10 family campsite essentials

Since having children, camping has become a whole different beast. When it was just us, we had no issues with pitching up in a field or on a cliff top and wild camping. With young children, our needs are a little more complex. Here are the top ten things we look for in a campsite these days.

Kielder Forest Northumberland UK | Kielder is the most remote village in England. From here, you have easy access to Kielder forest and Kielder Water manmade lake. The forest is the perfect place for mountain biking even with young children. The area is dog friendly and a great place to see wildlife and get back in touch with nature. But look out for the rain and the midges!

1. Dog friendly

A family holiday wouldn’t be complete without the dogs. We do occasionally have a few days away without them, but we would never leave them behind if we’re camping so we would actively avoid campsites that won’t accept dogs.

2. Good showers

The showers need to be hot but not too hot for the children. They need to be clean, well maintained and free. There is nothing worse than having to find 20p every time you want a shower.

3. Changing facilities

Thankfully our baby changing days are behind us now. But I remember cold days when we’d just got a baby out of the shower. The long trek back to the tent with a shivering baby to change because there were no changing facilities in the shower block. If you have a baby in nappies, decent changing facilities are a must.

4. Electric hookups

I know it’s not for everyone, but we have a folding camper (a trailer tent with a kitchen) and it’s great being able to use a hob to cook a proper dinner. And it saves a fortune on eating out.

5. WiFi

While we’re on the subject of modern luxuries, I do like to have WiFi when I’m camping. It’s essential when you work online – sadly, work doesn’t just stop when you’re away. When Lia was little, we also used to put white noise on for her to sleep. Without WiFi in a campsite, nobody used to get much sleep.

6. An outdoor play area

I don’t expect campsites to cater for our every whim or provide entertainment in the rain. But having a little park that the girls can play on if we’ve got some down time is brilliant. It’s amazing how long young children can spend on a swing before they get bored.

7. Space

I understand that campsites want to make best use of their space and cram people in. But I don’t want to feel like I’m on holiday in a back-to-back mid-terrace. We’ve got a large tent with an awning but we’d still like a bit of grass for the girls to run around on next to the tent. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

8. Basic supplies

I like campsites that have a small shop with basic supplies. This is especially crucial if we go somewhere that’s a little bit out in the sticks like Kielder Forest. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning and realising the milk’s off and you’ve got an hour round trip to the nearest shop.

9. Helpful staff

Wherever you go with young children, friendly faces can make or break your experience. Sometimes, it’s hard work with two children and two dogs. If staff see me struggling, I’d rather they came over and asked if they could help instead of shouting at my child for riding her bike just off the defined path.

10. Great views

Much as we love camping, it’s hard work. Come the evening, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with a glass of wine, relaxing in beautiful surroundings.

Camping with children | If you're going camping with young children, there are certain things you'll look for in a campsite. Here are the top things that we need when we're going camping. As dog owners, our camping accommodation needs may differ from people who don't have dogs. But if you've got children, you'll need many of the same things as us - because kids need to stay active when they're camping, they'll have much more fun! #camping #campsite #outdoorfun

What do you look for in a campsite?

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