Summer camps can give children a taste of adventure and freedom, the chance to learn new skills and build their confidence and make new friends.
Here is our pick of the best summer forest camps for children taking place across the UK.
Wild things!, Scottish Highlands
Environmental education charity Wild things! offers bushcraft camps and courses for adults and children around the beautiful Moray Firth Coast, or in one of many spectacular Scottish Highland locations. Over the school summer holidays, the team of experts at Wild things! offer one day bushcraft clubs and longer wilderness adventures. Family camp adventures are also available if you’re after a unique family adventure you won’t forget. wild-things.org.uk
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Art and Forest Camp, Devon
This daytime forest camp is filled with river walking, music making, tree climbing and an array of arts and crafts. Learn how to make charcoal and build a giant Earth nest! Run by local Devonian artists, Laurie Steen and Sara Burnand, your children will be encouraged to push their creative boundaries as well as have the chance to expand their art history knowledge.
In the ideal setting of Thorverton in rural Devon, this small camp provides a rustic and authentic two week experience for children aged 5-13 years in mid-August, as well as alternative Easter dates. artandforestcamp.co.uk
Camp Wilderness, various locations
Camp Wilderness takes place in woodland, castle and parkland bases, offering either a three or five day summer residential camp every week of the summer holiday. At each camp, children can enjoy a selection of activities, including wilderness cooking, fire-lighting, wild swimming, bushcraft tournaments and fireside stories with hot chocolate and marshmallows. A unique experience which will allow your child to learn new skills and make new friends. Each base camp is distinctive, providing an opportunity for your children to choose their ideal way to spend their summer holidays.
Locations: Cornbury Park (Oxfordshire), Hatfield woods (Hertfordshire), Cholmondeley Castle (Cheshire), Penshurst Place (Kent). campwilderness.co.uk
Camp Kernow, Cornwall
A niche, award-winning Cornish camp that immerses your child in nature with over two hundred acres of woodland, streams, hedgerows, lakes and organic farmland. Its unique approach to sustainable living utilises renewable energies and technologies across camp as well as the pioneer lifestyle of hand picking ingredients for home cooked food, gives your children first hand experience in understanding and engaging in how to balance ecological systems with natural resources. This camp is held across a residential 6-day to 3-day experience in August with quirky accommodation spaces including boat and tipi constructions. Ideal for an age range between 7-14 years, this camp is jam-packed with inspiring ways to reconnect your child to the natural environment. campkernow.org.uk
PGL, various locations
This well-established outdoor company offers camps at a variety of locations across the UK. In addition to summer camps, PGL offers family trips involving zip-lining, kayaking and riding rapids; perfect for families and children wanting to experience action on a larger scale.
Locations: Dalguise (Perthshire), Winmarleigh Hall (Lancashire), Caythorpe Court (Lincolnshire), Boreatton Park (Shropshire), Hillcrest (Herefordshire), Tregoyd House (Powys), Liddington (Wiltshire), Bawdsey Manor (Suffolk), Marchants Hill (Surrey), Windmill Hill (Sussex), Little Canada (Isle of Wight), Osmington Bay (Dorset), Beam House (Devon) pgl.co.uk
Kingswood camps, five locations
With camps taking place across five activity centres, Kingswood camps offer fully-packed schedule of adrenaline activities, including zorbing and abseiling. Available across August. This camp is tailored to different adventures for your children to pick and choose from; suitable for small children to young adults. It offers coastal experiences with sailing and raft building to the urban thrills of sky climb rope courses and a double fan descender, as well as the forest adventure park is set in an outstanding area of natural beauty amongst the great outdoors of North Wales. camps.kingswood.co.uk
Wickedly wonderful, West Sussex
These week-long summer camps are perfect for kids between 6-13 years old. Wickedly Wonderful offers a range of outdoorsy activities including sailing, horse-riding, kayaking, biscuit making, pottery, archery, boogie boarding and crabbing. wickedlywonderful.com
Mill on the Brue, Somerset
Mill on the Brue activity centre offers week-long summer camps for kids aged 8-15 years old, or Adventure day camps for those who don’t want to stay overnight. However, there are activities suitable for kids of all ages. Boasting a stunning 25-acre venue of fields, woods and rivers, Mill on Brue offers over 40 exciting activities including: canoeing, zip-wires, tunnelling, water slides and archery. There is also a strong environmental focus within the camp, harvesting rainwater, using solar power and composting food waste. millonthebrue.co.uk
The Hive, 5 locations
The Hive holiday club uses a mission-style format to organise activities into 6 broad categories, such as bushcraft, or, grow and cook. Missions are aimed at kids between the ages 5-13 and use a fun storytelling narrative to link a range of outdoors activities. Help your kids to learn survival, firelighting and shelter building skills by signing them up to one of a huge selection of summer camp missions.thehive-kids.com