Monthly Parenting Magazine

The best UK summer camps for kids

best summer camps UK

Summer camps are a great opportunity for the little ones to embrace the great outdoors, learning new skills and making new friends. Here are the top camps this summer

Words Miriam Carey

The summer months are an amazing time for children – weeks on end away from the hassle of school. The opportunities for adventure are endless: long days outside in the fresh air and summer sun, climbing trees, rambling through forests, listening for animals, playing sport, getting crafty, painting and making jewellery. Summer evenings and cooking food outside, running around and playing late into the evening, camping outside – it sounds dreamy.

These scenes sound like something from an American movie or adventure novel, however residential summer camps are rising in popularity in the UK – they give parents a break and let little ones learn new skills and meet new friends. We’ve put together a few of our favourites – but book quickly they’ll get booked up!

Camp Kernow, Truro, Cornwall 

Camp Kernow Cornwall

Get your child immersed in nature in Camp Kernow’s off grid environmental adventure camp in the Cornish countryside.

Aimed at engaging children with the natural environment and inspiring them to live sustainably, littles will be foraging edible hedgerow treasures with wild food experts, climbing into the canopy of a big beech tree, chiselling their own marshmallow toasting fork at the blacksmith workshop, tuffet weaving – using a peg loom to weave sheep’s wool into cushions, and taking a dusk walk in search of bats and other nocturnal mammals feeding in the hedgerow.

It’s a bucolic ideal, with an inspirational eco-message at the heart of all the activities.

Summer camps are throughout August.

Camp Wilderness, Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire

Camp Wilderness Cheshire

Camp Wilderness is a residential summer camp situated in the beautiful grounds of 19th century Cholmondeley castle in Cheshire. Children will be staying in traditional safari style tipi tents, amongst the lakes, woodlands, and wild animals, occupying their days with traditional bushcraft activities.

The camp means to encourage children to regain their sense of outdoors adventure and appreciate the natural world – getting them off digital devices and games consoles.

Activities include fire lighting, wilderness cooking, bush tucker BBQs, wild swimming, first aid, shelter building, camouflage and concealment, archery, cricket and rounder’s, scavenger hunt, campfire stories, hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Book now for the 31 July to the 4 August camp.

Mill on the Brue, Trendle farm, Somerset

Mill on the Brue Somerset

Mill on the Brue is for the action loving adrenaline junkies. Days are packed full of high octane activities from assault courses and problem solving challenges, to air rifle shooting, climbing walls, ropes, and zip wiring – which will see your child growing leaps and bounds, embracing confidence and teamwork.

Children will be put into groups sorted by age, named squirrels, owls, swallows, magpie, badger, and otter. They will be fuelled by delicious high energy home grown organic food from local suppliers and their own garden.

9 July – 19 August

Kingwood Camp, West Runton, East Anglia

Kingwood Camp East Anglia

The North Norfolk coast, with is sandy beaches, is the place to get your young surfers skills up to scratch. The surf school is open to beginners and the more experienced and they teach basic technique, body boarding, paddle boarding, and tide awareness.

There will be 10 hours of lessons a week split into two hours a day, enough time to build confidence on the water. Lessons will be taken by British surfing association qualified instructors and equipment will be provided.

When not surfing kids will be drying off and chilling out with a range of other exciting activities.

9 July to 19 August;

Village Camps, Follifoot riding centre, Yorkshire

Village Camps Yorkshire

Follifoot riding centre is a long established family-run business in Yorkshire where riders of all levels can learn and improve under the guidance of experienced and patient instructors.

Throughout the week beginners will make steady progress through walking, trotting, cantering and jumping small fences and logs. Riding lessons take place in the morning between 9.00am-12.00pm.

Riders will also be introduced to the stable area and will learn vital skills in tacking up, horse care and stable husbandry. There will also be time for fun pony themed games and competitions, with winners taking home rosettes.

July 2 – August 12.

International Summer Camp UK, Crieff, Scotland

International Summer Camp UK Scotland

International Summer Camp is a two-week residential camp in the heart of Scotland’s wooded countryside. Campers have the freedom to organise their schedule, choosing from a choice of electives a week and daily cabin activities.

The whole camp goes on a day trip once every two weeks where they get to experience breathtaking scenery and Scottish culture including St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Loch Lomond.

The electives are professionally led and focused on personal growth: options include dance, art, filmmaking, journalism, and counsellor training. Cabin activities have more of a relaxed social element and feature yoga, baking brownies, smoothie making, and jewellery making.

July 2 – August 18;

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