Enjoy the great outdoors like never before

Enjoy the great outdoors like never before

Posted 16th Jan 2017

Now that January is shooting by there is no better way to enjoy the outdoors than for an adventurous escape

Walking is a great pastime but it becomes even better when you can make a full day of it. The National Trust have picked some of their top campsites with walking trails nearby enabling you to enjoy the outdoors that bit longer.

Highertown Farm campsite, Lansallos, Cornwall

Highertown is one of The National Trust’s greenest campsites, with on-site recycling and water heated by solar energy. This is a great base for walking holidays, beach days and for getting away from the hurly burly of life. One of the best local walks is the ‘coastal and woodland' walk, which allows you to explore secret coves and soft rolling hills along a magnificent stretch of coastline. Keep an eye out for the sunken lane at Lansallos Cove, which instantly conjures up images of smugglers hauling contraband under the cover of darkness.

Walking route: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lantic-bay-and-lansallos/trails/lansallos-coastal-and-woodland-walk

Prices: From £12 per person per night

Campsite open: April to October

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey

Exmoor bunkhouse, Devon

Sleeps 18

The Exmoor bunkhouse is situated at Countisbury on the North Devon coast, surrounded by dramatic moorlands and the deep valleys of Watersmeet. Atlantic surf beaches are within easy reach. The bunkhouse is perfect for groups of family, friends and walkers who love exploring the outdoors. There’s even an easy family-friendly walk to Ash Bridge, which meanders through beautiful woodlands along the banks of the East Lyn River. Look out for deer and elusive otters, or for herons on low-hanging branches over the water. Don’t forget to pop into Watersmeet House on your return to sample their delicious cream teas.


Prices: From £270 for 2 nights

Bunkhouse open: year-round

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images David Sellman

Golden Cap bunkhouse, Dorset

Sleeps 8

Situated in an elevated position on Stonebarrow Hill , this small, simple bunkhouse offers stunning views over Lyme Bay and across to Golden Cap and Chesil Beach. It’s a walker’s paradise here on the Golden Cap Estate, with access to over 25 miles of footpaths right on the door step. The Stonebarrow walk is particularly spectacular, covering rolling hills, sunken lanes, ancient hedgerows and the dramatic clifftops of the Jurassic Coast.


Prices: From £160 for 2 nights

Bunkhouse open: year-round

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images David Noton

South East

Gumber Bothy, Slindon, South Downs

Bothy sleeps 25

Gumber Bothy is a converted Sussex flint barn on a working sheep farm, with camping facilities available in the surrounding fields. The site is situated on the beautiful Slindon Estate, part of the South Downs National Park, so there’s plenty of opportunity to test out your walking boots on the local trails. The route around Nore Hill folly is perfect for warm days in spring and summer, with much of the route shaded by trees. It even takes in a little-known bluebell wood, which is blanketed with the bright flowers from as early as mid-April.

Walking route: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/slindon-estate/trails/eartham-to-puck-lane-and-nore-hill-folly-walk

Prices: For camping or sleeping in the barn - Adults £12.00, Under 16s £6.00 (per person per night)

Bothy & Campsite open: March to October

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images John Miller

East of England

Waterclose Meadows Campsite, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Waterclose Meadows Campsite is a tranquil spot to unwind in, with lovely walks around the picturesque meadows of the Ouse valley. Set on the edge of the delightful twin villages of Houghton and Wyton the campsite has pubs and a village shop just a short distance away. While you’re here, why not try an easy stroll around the unspoilt water meadows, taking in leafy lanes and beautiful views across to the Hemingford villages.

Walking trail: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/houghton-mill/trails/houghton-meadows-walk

Prices: Tents from £12.50 per person per night

Campsite open: 17 March 2017 - 30 October 2017

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Chris Lacey




Ilam Bunkhouse, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Sleeps 16 (plus up to 2 dogs at £15 each)

Part of the beautiful Ilam Park estate, the Bunkhouse sits amid the craggy limestone hills, meandering rivers and tranquil woodlands of the Peak District. This is walking country at its best, with easy access to the picturesque gorge of Dovedale and the verdant Manifold Valley. For those after a challenge, the route from Wetton village to Ilam provides a good test over hilly terrain, with spectacular views as your reward. Keep an eye out for Thor’s Cave along the way: excavations have shown that it was occupied as long as 10,000 years ago, making the cave one of the oldest sites of human activity in the Peak.

Walking trail: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak/trails/manifold-valley-wetton-to-ilam-walk

Prices: From £340 for 2 nights

Bunkhouse open: year-round

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler


Town Head Barn, Buckden, Yorkshire Dales

Sleeps 13

One of the National Trust’s newest bunkhouses, Town Head is a converted barn located in in the picturesque village of Buckden, Upper Wharfedale. There’s plenty of good walking in the area, but those with plenty of energy and enthusiasm will relish the challenge of the 702 metre high peak of Buckden Pike, which is just waiting to be climbed. After all that exercise you’ll probably need somewhere to recover, so it’s fortunate that The Buck Inn is located just 200m from the bunkhouse.

Walking trail: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/upper-wharfedale/trails/buckden-pike-and-the-polish-memorial

Prices: From £312 for 2 nights

Bunkhouse open: year-round

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Ben Selway

West Wood Yurts, Gibside, Tyne & Wear

If you’re hankering after stunning views, then the Valley View walk at Gibside is the one for you. The route rises high out of the wooded Derwent Valley with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy panoramic views – the perfect way to spend a bright spring day.  If you need somewhere to recover afterwards then pay a visit to the Gibside Pub (open during café opening hours and until 9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings). It’s the ideal place to relax with local ales or tuck in to delicious fresh pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. From here you can head back to your very own yurt in a secluded woodland glade, and finish off your day of adventure in comfortable luxury.

Walking trail: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside-valley-views-trail

Yurt prices: From £119 for two nights 

Yurts available: 24 March – 31 October (or you can stay in the new Shepherd’s Hut year round)

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images John Millar

Low Wray campsite, Cumbria

Explore the Lakes Swallows and Amazons style: get a boat Wray Castle then follow a circular walk round Blelham Tarn and the Lake Windermere shoreline. From the Ice Age to the Iron Age, medieval monks to Victorian visionaries, this walk combines beautiful views with fascinating stories from the past.  After this walk through history, pitch your tent at Low Wray campsite on the shore of Lake Windermere, and fall asleep to the sound of lapping water. If you don’t have a tent, bring your campervan, try glamping or sleep under the stars in a hammock.

Walking trail: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wray-castle/trails/wray-castle-to-blelham-tarn-circular-walk

Prices: tent pitches from £29 for 2 nights (2 people plus car)

Campsite open: 24 March – 31 October (check website for winter opening

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images David Sellman


Hafod y Llan campsite, Snowdonia

Nestled in the beautiful Nantgwynant valley at the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, this basic family-friendly campsite is ideally placed for exploring the surrounding area. Enjoy long evenings star gazing or relaxing around the camp fire, and days out on the trail. Close to camp is the Hafod Y Llan walk, which will transport you into the land of mythical creatures and majestic landscapes. Pass by the rocky hillock of Dinas Emrys, said to be the lair of the red dragon that adorns the Welsh flag, and the impressive cascade of Cwm Llan waterfall. Keep an eye out for the grazing herds of Welsh Black Cattle, which help to keep purple moor grass and matgrass under control and increase biodiversity on the land.


Prices: Adults £7.50s, Under 16s £4 (per person, per night)

Campsite open: 8th April – 30 October

Image courtesy of ©National Trust Images Joe Cornish 


Lead image courtesy of ©National Trust Images David Sellman



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