Camping and caravan: Expert shares best days to book for last-minute August holiday

Holidays: Northern Ireland is ‘amazing for camping’ says expert

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As travel restrictions continue to cause confusion for British holidaymakers, many are cutting their losses by booking a camping or caravan trip in the UK. However, this sudden surge has meant many campsites reporting being fully booked throughout the peak summer months.

While there are certainly key dates, such as the bank holiday weekends, which have attracted crowds, Jonathan Knight, founder of Cool Camping says there is a simple way around this.

According to the campsite booking platform, there is just 60 percent occupancy across all of its camping and glamping sites throughout the month of August.

The key to bagging a stay in the midsummer month is “flexibility” explains Mr Knight.

“While our bookings are 350 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels, there are still some brilliant choices out there for the peak months of July and August which might surprise some people,” the expert explained.

“For example, across all our sites we are still only 60 percent booked during August as a whole, and there are more options being added each week.

While there is still availability in August, Mr Knight points out there are some days of the week that offer the best range of options.

“Be flexible with your dates and try searching for Monday to Friday breaks or for weekly stays, try searching from Fridays or Mondays rather than Saturdays,” said Mr Knight.

The good news is, last-minute booking has become something of a trend – even in the busiest months, according to Cool Camping data.

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“The numbers show how people are still booking later and later,” said Mr Knight.

“For example, the booking levels for mid-week in early August are slightly higher than the August Bank Holiday weekend at the end of the month.

“There is a lot of regional variation too so you will have much more choice in Cornwall if you look to book over the August bank holiday weekend than the first week of August,” added Knight.

Some of the busiest regions across August include the Lake District, Pembrokeshire in Wales, Cornwall and the North Norfolk Coast, with campsites all above 70 percent occupancy according to the data.

However, as Mr Knight points out, there are still plenty of other locations which have space.

Cool Camping sites across the New Forest area, for example, are only 54 percent full during the August Bank holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, the week of August 7, sites are at just 48 percent capacity.

“Be flexible about where to go,” he advised.

“If you like surf consider North Wales over Cornwall and for paddle sports head to the inland rivers and waterways of Herefordshire or Somerset rather than the Lakes.”

The type of accommodation can also play a crucial role – with some types of holiday proving more popular this year.

Previously, Cool Camping found more elevated staycations, particularly those boasting kitsch tree house accommodation or luxury hot tub add-ons, were highly sought after.

“Our figures also show there is a lot more space available for pitch-your-own camping spots, with 72 percent of our glamping options booked out for August but only 44 percent of traditional campsite pitches booked up,” said Mr Knight.

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