Categories: ActivitiesCamping

Football Fever: 8 Campsites in England for a Kickabout

The sun is back, the Euros are underway, and in camping meadows across the country, there are games of football breaking out with jumpers for goalposts and endless rolling subs. If you’re taking a football with you this weekend, here’s our team’s pick of the top campsites to visit…

Kestrel Lodge, Lake District

Beneath imposing Skiddaw mountain and near Bassenthwaite Lake, Kestrel Lodge is a classic family campsite on an 18th-century farm. Along with ample grassy pitches, flanks of mature trees providing shelter, and excellent modern facilities, there’s a separate games and football field for kicking a ball about. The place is a haven for walkers — there are nine Wainwrights accessible directly from the campsite — and there’s a pub within 15 minutes’ stroll.


Creekside Family Camping, Lincolnshire

Where to play football at Creekside Camping? There’s ample space on the campsite, of course, where collective family games take place. Or you can wander down on to the wide sandy beach where there’s even more room again. The campsite has buckets and spades you can borrow from an on-site beach hut and there’s a generally relaxed atmosphere to the place. Campfires area allowed, well behaved groups are welcome, and facilities are simple but excellently maintained.


Hook Farm, West Sussex

There isn’t a specific field for football at Hook Farm in the High Weald. But the back to basics campsite has oodles of space for games aplenty (on a previous visit we watched a game of football turn into a game of touch rugby and simply carry on). The off-grid site on a former dairy farm is ideal for families, with a host of good attractions nearby. There are abbeys, National Trust properties, and the Bluebell Railway all within 15 minutes drive, while the excellent Cat Inn pub is a short walk away.


Lepe Beach Campsite, New Forest

Such are the quiet roads, cycle routes, and wildlife spotting opportunities in the New Forest National Park that people often overlook its area of coastline. This beachside campsite, overlooking the Solent, is a gem and made all the better thanks to its proximity to Lepe Beach Country Park right next door. The park has a great cafe and playground as well as a football field for games. Bring your own ball and leave the kids to make friends, while you kick back and enjoy the view.


Lamarth Farm, Cornwall

At the start of Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, Lamarth Farm is a spacious, relaxed site ideal for exploring local beaches around Mounts Bay. You can pitch where you please, campfires are allowed, and dogs are welcome (there are popular dog-friendly pubs and beaches nearby). To one side of the camping field there is a play area with proper football posts. There’s no net, so be prepared to go running for the ball if you’ve got a powerful striker!


Stanley Villa Farm, Lancashire

This quiet lakeside glamping site is just 15 minutes from Brighton, making it a perfect place to retreat after a busy day at the seaside. Accommodation comes in the form of colourful, fully insulated ‘bugs’ (think timber glamping pods), alongside a communal Lakeside Lodge with essential facilities. There’s a large lake at the centre of the farm to be wary of with children but the surrounding meadows have buckets of space and there’s always a family with a football to be found.


Shelly Oaks Farm, Hampshire

There are just 20 camping pitches at this relatively new campsite edging the New Forest, all benefiting from modern toilet and shower facilities and a couple of covered washing up stations. Fringed by woods, the place is a joy for kids to explore with the centre of the camping meadow kept clear for ball games and general mucking around. Local attractions include Peppa Pig World and the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, while the farm also has good public footpaths directly from the doorstep.


Rushbanks Farm, Suffolk

Riverside campsites don’t get much more picturesque than Rushbanks Farm on the banks of the Stour. The campsite, run by the third generation of the Bates family, allows campfires, welcomes family groups, and has canoes you can hire (you can even paddle to the local pub). There’s usually good food trucks and ice-cream vans on weekends too. A separate field, set back from the river, is left for games with a protective hedgerow that stops you booting footballs into the river.


In addition to serving as a Hipcamp editor in the UK, James Warner Smith is the author and editor of the UK's best selling camping guidebooks, the Cool Camping series. As well as appearances on television and radio, James has had articles published across the national press, in magazines, and online.

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