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Written by George Fisher

Image for article CARRY ON CAMPING!

Over the last few years we have all heard about the ‘staycation’, UK residents choosing to take their holidays in this country, alongside the rise of ‘glamping’ or posh camping. If both these are true, then why are there fewer tents on our campsites now than five or six years ago? Even when the weather has been set fair, the campsites haven’t been packed as they once were.

Feedback from local campsites indicate that the demand for caravan and campervan pitches has grown, interest in camping pods and yurts has gone through the roof, but less people are rocking up with their families to spend time under canvas. You would have thought that the last two rather lovely summers would have encouraged Britons to get out and pitch a tent, but it seems we have been falling out of love with ‘real’ camping.

Is this trend set to continue? Will all campsites end up as parking for tourers and fields full of wooden pods? Is it a trend we would like to reverse? Why should we be bothered and what exactly do we get out of camping?

As you can imagine, my family and I are great camping enthusiasts. It plays an integral part in our family life; we couldn’t imagine a year going by without spending time enjoying the great outdoors whilst staying in one of our (many!) tents.

Here are my Top Five reasons why camping is not to be missed:

Affordable. OK, you first have to buy some equipment but once you have your tent, sleeping bags and mats it’s up to you how much to spend on camping. You can choose from fantastically equipped sites, with every home comfort to hand, which can be quite pricey (but still cheaper than hotels!) to spending nothing at all when you go wild camping in the more remote areas of the country.

  1. Antidote to Urban Living. The majority of the UK population lives in towns and cities, so camping is a perfect escape from the weekly grind. Swapping car horns and concrete for fresh air and freedom refreshes the parts other activities cannot reach! Being intimately linked to the outdoors helps build an understanding and appreciation of nature and the environment, which gives you a very different view of the world once you return home.
  2. Quality Family Time. In the days of 24/7 internet connection, when families spend more time interacting via smartphones and tablets, spending time with your family in a tent encourages real-world communication; whether that’s teamwork whilst erecting your home, deciding who’s cooking what for tea or discussing where to go on tomorrow’s adventure you create a setting where family interaction thrives.
  3. Child Friendly. No matter how young your kids are, camping will open their eyes to a new world of excitement. You may worry about packing all the right stuff, be anxious about pitching your tent for the first time or wonder what the weather will be like, but your kids don’t see any of this. The instant freedom given by living as part of the countryside is an opportunity they will grasp as only children can. Free-range Kids Rule!
  4. Campfires! Not when wild camping, and not every campsite is fire friendly, but they are out there if you look; there’s some elemental pleasure to be gained by building your own fire, warming yourself with its heat whilst chatting to your friends which can’t be replicated. Visit Fisherground Campsite in Eskdale to see what I mean (

Are you inspired yet? What are you going to do about it?

Get out your old tent? Buy a new one?

Glamping, camping or going wild, why not call in and talk to our experienced staff to chat through the options? We will help you get the most out of time spent under canvas outdoors; or even equip you for a visit to a pod. Buck the trend – get camping!

Image file name for top strip image: heptinstall camping205  (crop to fit)

Alternative: heptinstall camping207

Caption: Andrew Heptinstall courtesy of Cumbria Tourism