5 of the Best – Adults Only Caravan and Campsites

06 Feb 2012

Despite beliefs to the contrary, ‘adult-only’ caravan sites are not peopled by Victor Meldrew type miseries. The people who come to this ever-increasingly popular kind of site are a very mixed bunch but they all have a few things in common. They prefer the sounds of birdsong to backdrops of yelling youngsters and like to recline on their lounger safe in the knowledge that there will be no footballs or frisbees ricocheting off their heads.

Once upon a time adults only camp and caravan sites were few and far between but as the demand has risen, so too have the choices and now you can find them throughout the UK quite easily. But of course not all camp-sites are created equal. All of those listed here have something special, an ‘X factor’. That certain extra something, very real but somewhat indefinable, that raises them above the caravan site commonplace.

Faichemard Farm

Invergarry, Inverness-shire, Scotland, PH35 4HG

www.faichemard-caravancamping.co.uk

Beautiful Faichemard poses a problem for us – which ‘best of’ list to put it in. Most stunning location, most tranquil, best mountain setting? – this gem of a camp-site with its Glengarry mountain backdrop surrounded by forest could qualify for all them.

Peace is guaranteed even in high season because the 35 pitches are spread over a whopping 10 acres, each has a to-die-for view and its very own picnic table. Walking, climbing and mountain biking are all popular pastimes here but so too is sitting and dreaming, with a glass of wine in hand as the sun goes down.

Facilities: Toilets, showers, electric hook-up, hard standing, laundry facilities, chemical disposal, pets welcome.

Open: April to October.

Tariff: £12 per pitch per night (unit, 2 adults, awning and car), electric £1.50 per night. If you book for 7 nights you get one free.

Longnor Wood Holiday Park

Newton, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 0NG

www.longnorwood.co.uk

If you are thinking karaoke, third rate pub singers and bingo because of the ‘holiday park’ epithet then you are entirely on the wrong track. This Peak District, adults only camp-site does have enhanced facilities suited to the caravanner and motor-homer wanting a few more luxuries and conveniences but otherwise it is all about escape from the loud, the fast and the stressed.

Surrounded by woodland and farmland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Longnor Wood is tucked away and secluded, hidden from any road. However, for convenience, Longnor village, the location for filming of ‘Peak Practice’, is only 1 ¼ miles away offering pubs, restaurants, galleries and general supplies. Horse riding, golf, fishing and hiking/walking are all nearby.

Longnor Wood Holiday Park proudly flies its AA 4 Star pennant, its David Bellamy Gold Award (for campsites which display commitment to the ‘green’ cause) and is a member of the exclusive Tranquil Touring Parks.

Facilities: Toilets, showers, laundry, dish washing, on-site shop, Wi-Fi, putting green, boules court, hard standing, some fully serviced pitches, tourist info, woodland walks.

Open: March to January.

Tariff: From £23 per pitch per night for unit/car/awning/electric/2 adults.

Canalside Caravan Site

31 Grindley Brook, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 4QJ

www.canalsidecaravansite.20m.com

Wildlife, the old fashioned English idyll and a guilt-free green experience await at this peaceful caravan site right on the banks of a canal (you’d probably already figured that from the name), near to the Welsh border.

The owners have made every effort to encourage wildlife and birds into their little corner of tranquillity with feeding stations, bird boxes (including owl boxes) and thoughtful tree/hedge planting and placement. Green is the watchword here – in the toilet block the toilet roll and hand towels are made from recycled material, all the very low key lighting around the site is on energy saving bulbs and activated by motion sensor so used only when needed and there are full recycling facilities.

This site gives you the best of both worlds. Perfect for those who want lots to see and do in the surrounding area and equally perfect for those who want a total away-from-it-all experience and have no intention of moving from their camp recliner.

Open: March to October.

Facilities: hard standing (most fully serviced), electric hook-up, toilets, showers, dish-washing, laundry, chemical disposal, dogs welcome, dog exercise area.

Tariff: £15 per night for unit/2 people/electric hook-up. Dogs £1 per night. Awnings £2.50 per night.

Old Oaks Touring Park

Wick Farm, Wick, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8JS

www.theoldoaks.co.uk

This wonderful Somerset countryside camp site is almost buried under a mound of awards, all telling the story of how much effort has been made by Old Oaks’ owners to make this place special. It has been awarded 5 Star status, is an ‘AA Campsite of the Year, Regional Winner’, has a ‘Best of British’ 5 Star award, is the holder of a Gold Award from the David Bellamy Conservation Park Scheme and as of 2010 also has a Special Distinction Award from the same.

Even as I type and you read there are probably some more to be added to this list because Old Oaks doesn’t rest on its laurels. It is continuously striving to be better – better for their guests who want to escape here, better for the environment in general and better for the many creatures which call this corner of the world home. The latter includes foxes, badgers and butterflies, birds and insects galore.

Eco-friendly touches are everywhere and too many to list but include such innovative ideas as taking the run-off waste water from the shower block and then filtering it through a Victorian reed bed. All chemical free and natural and ultimately providing a wildlife habitat.

You can have tranquility and escape, beautiful scenery and wildlife but you can have all this alongside lots and lots of convenience and luxury by caravan site standards with a range of pitch types. To really see what is on offer take a tour around the extensive website and if this doesn’t inspire you to run and start packing for Somerset then nothing will.

Facilities: Choice of pitches – grass with no electric, hard standing standard with electric hook-up or ‘super’ pitch (fully serviced with electric hook-up and drinking and waste water hook-up). Chemical disposal, toilets, showers, Wi-Fi, dish-washing, laundry, on-site shop/off license, bicycle hire, free range eggs and home reared beef steaks, burgers, lamb (from own farm), newspapers and bread deliveries, pool table, book exchange, tourist info, dog exercise area and doggie shower room (to avoid muddy prints in your caravan/motorhome).

Open: February to November.

Tariff: grass pitch from £13 per night, hard standing/electric pitch from £15 per night, ‘super’ pitch from £17 per night, dogs £1.50 per night.

Woodlands Gardens Caravan Park

Lundin Links, Leven (near Fife), Scotland, KY8 5QG

www.woodland-gardens.co.uk

This little gem bills itself as ‘small and exclusive’ with a ‘relaxed friendly attitude’ and, to use a well-known phrase, it most definitely does what it says on the tin.

Panoramic views, tranquility and the feeling that the fast and furious world outside had packed and gone away is guaranteed. The site is very structured but it has been set out in such a way that the clever hedging gives you privacy without feeling closed in or blocking the wonderful views.

Right on your caravan step is the Fife Coastal Path which winds its way around the rocky shores, beaches and grassy headlands, taking you through charming fishing villages and dotted everywhere with rich history, geological points of interest, archaeology and enormous biodiversity.

Open: April to October.

Facilities: Toilets, showers, dish washing, drying room, recreational room with TV and pool table, tourist info, electric hook-up, hard standing.

Tariff: £15 to £18 for pitch for unit/2 adults and electric hook-up, awning £2 to £3 per night.

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