UK's best campervan holiday hotspots
Last updated 18th August 2023
5 min read
Even though the pandemic's international travel restrictions have long since gone, many UK holidaymakers are still choosing a break away that’s a little closer to home. After all, a staycation is a chance to explore everything our glorious British countryside has on offer.
From breathtaking beaches in Cornwall to the glistening lakes and rolling hills of Wales, campervan holidays are back in full swing. They’re particularly popular among over 50s opting for idyllic, convenient locations that make us feel right at home.
SunLife has explored some of the best campervan holiday hotspots the UK has on offer. Read on to find out where you should park up and unwind this summer.
The destinations have been ranked based on different factors such as visitor numbers, traffic in the area, the number of campsites available, happiness levels, and more. We’ve even taken a look at the average fuel costs in each hotspot, so journeys can be planned with ease. Note that this data was compiled in July 2022.
Top 5 campervan hotspots in the UK
Often named one of the most beautiful places in the world, it’s no wonder this Scottish sanctuary tops our list.
Highland holidays are packed full of adventure, dramatic landscapes, and mystical tales and legends. One of the most iconic places to visit in the Highlands is Loch Ness. Here you’ll find natural beauty in waterfalls such as The Falls of Foyers and Dog Falls.
If you’re planning on staying in the area, then The Loch Ness Shores campsite is popular with visitors – offering 360-degree views of the tranquil landscape. Pets are also welcome, with designated dog walks, so pooches can ponder the sights too.
If you’ve worked up an appetite on your visit, you’ll find tearooms and pubs close by, such as The Oakwood Restaurant. It’s the perfect place to soak up the views as you’re tucking into local bites.
There are also great ways to explore the open landscape, such as cycling and the huge variety of water sports on offer. If you prefer to explore in the comfort of your campervan, you’re in luck, as the Highlands scored best for fuel prices in our research.
Home to some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that Cornwall comes in second on our campervan hotspot list.
Cornwall has a whopping 204 campervan-friendly sites to choose from. And according to our data, it’s also one of the happiest places to visit in the whole of the UK.
If it’s panoramic ocean views you’re looking for, Watergate Touring Park is worth a pit stop. Located just on the edge of Newquay, the holiday haven is a great place to take in the scenery, or even learn to surf.
Another one of Cornwall's hidden gems and oldest campsites is Penwarne Farm. Located near bustling Falmouth, you’ll have shops and restaurants right on your doorstep.
Cornwall is filled with friendly locals, pretty seaside towns to explore, and coastlines that rival any you’ll find abroad. So it’s a must-visit county for those looking to recharge and see the sights all at once!
Want to set up camp with a smile on your face? Gloucestershire is just the place, with the highest happiness score out of all of our campervan hotspots.
This could be down to its peaceful backdrops and laid-back way of life. Packed full of quaint villages and gorgeous driving routes, there’s plenty to do around Gloucestershire.
What’s more, it’s home to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. If it’s a cosy getaway you’re looking for, then the stunning town of Winchcombe is rich in history, filled with centuries-old buildings and relaxing walks.
The nearby campsite, Hayles Fruit Farm, is perfect for resting up after a day of soaking in the sights. Facilities in the picturesque setting cater for tents, caravans and campervans. And why not stop for a meal at Corner Cupboard back in Winchcombe, for a proper British countryside dining experience?
Want to visit Dorset’s distinctive beaches and charming seaside towns?
A campsite that comes highly recommended in the area is Back of Beyond Touring Park. Offering an almost-wild experience to campers, the site has sprawling woodland areas, cabin options, and private lakes. It’s an adult-only site and is suitable for motorhomes and campervans of all shapes and sizes.
For a day trip that’s bursting with things to do, visiting the nearby seaside town of Bournemouth is a must. The beautiful pier is lined with arcades and attractions, and even has live music events and its own zip line!
Coming in at number five on our list is Devon – home to 160 campervan-friendly sites to settle down in, plus some of the country's most magnificent landscapes.
When you’re not exploring the wild beauty Devon’s beaches has to offer, there are tons of things to do(www.devonstopattractions.co.uk opens in a new tab) as a couple or family – including theme parks, museums and zoos. The port city, Plymouth, boasts the UK’s largest aquarium, which is teeming with rays, sharks and other aquatic species.
Fishery Creek Touring Park is a stone’s throw away from the busy city if you’re looking for a quieter place to stay. It’s renowned for being a peaceful location that’s full of nature strolls and friendly faces.
Top 20 campervan hotspots in the UK
The destinations were ranked on several factors including, but not limited to, tourist figures, traffic, happiness score, and vehicle crime rate. The lower the total score, the better the area ranked across these measures. A reminder that this data, including fuel prices, was compiled in July 2022.
|Rank||Area||Campervan-friendly sites||Fuel||Happiness||Holiday visitors||Vehicle offences||Road traffic||Total|
|19=||Dumfries & Galloway||20||13||8||38||37||12||128|
Many are using equity release to unlock their dream travels
From purchasing a campervan to financing trips across the UK and abroad, more and more people are releasing equity to fund their dream retirement.
If you’re over 55 and a homeowner, you could be eligible to release up to 60% of your home’s value – with no restrictions on how you spend it. What’s more, there’s nothing to repay until you die or move into long-term care, and you’re guaranteed to never owe more than your home’s value.
All the data for the various location factors was collected in July 2022 from a range of sources:
- Fleet News(www.fleetnews.co.uk opens in a new tab)
- Campsites.co.uk(www.campsites.co.uk opens in a new tab)
- Department for Transport(roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk opens in a new tab)
- ONS(www.ons.gov.uk opens in a new tab)
- UK Crime Statistics(www.ukcrimestats.com opens in a new tab)
- Scottish Government(www.gov.scot opens in a new tab)
- Visit Britain(www.visitbritain.org opens in a new tab)
These figures were then ranked from 1 to 94 for each location, 1 being the best and 94 being the worst for each factor. The location with the lowest final total was deemed the best UK campsite spot.