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camping

  • The UK’s coolest camping sites

     

    With the value of the Pound dropping like crazy, it’s never made more sense to holiday at home. And with some of the world’s most beautiful countryside outside your front door, why wouldn’t you want to?

    But if a summer of wet canvas fills you with dread, don’t worry – we’ve compiled some of the UK’s coolest campsites that guarantee you an amazing break whatever the weather.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    The Dome Garden, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

    Set in the middle of the Ancient Forest of Dean, The Dome Garden is the ultimate nature getaway. Guests stay in stylish eco-conscious, geodesic domes that provide luxurious (and dry!) accommodation for up to eight people. All the domes have individual en-suites with flushing loos and wood fired showers or baths as well as a wood burning stove. The best part? No putting them up and taking them down!

     

     

    Bay View Farm Camping Site, Cornwall

    With wonderful sea views overlooking Looe and St George's Island, Bay View Farm Camping Site in Cornwall is definitely one of our favourites. The farm boasts seven Shire horses that guests can pet, and if you’re in luck you may even see them in all their show gear finery! There are also many picturesque coastal paths and nearby beaches to explore, as well as the  Lost Gardens of Heligan and Eden Project.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Wales

    Boasting sweeping views of the Gower coastline, the Three Cliffs Bay campsite offers an incredible viewing experience to guests. There are many beautiful walks around as well swimming in the sea opportunities for the brave! The on-site shop also offers an extensive range of local produce, BBQ Food, groceries, scoop ice cream and more.

     

    Bosworth Waterside Trust, Warwickshire

    This is a great option for families looking to enjoy an activity filled break in beautiful scenery. The stunning lakes offering lots of fishing, sailing and windsurfing options, with a large children’s play area and plenty of open space for games also. The site is grassed and gently sloping with a mixture of both electric and non-electric pitches.

     

    coolest campsites UK

    Muasdale, Argyll

    With panoramic sea views, stunning sunsets and an abundance of wildlife, Muasdale is a gorgeous option for campers in Scotland. Brave souls can try a spot of swimming, with lots of incredible walking routes also on hand. Should the weather not hold, there is also a good selection of distilleries, castles and historic attractions nearby.

     

     

     

     Don't forget for an excellent range of outdoor equipment to visit our online shop!

  • Blue Peter Star Katy Hill Wants Everyone to Get Camping

     

    Katy Hill Camping

    Adventurous TV and radio star Katy Hill has spoken about the importance of spending time together as a family outside and under canvas.

    The former Blue Peter star spoke at the Manchester Caravan and Motorhome Show last month.

    In particular she mentioned how she was a fan of glamping – which is similar to camping but a bit fancier with comfier sleeping options in a more permanant 'tent'.

    Katy, like us at Sail and Trail, outlined how a campsite can be a great place to bond as a family, especially in areas where wi-fi is erratic!

    She said: “I’m delighted to speak at the show about the importance of getting kids camping, and the value of spending time together as a family.

    “Glamping makes the prospect of an escape in a tent, away from home comforts such as your own bed, a little less daunting. There’s no need to pack your life into the boot for a few days away – the tent is pitched and ready for you, so you can concentrate on having fun!”

     

    For a wide range of camping equiptment visit our shop here

    Why not take your dog or cat camping?! Read our guides below!

    Everything you need to know about camping with your cat

    The best campsites and touring parks for holidaying with your pet

  • The best pet-friendly touring and campsites in Scotland

    Back in February we shared our favourite pet-friendly touring and campsites in England and we were thrilled with how popular it was.

    We’ve spent a lot of time discussing our favourite holidays on the other side of Hadrian’s wall to create a list of our favourite places in Scotland where you can take a caravan, motorhome or tent AND your dog.

    Now the sun has finally made an appearance, what could be nicer than exploring Scotland with your four-legged friend by your side?

    Here are our top five:

    1) Loch Greshornish Caravan & Campsite, Isle of Skye

    camping caravan dogs scotland

     Situated in one of the world’s most beautiful locations, this Inner Hebrides working croft welcomes both cats and dogs.

    Skye is filled with dramatic scenery, walks and lots of fishing as well as a cottage arts scene and if cooking round the campfire gets a little tiring then the Michelin starred Three Chimneys isn’t far away.

    The site itself offers loch-side hardstandings for caravans and motorhomes as well as camping pitches.

    It holds several awards including the AA Scotland Campsite of the Year 2012 and has twice won the ‘Loo of the year’ award!

    Cost: The pricing varies depending on whether you are a member of the Camping and Caravan Club or not. 

     

    2) Braidhaugh Holiday Park, Perthshire

    This beautiful pet friendly campsite is situated located near Crieff in central Scotland, making it a short journey from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

    As well as being absolutely stunning, the area is rich in history and offers lots to do come rain or shine.

    Located on the river Earn, it’s possible to get a fishing license – though we’re not sure how helpful your pet will be!

    It has wifi, disabled facilities, a play area and a TV room and welcomes caravans and motorhomes as well as having its own permanent camping pods.

    Cost: A serviced hardstanding electric pitch costs from £22 a night for two adults.

     

    3) Thurston Manor, East Lothian

    camping caravan dog scotland

    Situated in close proximity to Edinburgh, Thurston Manor is the perfect location to either escape from the city or get into it for day trips.

    Its surrounding sandy beaches and rolling hills are just the type dogs yearn to frolic in and the site also offers a heated pool, sauna and steam room for tired dog-owners!

    While there is a bar and restaurant on site, if you want to cook for yourself there is an onsite shop or a supermarket just a five minute drive away.

    Tents, caravans and motorhomes welcome.

    Cost: Prices start from £13.45 for 6 people.

     

    4) Isle of Iona Campsite, Isle of Iona

    This really is the place to get away from it all though, as no cars are allowed on the island, this is only one for campers.

    The tiny island of Scotland’s West Coast is famous for its religious history as a centre of Gaelic monasticism as well as its tranquil unspoiled beauty.

    From the campsite you and your pet will be able to visit the island’s monasteries, royal burial sites, beaches and rock pools by bicycle, horseback or foot.

    The campsite itself offers showers, a washing up area, a small shop as well as the occasional sighting of an otter or two!

    Cost: From £13 per night for two people

     

    5) Queensberry Bay Holiday Park, Dumfriesshire

    camping caravan dog scotland camping caravan dog scotland

    This beautiful West coast holiday park is easily accessible from the North of England and offers a wide range of accommodation options.

    You can pitch your own tent, campervan or motorhome or stay in one of the caravan or pods onsite – dogs are welcome here too!

    There are beaches and rockpools to explore and while it is true the site offers incredible views, we do have to say it’s the delicious bacon sandwiches the onsite shop sells that keep us coming back.

    Cost: Prices start from £15 a night

     

     Know a great place to stay that your pet loves too? Tweet us @sail_trail we'd love to hear from you :)

  • Camping with your cat: Everything you need to know

    The camping season is almost upon us, but what do you do about your pets when you want to get away for the weekend?

    We recently listed some great camp and touring sites in England that cater for pets – but while taking your dog away with you may seem straight forward, there are a few things you should think about before whisking away your whiskered friend.

    If you are hoping to take your cat on a caravanning trip, the same rules apply – there’s just less canvas to be clawed….

     

    1) Use your common sense!

    camping and caravanning with your catIf your cat gets car sick, is prone to running away and hates being put in his/her travelling cage, then camping is probably not for them!

    It is also worth bearing in mind that if you are staying at a campsite known for being pet friendly, then there are likely to be dogs around. If you cat is not used to them, this can be upsetting for your cat.

    It can be an amazing thing to share your holiday with your feline family, but if they are going to hate it or, worse, run away then it is best to leave them at home with a trusted minder.

     

     2) Pack lots of treats and familiar faces

    While cats aren’t as malleable as dogs are for the hint of a treat, it’s worth having a decent back-up of your cat’s favourite snacks to hand.

    Also make sure to line their travel box with a familiar smelling blanket and toy, while your cat may turn their nose up at them initially, they will secretly be grateful for recognising something in an environment that’s unfamiliar.

    Not quite as cute, but do also invest in a disposable litter tray.

     

    3) Don’t forget your cat’s first aid kit

    Sometimes accidents happen, so it is important to make sure you have at least a basic first aid kit on hand for your cat in case something happens and there isn’t a vet for miles.

    Typically it should include bandaging equipment, tweezers, a blanket and antiseptic wipes or lotion.

     

    4) Get your cat used to being on a lead ….

    …. they going to be spending a lot of time wearing one! If you keep returning to the same camping spot with your cat then they should eventually get used to the area, but until then you’re going to want them where you can see them.

    They will need a harness and a lead that you can attach to a tie out stake/ anchor or a washing line strung up between two trees or posts.

     

    5) Do a full test run

    caravan and camping with your cat or pet

    If you are planning on heading far from home for more than a night it is worth doing a full test run. Pop your cat in its harness and into its travel box, drive around for a bit and then take it out to explore some new surroundings on its lead. If at any point it seems overly disturbed or defensive, then you may want to rethink the actual trip.

    Remember to see how much your cat likes being in a tent, especially if you are planning on leaving it in there and you want to guarantee when you return your tent is more than shreds of material. In this instance, it’s much easier to go caravanning with a cat!

     

     

     

     

     

     7) And never ever forget this ....

    Whether you chose to put your cat on a lead, keep it in a pen, or let it roam free make sure it has access to shade and water, and never ever keep it cooped up in your car, caravan or tent for too long.

    Good luck and happy camping!

    The post we've linked to HERE is a little old and but it’s a great photo diary of a couple who took their cat camping – we like it :)

    If any of you have been on successful camping or caravanning trips with your cat, we’d love to hear from you – Tweet us @sail_trail

  • Caravan cooking: Five simple winter warmers you can rustle up on your gas stove

    Whether you’re braving the bad weather in your motorhome, narrowboat or tent, it can be too easy to rely on packets of crisps and cheese sandwiches to sustain yourself rather than face the trials of a rickety gas stove.

    But we’re here to help for the Sail and Trail team is well versed in the art of filling the tummies of hungry campers and sailors!

    Here are some of our favourites:

    (All the recipes can be cooked in one pan, serve four and won’t break the budget).

    1)   Sausage Cassoulet

    After a day battling the elements, nothing is more welcome that this delicious hearty cassoulet.

    Cook the sausages, onion and garlic (if you have some) in a splash of oil over a low heat. When they’re looking nice and golden add the sliced carrot and cook for a further five minutes before adding the tomatoes, beans and stock cube.

    Leave to simmer for between half an hour to two hours depending on how thick you want your cassoulet to be. Serve with crusty bread and any herbs you have lying around.

    Ingredients: A packet of sausages, 1 stock cube, 1 tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 tin of baked beans,

    Optional Ingredients: Mushrooms, green beans, any other vegetables you want to throw in, garlic

    Top Tip: Swap the sausages for meatballs and the bread for baguettes to make meatball subs.

    knife-384645_1280

    2)   Spaghetti Carbonara

    Despite sounding and looking fancy this carbonara dish is super simple to make and (most important) is filling and warming.

    All you need to do is grate your cheese (or cut it up into small pieces) and mix with the eggs and chopped garlic.

    Cook your pasta in salted water, then drain the water out leaving the pasta in the pan and off the heat.  Add your cheesy mixture to the pasta, stirring well so it is all covered, then add the cut up ham (and thinly sliced mushrooms if you want) and simmer over a low heat until it is all piping hot.

    Add as much water (or milk / cream) as needed to give the dish a ‘saucey’ feel. Serve with any leftover cheese you might have and a smug grin.

    Ingredients: 100g ham, 100g cheese, 3 large eggs, 350g pasta, 2 peeled garlic cloves

    Optional Ingredients: splash of milk/ cream, handful of mushrooms

    pasta

    3)   One Pot Pilaf

    Fancy a curry, but the takeaway won’t deliver to your pitch or mooring? Well why not rustle one up yourself?

    Simply fry the onion and chicken until cooked, then add the curry paste. Add the stock cube, vegetables, rice and about 3 mugs of water. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and you’re all done –no reason to give up your Friday night Indian, just because you’re on a narrowboat!

    Ingredients:  1 packet of chicken or turkey breasts or thighs cut into small pieces, 2 large onions, 2 tbsp curry paste, 1 stock cube, vegetables you have to hand, 200g rice.

    4)   Gloopy Mediterranean Couscous

    While couscous may conjure up images of summer picnics this staple dish is not only super warming and healthy, it’s also perfect for lunch or dinner as it takes just minutes to whip up.

    Prepare your couscous in a bowl and leave to one side and while it is fluffing up fry your onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and whatever other vegetables in plenty of oil in your pan.

    When cooked and to the couscous and serve; ta da!

    Ingredients:  200g couscous, vegetable or olive oil, 2 onions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 4 salad tomatoes,

    Optional ingredients: Feta, 1 stock cube, bell pepper, mushrooms

    Top Tip: If you are using a stock cube for your couscous then save a little to sprinkle over the vegetables while they are cooking

    medveg

    5)   Stewed Spicy Apples

    A real nursery favourite, stewed apples makes a timeless winter pudding. Simply peel and cut your apples, bung in the pan with the sugar, spices and water, and cook until the apples soften.

    If you have any other bits of fruit dried or fresh lying around you can always add this too.

    Serve with some ice cream or regular cream.

    Ingredients:  500g apples, 50g sugar, mixed spice or similar, ½ cup water

    Optional Ingredients:  Sultanas, berries, pears Do you have any favourites you rely on when it get's cold? We'd love to hear them. Tweet us @sail_trail

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