7 holiday destinations for camping in autumn in the UK# Camping
Autumn is a fantastic time for camping in the UK. The weather is still pretty pleasant and, as long as you have suitable sleeping bags and gear, even the chillier nights aren’t uncomfortable. We’ve got 7 holiday destinations for camping in autumn in the UK for you. Get the campfire roaring in the evenings and enjoy cosy moments before bed. Plus, the cooler temperatures make daytime outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, and watersports, less hot and sweaty.
Why autumn is the perfect time to go camping in the UK
Most of the crowds have long gone home, meaning you can enjoy beautiful spots in relative peace and quiet. Also, fewer people usually make for easier wildlife spotting. Campsites are less crowded as well … no long queues for showers and toilets! And, nightly rates are often cheaper too.
The golds, russets, browns, and oranges of autumn beautifully colour the landscapes for the most breathtakingly picturesque scenes. The air is clean and crisp and sunsets seem somehow much more magical at the end of an autumn day. Gaze up after the sun has faded and you’ll likely be rewarded with perfect starry skies too.
Camping in the UK is so enjoyable over autumn.
For even more inspiration to get out there and enjoy this wonderful season, here are some top spots to pitch your tent or park your campervan for unforgettable autumn experiences.
Find your perfect Motorhome for your camping getaway in autumn
Check out these 7 holiday destinations for autumn
1. Camping in autumn in the UK: New Forest
While many campsites around the New Forest close from October, some remain open all throughout the year. Autumn camping in the New Forest puts you right inside one of the biggest forests in the UK, complete with stunning seasonal colours that change month by month and heaps of outdoor fun.
Located in Hampshire, the New Forest was once a favourite hunting spot of the mighty William the Conqueror. Today, the national park covers more than 200 square miles and is filled with vast expanses of pristine woodlands and crisscrossing rivers, as well as a stretch of stunning coastline.
Campsites in New Forest
The Holmsley campsite is located at the southernmost tip of New Forest. There are acres of woodlands and grassland for the kids to explore and the unspoilt beach at Barton on Sea is just a ten-minute drive away. The onsite shop sells a range of groceries and camping essentials. There are large open pitches and accessible facilities available.
If you’re looking for a traditional camping holiday set in a beautiful woodland location, Setthorns is the perfect New Forest caravan and camping site. There are no toilets or showers here therefore, your own chemical toilet is essential, however, hardstanding and electric hook-up available. Water and toilet disposal are provided and pets are welcome.
Shades of purple and pink heather cover the heathlands, contrasting beautifully with the yellows and browns of the changing leaves. Local wildlife includes the famous New Forest ponies, deer, and diverse species of birds, along with livestock like pigs and cows.
Spend active days in the great outdoors hiking and cycling, and head to the coast for exciting watersports, like canoeing and kayaking.
Somerset boasts rolling hills, scenic coastal areas, terrific walks, and cool attractions. In short, it’s an all-round fabulous destination for an autumn camping trip! The Quantock Hills offer excellent hiking opportunities through an area of outstanding natural beauty. Colourful scenes stretch far and wide and you can enjoy the sweeping vistas across the country.
Part of the famous South West Coast Path passes through Somerset, tracing the coast and taking in rugged cliff faces and attractive pastoral lands. The wildlife-rich Exmoor National Park is another top spot to enjoy nature and rich autumnal shades.
Wander through beautiful grounds and warm up inside magnificent country manors at Tyntesfield and Montacute House, both managed by the National Trust. Inhale the heady aromas of incense and soak up the mystical vibe in Glastonbury, climb Glastonbury Tor, and visit the evocative ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.
Take brisk walks along the sands at places like Brean Beach, Burnham-on-Sea, and Minehead. Crunch across leaves in King Cliff Woods, explore Cheddar Gorge, and warm up in the evenings with a glass of cider.
Campsites in Somerset
The Cheddar Mendip Heights – Camping and Caravanning Club Site is set in the heart of the beautiful Mendip Hills. You can choose between grass and hardstanding pitches included an electric hook-up, pets are welcome, there is a shop and a children’s play area.
3. Lake District
A gorgeous destination at any time of the year, the Lake District is particularly charming when the shimmering lakes reflect the earthy colours of autumn. You’ll find a number of campsites still open throughout Cumbria, providing you plenty of options for a base. Hiking trails are plentiful, and there are numerous options for fun on the water.
Drive along the shores of Ullswater, often said to be one of the region’s most spectacular lakes, and admire the cascading water at the nearby Aira Force. Enjoy the superb scenery of Grizedale Forest, feast your eyes on picture-perfect vistas from Surprise View (close to Keswick), and go star-gazing alongside Ennerdale Water.
Soak up the natural beauty at Buttermere, have an exhilarating hike up Scafell Pike, tour the Lakes Distillery, and take a boat ride on Coniston Water or Lake Windermere.
Beat the crowds at popular cultural spots, like the former homes of Beatrix Potter (Hill Top) and Wordsworth (Dove Cottage). And enjoy peace and quiet at heritage highlights like Castlerigg Stone Circle and the awe-inspiring Muncaster Castle. Pop into Grasmere for some locally made gingerbread and enjoy evenings in cosy pubs before climbing into your Motorhome.
Campsites in The Lake District
Located between picturesque Bowness-on-Windermere and the bustling market town of Kendal, the Windermere Club Site is ideally situated for exploring the stunning beauty of the Lake District National Park. The campsite includes a restaurant, a shop, club site Wi-fi and dogs are welcome. You can choose between grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups.
Situated on the shores of Derwentwater, the Keswick Club Site is also the perfect base from which to explore the Lake District. The campsite offers a Motorhome service point as well as a children’s play area, a parent and baby room, and dogs are welcome here as well. As per usual, you can choose between grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups.
4. Camping in autumn in the UK: The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is perhaps at its most picturesque over autumn when rich shades of nature surround picture-perfect chocolate-box villages. Several campsites remain open during autumn, providing plenty of options when it comes to a place to stay.
As well as touring scenic villages, like Castle Combe, Stow-on-the-Wold, Painswick, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Lacock, Burford, and Kingham (to name just a few!), you’ll find plenty of small forest trails to explore by foot or by bicycle.
Don’t miss visiting the National Arboretum and be sure to take your camera—there are trees from all around the world to enjoy in all their autumn glory. Get further into the seasonal spirit and visit Cotswold Farm Park to pick your own pumpkins.
Spend a day at Blenheim Palace, visit vibrant gardens like Batsford Arboretum and Painswick Rococo Gardens. Discover the splendour of the Wye Valley, and cradle a steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of a roaring open fire in a charming country pub.
The Cotswolds campsites
The Chipping Norton – Camping and Caravanning Club Site offers next to grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups also a battery charging facility that can come in handy. There is club-site Wi-fi and pets are allowed. A great starting point to explore the pretty Cotswolds towns.
You’ll find our pretty Winchcombe campsite in the heart of the Cotswolds. Its location near the village of Alderton makes this campsite the perfect base for exploring the area’s pretty honey-colour limestone towns and villages. At Winchcombe you can also choose between grass or hardstanding pitches – both including electric hook-ups. There is a shop, pets are welcome and there is even a designated dog walk.
5. Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park is a Scottish treasure, with spectacular Munros (AKA mountains over 3000 feet), dense forests, heather-clad moors, lochs (or lakes), wetlands, rivers, and waterfalls. Part of the Highlands, it can be a bit chilly, especially at nighttime, so be sure to pack appropriately for an autumn adventure. You can also visit one (or more!) of the area’s six distilleries for a wee dram of whisky to warm you up.
The biggest national park in the UK, Cairngorms NP offers a wealth of outdoor fun, from hiking and cycling to nature spotting, fishing, golfing, and water activities on the lakes. Look out for the free-roaming reindeer that call the area home and keep your eyes peeled for magnificent birds of prey.
Add some history and culture to your trip at splendid castles like Braemar Castle, Castle Roy, Knock Castle, and Corgarff Castle. And, don’t forget, the area also boasts Balmoral Castle— a favourite royal residence of The Queen! Other top attractions include the Highland Wildlife Park and Highland Folk Museum, just a short drive from each other.
A number of campsites remain open in the autumn, though wild camping is also permitted throughout most of Scotland. With little light pollution, the national park is an amazing place for stargazing from right outside your tent or motorhome.
Cairngorms National Park campsites
Scotland’s most famous loch is the stunning backdrop for this campsite in the Scottish Highlands. The aptly named Loch Ness Shores Club Site is located on the quieter south shore near the village of Foyers. Benefit from the shop, the available Wi-fi and bring your dog, because they are warmly welcomed. Grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups are available for your Motorhome.
Enjoy this peaceful Aberdeenshire campsite in the east of Scotland just outside the Cairngorms National Park, in an area favoured by royalty. The campsite has a Motorhome service point and Wi-fi is available. You can choose here as well between hardstanding or grass pitches with electric hook-ups.
While Devon’s campsites may be packed out during the summer, autumn brings a much more tranquil ambience. Several campsites remain open after high season, including both those with varied facilities and those that offer the wild-camping experience. Plus, actual wild camping is allowed in parts of the brooding Dartmoor National Park. Look out for the well-known Dartmouth ponies.
Take long walks along the sandy shores and admire the seaside scenery without the crowds, or follow numerous woodland trails to immerse yourself in nature. Even better—do both! Witness the incredible deer rut at Rackenford and Knowstone Moors, Scanniclift Copse, and Dunsford Nature Reserve. Bird lovers should check out the nature reserves at Meeth Quarry, Halwill Junction, and Bellever Moor and Meadows.
Visit heathlands to marvel at the perfectly matched shades of gold and purple. Hike sections of the South West Coast Path. Hop on your surfboard to ride the swelling waves. Pick apples ready for cider season. Get up close and personal with gentle beasts at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary. Experience local festivals. Relax in an inviting café. There are many ways to enjoy autumn in Devon.
Campsites in Devon
The Tavistock – Camping and Caravanning Club Site offers next to glorious views of Dartmoor National Park grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups, a shop, storage facilities, and dogs are very welcome here. A perfect starting point to discover the beauty of Devon.
Lynton Club Site sits above the stunning Exmoor coast. This peaceful and secluded campsite is rural heaven with beautiful views extending over the surrounding countryside and for some, panoramic views across to Wales. As per usual, there are grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups for you to choose from. Also, the campsite offers a Motorhome service point, as well as a shop and club site Wi-fi.
7. Brecon Beacons National Park
Located in the middle of Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park offers a wealth of autumn delights. The landscapes truly dazzle as the leaves change colours and begin to fall, and there are plenty of opportunities to spot diverse seasonal flora and fauna.
Gaze upon cascading marvels at the spectacular Waterfall Country; don’t miss the path that leads right behind the splendid Sgwd-y-Eira falls. Stunning at any time of year, it’s made all the more beautiful by autumn hues.
Admire striking buildings nestled among oranges and yellows. Top spots include Tintern Abbey, Llanthony Priory, Tretower Castle, Newton House, and the quaint Cwmmau Farmhouse. Wander alongside the Brecon Canal, cycle along wooded trails, admire the sweeping vistas from the top of Kymin Tower and see natural beauty at the National Botanic Garden. You can even get some water sports in too, with kayaking, canoeing, boating, and paddle boarding at rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
Spend nights in Fforest Fawr Geopark simply staring at the twinkling skies; as an International Dark Sky Reserve with some of the darkest skies on the planet, it’s the ultimate destination for astronomers and stargazers. Other amazing places for autumn camping around the UK include Yorkshire, Caithness, Dorset, Shropshire, Cardigan Bay, Bala Lake, the Isle of Skye, Northern Ireland’s Strangford, and Northumberland.
Brecon Beacons National Park campsites
The Rhandirmwyn – Camping and Caravanning Club Site is a wonderfully secluded campsite hidden in the Welsh hills. As usual, there are grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-ups available. A shop offers all the necessities that you could need, pets are welcome and there is club site Wi-fi available.
And that’s it! These are our 7 holiday destinations for camping in autumn in the UK. We hope you are inspired and will enjoy some colourful autumn adventures. Find the right campervan, including heating for colder nights, with us and you’re ready to go!