9 Best Coastal Campgrounds in Britain

England’s unique coastline is home to a mountain of indoor and outdoor attractions offering history, heritage, and some of the best beach combing in the UK. Inns and hotels dot the oceanfront and so do some of the most sublime campgrounds, offering convenient facilities for visitors exploring the many varied backdrops along the coast. Whether pitching a tent, popping open a camper, or booking a cozy camping snug, a world of natural treasures opens up along the brilliant waterfront: beaches, castles, gorgeous walking paths, historic pubs, and rich wildlife create divinely diverse experiences.

  1. Isles of Scilly |  Bryher Campsite

The mostly sheltered Bryher Campsite in Isles of Scilly, tucked between two large hills, is the perfect place to catch views of Tresco and  Hangman Island. Isles of Scilly is set in Cornwall County and surrounded by waters so clear and blue they could easily be mistaken for a Caribbean backdrop. The archipelago off the southwest end of the Cornish peninsula has a tiny population and is the perfect spot to breathe the air and recharge your mind, body, and soul. At Green Bay there’s a beautiful sandy beach and a peaceful feel at Rushy Cove where swimming conditions are ideal. With showers, washing machines, clothes dryers, and proper restrooms, it doesn’t feel much like roughing it. For a break from the campfire, visit one of the most popular nearby pubs, Fraggle Rock, or enjoy delectable seafood suppers at Hell Bay Hotel.

  1. Pembrokeshire | Dale Hill Farm

Another noteworthy camping area in Pembrokeshire, Dale Hill Farm offers the riches of the exciting coastline where outdoor activities abound and the scenery is something difficult to take your eyes off. Dale Hill Farm provides a large, open field, a backdrop of a rocky escarpment, and fantastic vistas of Milford Haven estuary. Enjoy basic amenities including showers, bathrooms, and a space for doing dishes with handy access to a freezer and refrigerator. Diving and surfing is possible at West Dale and pontoon crabbing is a delight for kids. Skokholm and Skomer are both natural reserves explored via a quick boat trip to the stunning islands.  The coast is showered with natural attractions found along the 299-kilometer coastal route beginning in Cardigan and ending at Amroth Castle. It can be walked, driven, cycled, or explored in any combination of ways.

  1. Penzance | Treen Farm Campsite

Located in the port of Cornwall on the west side, Treen Farm Campsite faces the gleaming English channel, borders Newlyn (a popular fishing port) and is just 600 feet from Treen Cliff. Facing southwest, Treen receives excellent sunlight, and there are beautiful, 360-degree vistas, a large recreation area, and a handy, onsite shop. There are beaches within easy walking and driving distance. Nearby Penzance and the pretty port are also close by where there are quaint shops and a harbour where fishing boats can be rented or trips arranged. Logan Rock is one of the nearby possible cliff walks best for beginners or intermediates and the Southwest Coast Path can be hiked in either direction: west for Sennen Cove and Lands End and east for Newlyn, Lamorna, and Mousehole–the entire coast is a cycling Mecca and bikes can be borrowed from Treen Farm.

  1. Cornwall | Bay View Farm

Overlooking broad Looe Bay in Cornwall, Bay View Farm is a mesmerizing place to pitch tent, park a trailer, or stay in one of the farm’s onsite (tiny) huts called snugs. These are some of Cornwall’s finest views, a perfect spot for a camping trip. Onsite, there are electric hookups, free hot showers, and free WiFi too if disconnecting is too much to bear. If the weather turns grim–or even if it doesn’t–don’t miss exploring nearby Eden Project, described as the “largest indoor rainforest in the world,” set within manmade bio-domes featuring plants brought in from all around the world. Just outside the entrance to Bay View Farm is the start of several striking coastal walks: one route follows a path to Mellendreath, onward to Looe, and finishes at Polperro while the other heads along Bodigga Cliff toward Seaton and finishes at Downderry.

  1. Dorset | Burnbake Campsite

Burnbake Campsite is an essential visit for die-hard campers seeking an enchanting coastal backdrop, sublime views, and the delights of Studland Bay beaches. Featuring 130 campsites near many cycling routes, haul the family’s bicycles and enjoy the great outdoors at beautiful Swanage and Corfe Castle, less than ten kilometers away. Situated on Dorset’s south coast on the Isle of Purbeck, Burnbake Campsite spans 12 acres in a partially forested chunk of land where campers can pitch a tent out in the open or under the canopy of trees. Onsite, there is a small store stocking cooking and camping equipment and also washing machines and hot showers. There’s also a great café offering baked goods, wood-fired pizza, local produce, and vegetarian meals.  Milk comes from local Swanage Dairy and meat from revered Warehams’ Curtis Butchers and the kids will love a cone from Purbeck Ice Cream Shop.

  1. Pembrokeshire | Trehenlliw Farm

The camping scene within coastal farm communities has been a boon for outdoor tourism in the U.K. Summertime visitors are exploring new areas based out of a tent or snug–and avoiding expensive hotels. At Pembrokeshire, campers have access to more than 115 acres of farmland near the coast and tucked between St. George’s Channel and Bristol Channel on the Celtic Sea. Fringed by the Penberi and Carnllidid mountains, the coast area has excellent sand beaches, including Whitesand Beach which is a favoured surfing point about a kilometer away. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a stone’s throw away and a natural gem filled with coastal walking opportunities. Head off dolphin and seal watching to Ramsey Island or take a trip into charming St David’s village, the smallest in England, and explore 4th century St David’s Cathedral with its stunning stone facade and myriad windows.

  1. Suffolk |Cliff House Holiday Park

Situated on England’s east coast, Cliff House Holiday Park features 30 acres of woodlands, immediate access to Dunwich Heath’s rocky beach (perfect for beach combing), and is within walking distance to the beaches of Southwold and Walderswick. The Coastal Centre has a Seawatch Room for porpoise and seal viewing. The flourishing bird reserve at Minsmere has woodland nature trails, dunes, and beaches to visit while the pier at Southwold takes you into the world of slot machines and vibrant bathing huts flanking a nice beach for a mix of fun activities on the North Sea coast. Back at Cliff House, guests enjoy a newly renovated shower block and bathrooms with hot showers along with laundry facilities and a washing spot for dishes. On rainy days, the games’ room entertains with pool tables and TV and the restaurant serves real ales and classic pub dishes.

  1. Norfolk | High Sand Creek Campsite

Within easy distance of three coastal nature reserves (Holkham, Blakeney, and Scolt Head), High Sand Creek occupies a large section of land skirting the water’s edge so oceanfront views are still possible (book as early as you can). Bird-watchers come for the whimsical salt marsh lying beyond High Sand and hikers for the beautiful North Norfolk Coastal Path running through Stiffkey village. Crabbing is possible at the bridge by the marshes and if you’re lucky, you’ll be cooking up a feast come dinnertime. Daytime hours are easily swallowed up by time spent along any of the deluge of beaches along the coast; Hunstanton is most notable for its rock pooling and banded cliffs. With 80 sites across five acres to choose between and access to hot showers, bathrooms, and washing sink, High Sand Cree has everything needed for an easy holiday by the coast.

  1. Isle of Wight | Grange Farm

East of Brighton is Grange Farm, a cliff top campsite overlooking Brighstone Beach. The farmland fringes the cliff, offering striking views of the English Channel and though it’s fairly exposed to high winds, it’s a thrilling spot to camp. The closer to the edge, the easier the walk to the beach below and the better the panoramic waterfront views–it’s a trade-up. For a more sheltered stay, book one of the camp pods offered; these are basic units requiring everything but a tent. Washing and bathing facilities, a small shop, and free hot water are offered. There’s so much to do and see in the area; visit Carisbrook Castle where donkeys power a 16th century tread wheel, drawing water up to the castle; try land-sailing on a wheeled vehicle powered by a sail; eat award-winning ice cream at Briddlesford Farm; the list goes on and on.

Yosemite Park’s 10 Best Hikes

Picture alpine meadows, high altitude lakes, and granite domes; this is Yosemite National Park, the second oldest national park in the U.S and one of the most beautiful places on our planet. Nearly four million people visit this park a year and although many come to see the most popular attractions such as Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, there is so much more to discover. Hiking through the park is the only way to discover the magic of it, and here are the park’s best hikes.

10. Gaylor Lakes

Tom Grundy / Shutterstock

It is one of the most overlooked hikes in Yosemite and easy enough for both beginners and families to hike, something hard to come by in this incredible national park. It takes anywhere from 2-5 hours depending on how much exploring you do and only has one real steep climb at the beginning. From the trailhead, hikers will climb steadily to a ridge with views of the high Sierra including Mt. Dana and Dana Meadows with its scattered ponds, offering some of the best high-country views off of Tioga Road.

The Gaylor Lakes valley actually contains five picturesque lakes and lends the feeling of a prehistoric time and one almost expects to see dinosaurs roaming through it. Hikers won’t have to contend with crowds here either as even during the busy season hikers are spread out.

9. Cathedral Lakes

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The Cathedral Lakes trail is one of the most popular hikes along Tioga Road although compared to Yosemite Valley, it is serene and uncrowded. It is a 7 or 8-mile round trip depending on whether you want to visit both the lower and upper lake. The trek is a hard 8 miles as the hike starts at 8,600ft, offering some serious altitude, and climbs over 1,000ft in the first mile.

What hikers will be rewarded with though are stunning views, shimmering waters backdropped by the iconic spire of Cathedral Peak. Hikers can explore the granite slopes, meadows, and peaks that surround the lakes. Make sure to look at the lower lake’s southwest side as the granite drops steeply away and offers views of Tenaya Lake, with its bright blue water shimmering in the distance.

8. Panorama Trail

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This hike actually loses 2,800 feet in elevation, which makes a lot of people think that it is an easy hike but they would be wrong. This 8.5-mile one-way hike challenges hikers with its 800 ft of switchbacks and plenty of difficult small steps, but the views are well worth it. Everywhere you turn on this hike offers incredible views and includes Half Dome, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Illilouette Falls, Yosemite Falls, and the entire Valley.

There is an awesome unmarked detour to Panorama Point, take the trail that is about half a mile after you cross the bridge over Illilouette Creek, and prepare yourself for panoramic views ranging from Glacier Point to the Royal Arches, North Dome, and the back of Half Dome. If you can handle the up and downs and don’t mind catching a shuttle at the end; this is one unforgettable hike.

7. Vernal & Nevada Falls

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If waterfalls are what you are after, this day hike is the perfect choice for you. Vernal and Nevada Falls are two of the most spectacular waterfalls in the park and hikers will get a glimpse of the famous Yosemite Falls in the distance. The loop is started by hiking up the steep granite steps that makeup Mist Trail and then proceeding down the John Muir Trail which lends spectacular views of both falls.

The granite slab located on top of Nevada Falls is the perfect place to picnic and snap amazing photos. Do this hike in the springtime when the water is flowing fast and it is less crowded than in the summer. Make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and decent hiking shoes. If you do hike in the summer make sure to head out early to avoid the afternoon heat and throngs of people.

6. Glen Aulin

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This is another hiking trail that offers spectacular waterfall views and the trick here is the further you go along the trail, the more waterfalls you actually see. The trail starts by descending down the Tuolumne River for about 5 miles in which you will cross Tuolumne Falls and White Cascade, as well as numerous pools that branch off from the trail. In June and July, White Cascade is an incredible place to take a swim so make sure you have your bathing suit.

If you feel like making this 10-mile hike into a 16-mile hike make sure you keep heading on and you will hit California Falls, LeConte Falls, and Waterwheel Falls. That is a total of five waterfalls in 16 miles! The Glen Aulin campsite is where you will turn around to keep the hike at 10 miles and beware that the last mile before the campsite is a deep descend and it’s helpful to have trekking poles.

5. Clouds Rest

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For those hikers who want to experience Half Dome but don’t want to fight the crowds or are unsuccessful in getting a permit; the hike to Clouds Rest is perfect. Hiking this trail you actually get to look down on Half Dome and get a 360-degree view of Yosemite Valley. Round trip is just over 14 miles and hikers should be experienced to make it to the top and back down.

The hike starts at picturesque Tenaya Lake and ends with some easy rock scrambling before reaching Clouds Rest, where you should have your camera ready to snap some unbelievable photos. Keep your eyes peeled for the climbers attached to the cables on Half Dome and realize that you have a better view. This awesome hike is a well-kept secret amongst many and arguably provides the best views of the valley.

4. Mono Pass

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This hike takes place at a high altitude and if you are coming from sea level it is recommended you take a few days to acclimatize before attempting this hike. The hike starts at 9,700ft and ends at 10,599 ft; lung-busting heights if you aren’t used to them. The first part of the trail leads you through beautiful streams, alpine meadows, and glacier domes.

The latter half of the hike will be through barren, rocky landscapes; making you appreciate how high you really are. Hiking Mono Pass is an 8-mile trek and in early summer the creeks are often overflowing with water making them hard to pass without getting wet. Prepare yourself for stunning views of the massive Mono Lake, 4000ft below you, when you reach Summit Lake and Sardine Lake. A real mix of ridges, forest trails, and rocky landscapes makes this one awesome hike.

3. North Dome

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If you are looking for another way to view Half Dome that is less crowded, there is yet another option for you. North Dome is an 8.8-mile round trip that offers unparalleled views of Half Dome as well as the peak of Clouds Rest. Although the hike up isn’t the most scenic in the park, it is the view from the top that draws hikers here. In fact, the only crowded part of this hike is at the top as people are unable to tear themselves away.

If you feel like hiking another mile or so make sure to check out the detour to Indian Rock Arch, a natural granite arch about 15 feet high. You will want to give yourself 4-6 hours to do the round trip hike and make sure to bring a pair of binoculars if you want to view the teeny tiny people making their way up Half Dome.

2. Tueeulala & Wapama Falls

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There are few hikes in this park that bring you so close to a giant cascading waterfall than this one. In springtime is when you will find the falls at their mightiest but beware that the trail is sometimes closed as the water actually roars over the bridges. This is a great hike for hikers with little experience as it features easy up and down terrain rather than the steep terrain that a lot of the park features.

On the way to Wapama Falls, you will pass Tueeulala Falls which spring spectacularly from the cliffs from more than 1000ft above the trail. Over the entirety of the hike, Hetch Hetchy Dome and Kolana Rock will loom over you, Kolana Rock’s north face being the nesting site for peregrine falcons. If you want to take the kids along for this hike make sure you are prepared with lots of water, snacks, sunscreen, and enough time as it’s not as easy as one may think.

1. Half Dome

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It wouldn’t be a list of hikes in Yosemite Park if we didn’t include this one. Although we have given you many more options to experience the views you get from Half Dome, there is truly something magical about actually hiking it. Hiking this glacier dome isn’t easy though as permits are now required and the cable route to the summit is only open from May to October. It is a big 14-mile round trip hike that first takes you along the Mist Trail and then up to the 8,842ft summit.

Steel cables are in place to help hikers up the final 600ft and many times this part takes a long time due to crowds and lineups. If you are jittery and nervous expect to move up very slowly. The summit is a whopping 5 acres and mostly flat, giving 360-degree views of the valley. If you are heading down the glacier on the same day make sure to watch as the sun sets quickly and you won’t want to walk in the dark.

7 Best Things to See and Do in Manitoba

Manitoba is often overlooked as a tourist destination, although no one can quite say why, and frankly it shouldn’t be. This province is absolutely loaded with awesome things to see and do, including one of the top places to view the incredible Northern Lights. Along with outdoor adventures such as polar bear viewing and hiking through national parks, Manitoba offers its fair share of festivals, museums, markets and more. Discover the best 7 things to see and do in this highly underrated province.

7. Play at Whiteshell Provincial Park

Just an hour or so away from Winnipeg is the Whiteshell Provincial Park, loaded with hills, lakes, valleys, forests, and rivers. Inhabitants of the park include deer, moose and black bears with much of the wilderness here being undisturbed. In the summertime go swimming at one the beaches, scuba dive in the clear waters, or hike along one of the scenic trails, ranging from 3km-60km.

Wintertime brings ice-fishing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and skiing. There are 200 lakes here, a range of accommodations, a golf course, museums and even a goose sanctuary. Soak up the scenery here, doing whatever activity you desire, just make sure to take plenty of pictures.

Via Flickr.com

6. Attend the Icelandic Festival

The Icelandic Festival of Manitoba is also known as Islendingadagurinn and takes place in the small town of Gimli. It is the largest Icelandic gathering outside of Iceland itself and the second oldest continuous ethnic festival in North America. The province itself has strong historical connections to Iceland and spends a weekend each summer celebrating the culture.

Over the weekend numerous events take place such as beach volleyball, pancake breakfast, music and poetry, midways rides and games and more. Daily demonstrations of Viking age warfare, tactics, skills, entertainment, and fashion take place, sure to enthrall people of all ages. Eat Icelandic food, join in on traditions, introduce the kids to culture and spend the weekend in one surreal Canadian landscape.

Via Icelandic Festival

5. Visit the Forks

The Forks is Winnipeg’s meeting place, nestled in the heart of downtown and is one of the most beloved places in the city. For over 6,000 years The Forks has been a meeting place, from the time when Aboriginal peoples traded here to buffalo hunters to tens of thousands of immigrants. Today it is home to more than 4 million visitors annually, who come to discover the wide range of shopping, dining, entertainment, and attractions.

Many visitors flock to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which is an awesome addition to the city of Winnipeg. The Forks is also home to the Manitoba’s Children Museum, Arctic Glacier Winter Park which features skating trails and toboggan runs, and the Boardwalk Promenade. Don’t miss out on The Forks Market with its impressive six storey tower with a viewing platform.

Via Winnipeg Free Press

4. See the Polar Bears

Churchill is one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild and if you have ever dreamed of seeing these magnificent creatures in their homes, Manitoba is the perfect province to do so. October and November are the prime viewing times when the bears begin their move from their summer habitat on the tundra back to the ice that forms every winter over Hudson Bay. There are a few different ways to view the bears, and it is highly recommended joining a reputable tour guide, as they adhere to strict guidelines in order to protect the bears.

Tundra vehicles can take visitors over the snow and ice and protect visitors from curious bears or guided walks are available to areas where bears frequently stop by. Staying at a wilderness lodge along the bear’s migration route provides an exciting experience for visitors to watch for bears right from the lodge. The spectacular animals can reach up to 1,320lbs and have no natural enemies, making them both fearless and impressive.

Via World Wildlife Fund

3. Visit Riding Mountain National Park

This scenic park can be visited all year round and proves to be the perfect combination of recreation area, and nature reserve. The landscape is a combination of forest, prairie and super clear lakes and rivers. The park is home to a number of species of wildlife including moose, elk, wolves, bison and hundreds of bird species. Hikers will delight in the 400km of hiking trails throughout the park, ranging from easy patrol roads to grassy trails to steep cliffs.

The cold deep lakes here provide excellent fishing lakes and among the most popular are Clear Lake, Deep Lake, and Katherine Lake. Other activities include canoeing, camping, boating, swimming, scuba diving and snowshoeing, snowmobiling and skiing in the wintertime. The park is most easily accessed by Highway 10 which passes through the park and the south entrance is at the townsite of Wasagaming.

Via AD Virdi Photography

2. Explore the Mennonite Heritage Village

The Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach recreates Mennonite life from the 16th century to present day and features more than 20 furnished buildings spread over 40 acres. Wander through the street village, dine at the Livery Barn Restaurant where the traditional Mennonite fare is served, explore a classic Mennonite housebarn and visit the fully operational Dutch windmill during the summer season.

The galleries house historic and heirloom treasures from Poland to Russia to Canada and visitors can find souvenirs at the Visitors Centre which is open all year round. The site is full of volunteers who are descendants of early blacksmiths, millers, and shopkeepers, who love to chat with visitors and answer any questions about the site.

Via Flickr.com

1. See the Northern Lights

To travel to Manitoba and not catch a glimpse of the awe-inspiring, ever-changing phenomenon of the Northern Lights would be a travesty. This province is home to some of the world’s most luminous locales for gazing at the shimmering curtains of multi-colored lights that dance across the night sky. The best viewing times are from January to March and Churchill is one of the top three spots on the planet to witness them.

One of the best ways to see them is to book an overnight adventure that offers sky-gazing access from the deck of a heated tundra vehicle. Or head further south and stay in a lakeside lodge in Flin Fon where it is said they can be seen all year round. Grab your camera and ready for yourself for an absolutely mind-blowing visual experience.

Via Frontiers North Adventures