We recently had our first less than impressive camping experience … some very good points to the trip too though!
We stayed for 2 nights at the Mason’s Campsite in Appletreewick, North Yorkshire. It’s a private site in the heart of Wharfedale with the River Wharfe running along the bottom of the site.
In hindsight, a check of the reviews prior to the trip would’ve been a good idea and would’ve informed us that it isn’t one for our tastes, particularly at weekends. Unfortunately, we just touched on the weekend, having spent a pleasant Thursday afternoon and evening and Friday afternoon there before all hell broke loose. It’s quite a thing to leave a tranquil, idyllic, riverside site behind as you head out for a late afternoon walk for tea and then return to an inner city car park with cars & tents crammed almost on top of each other as far as the eye can see.
First things first though, we had a good journey in. The sat nav took us along quite a narrow road at one point but thankfully there were plenty of passing areas. People towing a caravan would’ve struggled so check your route carefully.
Positives: Staff on site were friendly & welcoming, it was a scenic riverside location, ideal for walks to suit all abilities (Burnsall, Bolton Abbey, Grassington), two good pubs in Appletreewick just a few minutes walk from site .. erm.. and the sun shone!
Negatives: Despite being popular with families there were no facilities or space for children to play on site without invading other campers’ space, insufficient toilet/shower facilities for numbers crammed onto the site at weekends, free for all pitching with no respect for pitch boundaries and no staff enforcement of rules, animals allowed to roam freely on site – we saw one dog foul on the grass of an empty pitch while being walked by its owner and another licking from the clean water tap while its owner watched (!), and finally the noise – not the expected countryside sounds but banging music. It appears there are site rules but nobody to ensure they’re adhered to at night. We were disappointed by the lack of consideration for customers in that respect.
It has to be said, however, that many reviews for this place are glowing as well as not so glowing like ours. Personal taste. We’ll leave it at that 😉
Of course we still enjoyed our break. This included visiting the 2 pubs at Appletreewick, both just a 5-10 minute uphill walk away (The Craven Arms & The New Inn). The Craven Arms was our favourite and by far the busiest, selling good ales and pub grub. We also walked along the river bank into Burnsall (approx. 1.5 miles) and enjoyed some liquid refreshment at the 16th century Red Lion pub after meandering around the village.
All in all we had laughs and fun, as usual, but will not be returning to this particular site. If you’re wanting to try it, steer clear of weekends when it’s like Glastonbury without the entertainment 🙂
Our next adventure is to the Caravan Club Site at Barnard Castle, County Durham. Our first trip to this area which we’re really looking forward to.
Suzie & Bri