I love camping (as you’ll know if you’ve read some of my previous posts!) and I love the Peak District! So this weekend I combined the two and spent two days with family and friends camping in the Peak District! Unfortunately due to other commitments we only managed one night but we made the most of our rather brief stay…
Our campsite (Common End Farm) was spacious and very friendly… not to mention beautifully located. It was fantastic to find a campsite nowadays where you don’t have to be quiet after 9pm and where campfires are permitted!
So we spent a pleasant evening sat around the fire pit chatting and toasting marshmallows…
… followed by a bit of drinking (obviously!) whilst the kids ran around and made friends with the neighbours (and their dogs!). The warden popped by about 11pm to see if we were ok – rather than to tell us to be quiet, which is what usually happens on our group camping trips!! We were all shattered anyway so we headed off into our tents just after midnight!
The following morning we had a lovely – and very leisurely – BBQ breakfast (surely one of the best things about camping?) and then packed up and headed off the site. But we will definitely be coming here to camp again as it’s a great site and very reasonably priced.
Our destination for the afternoon was beautiful Dovedale, which was only a short drive from the site… or at least it should have been! Unfortunately the SatNav tried to send us up a track which was unsuitable for vehicles so we had to do a u-turn and find an alternative route (back the way we came of course!). But it was worth it. Dovedale is so picturesque and I have many fond memories of childhood trips there to paddle in the river and picnic under the trees.
The only thing I would say is that Dovdale is VERY popular with families during the summer – particularly at the weekend – so if you don’t like crowds, it’s probably best avoided. That said, if you walk a little further along the river the crowds thin out as most people only go a short way before settling down for the day. We found a shaded spot right next to the river to spread our picnic blankets out, where we sat and ate our lunch.
Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed splashing about in the shallow river (the boys didn’t venture in!) and the boys threw a ball about…
After an hour or two we packed up and strolled through the gorgeous valley – stopping occasionally to paddle or take photos – back to the car, which was parked about 20 minutes away in the packed car park. It was £3 to park for the day which I thought was very reasonable.
We left Dovedale and headed to the Dog & Partridge in Swinscoe (a 17th century inn offering accommodation as well as food) for a meal before we got in the car for the 1.5 hour drive back home… it was a welcoming, country pub with a huge children’s play area, large beer garden and great food!
If you are in the area, I highly recommend a stay at Common End Farm Campsite and a trip to Dovedale – we will certainly be heading back to both sometime very soon!