6 fabulous campsites a short drive from London

 Camping expert and Inspires contributor Shell Robshaw-Bryan details her favourite campsites a stone's throw from the capital below.

When it comes to camping, London doesn’t immediately spring to mind as the most camper friendly of locations. While the capital lacks the large open spaces that make camping so enjoyable, you might be surprised to find there are some fantastic campsites just a short drive outside of London.

With wellbeing and nature deficits being current lifestyle hot topics, the research is consistently concluding that spending time outdoors in green spaces is good for us. It has a range of benefits including reducing blood pressure and stress levels, to boosting creativity and even your immune system.

If you’re based in London and have a free weekend to get out and explore, why not try the great outdoors at one of the six locations below? Pack the rental car (don’t forget marshmallows for the campfire) and head off for the countryside to immerse yourself in nature for a few days. With some beautiful locations like the South Downs National Park, the Chilterns and the Surrey Hills virtually on your doorstep, read on for our top picks of fabulous campsites that are under a 2-hour drive from London.

Swiss Farm Camping & Touring, Henley-Upon-Thames

Green farmyard field with fence

Under 40 miles from central London is one of our favourite southern campsites. Swiss Farm Camping & Touring is located in the gorgeous town of Henley-Upon-Thames, a real treat for those who haven’t been before.

The campsite itself is walking distance from the centre of town, so even die-hard city dwellers will be able to pitch up and find a great bar or restaurant within walking distance to keep them entertained.

For nature lovers, red kites are frequently seen overhead at the campsite, and the site itself is beautifully well kept with flat grassy pitches and great facilities.

How to get there:  Pop RG9 2HY into your satnav and head out of the city and in about an hour you’ll find yourself heading towards the beautifully picturesque Henley-Upon-Thames, with the campsite on your right just before you reach the town centre. Marlow Road, Henley-Upon-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2HY.

Chiltern Retreat Rural Camping, Buckinghamshire

Sun sets behind a tree

With a little over an hour of driving, you can find yourself at Chiltern Retreat Rural Camping. Choose to camp in either woodland or meadow areas, get pitched up and then head off to explore.

The area offers some superb walking making it a great opportunity to don your walking boots and head off into the hills for a hike to explore the surrounding Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, before trying one of the numerous traditional local pubs. Once satisfied, head back to the campsite and spend the evening under the stars sat beside a crackling campfire.

If it’s total peace and quiet you’re hankering for, you’ll definitely find it here. Make sure to keep your eyes open for the pheasants and wild deer that frequently visit the site.

How to get there:  Located just outside of Lane End village in Buckinghamshire, you’ll find the Chiltern Retreat Rural Camping on Marlow Road, Lane End, Buckinghamshire HP14 3JP.

Hook Farm Campsite, Sussex

Located within the High Weald AONB, Hook Farm Campsite has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. The site is set within twenty acres of secluded meadows and woodland copses that provide you with an authentic wild camping experience in the English countryside.

Pitch up at Hook Farm Campsite and you’ll be treated to fabulous views of the Sussex Weald; vast areas of lush greenery. For peace and tranquillity during your stay, head to the lower field that’s designated to be more private.

This is a campsite that suits the more adventurous or experienced campers as its facilities are on the basic side – there’s cold running water and toilets but there aren’t any showers on site.

How to get there: Make sure you’ve booked online first and you’ll find Hook Farm Campsite located on Hook Lane between the villages of Sharpthorne and West Hoathly. Hook Farm Campsite, Hook Lane, Sussex, West Hoathly, RH19 4PT

Far Acre Vineyard and Campsite, Kent

For something a little bit different, and perhaps one for wine lovers to consider, pitch up at Far Acre Vineyard and Camping. Here, campers get the option of a tour around the vineyard and wine tasting can even be arranged.

Just 45 minutes from central London and an hour away from the south coast, the site offers a true rural sanctuary away from the city.

This beautifully maintained campsite enjoys views over the vineyard and offers a relaxed camping experience, but still provides some great facilities which include spotless hot showers and even electric hook-ups are available.

How to get there:  From central London in the car, in just 45 minutes (on a good day) you’ll find yourself at Far Acre Vineyard and Campsite which is located in Marden, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 9LT.

Fox Wood Camping, West Sussex

Camping stove cooking pot overlooking forest

Fancy camping in the woods in the beautiful South Downs? Jump in the car and head to Fox Wood Camping, a beautiful drive only 60 miles from London.

Set within 35 acres of private woodland, each pitch has its very own campfire showing that Fox Wood really does offer camping at its wildest and best!

With 3 great country pubs within walking distance from the site you won’t even need to think about food and with great walking routes available directly from the site, you’ll definitely have the chance work up an appetite.

Fox Wood is also just 15 minutes away from Worthing Beach in the car, so as well as your walking boots, you might want to pack a bucket and spade into the boot of your car too!

How to get there: Just off the A27, you’ll find this gorgeous woodland campsite on Selden Lane, Patching BN13 3UL.

Tom’s Field Camping, New Forest

For an easy 2-hour road trip from London, Tom’s Field Camping is an ideal countryside getaway. Only open on the weekends throughout summer, the site is located on the edge of the New Forest where the famous wild ponies roam freely.

There are fantastic countryside views from the site with some great cycle and footpaths close by. If you arrive hungry, there are often on-site caterers cooking favourites like fish and chips or pizzas. Or take a short walk to the Fighting Cock’s Pub that serves delicious food too.

There are 50 pitches on site and usually favours families, couples and small, quiet groups. Fire pits are available to hire and a small community shop visits each morning so you can purchase breakfast essentials like freshly baked bread and milk.

How to get there: From Junction 1 you’ll need to take the B3078 to Godshill, which is approximately 8 miles away, you’ll then find Tom’s Field on the left-hand side. If you pass the Fighting Cocks Pub, you have gone too far!

If you prefer the creature comforts of glamping, read our guide to 6 unforgettable UK glamping experiences.