The best campsites in the Northeast according to Google

For some, it brings back childhood vacation memories steeped in the golden glow of nostalgia; for others, it’s more an association with rainy weather, the smell of damp linens and arguments over who does the dishes.

Either way, camping is a traditional British family holiday which these days is a much different experience compared to the leaky tents and basic facilities on offer back then. Whether it’s “wild camping” under the stars or rolling out your sleeping bag in a luxury glamping pod, it’s become hugely popular in recent years; especially since staycations have taken off during the pandemic.

Now, while families have rediscovered the attractions of their country of origin and the joys of camping in the great outdoors, campsites are very much in vogue and seem set to do great business again this summer. The North East certainly has plenty, providing an ideal base for exploring the region’s attractions and stunning scenery.

Read more: Ideal girls’ weekends around Newcastle

Additionally, modern campsites offer opportunities beyond tent holidays, with many also catering to caravan and motorhome enthusiasts. Here’s a roundup of the best campsites around Newcastle and the North East, as listed by Google based on reviews. And they include something for everyone, from wild camping to luxury glamping.

A family camping trip in action. Image: Mountain Warehouse

Treadmill Camping

This Northumberland campsite, circled by the River Coquet, is just 30-40 minutes’ walk from Warkworth Castle which follows the river past the hermitage and then reaches the sandy Warkworth Beach. One reviewer called the site “cool” and added, “Nice position with a field down to the river. Friendly and helpful hosts. Well maintained facilities. Would recommend.” Another loved its large pitches and proximity to the river.

Strawberry Hill Farm Camping and Caravan Park

At Old Cassop in Durham, this holiday park was rated ‘excellent’ and hailed as ‘a great location, lovely family site’ by one visitor. The pitches are a mix of hard ground or grass and it is said that for less able campers there is a fully equipped bathroom with disabled facilities. Another reviewer wrote of it: “Great quiet caravanning and camping”.

Woodside Ridge RV Park

“Brilliant campsite, very clean and well maintained,” said a visitor to this family-run rural holiday park in the town of Kelloe, outside Durham city, open to tents as well as caravans and camper vans. It also has a small playground for the youngest and access to the nearby woods and fishing pond. Another reviewer remarked on its laid back atmosphere and one added, “Fantastic site, everything you need and friendly staff, highly recommend.”

Livestock Hill Farm

Touted as an AA award-winning five-star site, this one near Haltwhistle, Northumberland, also caters to glamping and caravanning in addition to camping and has been summed up simply by one satisfied customer as “the best campsite I’ve been to ‘, while another rated the ‘impeccable’ shower block as ‘probably the best I’ve used’. It also has a children’s farm and a barbecue hut, with an open fire with grill and stargazing terrace, for meetings of up to 20 people.

Leekworth Caravan Park

‘Excellent site – been coming here for a few years now, lovely peace and quiet’ thought a regular visitor to this campsite at Barnard Castle in Middleton-in-Teesdale, while another wrote: ‘Place is tidy and well secured etc. Nice river to fish and we love it.” On the banks of the Tees, its location is surrounded by the North Pennines and the Teesdale Way runs alongside it, joining the Pennine Way and the village of Middleton which is a 10 minute walk away. It also has a stone shepherd’s house option.

Haltwhistle Camping and RVing Club website

Situated in a clearing in Bellister Wood, Northumberland, formerly part of the Bellister Castle Estate and now managed by the National Trust, this site benefits enormously from its location in the North Pennines Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty and a European Geopark. It is described as a haven for wildlife like rabbits and woodpeckers. One visitor said: “Very calm site, ideal place as a base camp” and another noted: “Really pretty site, tucked away in a dead end in a small valley in the middle of the woods and next to the river. I half expected little pixies to appear on the green! Seriously, this is a good, clean, quiet site that I would recommend and happily return to.”

Beadnell Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site

In Chathill, Northumberland, this campsite is opposite the beach and has won accolades from happy campers including “Amazing site; staff are the best nicest people ever” and “The food shack on site sells excellent fish and chips and delicious steak pies”. As well as having views of the coast and the Cheviot Hills, it is within walking distance of Beadnell and Seahouses – from where it there are boat trips to the Farne Islands – and keen cyclists might also like to know that the coast and castles and national cycle routes both pass its entrance.

Barnard Castle Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Reviews of this County Durham site include praise for its very clean toilet block with ‘plenty of hot water’, play area and ‘playground’, adding that there is ‘a very pretty walk in Barnard Castle itself. A dog lover’s paradise.” Another said the walk was either along the road or through woods and fields and one highlighted the ‘very friendly welcome on arrival as usual’.

Hadrian’s Wall Caravan and Campsite

Offering a rural getaway, this site – on the edge of Northumberland National Park, with Hadrian’s Wall on its doorstep – invites visitors to “watch the sun go down in the evening and rise in the morning listening to the chorus of birds”. and, in addition to attractions such as its starry night sky, it says “nothing can be better for your mind, body and soul”. It seems many agree with one reviewer delighted to wake up to the sight of rabbits, ducks, chickens and robins. Another said: ‘Beautiful campsite and friendly owners’ and one who also loved ‘the warm welcome’ added: ‘Fantastic campsite about 1 mile from the best bits of Hadrian’s Wall. Beautiful pitches on terraces that give the impression of being very isolated but with beautiful views. The facilities are among the best and cleanest we have seen.” There was also praise for the local bus service.

Serenity Campsite

Based in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, this “fantastic, clean and quiet campsite” – as one user described it – has been dubbed an “outstanding site!” in another review which continued: “Immaculate toilet/shower blocks. Very well maintained site with lovely staff. Two pubs nearby bonus! Exhilarating walk along the Cleveland Way to Staithes. Definitely will return to this gem of a ‘a website .” It is located a mile from the sandy beach of Runswick Bay, which was apparently voted the best in the UK by the BBC in 2020, and the same distance from the “postcard fishing village” of Staithes.

Old Hartley Caravan and Motorhome Club Campground

Perched atop a cliff overlooking St Mary’s Island Nature Reserve in Whitley Bay, this site mentions its proximity to the beach and wider northeast attractions as well as its public transport links. One visitor to the coastal site enthused: “The site is one of the best for views of the sea and St Mary’s Lighthouse. The sunrise is well worth the effort of getting up.” Another wrote: “Everything is very clean; nice clean showers, very good.

Stonehaugh Campground

Billed as a quiet and relaxed rural site – and flat to boot – it’s located in the Northumberland National Park, between Kielder Water and Forest Park and Hexham. It has hot water showers powered by a wind turbine and solar panels to be more eco-friendly (although there is electricity as a backup). Its setting is in moorland on the edge of Wark Forest and the nearby village of Stonehaugh which was apparently designed in 1951 for Forestry Commission workers who were planting the forest at the time. Reviewers called it “a lovely well maintained campsite” and praise included: “Showers are clean with plenty of hot water. Owners were helpful too. Would recommend this site if you want peace and relaxation “.

White Water Park Caravan and Motorhome Club Campground

At Tees Barrage, Stockton-on-Tees, this site is adjacent to what is billed as “Britain’s largest canoeing and whitewater rafting course built to an international standard”, if you’re feeling asset. The area is also home to an International Riverside Summer Festival and the Head of Steam Railway Museum. Those who have stayed have left reviews which include ‘one of the best sites in the area, been many times over the years’ and praise for the finishes and the fact that it is ‘clean, tidy and beautifully decorated with plants and flowers”. He added: “They really went the extra mile.”

Usha Gap Campground

This site in Muker, Richmond, snuck into Google’s North East listing and perhaps rightly so, as one review called it “a fabulous camp site, one of the best you’ll find never”. Another highlighted its space, ‘free hot showers’ and plenty of walks and pubs within walking distance and one wrote: ‘Cracking site. Well organized with good facilities but fabulous relaxed atmosphere too .It’s thanks to the owners who are super helpful. Brilliant for little kids and dogs too.”

Kielder Campsite

Based in Kielder, Hexham, Northumberland, this remote and rustic self-catering site is well placed to take advantage of the region’s famous dark skies for stargazing. Also, it has no mobile signal, so it seems like there is no choice but to relax properly. One review called it: “Basic but lovely site. Everything you need. Perfect location for stargazing, walking and cycling.” Another recommended their camping pods and one said, “We love this campsite, it’s just fabulous.”

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