With Londoners looking to countryside holidays instead of the prospect of expensive trips to Europe, camping is making a big comeback. The problem is, many people in the Big Smoke just aren’t aware of what’s lurking just outside their London doorstep – there’s a world of opportunity for people who want to balance the brilliance of London life with recuperating countryside vibes.
Where SHOULD you be going, then, on your countryside foray?
Variety In The Lee Valley
Stretching across 26 miles of greenland through Herts and Essex, Lee Valley has attained quite some fame in recent years for the fantastic service it’s offered to campers. Potentially just 40 minutes outside of London, or less if you’re near the M25, you can find great campsites for just £12.
There are a huge range of options, from wild bushcraft to glamping. If you are one of the breed of urbanites that can’t stomach the idea of getting camping gear together, you needn’t worry – there’s tent equipment for all experiences and levels of camping wisdom.
Champing In Oxfordshire
A relatively new phenomenon but one with a lot of excitement around it is Champing – or, Church Camping. Tying together British heritage with the great outdoors, various church heritage groups have collaborated to provide countryside church grounds for camping. Even better, a good few of these are in Oxfordshire and other easily accessed areas near London and the M25, creating an excellent way to escape the city; especially for those who are a little more naive towards the great outdoors and perhaps need a little more comfort before they brave a tent.
Chilling out in Essex
Probably the most conveniently located, with travel times easily under an hour for many locations, Essex is a fantastic option for getting a bit of the countryside without having to travel too far. Loughton, in particular, has an excellent reputation as a venue for the chilled out camp site, emphasising the cosy fires, shunning motor vehicles and aiming for a small, intimate camping experience.
For a number of reasons, there has never been a better time to escape from London and get yourself a holiday in the country. Nobody wants to leave the allure of the big city for long, though, so keep your eyes peeled for short distance camping opportunities and you can get the best of both worlds.