The Always Sunday Guide to Summer Camping

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Summer Camping Ideas

As the Glastonbury Festival gates open this weekend and the British weather heats up just in time, our team are kitting out the camper van with our favourite camping essentials and marking the best summer camping destinations on our maps (paper not sat nav, we're old school).

But we don't do anything by halves and for us camping is an opportunity to go all out and create the ultimate camping experience. With help from our worldly team, uncover a beautiful and remote island for parking up the RV, a beautiful picnicware set that will make you feel like a proper grown up and which festival we're voting the best this year. 

Meet the Team:

Lexi - Founder & Creative Director

Lottie - General Manager at Town+House pub

Amy - Content Creator

Sophie - Accounts

Connor - Head Chef at Town+House pub

 

TOP PLACES TO GO SUMMER CAMPING

Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Remote, rocky and so small you can see one side of the island whilst standing on the other. It’s the perfect place for bird watchers as much of it is an RSPB reserve but you could also discover dolphins, whales and basking sharks. While your eyes are to the sky, try star gazing - Coll is the first official Dark Sky Island and one of only two in the UK.

Lottie: My favourite place! I saw the faintest Northern Lights in the evenings and made friends with many a wild bird, bloody freezing but totally worth the zero sleep.

Bude, Cornwall

Long stretches of beach packed with expert and aspiring surfers and a quaint harbour town capturing that Cornish charm we love and makes for the perfect spot for enjoying classic British beach food like sea-salted fish & chips or a 99 ice cream happily melting down your hand.

Amy: I love when you can see the sea from the campsite and when it isn't jam packed so you can enjoy your chips with a view.

Your Own Backyard

Fling up a tent, start a bonfire and sizzle some sausages for loaded hot dogs. It’s quick, easy and you don’t need to wrestle the kids into waterproofs to get them out the door.

Lexi: Worst case scenario when we can’t get out of Bath, our shepherd’s hut in the garden gives me those camping vibes especially when we open the doors in the morning and just lie in the bed with hot cuppas looking at all the pine trees!

Lexi's Shepherd's Hut

WHAT TO PACK FOR STYLISH CAMPING

Lottie’s essentials? You will always need the three W’s - wellies, waterproofs and wet wipes, but what else do you pack for a weekend camping trip to elevate the essentials into an experience? 

  1. Wellies & Umbrella

Anyone who’s been camping knows that your biggest enemy isn’t the tent assembly instructions, it’s the completely changeable weather which is why we will take wellies and an umbrella wherever we’re going even if the weatherman promises sunshine.

Lexi: My Merry People Wellies are my one true love while camping because nothing is okay about waking up in a soggy situation and the wet grass in the morning walking to the campsite toilets.

Merry People Welly Boots

  1. A Beautiful Backdrop for Bonfire Burgers

If you’ve suffered the collapse of a potato salad on a paper plate in public then you’ll know what we mean when we say we just can't approve of them. There comes a time in your adult life when you realise you don’t want to cup your food in your two hands and perhaps it’s time to invest in that really beautiful picnicware after all.

Cream Melamine Picnic Set

Our enamel kitchenware can be used at home or on camping trips, it is satisfyingly weighty and surprisingly thick which means it’s far less likely to chip or warp like regular enamel cookware. Choose an enamel frying pan for the morning bacon baps and serve burgers on cream melamine picnic plates that look good enough for a fine dining restaurant.

Always Sunday Enamel Cookware

2. The Bag of all Bags

If you’re not quite a military-grade packer just yet, our team are big advocates for the kitchen sink bags - If there’s ever a time to ‘shove it all in at once’, this is when it’s totally ok. 

Amy: I have the Uashmama tote in silver and that is the perfect beach bag to carry the towels, the snacks, the swimwear and all my bits and bobs.

3. A Bangin’ Playlist

Lottie:  I've got strong memories of heading down the motorway in our VERY yellow vintage VW beetle listening to the Hounds of Love as loud as those tiny aged speakers could go whilst feeling very car sick with the roof off screaming at the wind nearly taking my hat every 3 seconds!!

VW Beetle

 

4. A Bit of Booze

Whether it’s a cheap tinny in a field or a bottle of champagne or two tucked into your Fieldbar cooler, there’s something about camping that brings out the boozer in us.

Amy: You just can’t beat a cold beer on the beach!

Sophie: Don't forget the snacks..

Festival Outfit Ideas

 

THE BEST SUMMER GLAMPING ACTIVITIES

1. Festival Spirit

Lexi: I want that festival spirit all day everyday! I live for the music outside, the great fashion moments where everyone is experimental with their outfits. Sequins and feathers are my language!

Lately our camping features RV’s or glamping. I love Wilderness festival but since we've started hosting at Goodwood Festival of Speed, that has to be my favourite. It's the largest car show in the UK, and it means I essentially go camping with over 50,000 men but it's such an experience every time and who says it just has to be blokey? Last year we hired a giant gold pineapple DJ booth, street food carts and a fancy dress station (there were a lot of sequins). This year we've definitely got some surprises in store for our guests!

Goodwood Festival

 

2. Dog Walks

Lottie: There is nothing better than pulling up to a National Trust beach (get that sticker out for your free parking)  with the dog in tow and your eyes firmly on the gift shop.

Connor: Foraging with Bella and the puppies, stopping for lunch and a wild swimming session in a remote spot.

3. Bonfires on the Beach

Lottie: I just wish I could bottle up the feeling of being 18. Laughing in a field with a tonne of friends, a bonfire that makes your clothes stink for weeks and not a care (or hangover) in the world other than who brought the snacks. It’s the best feeling in the world.

And the worst?

Lottie: The camping showers, just thinking of shared chipped tiled cubicles & wet shower curtains touching me is enough to never make me want to leave the house again.

Amy: Yeh but coming home to that first amazing shower makes it so worth it.

Wherever you're heading this Summer, we hope you're feeling inspired to elevate your camping experience to entirely new heights. Looking for more inspiration? Read Lexi's Top Summer Travel Essentials in the June Issue of The Sunday Papers or shop our Alfresco Collection online and in-store.

 

The Sunday Papers






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