Technology hasn’t arrived at Syke Farm campsite yet, and it’s all the better for it. ‘We’re not into those computers,’ says the friendly proprietor Mrs Kyle as she marches officiously around collecting tent fees. ‘We didn’t put ourselves on the Internet – someone else has put us there’. It’s true. Internet users have been writing glowing reviews about Mrs Kyle’s unassuming campsite. And it appears to have caught her off-guard. Whatever next? An entry in Cool Camping?
Syke Farm belongs to another age. It’s tucked away in a quiet Lake District valley to the southwest of Keswick in the tiny hamlet of Buttermere. It’s not just technology that’s having trouble making inroads here. Running water is reluctantly offered as an option, with one shower each for men and women. There’s no reception or shop – fees are collected promptly at 8am and the only source of provisions is the farmhouse in the village offering eggs and milk. Well, we say the only source of provisions – that just depends whether or not you consider delicious home-made ice cream a necessity (we certainly do). Occupying what was once the farm's tractor garage, the enterprising Kyles have transformed this simple space into a tearoom and ice-cream parlour locals and tourists flock to from miles around. Made using the cream of the farm's prize herd of Ayrshires, Buttermere Ayrshire Ice Cream is quite the local delicacy, with flavourings such as blackcurrants and rosehips from the surrounding hedgerows to complement the old favourite, vanilla. The tearoom also serves light lunches and snacks – ideal for hungry hikers.
As for entertainment, well there’s a dangerous-looking rope-swing.
That’s pretty much it – an unpretentious, no-frills campsite with an unapologetically back-to-basics approach. And that’s exactly why this place makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time, escaping all the luxury and materialism of modern life.
Spend a few days relaxing in Buttermere, gazing into the bubbling beck and you’ll begin to understand Mrs Kyle’s perspective. After all, if you find yourself in this glorious spot away from the world, why would you want to be put anywhere else?
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If it rains
If it's full
Man can't live on ice cream, alone. But if you'd like to try, the Buttermere Ayrshires Ice Cream at the farm is second to none. The tearoom also serves a selection of light snacks, salads, cream teas and cakes.
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