We haven’t been campers for very long, in fact not much more than a year, but in that time we’ve very quickly come to the conclusion that we’re not big fans of sprawling corporate chain campsites. The sites we’ve enjoyed the most have all been smaller independent sites in great locations. That’s why Tiny Campsites seemed like the perfect book for us. In his new book, Guardian travel writer Dixe Wills reviews and recommends 75 campsites from across Britain that are all no bigger that one acre in size.
The book is well presented with reviews grouped by county. Each review is spread over two pages and features the site’s full address along with contact information, colour photograph, map, bullet point information, longer description and summary ratings. The bullet point information is very comprehensive, covering things like how you can get to the site by road or rail, whether there are any issues with noise or ugly buildings to spoil an otherwise idylic view and lists of nearby attractions. Unfortunately the map doesn’t really serve much purpose as it’s too small to be able to use to navigate to the campsite, and zoomed in too close to be able to get an idea of whereabouts in the county the site is located.
For much of the the bullet point information the author uses his own shorthand codes which takes a little getting used to but soon makes sense. For example where prices are concerned, “BP £, Couple ££, Family £££” translates as a solo backpacker or cyclist with small tent costs up to £5, a couple would pay £5 to £10 and a family up to £15 per night.
Some of the locations described in this book sound fantastic but I know I’m not a hard core camper (that’s probably why I own a campervan and not a tent) and I while I still prefer the smaller sites, I also want hot showers and decent toilets rather than a hosepipe and portaloo. So, this is a great cofee table book, and probably a useful reference guide for some campers, but I doubt that me and my campervan will be visiting Dixe’s recommeded sites any time soon.