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).

Check Availability


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

Show Map

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.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 15 reviews


Amazing, active family holiday

If you want an active camping holiday this is the place for you. Campsite facilities are clean, rarely a queue for showers and staff pleasant and helpful. The activity centre was superb. The staff were knowledgeable, friendly and inspirational. We climbed, skied, threw axes, paddle boarded and played many rounds of disc golf. Our boys were never stuck for something to do! Only thing I we would change is to be able to pay for things in cash!

Active but relaxing family time...

Stayed in mid-August, with 2 children and a dog along with 5 other families. Field is up high with plenty of space to pitch and room for kids to play. Really friendly, relaxed vibe on site and good footpath access for dog walks and a hilly run! Pre-stay information meant we knew exactly what to expect. Facilities were clean and all you need. We did washing up at our tent so we could boil some hotter water (and didn’t miss lugging it across the site). Kids were booked for some of the activities which they loved. We ate at the lodge which also does takeaways and we used the on-site shop which was handy for swapping ice packs and buying extras like firewood and ice creams. Definitely exceeded our expectations and we will hopefully be back to try more activities and explore the area some more.
Aug 25, 2021 by kate ponting Verified Review

Fantastic Family Adventure

Stayed for four nights in the middle of august and because the site is so enormous it didn’t feel crowded at all. Proper camping as it should be, no frills but all facilities were spotlessly clean, well serviced and well located. The activity centre was a bonus, we didn’t use it much as our boys are a little young, but the woodland walks alone and the number of attractions nearby meant we weren’t still for long! Amazing staff, so helpful and friendly, and nice and peaceful in the evenings. Firepits were lovely and the fact they allow dogs on leads was a big plus. I think we’ll be back when our boys are a little older so we can make the most of all the activities too. Perfect week, thanks!
Aug 21, 2021 by Rosie Latter Verified Review

Lovely site with lovely staff!

We only stayed at Mendip Basecamp for one night but it was so lovely, everyone working there was amazing and kind, the site was so open and clean and facilities were always spotless. Also we loved the fact that we could chose wherever we wanted to camp! Overall amazing!
Aug 7, 2021 by Misha Verified Review

Great little bolt hole for the family

Stayed 3 nights. 2 adults 2 kids. First time camping for a long time. Great site with lots of activities to do. We could easily stay on site for the duration of stay and just relax if we wanted to. Loads to do locally, Thatchers farm shop, great central location to Weston super mare, Bristol, Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury. Staff were really friendly, the site has the potential to go from great to excellent. A little more modernising and the option to have electric hook up would do this. Kids had loads of fun, we played the frisbee golf which was great fun and good exercise. They played with the other kids on site which was really lovely to see. Would I book and stay again? Absolutely without any doubt. Great fun.

Excellent family friendly site

We loved the activities on offer here- we took part in Disc Golf and did an exclusive hire of the tobogganing slope which was great fun! The toilets, showers and washing up area were clean and the shop on site provided key food basics as well as ice park freezing and phone charging. All staff were helpful and friendly and we also enjoyed a drink at the lodge one evening. I would recommend this site to others.


We stayed for 2 nights. The staff were lovely, very helpful throughout the whole of our stay. The facilities were kept very clean and there are plenty of toilets and showers so there was never a long queue. The campsite was busy but there was still plenty of space and it was never too noisy. I would definitely stay here again and I recommend it to everyone. The Lodge was also very lovely and provided amazing Pizza and an excellent full English breakfast.
Jul 26, 2021 by Megan Davies Verified Review

Chilled vibe

Our 2nd stay- even better than the 1st! Love the space and free camping. The new cafe and sandpit are fab! Really chilled site yet plenty of activities from cycling and den building to skiing. Only niggle is no hot water for washing up.

Lovely Bank Holiday Break

Just spent 4 nights at Basecamp with the family, 6 adults and 4 kids; this was our second visit and we had a great time. Campsite is chilled and relaxed. Facilities are basic but adequate. We did the tobogganing and played frisbee golf but much more on offer if that’s what you like. The site is ideally situated to explore the surrounding area including the coast. We’ll definitely be back. Well done Mendip Basecamp 😊😎
Jun 4, 2021 by Maggie W Verified Review

Beautiful place

Beautiful spacious campsite, lovely friendly vibe about the place. The loos and showers are basic but adequate. There is only cold water in the washing up block which I hope they change, it was horrible scrubbing pots in cold water! All staff were friendly and helpful and the lodge breakfast was delicious. Loved the woodlands nearby and the activities (we tried three different ones) were brilliant.

Beautiful-Will be back!

We stayed here for the price and we’ll be back for everything it offers! Stunning views, plenty of activities to keep busy, the food in the lodge was great, the toilets were always clean, the shower block outstanding, and the friendly feel of the place. We only came on a short stay to visit places locally but didn’t take in the actual site as much as we would have liked. As soon as we are able to book we will do and would like to spend longer here. The camp shop was lovely, and the pavilion (with free usb phone charging and freezer for iceblocks) was beautiful too with a sand pit and a small but super cute and quirky children’s play area. All staff were really friendly and cheerful (even down to the ones cleaning the loos!) and were always really helpful. My partner and child went down to the quarry views-which didn’t do it justice, as he kept saying how stunning it was (with really good safeguarding for access to the site). Needless to say we look forward to our next visit and will be spending a lot more time on the actual campsite rather than a place to sleep as it was so much more than that!

Family friendly fun

Very relaxed, well spaced out campsite with loads to do on site. We did climbing/abseiling and axe throwing and really enjoyed them. Pavilion shop was well stocked with friendly staff. Fields for pitching were suitably flat although lots of rock about 3 inches down so be prepared. Also some of the road from car park to tent field was very badly rutted and pot holed so if you drive an older vehicle, such as our camper van, be prepared for this too. That being said we will be back as we’ve got lots more to explore and had a wonderful stay. The weird noises the van made on the bouncy incline were worth the fun we had

Loved it - highly recommend.

Would highly recommend this campsite - it had everything that we needed for our 3 night stay and we will be back!! The location and setting was just perfect with plenty of space to pitch despite it being a busy bank holiday weekend. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the shop had the essentials with added bonus of USB charging area (just what the teenagers needed!!) All the activities offered from the activity centre were well organised and kept the kids busy - infant there was little need to leave the campsite at all. The site itself felt safe and we happily let out children aged 11 & 14 wander around. The campsite had a good feel about it with a very chilled atmosphere. Fortunately due to the hot weather, hot showers weren't needed but I could imagine this being a problem in colder mornings and evenings. Toilets and washing up area were always busy - more washing up areas might be needed as it got very busy after breakfast and dinner time but it didn't make a difference to our time spent away. All in all after the year we've all had, it was the perfect setting to spend a bank holiday weekend under canvas and the stars!

Chilled sunny fun days

Second time coming and even better. Chilled campsite, safe for the children and enough space to relax. We loved our activities too. The toilets and showers are great. Staff were friendly and helpful. Thanks do much. Hope to come back

Great campsite

A great campsite, lovely atmosphere and mostly flat pitches which is always a bonus. Very family friendly, we went on the bank holiday weekend so it was extremely busy but we still managed to find a nice corner of one of the fields to camp in which felt relatively private. The showers and toilets were ok, the only thing I didn't like the fact that they were poorly lit at night - this didn't make me feel entirely safe as a female once it got dark, as they are tucked away in a wooded area too. Also you can only burn the wood they sell which is fine but it was damp and therefore pretty impossible to get a fire going. But overall it was a great campsite and we would definitely return again and bring our friends too!

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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