Top positive review
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UK campsites - all with something special to offer
on 2 July 2013
(My camping background: a childhood spent caravanning with parents, youth hostelling in my teens followed by 20 years of tent-camping and campervan camping using small remote and largely undeveloped sites or wildcamping.)
Not everyone wants to spend their camping holiday at a regimented site where a uniformed warden wearing obligatory branded polo shirt and shorts frog-marches you to your allocated pitch whereupon you must site your tent/van precisely and equidistant between the markings and face into a prescribed direction. That certainly isn't my idea of a relaxing break hence the reason I either wild-camp or seek smaller, independent and more relaxed sites - and this is where 'Cool Camping' comes into its own.
The book reviews 149 sites visited and tested by the authors. Without exception these are smaller, friendlier sites run by their owners rather than being part of a chain or franchise and hence the owner has a personal incentive for ensuring visitors enjoy their stay and hopefully return.
The book is clearly targeted at people like me and I know this because many of the sites I've chosen to stay on are those listed in this book! Therefore I can happily conclude that my taste for sites matches that of the authors and researchers. All areas of the UK are covered from the stunningly situated Sango Sands site at Durness on the tip of the Northern Scottish Highlands coastline down to the less commercial sites of the south-western tip of Cornwall and all areas inbetween. The sites are hand-picked for their character, tranquil or scenic settings and the larger commercial and somewhat character-less holiday park-type sites are deliberately excluded.
The sites are well described but the authors'/researcher's opinions are subjective - which is a good thing if you like the same sort of sites as they do (and I definitely do!). A site summary box highlights to special features of each site - the `cool factor', who the site is aimed at (eg families, not large groups..), how to get there, what to see and do nearby. It's not a typical catalogue of camp sites and this also shows in its photography which, like its search for special camp sites, it also seeks out that special shot which captures the atmosphere of the site such as a resident nosy lamb, a colourful menu chalkboard or a tent/van parked to take in a stunning view. Throughout, the book is full of inspiration and any dedicated camper is almost certain to want to head off to the some of the locations shared.
My only very slight niggle is that it would have been helpful to include map and key of site locations inside front or back cover to make book easier to use.
If you're looking for seclusion, relaxation, peace and quiet on your camping holiday then this is just the book for you.