Camping still one of UK holidaymakers’ favourite pastimes

Camping remains one of the most popular and cost effective ways of a ‘staycation’ for UK holidaymakers, according to a new survey by leading outdoor clothing and equipment retailer GO Outdoors.

As part of the survey, GO Outdoors questioned a total of 2,831 campers about their holidaying/camping habits and choices, and the findings suggested that the pastime remained popular among a wide range of age groups, and was attracting more and more newcomers.

While 37 per cent of respondents said that they went camping in the last month, 80 per cent said they had camped in the last year. Nearly half – 48 per cent – have been camping veterans for more than 20 years, but 20 per cent had only started camping within the last five years.

On the top five reasons for choosing camping, 61 per cent of respondents said they wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, while 56 per cent cited cost as a factor and 53 per cent said camping offered quality time with the family. 46 percent cited closeness to nature as the reason.

‘What’s particularly encouraging about this survey is not just that there are so many veterans who are still active campers after all these years, but that so many newcomers are getting involved,’ said Sinead Miller, Digital Marketing Manager at GO Outdoors. ‘This really bodes well for the future of camping in the UK and suggests that events such as music festivals are helping to boost its popularity among young people.’

The poll found that 58 percent of Britain’s campers head out more than three times a year, no matter what the weather condition is. More than two-thirds of those surveyed were aged between 30 and 49, with 45 per cent of those aged below 19 saying that they camped more than five times a year.

The Lake District, Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands were found to be the top three UK camping destinations, while France was overwhelmingly the most popular (61 per cent) overseas camping destination. Spain (15 per cent) Germany (14 per cent) and Italy (10 per cent) were the three other preferred overseas destinations.


Nine in ten Britons detest camping, Holiday Extras

Nine out of ten Britons detest camping, according to travel website Holiday Extras.

Holiday Extras, a UK-based online company providing pre-booked UK airport hotels and parking and a part of Holiday Extras ltd, said that its survey of 2,000 people showed that 90 per cent considered camping and caravanning the least enjoyable type of break.

‘Brits hate camping holidays most of all, even in cash-strapped recessionary times,’ it said.

However, the poll results have been challenged by Dan Yates, the founder of camping website, says a report by the Telegraph. ‘We launched back in 2009 and this is the most outrageous statistic we’ve seen to date,’ he told trade website Travelmole.

‘Indeed you only have to look at stats from GBTS (Great Britain Tourism Survey) which shows in 2011 17 million Brits took a camping or caravanning trip in Great Britain. This compares to just 6 million UK holidaymakers who visited France and 10 million who visited Spain,’ he said.

Endorsing the results, Anthony Clarke-Cowell, communications director at Holiday Extras, said that the survey is ‘robust and conclusive’. ‘At Holiday Extras, we appreciate that each holidaymaker has their own personal preferences, and of course we embrace, encourage and cater for them,’ he said, adding: ‘However, let’s face it, the way we holiday has evolved beyond recognition over the past 50 years, and whilst Brits would have once flocked to pitch a tent, our results have shown that they’re now looking for creature comforts, whether enjoying a weekend break in the UK or an indulgent two weeks in the sun.’

The Telegraph also claims that many of its travel readers were still attracted to camping- spending their holidays under canvas. While the daily received significant response last year to a call for tips on the best campsites around Britain, Telegraph Travel’s Neil Tweedie however detests camping: ‘Why would a sane human being in possession of a solid, brick-built house exchange hot water and central heating for the shelter afforded by a big nylon bag? And pay for it!’, he reportedly said in one of his articles.

Kashmir opens eco tourism campsite

The tourism department in Kashmir has announced the opening of an eco tourism campsite.

The state, blessed with some of the best climate and scenery in the world, has now launched the initiative to protect wild animals and attract high-end, environment-friendly tourists. Tourism in the state in India had been hit because of insurgent activities and the economy, as well as difficulties putting the natural resources of the state to good use.

Now, in a move to make tourism popular nationally and globally, the Jammu and Kashmir government has commissioned what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind eco-tourism campsite. It is located in a Protected Area Network along the historic Mughal Road in south Kashmir. The campsite overlooks the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary in Shopian district of Kashmir, and has been set up by the Wildlife Protection Department along a stream at Sukhsarai.

The camp, expected to allow tourists to get close to nature, is made of natural materials, mostly wood and grass. All weather tents have also been set up at the site. Tourists who spend time in the campsite would get a chance to see animals such as the wild goat, Markhor, brown bear, musk deer, Tibetan wolf, common leopard and hundreds of species of birds at close quarters.

Minister for Environment and Forests, Mian Altaf, said that the government was also planning to open more such camps in future at Daksum in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.

Wildlife warden, Shopian Wildlife Division, Intesar Suhail, said, ‘All efforts have been made to prevent any disturbance to fragile eco-system of the sanctuary. The tourists who will stay at the campsite can enjoy the sight of Markhor besides 129 bird species and 20 mammals. The main objective behind the campsite is to develop love for wild animals and generate awareness for their protection.’

UK Summer Festivals Revive Interest in Camping Holidays

With the summer vacation season about to hit its busiest period, the hope for better weather and the popularity of upcoming festivals have increased the interest in camping as a holiday option.

Winfield Outdoors, a company selling outdoor camping gear in the UK, has reported an upward trend in sales as an increasing number of families decide on camping holidays, and festival fans prepare to make the annual pilgrimage to their favourite event.

The upcoming UK festivals include Bestival, to be held from September 6 to 9, 2012, at Robin Hill Country Park, Downend, Isle Of Wight, with a line-up that includes New Order, Friendly Fires, Stevie Wonder, Django Django, De La Soul, Major Lazer, Sister Sledge, Sigur Ros, the xx, Justice, Hot Chip, 2manydjs, and Azealia Banks. Camping rates for the event commence at £180 for the weekend.

The Secret Garden Party festival is being held this weekend until July 22, at Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire. Its theme is ‘standing on ceremony’, and performances includes Little Dragon, Alabama Shakes, Tim Minchin, Orbital, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, KT Tunstall, and Little Roy.

This year’s V Festival is being held on Saturday August 18 and Sunday August 19, at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire, and includes performances by The Stone Roses, the Killers, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Snow Patrol, Keane, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, and Professor Green.

Luxury camping holidays are also proving a popular option with holidaymakers this year, and can include ready-pitched tents at the holiday parks, with all of the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.

Go Glamour Camping in the UK this Spring

This summer, holiday parks in UK are offering attractive glamour camping options, to boost their spring and summer offerings.

The glamour camping holiday options include tents that are already pitched at holiday parks, with guests able to take their pick of accommodation types for their stay, from traditional but very large three-bedroom tents, to lavish themed Safari Tents, Mongolian styled Yurts, and ultramodern Geodomes.

Modern tent accommodation is often inclusive of proper beds and other furnishings; electrical connections; and kitchen facilities that include cooking appliances as well as crockery. The parks also offer convenient shower blocks for guests’ use as they seek to ensure that glamour camping facilities include all the modern trappings of modern life, but within the setting of a scenic outdoor vacation park.

Many glamour camping sites also offer accommodation in modern caravans, which can be equipped like second homes for summer travellers. The new age caravans can offer luxury facilities including furnishings; en suite bathrooms, central heating; and a patio, or covered veranda to get the best of any scenic view that the caravan site might have. The caravan sites often have specially designed play areas for children, plenty of activities and sports facilities, and the convenience of adjacent car parking spaces.

Haven Holidays, a UK based holiday park operator, is offering last minute vacation deals at its 35 camping sites, for £139 for four nights in April-May, for a family of 4 to 6 people. Go camping UK, another UK-based camp operator, is offering a five-day stay at a pre-pitched Eurotent for £260.

Campsite bookings soar as Brits hunt down bargain breaks

Bargain-hunting Brits are increasingly looking to camping holidays as the tough financial times continue.

Last week saw unseasonably warm weather, and even with the drastic change in weather this week, many holidaymakers are willing to gamble on the chance they may strike lucky with the weather on a camping trip.

As the Easter holidays loom Britain’s Camping and Caravanning Club have seen a huge increase in bookings as Brits see camping as cheaper alternative to a holiday abroad.

The Club has seen five per cent rise in Easter bookings this year, and a 28 per cent jump since 2010.

The believes its not just a case of budget – but a increased interest in the UK this year, with the upcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Olympic Games.

‘With so much going on in 2012, this is the perfect time to make the most of the UK and take a holiday,’ says Robert Louden, Camping and Caravanning Club Director General.

‘Our booking numbers are extremely positive at this stage.

‘We’re dedicated to encouraging campers to experience domestic holidays.

‘There is no better way to enjoy our beautiful countryside at inexpensive costs.’

The 111-year-old club is made up of 130 campsites across Britian, this includes 20 on Forestry Commission land.

It has also been revealed, by the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS), that Brits spent 12 per cent more on camping and caravanning in 2011 then 2010.