The great outdoors is becoming ever more appealing to entrepreneurs wanting to break away from the bustling city streets and enjoy running a business with a view.
Running a campsite is the perfect way to turn your hobby into a profitable way of life. You may even already know just the spot to start up from scratch. Alternatively buying an existing campsite could provide you with the opportunity to run your own business.
Whichever route you choose, finding the right location for your campsite is going to be the key to your success. Read on for our take on the best campsite locations.
If you’re keen to set up a campsite business on the coast, finding an area with idyllic sea views is vital to ensure holidaymakers choose your campsite over other ones in the area.
Make sure your campsite is walking distance from a swim-friendly part of the beach. There are many scenic beaches around the UKs coastline, from the blue tidal lagoons at Porthcurno in Cornwall, to the rural and unspoilt stretch of coast at Compton Bay in the Isle of Wight.
Choosing a location that does not solely rely on seasonal trade is worth considering; research what a town has to offer during the autumn and winter months so you can maintain an all-year-round income.
Nestled at the foot of the dunes in Perranporth, Cornwall, is a winter beach bar popular for hosting live music and serving up Sunday carveries. Being situated near bustling towns that attract visitors all year round with local nightlife, festivals or events would give visitors more of an incentive to visit your beach-based campsite during off-peak periods.
Make use of your surroundings and be sure to offer activities that suit, such as sea kayaking, fishing trips and other water sports.
See also: Business start-up guide - campsite
The UK is home to 15 national parks, each breathtakingly spectacular in their unique way. Running a campsite near a national park would attract ramblers and hikers keen to explore the country’s natural gems all-year-round.
However, before setting up the business you need to establish what type of camper you plan to cater for. In certain areas, responsible wild camping is sometimes yet very rarely permitted, while other parks offer low-cost camping barns kitted out with sleeping pods; catering for the budget traveller.
Some national park campsites offer a more luxurious stay, providing electricity, shower facilities and even, in some cases, swimming pools. If you are planning to cater for families or older travellers, you should consider the costs in setting up a campsite business that includes these amenities and choose a plot that has ample space to accommodate large caravans or motorhomes.
If backpackers are going to be your target market, focus on providing a social environment. You could arrange live music nights around a campfire – providing it is a controlled fire that is permissible in the area – or guided hikes and nature trails. These types of activities would attract solo travellers and nomads from around the globe, especially if the business has a strong social media presence and generates positive reviews; word-of-mouth both online and in-person is a powerful tool.
While the concrete jungle of London evokes images of skyscrapers, rows of terrace houses and high-rise council flats, there are also five permanent campsites nestled within the M25 ring road. Offering a green-alternative at a much lower price than staying in a hotel in the capital, many travellers opt to stay in campsites not only in London but also in other major cities across the UK.
City campsites offer a variety of accommodation options, from Norwegian-style log cabins to retro Volkswagen campervans, providing affordable accommodation for those wanting a cheap city break in a more scenic part of town.
When choosing a city-based location, you should consider your surroundings; there needs to be a combination of city and country. For example, Lee Valley in Edmonton, offers convenient links into London’s centre while also being close to Lee Valley Regional Park, which stretches 26 miles along the leafy banks of the River Lee.
Setting up a campsite business abroad could also be an option for those looking for a change of scene and different lifestyle. Choose a country where you can speak the language or be willing to learn. And be prepared to embrace the country’s culture and traditions.
The process of setting up any business abroad requires thorough research and adequate financial savings in place, not only to set up the business, but to support yourself through the early years of trading.
There may be different visa requirements for setting up a business, research these thoroughly and learn the local law and tax systems. These will be important aspects to consider when choosing where to set up your business.
Running a campsite in a different country means a different target market and clientele. Consider living in the country for a few months as a tourist before making such a significant financial commitment.
Whether you choose to move to the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps, the hills of the Lake District or the white sand beaches of Spain’s Costa de la Luz, the opportunity to run a campsite business offers an unbeatable chance to immerse yourself into a unique way of life.