Canvas opinions: our pick of the best sites for autumn camping

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If you missed out on a UK family camping holiday this summer because the campsites you tried were booked, don’t despair. Campsite platform Pitchup.com and the British Holiday and Home Parks Association are reporting that campsites around the UK have gained permission from local authorities to stay open longer than usual to make up for opening later in the year due to the lockdown. So, if you act fast, your family can still get some time under canvas this October half-term.

It is little wonder so many people had difficulty booking a pitch this year. With foreign travel fraught with difficulties and the risk of quarantine on return, there was a well-documented boom in domestic tourism with camping at its forefront – further boosting what has been an increasingly popular choice of holiday in the UK for many years. Even with the relaxation of restrictions that allowed pop-up sites to extend their season, campsites filled up all over the country.

And even though autumn has arrived, it appears there’s been little let-up in the desire to get into the great outdoors. According to figures released by Visit England, 30% of those planning a UK trip between October and March will stay in a tent or caravan.

Pitchup.com has announced that 150,000 holidaymakers booked into its campsites in September, almost trebling the number for the same month in 2019, while Cool Camping says bookings on its site for October half-term in England and Wales have reached almost double last year’s figure already. And since campsites tend to have plenty of space, under the current Rule of Six camping is an even more attractive choice than usual.

An autumn night sky is ideal for stargazing … Galloway forest park, Scotland. Photograph: Alamy

Now, you may be thinking, “Camping? In October? In Britain?” Despite climate crisis having made British autumns milder, it’s still not exactly prime outdoor season. But with a little preparation you should be fine, even if it turns chilly. When packing clothing, think layers rather huge coats. Popping a liner in your sleeping bag and wearing a hat to bed should also help keep you snug at night.

Autumn camping has its advantages, too. The darker evenings are made for stargazing around a fire and are also almost guaranteed to be free of midges and mosquitoes. After the clocks go back on 25 October, the mornings will

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