I am from New Zealand and grew up in the Great Outdoors, so one of the things I love most about living in Beijing is the opportunity to take our young family camping. To make the most of camping in Beijing you need a car, or a driver’s license so you can rent a car, and remember the nights are COLD. We don’t bother booking campgrounds, we just turn up on the day. Here are three of our favorites 1.5-2 hours drive from Beijing.
Beijing Longwan International Camping Park (北京龙湾国际露营公园)
Our latest discovery, this ‘glamping’ campground offers a wide variety of accommodations – from basic tent-sites, R.V sites to single cabins and small villa’s. This is the ultimate family camping paradise with style. Our kids loved the high-ropes course (RMB 50) and the huge playground (RMB 50). There also just so happens to be a great onsite restaurant. The campground is situated around several man-made lakes and is beautifully manicured with a range of activities for very reasonable prices. www.jwnly.com (RMB 200-2000 p/n) 北京市延庆县旧县镇东龙湾村南
We love this mid-range campground because it is in a smaller fenced area, has a huge sand pit, rock climbing walls, swings, slack-line, a small BMX track and a big grass area for kicking a soccer ball. You can also day-camp here, and they have several empty sites to pitch your own tent, or stay in one of their own tents (check out these hanging ball tents complete with bedding) or cabins. Very simple but the kids play here happily for hours while we sit back and relax on the supplied lawn chairs. The nearby village has several restaurants or you can cook your own BBQ. It is also near to the Hongluo Temple which is definitely worth a visit. 北京市怀柔区渤海镇南冶村008县道旁 (180-580rmb p/n)
Jiugukou Natural Scenic Area (九谷口自然风景区)
Ski slopes in winter, campground in summer, this is a more ‘rustic’ option for experienced camping families who don’t mind roughing it. We camped here in the spring, and hiked up to the wild Great Wall. There is a restaurant onsite, or you can cook your own BBQ. I recommend putting headlamps on at night and walking up the man-made rafting waterway, which operates in summer. Be prepared for dirty toilets, but for this price you can’t complain too much. 北京市怀柔区怀北镇河防口村548号 (RMB 20 for park entry, plus additional fee for camping).
Photos: Rebecca Archer