Can you camp all year round? Weather, pitches and seasons

camping in wet weather

If you have the camping bug, you don’t want the weather to restrict you. Camping can be just as much fun during spring and autumn, although more difficult in winter.

Can you still book a campsite, and how will the weather affect the gear you need?

The only restriction is campsite availability and weather. The camping season is from March to October. 51% of campsites close outside these months for tent camping. Open only for motorhomes and caravans on the hardstanding pitches. 49% remain open for tent camping but are restricted to hardstanding pitches only.

Camping is about enjoying nature and creating memories. Before booking your camping trip, consider if you need to upgrade your camping gear to suit the season.

What should you consider when deciding when to camp?

Camping during any season, there is a possibility that you may feel cold at some point. It may not be during the day, but evenings cool quickly during summer. But not as cold as camping during early spring, late autumn or winter.

Ensure you have the correct camping equipment suitable for the time of year you want to camp.

Tents and sleeping bags are designed for specific weather conditions. Camping late autumn through to winter in a season 2 sleeping bag and a low-rated tent of 2000 HH will not keep the cold and rain at bay.

You can increase comfort levels for sleeping by adding blankets, quilts, warm nightclothes and using an EHU to connect a fan heater. Buying a cotton sleeping bag liner will also help increase the warmth and keep the inside of your sleeping bag clean.

However, you will have to increase the waterproofness of your tent.

Either purchase a new tent suitable for late autumn-winter camping or use a tarp to cover your tent. Although using a tarp is not an ideal solution if you have a large tent.

If you intend to camp later in the season, consider purchasing a new or second-hand tent with a higher-rated waterproof level. The tent can be used for spring and summer camping as well. So there will be no restriction on usage during the year.

Find out more about tent seasons and waterproofing, before you buy. Our guide will help you choose the right tent and avoid wasting money. Our sleeping bag guide will also help you choose the style, season and type of insulation that is suitable and easy to look after.

During cold seasons wear layers of clothing that can be removed easily

Clothes need to be in layers. Depending on temperatures, layers of clothing can be removed or added easily, rather than a thick heavy-duty coat or jumper. Wearing suitable footwear that is sturdy, waterproof, and keeps your feet warm. If your feet get wet and cold, it will take some time for the rest of your body to warm up.

During the summer holidays, we always have fleece jackets. However, we also carry lightweight waterproof jackets that fold easily inside our rucksacks. We buy a size bigger than we need, so we can easily wear it over any other clothing without restrictions.

Consider how you will want to cook, as you cannot cook inside a tent due to fire hazards and condensation build-up. Lighting a charcoal BBQ, firepit or keeping a gas portable cooker alight during cold, wet evenings will be impossible. You will need to shield your gas flame and provide shelter under a tarp to avoid getting soaking wet and being able to cook.

Camping during the different seasons is fun, although it can be challenging at times. Camping during autumn, when the trees are changing colour, is a very scenic time of year. It is one of our favourite times to camp, even if it is a bit chilly.

UK Seasons: What type of weather you should expect

The weather in the UK is unpredictable, so it is always best to be prepared for the unexpected. Be aware of the different seasonal changes. It can help you to plan your holiday efficiently.

However, always follow the weather forecast before you start your holiday. It will help guide you in ensuring you have the correct gear ready for potential weather conditions.

Temperature ranges for the UK seasons, daylight hours and expected weather

SeasonTemperature rangeWhat’s the type of weather to expectAverage daylight hours
March – May
9.3°C – 15.4°C
48.74°F – 59.72°F
Gradual warming during the day but cold nights
Frosty mornings
Sudden rain
11-12 Hours
June – August
18.1°C – 20.6°C
64.58°F – 69.08°F
A heatwave can push temperatures to 32°C – 37°C/ 89°F – 98°F
Occasional rain and thunderstorms
16 – 17 Hours
September – November
17.5°C – 19.5°C
63.5°F – 67.2°F
10-12 Hours
December – February
-5°C – 7°C
23°F – 44.6°F
It feels damp and cold
Strong wind
Torrential rain
Frosty nights
Snow usually February / December
8-12 Hours
UK weather seasons per month, temperature ranges, type of weather and daylight hours

When is the best time to go camping?

The best time to camp is from June to August.

The best time to go camping is from late June to August. Pitch prices increase from July to August compared to other months, as it is the height of the camping season for families. Weather can still be unpredictable during these months, with unexpected showers, thunderstorms and occasionally high winds.

The South of the UK is warmer than the North. Depending on where you want to camp, there will be weather differences. Scotland is known for colder weather than the south during summer periods. You will need additional layers and be prepared for more rain and colder days.

We camp during August all the time. However, we have had to batten down the hatches occasionally. We have camped through hurricanes and thunderstorms during the last two years. We often wondered if our tent would still be standing in the morning. It was very nerve-racking.

Camping in winter: Type of pitch and are campsites open?

Campsites that are open all year may only permit you to camp on a hardstanding pitch. They want to protect their grass pitches and give them time to recover. Most campsites have started to have hard-standing grass pitches, increasing the time they can remain open.

Usually, it is nearly impossible to book a standard grass pitch after October due to weather conditions. The pitches will be muddy and very wet. Often you will not be able to park your vehicle beside your pitch as it will become stuck.

Check that the facilities are available for colder conditions for camping out of season. Such as electric hook-ups, heated showers and toilet blocks. There is nothing worse than having a shower in a cold shower block.

Check that the campsite’s location is near facilities that are open during the out of season. You don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive indoor activities to keep warm and dry.

Remember to prepare for the cold weather by bringing appropriate camping gear, clothing, and equipment to stay warm and comfortable throughout your trip.

Key takeaways

  • Check to see if your camping gear is suitable for colder weather.
  • Always take additional warm clothing
  • Take extra clothing and footwear for wet days.
  • If you have not purchased a tent, buy a high-season tent. You can expand your camping season without additional expenditure
  • Always check the weather before any camping trip and be prepared

What is a hardstanding or hardstanding grass pitch?

Hard-standing pitches are solid ground that provides a stable surface for campervans or motorhomes. Normally constructed with gravel, concrete or reinforced grass. Grass pitches are either fully grass, or similar to a back garden. Or grass pitches can be hard standing that has heavy-duty netting underneath. The grass grows through the net and will not get damaged during the primary camping season.

Hard-standing grass pitches allow flexibility for multi-usages. Allowing campervans or motorhomes to set up on a sturdy solid surface. Without causing damage to the ground or heavier vehicles sinking into the ground.

When comparing standard grass pitches to heavy-duty grass pitches, the heavy-duty offers stability and even ground. However, pitching a tent on heavy-duty ground can be difficult as you will need heavy-duty pegs. The ground is more robust and reliable as it drains sufficiently and reduces the possibility of water-soaked muddy ground underneath your tent.

How to secure a tent on a hard-standing pitch?

Pitching a tent hard standing ground, consider how you will peg your tent and comfort levels. The floor will be uncomfortable, and you will need to consider carpet with a foam base. Most importantly, protect the underneath of your tent from stone damage. Try to clear the area first or any sharp stones/gravel and place a heavy-duty groundsheet underneath.

You need heavy-duty hard-standing steel pegs to peg your tent, as the ground will be made of gravel, concrete or reinforced grass. The standard pegs you have when you purchase your tent will buckle.

Heavy-duty pegs are designed with stronger, durable materials and can withstand you driving them into the hard ground. They have sharper tips and stronger secure anchoring for your tent. They will give you confidence that your tent will not move in the wind or general movement.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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