New Campmate app
The new Campmate app has been created by campsite search and review website, Campsites.co.uk. It is free to download from iTunes and works with iOS 9.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The app currently lists 660 campsites in around 10 different areas.
What I like about the Campmate app
It’s very easy to use and navigate.
There are useful headers to categories, such as Popular Destinations, Types of Holiday, Types of Accommodation.
Any sites you have recently viewed pop up at the bottom of the screen.
You can “star” sites to add them to your favourites, which then appear on the home screen in a similar way to recent sites you’ve looked at.
There are different ways to pick the right campsite for you. You could be looking for campsites in an area you already have identified, or considering the type of holiday you might enjoy, such as glamping, kids activity, adult only, and then choose a campsite accordingly.
Search filters (the cog icon at the top of the search results list) let you narrow the results down to your specific requirements (allow pets, campfires, near the beach, etc.)
There’s a section called “campsites near me” which is excellent if you have ended up somewhere and do not have a place to stay overnight. It uses your location via GPS on the mobile gadget.
There are 660 campsites listed and the details are thorough. All listings are added by the site owners and then passed through an editorial review process.
At least 15-20 sites are added to the database most weeks, sometimes more.
Every site that appears on the Campsites.co.uk website is automatically included in the app.
There is a lot of information about each campsite and many helpful tips and details.
You can swipe left and right on the campsite details to move forward and back in the list.
You can make an enquiry straight from the listing by phone or email.
These days we almost expect to have apps at our finger tips and I think this is a useful app if you like camping or get stuck for accommodation as you travel.
When you first download the app you have to go through a series of Q&As before you finally get to have the app. I know it’s free and the questions only take about 20 seconds to answer in total I’d prefer not to bother.
Co-founder of the website, Martin, replies: “I am sorry to hear that you didn’t like the couple of quick questions at the start. Downloading the full database straight away makes the app quicker to use and we’ve tried to do it in a quirky way that keeps people amused while it happens. Most feedback on this bit is actually really positive so far.” Fair enough!
There are many more campsites listed in southern England than in, say, Northern Ireland where only one is listed. So the spread of listed campsite across the country is not very balanced. I expect/hope more campsites will be added in due course.
Martin replies: “It’s certainly true that we’re stronger in areas of the country that are most popular for camping – the south west of England in particular. And I don’t mind admitting that we’re a bit weak in Northern Ireland at the moment.
“Our goal eventually is to list all of the sites in the UK – and to do so by providing tools that campsites can’t ignore.”
The app is billed as “the best campsites in the UK” but there are a few that I know of in Scotland that are not on the app. In time, all of these will be added to the website and app so I guess that it’s just a matter of time.
This is not a major issue because it’s common practice on all kinds of websites, however it’s worth noting that some campsites pay to appear above the free ones in the search results. Sites can also add “featured park” boosts and promote offers – both of which push them to the very top of the search results.
Conclusion: All in all it’s a great app and one that is very easy to use. It would be very handy for choosing a place to go on a camping holiday or for booking a site when you’re on the move.
See Campmate app