8 Great Northern Campsites

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

Northern campsites - Baystone Bank Farm
Cooling off in the stream at 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 Campsite
The site and views at 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

Northern campsites - Rue du Chateau
Wild camping by the river at Rue Du Chateau

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

Northern campsites - Park Cliffe
Stunning landscape around 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.

5. Bankybarn

Northern Campsites - Banky Barn
Sunset and views at Banky Barn

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

Northern Campsites - Hazel Mount Fellside
Picturesque views at Hazel Mount 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
Orchids in the nature reserve at 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

Views at Cardewlees
Taking in the views at 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!

8 Campsites with Incredible Views

Campsites with incredible views

One of the many positive aspects of camping is the view to be savoured. This is particularly poignant right now after months of living with the same four walls, same garden fence and trudging round the same local landmarks. Just putting this list together had us positively drooling over the phenomenal vistas and definitely dreaming of escape! Whether you are looking for that escape right now or hoping to travel next year, delve into our picks for 8 campsites with simply incredible views:

1. Park Foot Holiday Park

Park Foot Campsite with incredible views
Park Foot Ullswater Lake View

Wow! Just wow!

The views from Park Foot Camping and Touring Park are simply breathtaking. Set on the banks of Ullswater, in the heart of the Lake District, this family-friendly site offers three large camping fields with different vistas from each. Whether you have a tent, caravan or motor home, you can enjoy the beautiful Cumbrian site with its superb facilities and tranquil surroundings. With activities available both on the park and in the nearby area, your family are sure to have a holiday to remember.

2. Beech Croft Farm

Beech Croft Farm
The rolling hills of Derbyshire at Beech Croft Farm

Set in the rolling hills of the Peak District, Beech Croft Farm is located between the picturesque towns of Buxton and Bakewell in Derbyshire. An ideal base to relax in the peaceful countryside or explore the stunning Peak District National Park. Touring caravans, motorhomes and family tents are all welcomed and excellent facilities are available including a modern toilet and shower block with underfloor heating, children’s play area, a small onsite shop and recently updated reception area. Three different camping areas mean a great choice of where to pitch your tent with fantastic views wherever you choose!

3. Lilliardsedge Holiday Park

Lilliardsedge
Views over the Scottish Borders at Lilliardsedge Park

When searching for campsites with incredible views, you can’t go far wrong with the family-run Lilliardsedge Holiday Park. Less than 50 miles from Edinburgh and set within 110 acres, this beautiful site encompasses open fields with free choice of where to pitch, two woodland walks, a stunning nine-hole, eighteen tee golf course and well-thought out indoor facilities including an extremely well-maintained amenity building, restaurant, bar and function room. You can choose between camping, touring or a luxurious lodge complete with hot tub and will revel in the spectacular views across the rolling countryside of the Scottish Borders.

4. Brocklands Farm

BBrocklands farm Glamping
Looking out from Lapwing at Brocklands Farm Glamping

Brocklands Farm overlooks Hampshire’s stunning Meon Valley within the heart of the South Downs National Park and provide the perfect spot for a memorable and relaxing glamping holiday. This peaceful, rural area makes it highly possible to glimpse local wildlife such as hares, lapwings or deer. You can experience truly luxurious glamping within two spacious safari tents, each sleeping six with a king bedroom, twin bedroom and double cabin bed. With every need catered for via a fully equipped kitchen, beautiful furnishings, a toasty wood burner and even solar-powered fairy lights, you can relax and enjoy the sunset from your outdoor sofa whilst toasting marshmallows on your fire pit – bliss!

5. Forest Glade Holiday Park

Forest Glade Holiday Park
Forest, clearings and blue skies at Forest Glade Holiday Park

Forest Glade Holiday Park is set in a forest clearing on the Blackdown Hills in Devon, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whether you are searching for camping, touring, holiday caravans or glamping pods, you will find all options in the spacious fields surrounded by 300 acres of pine forest.  This AA 4-pennant family-run park offers excellent modern facilities as well as a covered heated swimming pool, shop with off-licence and take away, children’s play areas, games room and tennis court. So, take the opportunity to relax, unwind, enjoy the many forest walks and drink in those views.

6. Ynyshir Farm

Ynyshir Farm

Ynyshir Farm (pronounced ‘un is here’) is for those seeking campsites with stunning outlooks across the North Wales countryside.  Previously a working farm, this family-orientated 40-acre campsite has plenty of space for the kids to play and guests have the freedom to pitch up wherever they like.  You can expect well-maintained hot showers, a parent and child/baby room, toilets including disabled facilities, washing up areas as well as fire pits to hire to help you enjoy the sunset over the hills in this peaceful, tranquil site.

7. Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping

Ruberslaw - Campsites with incredible views
The Edwardian Gardens at Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping

Ruberslaw Wild Woods Camping in the Scottish Borders is set in the heart of the beautiful Teviot Valley’s Special Landscape Area. Within an astonishing 500 acres of unspoilt upland, you have a huge range of choices in accommodation from totally wild camping, to woodland camping and fully-serviced pitches all the way through to glamping in a luxurious, fully furnished safari tent. Your choice of view is also unrivalled whether you prefer rugged hill views, wild woodland, or the more genteel Edwardian walled gardens surrounded by beds full of colourful flowers and shrubs. Some examples include the “Minto View” where you can look over the Teviot Valley across to the Minto Hills which the sun sets quite dramatically behind; The “Castle View” where you can look over the Teviot Valley across to a local gem “Fatlips Castle”; and “Gledswing Lookout” where you can take in the view of quirky hills around ancient Cavers parish. Either way, you are guaranteed to truly get away from it all by taking in the stunning views, peaceful atmosphere and nature all around.

8. Brynawelon Touring and Camping

Brynawelon
Sea views at Brynawelon

Brynawelon Touring and Camping Park is a tranquil campsite set along the beautiful Cardigan Bay coast of West Wales. Here you can gaze upon the ocean and sandy beaches whilst the whole family enjoys the freedom and space around them. Whether you prefer caravans, motorhomes, campervans, trailer tents or tents, you can be assured of a variety of super pitches and excellent modern, heated facilities. There are many popular places to visit nearby including New Quay, Cardigan, Penbryn, Tresaith and Llangrannog. You can also indulge in plenty of activities available locally from the beach to cycling, walking, horse riding and exploring the beautiful welsh countryside.

As this is possibly the strangest and most unsettling time that any of us have lived in, it is important to keep looking for the positives. Just dreaming about some of these campsites with simply incredible views gives a little light relief in this time of uncertainty. Do remember to keep supporting these small businesses where possible: booking them for next year could enable them to keep going and make it through these difficult times.

Re-opening Campsites – A Possibility in 2020?

2019 at Chestnut Meadow

There is a buzz going around that July 4th might be the official start of camping with the long-awaited re-opening of campsites – I know, the excitement is too much! After weeks of lockdown and confinement to our own homes, many of us are champing at the bit to look at a different piece of scenery – somewhere other than the garden fence would be nice! But we are also sensible people and know that we cannot put ourselves or anyone else at risk by being reckless at this still early stage in the pandemic.

So, is camping safe? And how can re-opening campsites ensure safety of their guests?

Camping mealtime
Missing this!

Well, many camping, glamping and caravan sites have started to gear up for a 4th July re-opening and have thought long and hard about the measures necessary. Luckily camping, in all its guises, lends itself quite nicely to natural social distancing, but there are some issues such as shared bathroom and washing facilities, close proximity to other campers, etc. that need careful thought.

Many re-opening campsites will require advanced booking as they need to limit numbers and thus help with social distancing and sharing of facilities. There are some camping sites that have plenty of space for ease of distancing between tents such as the spacious fields of Willowbrook Farm. This ethical working farm in beautiful Oxfordshire have also installed extra hand sanitising points and are looking forward to showing off their farm in all its glory once more.

Sheep at Willowbrook Farm
The flock at Willowbrook Farm

There are some glamping sites that offer ease of social distancing by the fact that there are few accommodation options that are very much self-contained such as the 2 huge safari tents at Brocklands Farm in Hampshire. These are 100 metres apart and completely independent with fastidious cleaning taking place in between guests. In addition, they guarantee a refund on any bookings that cannot be taken as a direct results of government restrictions.

Tinkers Bells have an exclusive use family glamping site at Field Head Farm in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside. That means your family can have the whole site to yourselves! Well, that certainly solves any social distancing issues! And family size is not a problem as the three luxurious bell tents can cater for up to 12 people. In addition, you would have your own hot power showers, toilet and powder room; kitchen, bbq and firepit area; a huge hideaway tent for you to snuggle up and relax in and plenty of scenic outdoor space.

Several campsites have closed some or all of their facilities meaning that campers need to bring their own. There are plenty of cost-effective solutions on the market such as these from World of Camping: portable toilet and solar shower.

Whilst some campsites have closed their toilet and washing facilities, Harry’s Field in Hampshire have actually increased theirs to help maintain social distancing.

Tehidy Holiday Park in Cornwall has invested in an activated oxygen fogger for sanitizing their accommodation – this effective and natural product kills 99.99% of pathogens present in under 30 seconds!

Some holiday makers may well want to hold back from booking until there is more certainty as they don’t want to risk losing out financially. It is worth checking out with your preferred campsite what their policy is as the vast majority of sites are keen to look after customers.

Some sites such as Fakenham Fairways in Norfolk are allowing provisional bookings to help with flexibility and peace of mind in case of a change to government guidance following an increase in cases. Similarly, Hook Farm in Dorset is taking bookings arriving from the 4th July but will happily change your booking to another date within 12 months of your arrival date. Chestnut Meadow in East Sussex offer refunds for Covid-related issues and have developed a new tool in their website booking system so you can move your booking if necessary, giving you total flexibility.

2019 at Chestnut Meadow
2020 camping might look different to last year at Chestnut Meadow!

Other sites such as Holden Farm in Hampshire and Lanyon Holiday Park in Cornwall guarantee that whilst there is uncertainty, you can move your booking to another date in 2020 or 2021. Also, plenty of sites such as Ruberslaw Wild Wood Camping in the Scottish borders, are looking to the future and offering online bookings made for 2021 at 2020 prices – worth taking advantage of and helps to secure the businesses’ futures.

Camping at Ruberslaw

It is really important to support this industry in 2020. Many campsites including Forest Glade in Devon and Petruth Paddocks in Somerset have invested heavily over the winter season to improve facilities but have already missed half of their peak season and thus income will be massively down. Re-opening campsites need to put measures in place to ensure our safety that will inevitably incur more costs. This, along with a reduction on number of guests expected mean that the second half of the season will not put them close to recouping lost income. The vast majority of these lovely sites are family-run small businesses, not huge corporations and if we want to go camping in the years to come, we need to make sure there is an industry to come back to.

If in doubt, postpone, don’t cancel.