THINKING of camping this summer but don’t want to pitch up on a site with little going on?
There are plenty of places where you can sleep under canvas surrounded by activities and adventure.
Stay in a tent – or glamping yurt – at “sites with extras”, including a theme park, festival or castle.
Trisha Harbord reveals some of the best.
HIT the slopes for skiing or tobogganing while on your summer break.
The snow centre at Mendip Basecamp in Somerset is just one of a range of exciting activities at the campsite.
You can take your own tent or book one of the Nomadic bell tents, sleeping up to six people.
The site has bathroom facilities, camp shop, cafe for breakfast and a country pub.
The activity centre, with instructors, is a short woodland walk from camp.
You can have a go at archery, air rifle shooting, axe-throwing, abseiling and bushcraft.
There are watersports and caving too at the basecamp in an area of outstanding natural beauty near Weston-super-Mare.
GO: Pitch from £26 a night for two adults and two children in July and August. Extra adult £8, child £5. Activities from £5. See pitchup.com.
Sky’s the limit
SET up a telescope and stargaze before bedding down in a luxury yurt.
Experts from Dark Sky Wales visit Penhein Glamping to show you the constellations and how to use a star map and photograph the night sky.
The Persian tents have comfy beds, a kitchen, woodburning stove and the shower block even has a roll-top bath.
The farm in the Monmouthshire hills is a big adventure playground with archery, axe-throwing and bushcraft.
There are campfire-cookery classes, foraging and woodland banquets.
And Penhein adjoins 1,000-acre Wentwood Forest, so is perfect for wildlife walks to see the fallow deer, as well as dusk safaris and birdsong trips.
Back at camp, adults can enjoy a massage or facial from therapists visiting the farm.
GO: Two nights’ self-catering in a yurt for up to five people, in July and August, costs from £375. See penhein.co.uk.
KIP under canvas a few feet from the sea, while still having all the activities and amenities of a holiday park behind you.
Pentewan Sands in Cornwall has pitches, mostly electric, for tents, caravans and motorhomes, with four modern blocks providing bathroom facilities and a launderette.
If you love watersports, there’s paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing and bodyboarding available.
The 5H park also has an indoor pool with whirlpool and an amusement arcade, kids’ play area, tennis courts and a supermarket.
There’s a great choice of restaurants, from The Seahorse overlooking the Mevagissey Bay to Pentewan Plaice for fish and chips.
Hire bikes and explore the paths around Mevagissey, Pentewan and St Austell.
GO: Electric pitch from July 22 to August 26 costs from £59.90 a night for two. Extra adult £9.80, child £6.50. See pentewan.co.uk.
A FORMER dairy farm is now one of the UK’s best sites for family fun.
Tapnell Farm, near Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, has glamping options and numerous activities, including an aqua park.
Back on land, there’s an award-winning park with go-karts, jumping pillows, rope bridges and slides.
Wander round the farm to feed and pet sheep, alpacas, goats and donkeys.
There’s also archery, clay pigeon-shooting, cycle hire and kids’ clubs and film nights.
Accommodation includes safari tents, sleeping up to eight, and geo domes for six, all with en suites, log-burning cooker and fridge.
GO: Two nights in a safari tent in September from £795. Two nights in a geo dome with outdoor tub for six people in July and August from £1,011. See tapnellfarm.com.
SLEEPING at Warwick Castle is a bit special, with King’s glamping tents fit for royalty.
In the Knight’s Village, the tents have medieval style thrones, four-poster beds and chess sets.
They sleep four, as do standard Warwick tents.
Beside the River Avon and in the grounds of the castle, there is a restaurant and evening entertainment, including battling knights, archery lessons and knight school,
Spectacular shows are back this summer with the new Legend Of The Trebuchet, which sees the 22-ton medieval siege machine hurl an 18kg ball and chain 200 metres.
There are also jousting competitions and 60 birds of prey performing aerial acrobatics.
There’s also a midsummer carnival, with fire breathing, juggling and games until July 16.
GO: Two nights’ B&B and one-day park tickets for two adults and two children in July costs from £378. See warwick-castle.com.
Champion pop up
CAMPSITES often pop up just for special events, such as the UCI World Cycling Championships this summer.
A farm in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders, will be the official campsite for races through Glentress Forest.
Nether Prin & West Bold Farm, near Innerleithen, is welcoming families with tents, vans and motorhomes.
There will be showering and catering facilities and a free shuttle bus to the event.
More than a million spectators are expected to see stages of the competition, from August 3 to 13, featuring BMX, road, trials, track, para cycling and mountain biking.
GO: Tent pitch at the farm starts from £75 for a three-night weekend. Full ten days from £185. See tweedvalleycamping.co.uk.
GLASTONBURY has kicked off festival season and there are cracking family “camp and rock” weekends ahead.
Victorious on the Southsea seafront in Portsmouth, from August 25 to 27, features a fantastic line-up, including headliners Jamiroquai, Kasabian and Mumford & Sons.
There’s a free shuttle bus from the Farlington Fields festival campsite, which has shower facilities, food stalls and cooking areas.
Blur’s Alex James is holding his Big Feastival on his Cotswolds Farm on the same weekend.
Sigrid and Tom Grennan are among the headliners and the festival is renowned for its great food.
Take your own tent or hire a yurt.
GO: Victorious weekend tickets and camping cost from adult £195; 13-17, £180; five-12, £34; under-fives, £4. See victoriousfestival.co.uk. Big Feastival tickets from £217.95 adult; £132.30, 13-17; £55.80, 12 and under. See thebigfeastival.com.
Thrills ‘n’ spills
TELL the kids they’re glamping in a theme park and wait for the squeals of delight.
Chessington World of Adventures has WILD Explorer safari-themed tents for four people, with comfy beds and electricity.
There are shower facilities, a restaurant and evening entertainment in the glamping village.
You can also get into the theme park’s SEA LIFE centre and 1,000-animal zoo an hour before day visitors, so you can enjoy exciting rides without the queues.
Music festival Wilderfest, with stages throughout the park, is running from July 31 to September 3.
Read more on the Scottish Sun
Chessington is also the first theme park to have Go Ape, which offers ziplining and tree-top rope courses.
GO: Night glamping on July 30 for two adults and two children, including breakfast and two-day park tickets, costs from £304. See chessington.com.