Camping & Caravanning


Central England

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Central England is made up of Shropshire and Staffordshire in the north, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the centre and Gloucestershire in the south. To these are added the new unitary authorities, embracing Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton, which is wholly industrial. Yet the region retains enough unspoiled landscape to make it one of the most attractive in Britain.

Divided by the Severn and bordered on the west by Wales, Shropshire is wild in the northwest, soft in the south. West and south of Shrewsbury are the scenic uplands: the geological freak of the Wrekin, the oldest mountain in Britain which takes only an hour to climb; the 1600ft high Long Mynd above Church Stretton; the narrow spine of wooded Wenlock Edge extending from Craven Arms to Ironbridge and famed for its views, and to the southwest the Clee Hills, topped by ancient British camps. Around these heights are the fascinating old towns of Shrewsbury, with its half timbered houses and inns; medieval Much Wenlock and ancient Ludlow, moated by the Teme and dominated by its great castle. Long Mynd is traversed by the venerable Portway track and near Newcastle one of the best preserved sections of Offa’s Dyke cuts across the treeless Clun Forest.

In adjoining Staffordshire is Cannock Chase near Rugeley, a vast area of woods and moorland, and east of Stoke on Trent is Hawksmoor nature reserve.

Fine walking country exists In the rich countryside of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, from Bewdley in the west high above the Severn to the pleasant reaches of other rivers: the willow hung Avon winding down to Pershore and Bredon Hill, and the Teme flowing through hopfields and orchards to its junction with the Severn. West of the plain of Malvern are the Malvern Hills, with a nine-mile walk on the saddleback ridge to the Herefordshire Beacon, 1114ft high. From the cathedral city of Hereford the River Wye flows south into Gloucestershire, most striking feature of which is the Cotswold Hills, rising up from the Severn and rolling east into Oxfordshire. Ross on Wye is an acknowledged centre for the Wye Valley, with its famous beauty spots of Symonds Yat and the reaches below Goodrich castle. On the left bank of the river is the Forest of Dean, with is magnificent woods of oak and birch. The Teme Valley northwest of Worcester forms part of a forty-five mile waymarked drive through attractive scenery. A popular centre in the Cotswolds is Cirencester, where the old roads Icknield Way and Ermine Street join the equally ancient Fosse Way. The Cotswold Way also crosses the district, on an escarpment from Chipping Campden to Bath via Duntisbourne and Slimbridge.

Southwest of Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire charming villages line the Stour; and Stratford itself is the heart of Shakespeare country; his birthplace is in Henley Street, his grave in the churchyard by the river and Anne Hathaway’s cottage at Shottery. Not far away are the beautiful reaches of the Avon south of Kenilworth, its castle is almost as imposing as Warwick’s, further south.

Most campsites in the region are recommended more for their setting than for their amenities.

For full details of all parks listed on our website, see the latest edition of Camping Caravanning Britain. Priced at £8.50, the book is available from WHSmith, Waterstone's, Blackwell's and other bookshops; alternatively, to order a copy directly click here.

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions. Always phone a park before visiting to check facilities and prices.