Campsites with campfires in Yorkshire

Pitch up in Yorkshire for moors, valleys, arresting coastline, and two national parks.

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99% (215 reviews)

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Campsites with campfires in Yorkshire guide

Overview

England’s largest county is almost certainly its most diverse too. York sports perhaps the most intriguing history of any place in Britain, but beyond the city, huge heather-clad moors, emerald-coloured dales, and a shoreline of sandy beaches give the area a huge variety of landscapes—and some of the country’s best hiking. Add in river valleys with dramatic waterfalls, undulating farmers’ fields, and wildflower meadows edged by the coast, and you have plenty on your plate as a holiday-maker. Campers gravitate to the two national parks to launch their adventure: the campsite-rich Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Whether you fancy a week-long pitch in the Dales, a weekend wandering the Moors, or a cosy glamping getaway on the northeast coast, you'll find a Yorkshire camping site to suit.

Where to go

York

It’s almost impossible not to include York, Yorkshire’s beguiling capital, in your camping trip. This is an ancient walled stunner of a city arranged around one of England’s grandest cathedrals, with intriguing Viking heritage alongside a network of narrow medieval streets. The fertile, river-bisected Vale of York encircling the city bestows on the city some surprisingly varied camping possibilities. Closer to the centre, caravanners have the biggest choice of sites, but northeast of York there are some excellent countrified campsites.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Britain’s third-biggest national park forms a large part of an impressive spread of protected countryside stretching from Lancashire to the Scottish border. Yorkshire Dales National Park is made up of lofty, exposed moorland distinguished by the lush and diverse dales, or valleys, that divide it. Swaledale, Wensleydale, Ribblesdale, Silverdale…even the names sound idyllic, and with dry-stone walls, isolated farms, and wildflower meadows, the Dales don’t disappoint. Skipton, Settle (both with train stations), and Kirkby Lonsdale are key gateways. Hiking hotspot Malham, with a visitor centre and spectacular nearby rock formations, is also a good introduction for campers keen to discover what the park offers.

North York Moors National Park

The county’s other national park squeezes into North Yorkshire, encompassing one of England’s largest expanses of heather moorland. Hugging lower elevations than the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors National Park nevertheless can feel just as wild with a mixture of heather moorland and woodland edged by a fantastic coastline of cliffs, beaches, and picturesque villages. The Cleveland Hills bulk up the park’s west, while the east side (the best area to camp) takes in a seaboard of mighty cliffs and deep coves, including the picturesque fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay. The long-distance Cleveland Way National Trail runs around three sides of the park. After days exploring, settle down outside your tent to enjoy the stars overhead—Sutton Bank, Danby, and Dalby have been recognised as Dark Sky Discovery Sites.

East Yorkshire Coast

Kicking off east of Hull, the East Yorkshire coast with its dashing tracts of sandy beach stretches past traditional seaside resorts like Hornsea, Bridlington, and Filey—perfect for a seaside day with fish and chips, bucket and spades, and ice creams. The coast then rounds Flamborough Head, hosting one of Europe’s most important concentrations of seabirds, and continues to Scarborough, Britain’s first seaside resort. If you like the idea of wandering harbour towns with cobbled streets, look for campsites near Robin Hood Bay, Whitby, and Staithes. For wilder areas, try camping near Spurn Head, a wildlife-rich expanse of sand managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. It’s a coastline well-served by large caravanning and camping sites, though smaller outfitters can also be found.

Nidderdale AONB

Yorkshire’s next-largest area of protected countryside after the national parks extends off the southeast corner of the Yorkshire Dales. Spanning from just beyond Leeds north to Masham, its 233-square-mile area offers more of the same valley-divided moorland that the Dales has. The AONB also boasts iconic beauty spots such as Brimham Rocks’ wondrous rock formations, stunning ruined abbeys and historic market towns. Campers should start in Nidderdale valley itself: there is a great site near the enchanting How Stean Gorge.

Top Towns to Visit in Yorkshire

For many, the moors and dales of the national parks in Yorkshire are reason enough to visit, but there are plenty more landmarks within this mighty county that you might like to take a peek at while in the area.

  • The historic city of York is a top destination for sightseeing with eclectic treasures from its Roman walls to its famous gothic cathedral, York Minster.
  • The famous minster in the market town of Beverley has a still thriving market between its medieval buildings.
  • Malton, on the River Derwent, maintains its reputation as a market town by hosting a monthly food market that has helped seal the town’s reputation as a foodie hotspot.
  • Yorkshire’s industrial past is remembered in the UNESCO-protected town of Saltaire, which has a converted wool mill at its heart.
  • On the coast, must-see spots include picturesque Whitby with its ruined abbey, said to have been the inspiration for Dracula, and seaside Scarborough for kiss-me-quick entertainment with amusement arcades and sandy beaches.

Top towns in and near Yorkshire

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