How to Organize a Fantastic Autumn Camping Adventure in the UK

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Autumn Camping UK

Picture this: the slow descent of a winged seed from a majestic maple tree, the crackling embers of a campfire on a crisp morning, and nights spent gazing at a star-studded sky. Autumn camping in the UK offers all this and more. It’s a season when you can savor the plump berries adorning bushes and bid farewell to swallows as they migrate to warmer climates. Plus, with new legislation extending the operation of pop-up campsites to 60 days, instead of the previous 28, there’s no shortage of opportunities to immerse yourself in the golden hues of autumn. Here’s your comprehensive guide to planning an unforgettable autumn camping trip in the UK.

Choose Your Campsite Thoughtfully

The first step in planning your autumn camping escapade is to pick the perfect campsite. Consider what motivates you the most: adventurous activities, breathtaking landscapes, or top-notch facilities?

For those seeking the sheer beauty of autumn, Rhinefield’s Ornamental Drive in the New Forest offers a breathtaking display of gold, while the woods around Ullswater transform into a painter’s palette of rich ambers, buttery yellows, and caramels. While the Lake District is a paradise for hikers, there’s always a chance of autumn showers. If you’re an avid trekker, head to campsites like Eskdale Campsite in Boot, Cumbria, or Castlerigg Farm Camping in Keswick, both equipped with drying rooms for your wet weather gear in case of rain.

The cooler autumn temperatures make glamping an attractive option. Yorkshire’s A Place In The Pines offers a safari tent and a Scandinavian cabin with a luxurious bronze bathtub, while the Orchard Yurt on Lombard Farm in Cornwall boasts its bubbling whirlpool bath, perfect for unwinding.

It’s crucial to note that some onsite shops may have reduced hours after the peak season, so it’s wise to ensure all the amenities you need will be available at your chosen campsite before making a reservation.

Be Prepared for Autumn’s Challenges

For those who enjoy self-pitching, ensure you have the right gear for the weather and inspect your equipment beforehand. Invest in a double-skinned tent to provide extra protection against wet weather. Properly peg down your tent, including the guy ropes, to create space between the layers and prevent condensation. Placing a high-quality tarpaulin on the ground adds an extra layer of insulation against the cold, and a raised camp bed can offer a more comfortable night’s sleep compared to an air mattress or sleeping bag. When choosing a pitch, opt for higher ground or an area less prone to flooding in case of rain.

Lastly, pack battery-powered lamps, head torches, and fairy lights. These are not only practical but also add a magical atmosphere to the darker autumn evenings. There’s something uniquely enchanting about snuggling up in a sleeping bag and falling asleep to the soothing sounds of nature.

Embrace Wild Camping

Wild camping, the practice of pitching a tent in remote areas with no facilities, is legal in many parts of Scotland. However, some areas have restricted it due to overuse, so thorough research is essential. In general, campers can discreetly set up in unenclosed areas like farmer’s fields, but they must leave no trace when they depart. Keep in mind that wild camping is illegal in Wales, Northern Ireland, and most of England, except for Dartmoor, where the ban was recently overturned.

Scotland’s Loch Drunkie is particularly captivating during autumn, and you’re free to wild camp here, thanks to the country’s right-to-roam laws.

Explore Multiple Sites for a Diverse Experience

Sometimes, the best way to fully savor the changing seasons is by camping in several different locations. Consider Glen Affric, located west of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a stunning spot in autumn, with stags rutting on misty mornings and a vibrant display of bracken, birch, and oak trees. Multiple campsites are scattered along the icy rush of the River Affric, connected by single-track forest lanes. Think about hiking between them on short day treks and experiencing a new glamping campsite with each move, from Craskie Glamping Pods to BCC Loch Ness Glamping, and finally to the Coiltie Glampod site.

Don’t Miss These Three Outstanding Autumn Campsites

  1. Cefn Coed, Gwynedd: If you’re drawn to the allure of Snowdon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sheltered ancient oak woodland of Cefn Coed. Located within Eryri National Park (Snowdonia), this historic 75-acre estate offers nature and tranquility, complete with front-row seats for the mesmerizing autumn leaf show.

  2. Comrie Croft, Perthshire: With nearly 55 miles of walking and biking trails and over 40 munros within an hour’s drive, Comrie Croft is the perfect base for exploring the wilds of Perthshire. Its birch woodland is particularly enchanting during autumn.

  3. Drum Manor Forest Park, County Tyrone: This 231-acre forest park near Cookstown in Northern Ireland boasts a mature mix of cedar, Scots pine, beech, and oak trees. Accessible via waymarked trails, it features an arboretum that blushes in reds and pinks come September. The campsite is conveniently located near the waterfalls and gorges of the Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Plan Your Trip Smartly

With autumn bringing shorter days, proper lighting and power are essential. Consider GP AA or AAA batteries, known for their long-lasting power and leak-proofing, thanks to cutting-edge G-TECH advancements.

Now that you’re armed with these tips, get ready for an unforgettable autumn camping adventure in the UK. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the golden landscapes of the Lake District or embark on a wild camping expedition in Scotland, autumn in the UK promises an experience you’ll cherish forever. Happy camping!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Autumn Camping UK

Q: How should I choose the right campsite for an autumn camping trip in the UK?

A: Start by considering your preferences: adventurous activities, scenic beauty, or modern facilities? Research campsites in locations like the New Forest or Lake District for stunning autumn views. If hiking is your thing, look for sites with drying rooms like Eskdale Campsite or Castlerigg Farm Camping.

Q: What gear should I bring for autumn camping in the UK?

A: Prepare for varying weather conditions. Use a double-skinned tent for wet weather, peg it down properly, and place a tarpaulin on the floor for insulation. A raised camp bed is comfier than an air mattress or sleeping bag. Don’t forget battery-powered lamps, head torches, and fairy lights for both practicality and ambiance.

Q: Is wild camping allowed in the UK during autumn?

A: Wild camping is legal in much of Scotland, but research specific areas as some have restrictions due to overuse. It’s generally illegal in Wales, Northern Ireland, and most of England, except Dartmoor, where the ban was overturned recently.

Q: What are some exceptional autumn campsites to explore in the UK?

A: Consider Cefn Coed in Gwynedd for Snowdonia’s charm, Comrie Croft in Perthshire for outdoor activities, and Drum Manor Forest Park in County Tyrone for serene woodland camping.

Q: How can I ensure a well-lit campsite during the shorter autumn days?

A: Opt for GP AA or AAA batteries known for long-lasting power and leak-proofing, perfect for autumn camping when daylight hours are limited.

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3 comments

OutdoorExplorer23 September 15, 2023 - 7:27 pm

these r sum top campsites, man. im thinkin comrie croft sounds awsum. def gonna check that out. gr8 job on the guide!

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CampLover90 September 16, 2023 - 8:22 am

great stuff! u kno i luv camping in autumn. this is a gr8 guide 4 me. i wana go 2 the lakedistrict so bad after reading this!

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Wanderlust101 September 16, 2023 - 8:54 am

do they allow campfires in the new forest? wud b a bummer if i cant roast marshmallows!

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