I know we’re a teeny bit biased but camping is, quite frankly, one of the best ways to spend your time! We are spoilt for choice in this beautiful country that we live in – a fact that perhaps many are waking up to this year. From our stunning beaches and coves, the rugged landscape of the fells to the lush, green countryside. Exploring these wonderful places is one of the joys of camping. But with all this choice, it can be quite tricky to find the campsite that suits you. So, we have searched around the north of England and Scotland to find our pick of 8 great northern campsites. Here, you will find something to suit everyone – whether you are looking for the quietest corner to squirrel away in or a large campsite to bring the whole family with all their varying needs. Which one is your favourite?
1. Baystone Bank Farm
At Baystone Bank Farm, you will be treated to the simply beautiful landscape of the southwestern Lake District National Park in Cumbria. The site comprises grassland, woodland and a stream to camp besides – perfect for paddling on those hot, summer days. Your neighbours will be cows, sheep and horses on this working farm as well as a wealth of wildlife. You can choose from wild camping through to electric hook ups, caravans or perhaps a spot of glamping in a luxuriously furnished bell tent or roundhouse. There is an option to suit everyone!
You might struggle to tear yourself away from this stunning site but when you do, there are plenty of footpaths to explore as well as the lakes and tarns nearby. Across the meadow is Baystone Bank Farm’s very own horse-riding centre, Cumbrian Heavy Horses. This is the world’s only BHS-approved Heavy Horse-Riding Centre with magnificent gentle giants such as Shire horses, Clydesdales, the rare Suffolk Punch and Ardennes. With horses to suit all levels of experience, this is a rare treat!
2. The Paddock
The Paddock in Lancashire is rather special! The views are to die for and it truly is a place to relax and watch the world go by. This is a small but extremely friendly site with options to suit everyone. You can pitch up in a super flat field (possibly the only flat field in the whole area!), use the communal fire pit or hire your own. Charges are per person, but children under 12 are free – a fantastically family-orientated site.
If you wanted something a little different, there are a number of glamping options to try. Taking the whole family isn’t a problem with the awesome Safari tent that can sleep up to 8 people. Likewise, you could hire the fun and quirky land pods and enjoy a unique holiday experience. Or perhaps you might prefer the luxury of a fully furnished yurt, or brand new geodome? In all these options, your beds will be ready, and you can expect some little extras to make you smile and feel at home.
3. Rue de Chateau Camping
Rue du Chateau, in the Scottish Borders, is a rare gem of a place for those that want to enjoy truly authentic, rural, wild camping. Here, you are free to choose your own perfect pitch alongside the mown riverbank among the wild primroses. You are welcome to indulge in a spot of wild swimming in the river and then warm up around your own upcycled fire pit. You will experience true peace and tranquility here, away from bright lights and noisy roads – the dark night skies and countless stars will take your breath away!
Trailer tents and campervans are also welcome, alongside tents. All pitches are a short walk away from the farm, where you will find fresh water, electric charging points, toilets and you can request a kettle for hot water and towels from your lovely hosts, Gemma and James. This is perfect for those that want to immerse themselves in a “wilder” experience and truly wind down amongst the stunning scenery and river song.
4. Park Cliffe
If it is views you seek, then Park Cliffe could be the perfect place for you! Set in the stunning Lake District, you are treated to magnificent views down Lake Windermere towards the Langdale Pikes and across to Coniston Old Man. The campsite itself is also delightful because of the environmental commitment of the owners. An abundance of wildlife including squirrels, roe and red deer, foxes and birds might be glimpsed at this David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award winning site.
The owners pride themselves on being a wonderfully family-friendly site and provide facilities for all including heated showers, children’s adventure playground, shop, games room as well as a bar and restaurant. You can choose from a variety of accommodation from “wild” camping pitches to electric hook up, touring caravans, a luxurious shepherd’s hut, various levels of pod from cosy to deluxe all the way through to a self-catering cottage. This means that all the family could meet up and experience a holiday to remember in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District.
Bankybarn Caravan and Camping is located in the stunning landscape of the Peak District National Park. This is a family-run campsite with a warm welcome for all guests. There is plenty of space for the children to run around and you can choose your own pitch in the spacious, level field looking out over the beautiful, rolling, Derbyshire hills. Also, there are separate caravan pitches with electric hook-up, again with that picturesque outlook.
Your hosts, Jules and Dek, pride themselves on providing a fantastic holiday destination for their guests. Their excellent amenities block houses warm, scrupulously clean toilet and shower facilities. You can also visit the onsite “Oggy’s” bar with plenty of outdoor seating or if you would rather stay with your tent, hire a firepit to keep cosy and toast marshmallows. This is a place to make fantastic memories and have a holiday to remember.
6. Hazelmount Fellside
Hazel Mount Fellside Camping is the perfect getaway for families wanting to escape from the usual hustle and bustle. This is a beautifully quiet, private site with glorious views of the stunning Lake District National Park. You can choose from different areas of the site from a traditionally mown hay meadow, pitches dotted around a conservation area through to a camping area that you can book exclusively for a larger group.
As you would expect in this area, there are plenty of lakes and footpaths to explore including one route directly from the campsite past the Swinside Stone Circle. There are also gorgeous sandy beaches close by such as those at Haverigg and Silecroft, just a 10-minute drive away. This site is ideal for those wanting to sit back, soak in the abundance of wildflowers and wildlife and reconnect with your loved ones.
7. Wild Oak Woods
Wild Oak Woods is an authentic Eco-Site, situated in an area of Dumfries and Galloway renowned for its breath-taking views, unspoiled wildlife habitats and fabulous local produce. This is one for the nature-lovers as this stunningly beautiful site is set within a 54-acre nature reserve. It is perfect for those hoping for a glimpse of red squirrels, deer, badgers or a whole multitude of trees, flowers and animals. With reduced capacity for 2021, you are guaranteed peace and privacy. Bring your own tent or choose a cosy, furnished camping cabin with your own wood burner and soak up the serenity.
Families are well catered for with onsite “Families in the Woods” activities such as den building. Nearby, there are walks and cycling trails galore as well as Sandyhills Bay beach just half a mile away. Not to forget the excellent local pubs, restaurants as well as a castle and biosphere close by. This is the perfect place to wind down and reconnect with loved ones and nature.
8. Camping at Cardewlees
Camping at Cardewlees is a small, friendly family run campsite on a working farm. Located near Carlisle, you are treated to stunning views over rolling farmland and fells. There is a variety of accommodation available to suit all the family. From the camping pitches on a level field, each with electric hook-up if required, fully serviced hard-standing caravan pitches, cosy camping pods each with their own private decking area or the new fabulous bell tents complete with beds and decorated with bunting and fairy lights.
If you are looking for room to breathe, a taste of rural life on a family farm with simply gorgeous landscapes, then Camping at Cardewlees could be just what you need. But the highlight of this stay has to be your hosts! The friendly Glaister family guarantee a warm welcome and no doubt some entertainment along the way. From Billy giving you his life story to random animals having a nosey at the camping field, you will spend your time with a permanent grin on your face! Do check out their Facebook page – they are hilarious!