The easiest coastal camping ever? Quite possibly.
At Ready Camp West Runton (part of the well-established Camping and Caravanning Club), you simply rock up with your bedding, clothes, towels and toiletries and you’re all set. The 2-bedroom Safari-style tents are fully equipped with everything else you need for a break under canvas, from real beds and electric lighting to a fridge and all the kitchen- and cook-ware you could want.
We stayed for a long weekend during the Easter holidays and would highly recommend the experience (in fact, we’re already looking at other Ready Camp locations for the Summer).
The West Runton campsite is lovely. Very well maintained with good facilities, it had seemingly managed to achieve the campsite Holy Grail of being both quiet, plus family- and dog-friendly.
Hidden away in a leafy ‘basin’ flanked by woodland, clear skies made star-gazing an easy activity each night from the porch in front of our tent. And being less than a mile from the beach, the camp site is superbly placed for anyone wanting to explore the North Norfolk coast. We absolutely packed it in while we were there…
On the first day of our break we visited Sheringham (tip – pop in to The Chocolate Box – a ‘traditional’ sweet shop, ideal for stocking up before you embark on a long walk) and walked along the beach to Beeston, going over Beeston Bump (amazing views) and back into Sheringham.
We spent the second day in Cromer, visiting Cromer Museum (for the very first time) as well as pumping many 2ps in arcade machines (a must). On our last day we drove over to Holkham for a walk, followed by pancakes on The Albatross, moored at Wells Quay (again, a first and highly recommended). After lunch we rode on the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, spotting painted eggs from the train on their ‘White Rabbit Easter Trail’.
For food, we only really used the homeware in the tent for breakfast and for making tea and coffee, though there is a microwave, toaster and a hob if you wanted to save money and make your own meals. Instead, we were tempted by the plethora of great places to eat on the Coast, which meant we had Fish & Chips for dinner on two days and Pizza on the Saturday night. A Wood Fired Pizza Kitchen in a van (Bordoli Pizzas – they’re local – Heacham way I think) came to the campsite and served up some of the most delicious Pizzas we’d ever tried. We took them back and ate them in the tent. Lovely.
The campsite felt very friendly and safe and the children enjoyed a degree of freedom, whether it entailed exploring, playing in the play area or walking together to the little shop at the campsite entrance where, to their delight, you could buy ‘penny sweets’ (actually 5p each, but you know what I mean). Several children had bikes and scooters, and other outdoor toys (the next door tent brought their own swingball – seasoned campers clearly – how organised!).
Ready Camp is ‘Glamping’ with a smaller ‘g’ for those who still want to get a taste for camping; without having to erect a tent upon arrival in wind as the kids runny merry hell around you (just us? oh…). You’ll still have to wear warm clothes to bed on cold nights, but you’re be on a bed rather than the floor. There’s electric to charge your phone and lights for ‘drinks on the veranda’ after dark, but no tv. You still use the wash block for showers etc., but you can boil a kettle without lighting a fire.
In summary, for us, it’s the best of both worlds. All the character-building, family-bonding fun of camping, but with all the hassle removed. And the location is absolutely perfect for family holidays to remember.
Ready Camp has 48 locations around the UK. You pay a ‘price per tent’ for your stay and they sleep up to 6 (max 4 adults), starting at around £30 per tent per night (depending on time of year). Glamping is from April to October inclusive.