Picking your campsite is the first step in enjoying a stay on site. Carefully picking the spot to pitch your tent for a few days needs more thought before shaking out the poles and pegs. Bear these tips in mind to help make the most of your camping trip.
Size – is it big enough and the right shape? Being cheek by jowl with neighbours is hardly a great way to spend nights in a tent. If pitches are designed for large family tents, you'll be camping in the middle of kids and chaos. Check out the pitches before booking in to the site.
Location – how far are the loos and showers? Being far away is usually preferable to pitching next door and enduring the noise.
People traffic – if you're on a through route to amenities, you'll soon get fed up with queries such as, 'Can you really be comfortable in that little tent?' and the like.
Style – most large sites have pitches marked out and numbered. Where you can pick your own unmarked pitch you may discover a universal occasional rule of camping. If you camp in a quiet corner of a large empty field, somebody will choose to pitch right next to you.
Trees – apart from the doom-laden warnings about falling branches and lightning strikes, there's the angle of whether you regards them as shade or shadow.
Facilities – most of us just want clean water plus toilets and just about all sites will offer these. Having had to sweep out and clean some facilities before using them, don't assume that a nice sign and a fee guarantees cleanliness.
Ground - key considerations here include the surface (rocky, muddy?) and slope
Windbreak - as well as bringing your own, a hedge or wall can offer useful protection against the elements plus some extra privacy.
Rubbish bins – camping near these is usually a bad move even if they are well-maintained rather than rubbish-strewn; think about the smell, insect life and vermin.
View – open countryside is ideal but you might end up staring at neighbours or site facilities.