If you're looking to go on a camping trip without the crowds, the latest copy of Tiny Campsites, has the answer to finding the hidden gems of the camping world. The second edition features 75 of the best hand-picked sites in Britain, from cliff-tops to orchards. The best part? These pitching spots are an acre or smaller. Take a look below for five of our favourite tiny sites and visit tinycampsites.co.uk to order the book.
Piel Island is accessible only via a tiny ferry or a mile-and-a-half low-tide walk over the sands from Walney Island. While camping is allowed almost anywhere on the island's 52 acres, there are two 'official' campsites – a field behind the pub and a patch named 'The Crescent'. The latter is in a slight dip and protected by shrubs, which help divert the Atlantic winds.
The view from either is astonishing: a vista that stretches all the way from Lake District hills across Morecambe Bay, and along the Fylde Coast to Blackpool Tower.
Ship Inn, Piel Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA13 0QN; 07516 453784; www.pielisland.co.uk
If the ultimate expression of tiny camping is to pitch your tent in someone's back garden, then Sweet Meadows is it. When booking, do ask for the pitch nearest the house. Of the four spaces there, this one – surrounded on three sides by flowerbeds and shaded by an apple tree – is so perfect you'll be hugging yourself with joy when you reach it. Beyond, an arch in the hedge reveals a tree-swing and the wilder regions of the garden, where less clearly defined pitches take on an altogether more rustic feel.
Clifford Bridge, Drewsteignton, Devon EX6 6QB; 01647 24331
Abbey Home Farm is home to woodland yurts, a 'normal' campsite and, a whole mile away, an amazing hideaway of a site. The latter space, called the Magical Open Glade, is in the farm's Deer's Choice Wood, with room for about four medium-sized tents or two family-sized ones. To keep it secret and magical, the site has to be booked out in its entirety (£40 per night, minimum stay of two nights and a maximum number of eight people).
The Organic Farm Shop, Burford Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5HF; 01285 640441; www.theorganicfarmshop.co.uk
Middle Ninfa Farm
From its four tiny and secluded wild pitches on the edge of the Brecon Beacons you can imagine yourself an eagle lording it over the Usk Valley. In the morning, expect a visit from a playful cat and two exceedingly gentle horses – a chestnut and a grey – who are all happy to be made a fuss of. The site's eco credentials run to a compost loo in a tiny shed in the garden and a solar-heated shower. And just in case all this were not heaven enough, you can book yourself a session in Middle Ninfa's very own wood-fired sauna.
Llanellen, nr Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 9LE; 01873 854662; www.middleninfa.co.uk
From its hammocks strung across trees to its butterfly-filled wild-flower garden, Lazy Duck could hardly be more relaxed or aesthetically pleasing if it tried. Situated on the edge of the Cairngorms, Lazy Duck's campsite is in a small glade guarded by a brigade of red squirrels and equipped with a chimenea and log seats for communal gatherings. The list of attractive features at the Lazy Duck includes the open-ended campers' shelter with its tea-light lanterns on the tables; the walk out to the juniper moor to view CairnGorm mountain; and the numerous eponymous, exotic and lazy duck.
Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire PH25 3ED; www.lazyduck.co.uk
For more camping inspiration, shop our pick the best glamping equipment below.