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Do you need to book campsites in advance in the summer?



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T6 Ocean 150
Hired a Cali in the October half term and had a great time in Devon and Cornwall where we just turned up at campsites without booking or phoned ahead on the way a few hours before we arrived.

I really like being spontaneous and not planning everything, staying longer in the good places and doing a u-turn at sites that weren't to our liking.

Question is...., Will I be able to do this in the summer assuming my Cali will arrive by then! Not so keen on having to book everything weeks in advance.
we did an 8 day tour of Devon & Cornwall in August as out first proper Call road trip. We booked up the Caravan Club sites around 10 days in advance as we were having to fit things in late around work. the only site we nearly struggled with getting an available night at was Trewethett Farm (Tintagel) but even that we managed to get booked up with a few nights to go. Love the freedom the Cali offers, - but we do like to have a comfortable site booked in advance, (I know others don't feel the same need.)
Never booked just turn up there is always another site close by unless you really want to stay on a certain one then best to book if in school holidays.Or ring in morning and they normally can tell you if they will have a pitch.
Same here just turn up usually get in we have got some favourite sites that always get booked up so we do sometimes book in advance that's the beauty of this vehicle.
Depends when you go.....and what time you will arrive. I never book more than one night on any site. We turned up at a site in Devon which had a glowing review on UK campsites having paid for four nights in advance. I thought I had died and gone straight to hell in a handcart. We left after one night and were refused a refund. It is always easy to add to your booking when you are there...And if they are fully booked they will always find something for you in case they get a cancellation.
If you join one of the clubs Camping & Caravan Club or Caravan Club, we joined the C&CC, you will get a book filed by OS map of all the sites they have checked in that area. This enables you to do spontaneous camping, but knowing that if your first choice is fully booked you have the contact details plus info on another 20 or more sites nearby.
The well known sites often book up early, but looking in this guide we found a fantastic site in the Peak District on an August Bank holiday weekend with no booking at all. We tend to look for the simple sites. No bar, restaurant, etc on site, but they are within a walking distance. If you don't require an EHU, and you shouldn't for 2-3 nights, you can be really flexible and need only toilets, showers and washing up area. Watch out for the "minimum number of nights" rule at peak times.
As above if you join cc or ccc you can book ahead which is advisable everywhere is so busy all the time especially school hols and weekends
As above if you join cc or ccc you can book ahead which is advisable everywhere is so busy all the time especially school hols and weekends

Agree. But if you go to a small private site only book two nights max. If you get there and do not like it you have not lost much. We went to a site on the Lizard payed for four nights but it was so awful we left after one. We were told they do not give refunds and lost 60 squid. CC and CCC sites are a different matter. Not had an issue in twelve years.
If you are moving about during the week and outside of school holidays or Bank Holiday weekends we have found it generally OK.
Both clubs give you a book with sites, their own and also sites their have inspected, you can ring a few hours ahead as you get to see where you might end up just to check there is space.
The less features you are looking for in a site the more likely you are to find space. If you can avoid asking for an EHU they can often fit you in. Both clubs have sites open all the year round, but with a reduced number of places on them.

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