It can be a nightmare finding a decent working sheep farm to camp on in the middle of the Peak District National Park. Luckily Shallow Grange, three miles south of Buxton, manages to combine both sheep (around 200 ewes to be precise) and tents amid 110 acres of grassy farmland and rolling hills.
To stay here is to be in noble company, historically speaking – we’re not still baahing on about sheep – since the Sherwood Foresters used the land as their summer camp back at the beginning of the last century. But those days long gone, it’s been functioning as a campsite in its modern form for a couple decades, run by Ed and Marilyn, who’ve worked hard to make the site a pleasant and highly eco-friendly experience.
Visited site summer 2012, good pitches, great central area for children to play. Facilities were clean and modern. Gorgeous views from site. Would be happy to visit again.
It was my 40th birthday, and my wife had arranged a field hire for over 30 friends and family to camp, although there were over 100 of us for the evening! The weather was at times bleak so we were extremely grateful to Ed as he helped us make the best of it. The site was spot on; the location is great, the facilities were spotless despite the rain and mud, and the friendliness of Ed and his wife and staff made it for us. We all had a fantastic time. We will definitely be going back, but this time we'll spare them the chaos and go on our own, and buy them a beer :-)
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Royal OakHurdlow, nr Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9QJ
With pies aplenty and 100 acres of Derbyshire farmland to explore, why not spoil your belly and treat your feet!
Alton, The Star Camping and Caravanning ClubAlton, The Star Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Star Road, Cotton, peak district, Staffordshire ST10 3DW
This campsite is all about the location. You can the family will be spoilt for choice with the wealth of great attractions in the area.
Fieldhead CampsiteEdale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 7ZA
Attention all walkers! Set in the heart of the beloved Peak District, this really is rural England and nothing short of inspiring.
Haddon GroveHaddon Grove Farm, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1JF
This family-only kid crammed site is perfect for the sprogs. Von Trapp family eat your heart out! The hills are most certainly alive here.
Longnor Wood Holiday ParkLongnor, nr Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 0NG
The owners decided no kids, no satellite TV campers. In fact no noise pollution at all-just the countryside.
Rowter FarmCastleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 8WA
Ravines! Caves! Paragliding! If you and your family consider yourselves as the (more modest) Incredibles then this wild action-packed site is your next mission.
The Wild Boar InnWincle Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 0QL
Wake up every morning to astonishing views of the Cheshire Hills-and if you think good old English pubs were long gone, then this place will change your mind.
Upper Booth FarmUpper Booth, nr Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 7ZJ
After a long walk through the Pennines, crash out at this charming site which also happens to be the garden (albeit rather large) of a lovely couple dedicated to rural living.
Tent, 2 people and car from £14 per night.
Campfires are allowed if raised off the grass. 30 pitches, plus more in the caravan field. Showers and toilet facilities are modern, well-equipped and environmentally friendly. Freezer available for ice packs in the laundry room, which also has a washing machine and dryer. Electric hook-ups must be booked in advance. Pond to fish.
Chatsworth House (01246 565300) and Haddon Hall (01629 812855) are nearby, with Jane Austen-style atmospheres and gardens. Arbor Low Stone Circle – the ‘Stonehenge of the Peak District’ – is a Neolithic henge surrounded by unspoiled countryside, with fantastic views over Derbyshire (you’ll find it about 5 miles south-west of Bakewell). For a proper chill-out, try the holistic Brackendale Spa (01629 540727).
March–October (and out of season by arrangement).
The Church Inn (01298 85319) at Chelmorton serves good quality traditional British pub lunches and home-cooked meals, while the Bulls Head (01629 812372) in Monyash offers good food in a refurbished dining room. It’s a scenic drive to Longnor Fish & Chip Shop (01298 83317). The Red Chilli (01335 343232) in Ashbourne does refined Indian and Bangladeshi food (takeaways available).