In case you haven’t noticed, all kinds of crazy things happen around the country, every year. And quite often camping’s at the heart of it. Nick Harding takes us around the country to find the best off-site camping activities and attractions.
Nick Harding is... Out and About
Take the village of Priddy, near Wells in Somerset. Cheddar, Mendip Heights. The Camping and Caravanning Club Franchise campsite here has just said it’s going to be sponsoring a new event – Bale Rolling Races – scheduled for the village green on 6 June. It’s all for a good cause, of course, with money going towards the village school and pre-school.
Site owner Kate Sefton promises there will also be live music, as June’s hay bale rolling takes over from the previous sheep racing – apparently seen as getting too controversial.
She says: “Local businesses sponsor each of the races, which provides the prize money for the winning team.
“The key point here is how the community works together and supports itself. We are keen for the campsite to be seen as an integral part of the community.”
If you enjoy the June goings on, you might want to return in July. The site is also a sponsor of the annual Priddy Folk Festival.
Camping for the community?
Following on from the above, there’s loads of good that some campsites do in their local communities, of course. And, in some parts of the country, that also includes local volunteers actually running the sites themselves.
Any profits made go straight back to local initiatives. But, examples of such sites include Bosavern Community Farm in Penzance, Cornwall. Here, there are just eight pitches for tents, but it’s part of a whole farm owned by the local residents of St Just. So, if you want you can get involved in any of the farm activities – feeding he chickens, collecting eggs, planting and harvesting etc.
Or, some eight miles away, there’s Mousehole Camping. In the village of the same name, it’s a joint venture with the local football club. So, campers get use of the clubhouse, shower and toilet facilities.
Find out more about these and other community campsites across the country at pitchup.com.
En route around the top of Scotland?
Anyone out there heard of the North Coast 500? Check it out at northcoast500.com – it’s supposed to be Scotland’s answer to Route 66.
Starting and ending at Inverness, it heads out all around the craggiest, most northern parts of Scotland, taking in the Bealach Na Ba – the mountain pass through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula – with scenery, I’m told, that’s not to be missed.
Well, I’m certainly hoping to complete the whole run later this year. And I’m just wondering if any of you out there have any experience of what seems to be a fair few campsites along the way – including Applecross itself, Achmelvich beach, Clachtoll, Gairloch Sands, Wick, Inver Caravan Park - Dunbeath, Gruinard Bay Park etc… there seem to be loads!
Anyway, if you’ve visited any of them or the area, I’d love to hear any advice you’d care to give.
Talking of Certificated Sites…
Here’s news one of those Certificated Sites I mention from time to time. The Bateman’s brewery in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire doesn’t just host tours, there’s also place to camp here – in the paddock area between the Visitors Centre and the River Steeping.
Prices here start at £8 per night for up to a four-person tent.
Who is Nick?
Abandoned by his family at a very old age, Nick Harding spends a lot of time on his own – visiting campsites, reviewing gear and more, in his role as a freelance journalist specialising in outdoor leisure. That means he gets to travel to plenty of interesting places and meet interesting people... and write about it all!