Just camping in my garden: new sites offer private pitches | Camping holidays
You’ve been glamping, you’ve tried wild camping, but are you ready to embrace camping in other people’s backyards? A new travel website launched this month just might push more of us to do so, with its collection of locations on people’s lawns and private lands.
Around 100 gardens, fields and outdoor spaces in the UK will be available for booking from £ 20 a night on wildpoint.com from the end of July, with more to be added afterwards. Over 4000 hosts applied. Hosts must have at least 0.2 hectares (0.5 acres) of space to be selected, provide restroom use, and will generally greet guests. Some may offer extras such as packed lunches, cooked breakfasts, and firewood packages.
The gardens are typically large and attractive country affairs, rather than small urban lawns, and options include a leafy area in the village of Mickleham in Surrey, within walking distance of two pubs, and one in Yorkshire, where campers will wake up to a 180 degree view. of the North York Moors, Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Dales.
Founder Oliver Windle has said he aims to fill a gap in the market for an obvious platform for UK camping pitches.
The website will also offer suitable campsites, teepees, yurts, and pitches in unusual places such as vineyards.
Wild Point isn’t the only new travel company opening private spaces for campers. The launch this month is also Wild with consent, a web platform that allows motorhome and motorhome users to book isolated pitches on private land in Northumberland.
Only one motorhome is authorized on each site per night, and the sites (currently 12) are chosen for their beauty, their absence of light and noise pollution, and their feeling of isolation.
Site founder Grace Fell was inspired by wilderness camping trips to Scotland, where the right to roam allows people to camp wherever they want, unlike England, Wales and the UK. Northern Ireland, where it is illegal to camp without the owner’s permission, except on certain parts of Dartmoor. For Fell, needing to use a campsite “goes against the interest of having a motorhome”.
The idea is to provide a liberated experience similar to wild camping, with more privacy than camping, but with the reassurance of knowing that permission to be there has been arranged in advance. Of course, unlike wild camping, that means there is a cost: between £ 25 and £ 100 a night.
The service only covers Northumberland, chosen because it’s Fell’s home county, and because, she says, “it’s really wild, with the lowest population density in England.”
But she hopes to roll out the concept to other parts of the UK.
There is certainly a demand. Last summer, wild camping became so popular that it was temporarily banned on Dartmoor due to the impact of those ignoring the ‘Leave No Trace’ guidelines, and Lake District National Park officials have fined hundreds of people who camped there illegally. With UK holidays in full swing, many campsites have long been booked for the season, while hundreds of pop-up and temporary campsites have opened since last summer to meet the surge in interest.
Services that help campers find sites on private land are nothing new. Many British campers use the Guide to UK Stops (£ 28), a book listing 1,000 guests, from pubs and wineries to museums and antique centers, which allow them to park for the night.
A UK website, campinmygarden.com, established in 2011, has now disappeared, but Campspace.com, launched in 2017 in the Netherlands, offers locations in private gardens around the world, of which approximately 50 in UK, and Homecamper.com is doing well with 58,000 sites in private gardens, parks and private land around the world.
A UK focused website, almostwildcamping.org, brings together locations on private wildflower meadows, woods and moorlands across the UK. Members pay £ 20 to access a list of 160 locations, many of which are exclusive to the website, some of which accept motorhomes.
Borrowing private motorhomes rather than renting them is another growing trend, with websites like GoBoony.com, yescapa.com, and camptoo.fr facilitate the exchange. They report a significant increase in the number of users since last summer.
In what is expected to be another exceptional year for accommodation providers in the UK, all of these services will certainly be a valuable additional resource to tap into for this elusive holiday availability.