Nothing beats the captivating beauty of Somerset’s wildflower meadows, spectacular beaches and verdant countryside, all of which makes camping in Somerset a fantastic vacation for outdoor enthusiasts. Beautifully set in South West England, bordering Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north this region has plenty of secluded spots to discover.
Whether you are planning to hike, cycle, visit on a day-trip, or are just looking for an inexpensive way to see as much of the region as possible, camping in Somerset can be a cost effective and fun way to do that. It’s also a truly unique opportunity to lose yourself in the quiet scenery that makes this place so special.
There are several campsites in and around Somerset to choose from – we recommend some of our top picks in this article. We also look at wild camping in Somerset later in this article too.
So grab your tent and some hiking boots – let’s begin your Somerset camping adventure!
Camping in Somerset
As one of the larger English counties, Somerset has stunning beaches, green countryside, woodlands, lakes & more, and covers a wide range of landscapes & environments. In fact there’s so much to explore in this wonderful county, that even those lucky enough to live in Somerset are continually discovering its gems.
There are some great campsites to choose from that are located close to some of the main walking, hiking and cycling routes in Somerset – we give some of our favourites below.
A good quality walking in Somerset book – like this one which has dozens of trails – can help you plan what area you may want to visit and walk in, and therefore what campsites may be of interest to you.
However if you’re looking for some great campsite recommendations, below we share some of our favorite campsites in Somerset, before looking at wild camping in Somerset:
Camping in Somerset: Some of the best campsites in Somerset
The Old Oaks Touring Caravan Park & Campsite
This tranquil award-winning five-star camping and glamping site is the perfect spot for campers to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This adults only site is beautifully tucked away in a rural setting, close to the famous town of Glastonbury.
The 15 acre rural campsite includes six unique areas with great accommodation options to choose from, and has a 1/2 acre fishing lake onsite – perfect for nature lovers.
With a warm welcome, friendly staff and an on-site shop full of great local produce, such as free range eggs and delicious home-made cakes, expect an unforgettable experience when staying here.
Nearby are many local attractions like Longleat Safari Park, Haynes Motor Museum and momentous aircraft at The Fleet Air Arm Museum. There’s also great walks at the nearby nature reserves of Ham Wall, Greylake and Shapwick Heath which are about a 30 minute drive away!
Minehead Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Beautifully situated in the Somerset hills, this stunning campsite provides campers with breathtaking views of the sea over-looking the Bristol Channel. We also love Minehead Camping and Caravanning Club Site for its great location close to Exmoor National Park and Exmoor Heritage Coast.
This site is also a mere 15-minute walk to Minehead, which is the starting point for the famous South West Coast Path that stretches for 630 miles.
It’s a holiday sweet spot for all campers; whether you want to enjoy stunning sea views or hike the famous Coastal Path. The perfect place to recharge your batteries in a peaceful location.
With breathtaking views overlooking the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels, Petruth Paddocks is a pitch-where-you-like site. The warm welcome will make you feel right at home too.
With Cheddar village only a 15 minute walk away, and the famous Cheddar Gorge just 20 minutes, this site is a great base for visitors to the region.
This peaceful and relaxing spot has flexible check out times and great facilities on site and nearby. We recommend trying the nice fish and chips at Tuckers Takeaway Cheddar, which is located less than a mile away – you will love it.
This dog-friendly campsite is situated between the Quantock Hills and the Jurassic Coast. Moorhouse Campsite also offers fantastic on-site facilities, surrounded by many great places to discover and explore nearby.
The campsite has a great communal barbecue area where campers can meet other visitors and enjoy the Mad Apple Cider that is produced in their barns! Both kids and adults will love the free range chickens and the peacock on site, and there’s a great play area for children here too.
The famous castle in Dunster is a fantastic nearby attraction, as is Minehead’s sandy beaches and the amazing walks on the Quantocks which can be directly accessed down a private farm lane towards the beautiful Holford village. Kilve beach is also just 40 minute walk away.
Wild camping in Somerset
Like other areas of England, wild camping in Somerset is not technically allowed, however people still do it. Although campers are allowed to pitch their tent if they have the permission of a landowner. However that’s often easier said than done.
Yet the scenic views and fascinating trails that exist in Somerset makes it a tempting destination for wild camping, whether you’ve got permission or not.
Therefore if you are planning to free camp in Somerset – and can’t be swayed to stay in a campsite instead – then you should camp in the same place for one night only, and pitch your tent discretely and in a remote place which will not be easily seen. Therefore don’t camp in or near settlements, someone’s farm or on cultivated land. If you think you’re on private land, always try and seek out the landowner and ask permission. They may request a small fee.
Below are our top tips for camping in Somerset:
- Heavy rain can happen in Somerset – even during the summer months. Therefore make sure you have a rainproof tent that can survive rain. A lightweight one-man walking tent like this or similar would be perfect. For a good value tent that fits more than one person, this mosquito-proof one would work well too.
- Remember to always have plenty of water on you when you’re walking and camping. A space-saving collapsible water bottle would be a good purchase.
- If you’re wild camping, then go to the toilet at least 30-50 meters away from water sources, such as rivers. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste at least six inches under ground. Take any tissue paper with you – use a ziplock bag to store it and dispose of it in the nearest bin.
Some of the best places to visit in Somerset
Cheddar Gorge & Caves
This attraction is a great place to discover and learn about the prehistoric people of the region as it’s where the UK’s oldest complete human skeleton – Cheddar Man which is 9,000 years old – was found!
This location boasts Britain’s biggest gorge, along with stalactite-studded caverns and majestic cliffs that rise over 450ft. This world-famous site is home to some great walks too, with excellent views and picnic areas.
Known as one of Somerset best landmarks, Glastonbury Tor is an iconic feature of this region’s landscape. At 158 meters, it rises above the Avalon marshes and can be seen from across the county. This location is home to majestic sunsets and sunrises too, so hikers will enjoy the early morning walks.
Remodelled during the 1870s into a splendid Victorian country house, this castle is set high on the Tor. Full of rare shrubs and perfect for history buffs, this captivating castle is a must-visit and has breathtaking views over the Bristol Channel, Exmoor and Somerset.
Camping in Somerset: The weather and best months to visit
Spring is our favourite time to visit due to mild temperatures ranging from 10°C to 17°C, and the fact many tourist spots aren’t busy. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful sea views during this season too, and even undertake the famous South West Coast Path.
Summer is a great time to visit the Glastonbury Tor as visitors can enjoy longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. With daytime reaching around 18°C to 22°C, it’s a great time to explore the quaint towns and villages in Somerset and enjoy pub beer gardens as you do!
With milder temperatures during autumn, it’s the perfect time to avoid the peak summer tourist season, go on hikes, and enjoy the ever-changing colours of the woodland. The rainy days in autumn can make hiking trails quite challenging and slippery. We recommend hikers bring appropriate walking sticks.
Winter brings the shortest daylight hours and coolest temperatures, but visitors can enjoy the crisp air during walks on the different trails in the region. Visitors are advised to bring warm clothing as there is the possibility of snowfall during this season, as average temperatures range from 3°C to 9°C during the daytime.