Mendip Basecamp

UK England South West England Somerset Cheddar

  • Extra toilets/showers
  • Deep cleaning of shared facilities
  • "We're Good To Go" accredited
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Family-run, adventure-packed basecamp in the Mendip Hills, half an hour from Bristol

As the name suggests, Mendip Basecamp is the ideal base for adventurous campers looking to explore the Mendip Hills. But, to be honest, it’s also a real attraction in its own right. The campsite is so full of activities that you may never want to leave and when they recently opened their doors to the general public, after years reserved for private scout and school groups, they were overwhelmed by the response. Previously an adventure centre, Basecamp is now also being appreciated for its space, freedom and natural beauty too. And, with over twenty different activities to choose from, it’s guaranteed to be a worthy match for even the most energetic of kids.

Located in the north of the Mendip Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty just south of Bristol, the spacious campsite is surrounded by ancient woodland on almost all four sides. The style is pleasantly relaxed; there are no specified pitches, just choose a place to pop your tent and settle in (the field is massive, so there are loads of options). The open, relatively flat space is wonderfully sociable in the hight of summer, with kids making friends and parents relaxing by their tents, and the high surrounding trees give good shelter from the cool night breezes of summer. Campfires are allowed, too; their hazy smoke adding the essential scent of camping to the scene.

A short walk from camp, through a beautiful illuminated woodland path, you’ll find the main lodge where there’s a pop-up tavern, serving local ales and ciders, cooked breakfasts, pizzas and more. There’s also a small shop onsite for BBQ essentials and ice lollys. Then, of course, there’s the activity centre: A stay at Basecamp gives you access to a huge range of activities, like rock climbing, dry-slope skiing, canoeing and caving, to name but a few. Instructors are friendly and fully trained and cater to all ages and levels, from experienced rock climbers to those who’d struggle to climb the stairs.

The campsite is handy for those that live in Bristol, but also good for ‘outsiders’ who fancy popping into the city for a day trip. 25 minutes in the car will allow you to walk over Clifton Suspension Bridge, followed by drinks at The White Lion, or explore the quirky bars and restaurants of Gloucester Road. The Somerset coast around Weston-Super-Mare, meanwhile, is also eminently reachable from camp. Though it makes the perfect base for campers wishing to explore, however, with all the options the site has to offer, you may never find yourself getting beyond basecamp at all.



The campsite has two shower and toilet blocks (but it's 'continental style'... i.e. toilet roll is not supplied so you need to remember to bring your own). There’s a camp shop, off license and a cosy country lodge serving food and drink. There’s also a licensed cafe-bar and a beer garden. The 250-acre activity centre on site has over 20 activities to take part in and experienced instructors to guide and help you through. You can bring off-ground fire pits and barbecues with you, but they also have fire pits available to hire from the shop (hire is £10 per stay and comes with a fire-starter kit that includes matches, firelighters and kindling). Free, high-speed WiFi is available at the activity centre and in The Lodge. There’s also good 4G coverage across the site.

Suitable For

Families. Tents, small motorhomes (under 2.7m high), kids, dogs – yes. Caravans, large motorhomes, noisy folk – no. Small groups are welcome on the understanding that they respect the noise and behaviour policy at the campsite (larger groups should enquire directly before booking).


The real action is on the campsite, with options ranging from archery and axe throwing to rock climbing and rafting. A short walk will take you to the basecamp’s own private limestone rocksports quarry or, if watersports are more your thing, you can take a 15-minute drive to their separate watersports site. A 10-minute journey will let you take a drive through dramatic Cheddar Gorge or, if you fancy a challenge, you could cycle Cliff Road (B3135) through the Gorge – stage six of the 2011 Tour of Britain. For a gentler cycling route, five minutes from the site, Strawberry Line Path is traffic-free and perfect for a family bike ride. 10 minutes away is the medieval town square of Axbridge, great for exploring the local farmer’s market and the history of this quaint little market town that was a Royal hunting square in Saxon times. For a longer day trip, you can take a 45-minute drive and explore the world-famous Glastonbury, heading up Glastonbury Tor for the best views in the area.

Food & Drink

The onsite cafe-bar, Mendip Lodge, is a cosy, country lodge overlooking the flood-lit dry ski slope and serving their famous full English breakfasts, loaded fries and stone-baked pizzas. There's a licensed cafe-bar and a beer garden, great for enjoying some local brews including Somerset ales and ciders from Butcombe Brewery and Thatchers Cider. If the idea of drinking Thatchers cider has caught your eye, you can take this to the next level by enjoying some drinks at the legendary Thatchers’ cider farm (01934 822862), just five minutes away from the basecamp. The Swan Inn (01934 852371), a 10-minute drive away) is a 17th-century pub offering fresh local produce and all-too-moreish flatbreads fresh from the pizza oven. If you’re in search of dinner with a view, Salt and Malt restaurant and takeaway (01275333345), set on the bank of the Chew Valley Lake, with views view of the rolling Somerset hills, is worth the slightly longer 20-minute drive.



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The Owner Says

Basecamp - our hidden, secret camp is once again in 2021.

Basecamp is usually reserved for schools and groups staying with us for outdoor adventure camps. Last year, Covid prevented our groups from visiting so our team set to work opening Basecamp to the public for the very first time in our 35 year history. The response was overwhelming. We quickly sold out and families loved the space, freedom and adventure.

We may be an off-grid, wild campsite - but we still have hot showers, clean flushing toilets, a camp shop and a cosy country lodge which serves great value food and drink. Plus, with a 250 acre activity centre on site you can make your stay a real family adventure camp!

Video Tour

Virtual Tour


There’s plenty of room and no pitches are designated (just pitch where you like).


Grass pitch Sleeps 20 60 Available
Freedom to camp where you like. Choose this option if your group are camping in tents and or campervans (up to 2.7m high).

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Contact Mendip Basecamp, Mendip Activity Centre, Lyncombe Drive, Churchill, Somerset BS25 5PQ

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Getting There

If you’re heading south on the A368, bear left onto Lyncombe Drive, then follow this road for quarter of a mile. Stay on this road for around 80 yards and then turn right. After 30-or-so yards you’ll see the signs for Mendip Basecamp.


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Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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