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Finding the Best Camp Sites in Essex for Your Motorhome or Caravan

The people of Essex are friendly, the countryside is fantastic, and there are lots of fun things to do. Whether you want to plan your trip first and then choose a camping site or you intend to look for camp sites in Essex and then plan your trip from there, here is a guide to help you locate motorhome sites more easily as well as find interesting things to do on your trip.

Top 7 Camp Sites in Essex

Finding an Essex camp site for a caravan or motorhome can be a challenge because many of the holiday parks only offer static caravans or private holiday homes. Nevertheless, there are caravan parks available in Essex if you know where to look. Some offer extensive amenities while others provide only the basic essentials. This allows you to choose the extent to which you wish to rough it while camping.

1. Naze Marine Holiday Park
Located in Walton on the Naze, this is an excellent choice if you're looking for camp sites in Essex that are close to the beach and also pet friendly. It is also a good family location as it offers a playground, kids' club, and amusement arcade, as well as an indoor swimming pool. Other amenities include a launderette, washing-up facilities, showers, and toilets.

2. Osea Meadows
Osea Meadows is a small addition to a larger holiday home site called Osea Leisure Park in Maldon. The larger Leisure Park offers glamping amenities that are also available to users of their camp sites in Essex. These include a small beach area, a tearoom, an outdoor gym, and a restaurant and bar, as well as two playgrounds for the kids. There are 13 pitches in all, each with electrical hookups. Toilet and shower facilities are available to you.

3. Colchester County Park
If you're more interested in a no-frills camping experience, this is a large camp site that offers the essentials but little in the way of more luxurious amenities. This pet-friendly camp site has all the basic amenities such as laundry and dishwashing facilities, showers and toilets, as well as a large play area for children. Altogether there are 145 pitches, each with its own electric hookup. You have the option of choosing between grass or hard-standing pitches.

4. Lakeside Caravan Park
Of all the camp sites in Essex, this one may be located in a town with the most beautiful name: Brightlingsea. If you think this sounds like a peaceful location, you are absolutely right. As implied by the name, all manner of caravans, motorhomes, and campervans are welcome here, and the pitches all have hookups for electricity. Apart from a block of showers and toilets, there is little in the way of amenities, although it is just a short walk to an outdoor swimming pool called the Brightlingsea Lido. The Lakeside Caravan Park draws those seeking simplicity, and it also offers the advantage of being pet friendly.

5. Gosfield Lake Resort
Gosfield Lake Resort offers a number of accommodation options, including pitches with electric hookups for caravans and motorhomes. However, make sure that you book the right type of pitch as there is also a primitive camping field for tents. In terms of recreation, there are open spaces for ball games and picnics as well as a play area. These camp sites in Essex are located next to a lake, but though it is primarily for the local water ski club to give lessons. The club may offer sessions of open water swim, but swimming is not available at all times. Amenities include a washing-up area, laundry room, and a shower and toilet block. There is also a snack shack for when you get hungry.

6. Barleylands Camp Site
Located in Billericay, Barleylands doesn't offer you a lot of fancy amenities, but it does provide an array of options. There are pitches available with or without electric hookups, and you can choose between grass and hard-standing pitches. Rates are relatively low and amenities are pretty basic but do include shower and toilet facilities. However, Barleylands is located within walking distance of eateries and shops at the Village, a Tiptree Tearoom, and a farm shop. You can also walk from the camp site to the Barleylands Farm Park, which is home to exotic specimens as well as normal farm animals. There is a fee to visit the Farm Park, but you can receive a discount as a guest of the camp site.

7. Finchingfield Camping
When it comes to camp sites in Essex, Finchingfield Camping comes with a huge caveat: It is not for large motorhomes but only for small campervans. Think the size of a Volkswagen T5/T6. If you have a campervan of the required size, this can be a charming camping experience. The shower facilities are shared and the pitches are non-electric, but each offers its own private toilet as well as a picnic bench and a firepit. There is a mobile phone charging point on the camp site, just not at the individual pitches. Finchingfield Camping is located near a small lavender farm, and you can enjoy the blooms if you visit during July or August. Nightly rates for adults are reasonable, and there is no charge for children.

Things To Do in Essex

Certain television programmes may have given you an inaccurate idea of what life in Essex is really like. With a population of over 1 million people, the county has three cities: Chelmsford, Colchester, and Southend-On-Sea. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the county is rural, making it a perfect place to escape on a trip to camp sites in Essex.

Animal Encounters
The Colchester Zoo is home to more than 260 animal species. With over 60 acres of parkland, play areas, lakes, a train, and other great activities, it makes for an excellent family destination. If you would like to get a little closer to the animals than you would be able to at the zoo, there are several opportunities available to you:

  • Rainham Marshes RSPB Nature Reserve allows you to visit the animals in their natural habitat.
  • Tropical Wings World of Wildlife provides opportunities to interact with tropical birds and other animals.
  • Pets Corner allows you to meet animals, some rare, on a small, open farm.
  • Hopefield Animal Sanctuary cares for ducks, geese, horses, donkeys, and other rescued animals.

On the other hand, maybe it is marine life that attracts you to seaside camp sites in Essex. If you'd like to see exotic fish and a wide array of other animals, direct your steps to Southend-On-Sea where you can visit the Sealife Adventure. For a real spectacle, try to plan your visit for feeding time. This is a great option if you want to see marine animals while keeping your feet dry.

Outdoor Activities
A camping trip provides opportunities to participate in many other outdoor activities, including boating, canoeing, biking, horse riding, and hiking. Getting away from the cities to do these things allows you to appreciate the natural beauty around you. Because so much of Essex is rural, there are many spots suitable for outdoor activities.

For example, mountain bikers and hikers enjoy the ancient woodland of Epping Forest. The landscape also includes picturesque ponds and rivers along the heath. On the border between Essex and Suffolk, you can find the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here you can go canoeing or boating on the River Stour. Across the landscape of rural lowlands, you can find iconic scenes of English countryside to enjoy and explore charming villages.

Part of the draw of camp sites in Essex is that the county is located right on the coast, making it an excellent location for a seaside holiday. Clacton-on-Sea and Southend-On-Sea are examples of glitzy seaside resorts that offer beaches that are family-friendly and safe.
However, you may be interested in visiting a more remote beach on your camping trip, in which case you should visit Bradwell-on-Sea. If you're interested in undeveloped beaches, Frinton-on-Sea is another good option. The beach there is uncrowded, and the community itself is a little more refined.

The history and culture of Essex are fascinating, and museums offer you opportunities to learn about it from different perspectives:
  • The Chelmsford Museum offers a collection of geological specimens, birds, beetles, and other animals, all collected locally.
  • The Natural History Museum in Colchester allows you to learn about what Essex was like in prehistoric times. You may be surprised to learn about some of the animals that lived here before there were people.
  • Also in Colchester, the Hollytrees Museum appeals to your inner child with a collection of doll houses and old clocks.
  • The Anglian Railway Museum teaches you how industry has influenced the social history of Essex County from the 19th century on through a series of interactive displays.
  • The Combined Military Services Museum brings history to life through displays of military equipment, uniforms, and authentic spy gadgets.

Equip Yourself for Camp Sites in Essex

An Essex camping trip can be unforgettable. Once you find the right camp sites in Essex, search Leisureshopdirect to find all the supplies you need for your trip.