: Toilets, fresh water. (This one sneaked in without showers!)
Dogs Allowed: Yes.
Campfires: Yes, in designated fire pit.
Enquiries: 01929 425049.
Booking: See website.
Beach: Swanage Beach is a 25 minute walk from the campsite. The waters are clean, and the beach has won many European Blue Flag Awards. Swanage Beach has a well earned reputation for being a good place to soak up the sun and play in the sand and sea. Deck chairs are available for hire, as are pedaloes, kayaks and sun beds. Swanage Beach runs the length of the town and is backed by a promenade lined with amusements and attractions.
Lifeguards: Yes, during the Summer months.
Distance from Bath: 73 miles (2 hour 3 mins drive).
10. Scotts Farm Camping Site.
Cakeham Rd, West Wittering, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 8ED.
Beach Campsites: Scotts Farm Camping Site is a spacious, family-run site set in 30 acres of level grassland. It is situated on the Sussex coast just south of the historic town of Chichester. The village of East Wittering is within 10 minutes walking distance of the camp site. It has great choice of restaurants, pubs and shops to suit all your needs. Further along towards West Wittering is East Head with its award winning beach and rolling dunes.
Open: Check with the campsite.
Facilities: There are modern toilet and shower blocks with a wash and laundry room and accessible facilities. The campsite has a small site shop which supplies camping gas, ice packs and other camping sundries. Children have a sand play area with slides and swings.
Dogs Allowed: yes
Enquiries: 01243 671720
Booking: Scotts Farm do not take bookings and work on a first come first serve basis. Please don’t worry, they have only been full up three times in twenty years and they have all been on August bank holidays.
Beach: Offering wonderful views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs beyond, the unspoilt sandy beach of West Wittering has been a favourite destination for generations. High water quality and excellent facilities have made it one of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country.
Lifeguards: Yes. during the Summer months.
Distance from Bath: 104 miles (2 hour 34 mins drive)