Summer begins to wind down and autumn inches closer, but that's no reason to pack away your tent just yet. With good equipment and the right campsite, your CampLife can carry on well into the next third of the year. Our good friends at Cool Camping have put together a list of campsites that stay open even when the leaves begin to fall.
... and don't worry - if you don't fancy sleeping outdoors past August, they have included some luxurious glamping options as well.
Five enchanting clearings are tucked among the trees at this Wye Valley retreat, along with a clutch of insulated pods built with local timber. Campers each get a spot to themselves, with another clearing for campfires, a playground with its very own treehouse and a rainy-day cabin with games and a chillout space. Come autumn, the woods are ablaze with colour, while a wood-fired sauna – newly added for 2019 – injects extra warmth into the wild setting.
A pitch for up to four people from £25 per night.
Monsal Head is one of the most photographed spots in the Peak District. The combination of the winding River Wye and the famous Headstone viaduct create a picture-perfect scene, even more so during a colourful autumn. A short stroll up the hill (and past a local pub with open fires), Dale Farm has tiered tent pitches, providing flat space amongst the slopes. Campfires are allowed, there’s free WiFi and a cute farm shop selling home-reared meats and fresh vegetables.
A pitch and two people from £9 per night.
Set a hundred yards back from the sparkling waters of Little Loch Broom, remote Badrallach Campsite is best visited in the midge-free months either side of high summer. If the weather is amenable, mighty An Teallach and the surrounding mountains make for formidable climbing challenges, while rougher days lend themselves to hunkering down and enjoying the wildness of the place. If not booked out, an on-site bothy can be used by campers, with a wood burner, dining area, darts, board games and lounge space.
A pitch and two people from £12.50 per night.
Popular with hikers and mountain bikers, this established campsite has been around since the 1950s. Despite its age, facilities are far from dated – site-wide Wi-Fi, a modern kitchen space and family washrooms among them – while the main attractions remain timeless: the Brecon Beacons are on the doorstep, it’s a five-minute stroll into Llandovery and it’s perfectly placed for visiting Carmarthenshire’s most famous castles if the weather takes a bad turn. Modern glamping pods are also available if you can’t hack pitching the tent.
A pitch and two people from £13 per night.
From the East Riding Festival of Words and the Beverley Misletoe Festival, to Butt Farm’s very own annual outdoor cinema screening, there’s plenty to occupy campers in East Yorkshire this autumn. The farm offers flat, well-drained pitches throughout the year, with campfires allowed, There is excellent footpath and bike access and plush facilities housed inside the old barns. Gothic Beverley Minster is easily reached, with ample blackberry picking en route should you choose to walk it.
A pitch and two people from £16 per night.
Set around a former railway station (the owners live in the old ticket office), this woodland campsite has an encouraging attitude to campfires, with tripods and cooking grills you can use and ample firewood. Each pitch is in an auburn autumn clearing with a tarp strung up on one side to give you some extra weather protection and a perfect space to set up your makeshift camp kitchen. There are three good pubs within walking distance, while Dartmoor National Park and the North Devon coast are an equidistant half-hour by car. With only over 18s allowed, it’s a guaranteed haven of peace whatever the time of year.
A pitch and two people from £26 per night.
No electricity, no mobile phone signal and a wheelbarrow for weaving your gear through the trees to your tent; camping on the Beech Estate is a real off-grid experience. Thankfully, that’s precisely why people love it – particularly busy Londoners who can get there quickly by train. Over a quarter of the vast 2000-acre estate, has been set aside for guests to walk, mountain bike and generally run wild, with camping pitches set in woodland clearings. Roast chestnuts over the open campfire, try your hand identifying giant puffballs and fungi or stick to the fistfuls of blackberries that grow in the forest’s more open areas.
A pitch and two people from £38 per night.
And three cosy glamping options...
Old meets new at this pod glamping site in the Norfolk Broads, where autumn mists gather around a 200-year-old mill – a breath-taking view from your bedroom. The pods have just opened and feature all mod cons – WiFi, smart TVs, en-suite bathrooms and intelligent heating – and there’s a picnic table and firepit outside. A footpath runs out to the banks of the River Bure, where the local birdwatching is excellent. Look out for drakes, avocets and Norfolk’s famous pink-footed geese, returning from Iceland every autumn.
Pods sleep up to four people; from £120 per night..
There are few mountains in England as iconic as Blencathra, the chunky, ridge-lined peak in the north of the Lake District. Just a mile or so across the meadows, Ewe Love Camping Pods enjoy the spectacle in all its glory, with the mountain dominating the view from your glass doors and private BBQ terrace. Inside, the pods can sleep up to four people, with one of the three accepting dogs, while outside guests enjoy instant access onto the local footpaths and the likes of Keswick, Castlerigg Stone Circle and Ullswater just down the road.
Pods sleep up to four people; from £120 per night.
In a cobnut orchard just outside Tonbridge, this pair of 19th century vintage vans, boast original features alongside hot showers, wood-burners and rustic camp kitchens. Enjoy a cuppa and toast marshmallows around a campfire, admire the golden trees of National Trust-owned Ightham Mote (a 40-minute walk across fields) or take part in the Autumn harvest by foraging for cob nuts and roasting them on the fire. What’s more, a wood-fired hot tub comes with an unlimited supply of wood, so you can bathe, stargaze and warm-up all at the same time.
The huts sleep up to two people each; from £75 per night.