Tag Archives: bolton abbey

Camping trip ~ Catgill Campsite, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales.

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The 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey estate encapsulates all that is typical of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside. Rugged moorland, colourful wildflower meadows, shady woodland and meandering riverside walks. As well as the ruins of a magnificent old Priory.

From 1154 to 1539 Augustinian canons lived and worked here until the dissolution of the monasteries. Fortunately the accompanying church was left intact after Prior Moone negotiated with Oliver Cromwell, to keep it as a place of worship for the local community .

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I have stayed on nearby campsites in the village of Appletreewick, but never at Catgill Campsite , which is on the Bolton Abbey Estate itself, just a few minutes walk from Bolton Abbey Village.

Wil, Hugo ( our labrador) and I arrived at the site early on a Friday afternoon . The campsite accepts tents and camper vans and has a relaxed check-in and departure policy . You can roll up or depart at any time during the day before 9pm. Dogs are welcome too at no extra charge. We payed ยฃ40 for 2 nights camping in a tent.

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After checking in at reception we were told to pitch up anywhere we wished in either of the two fields. We chose the lower field and set up camp by the stream. Catgill campsite is part of a working farm and has been open since 2014. The facilities still feeling fresh and new, include separate ladies and gents shower blocks, a pot washing room with two fridge freezers, kettle, microwave and plug sockets and a small shop that sells the basics. We were soon ready to explore.

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Bolton Abbey village is a small picturesque parish adjacent to the Abbey grounds. It boasts a couple of tea rooms, book shop, village shop/post office and a large car park. We entered the grounds through a small archway called the ‘ Hole in the wall.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

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Instead of turning left towards the Priory ruins , we headed right along the river Wharfe, in search of the Devonshire Arms pub, which is also a rather posh hotel and spa. Sure enough after a pleasant 15 minute walk , we arrived at the pub and enjoyed a couple of drinks in the beer garden. Named for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire , the hostelry is part of their Chatsworth Estate. After a while it got a bit chilly, so I asked the young bar staff if we could move into the ‘Dog Lounge’ which I had previously read about here. Unfortunately I was told that the entire hotel had been booked out for a two day wedding! But he kindly agreed to let me take a peek at the cosy dog – themed salon, where guests can relax with a drink and their pampered pooch.

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We spent most of the weekend at Catgill either walking on the estate or chilling by the tent, but there is plenty more to entertain anyone who visits. A stones throw from the site ( well literally next door!) is Hesketh Farm Park , which is a popular family day out. If you fancy a ride on a steam train, The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway runs between both villages. And there are miles of walks including a kids adventure trail Welly Walk.

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The estate is popular with dog walkers and Hugo had plenty of off-lead time, racing through the woodland and paddling in the river.

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Catgill Campsite is a relaxed family-friendly site with helpful amiable hosts and attractive modern facilities.

Shower blocks have family wash rooms.

Pot wash room with two large communal Fridge freezers, Microwave & Kettle.

Local Information.

Small shop selling the basics.

Fire Pit and BBQ hire.

Morning Coffee Shop serving fresh coffee, hot drinks, juice, croissants and other pastries. We especially liked this idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

The only downside is trying to find a level pitch as the site is quite sloping in places. Otherwise this is a cracking little find , in the beautiful Wharfedale countryside. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hope you enjoyed this campsite review. Our next camping trip is to a family-friendly festival in Gisburn Forest next weekend!

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Wildlife In Wharfedale.

I was fortunate enough to stay at a campsite on the Bolton Abbey Estate , over the weekend. But more about that later. ๐Ÿ™‚

The river Wharfe winds serenely through the priory grounds and theres always plenty of wildlife to see , in arguably the prettiest of the Yorkshire Dales, Wharfedale. Wil and I always seem to return to the area every year, enjoying riverside walks with Hugo and glimpses of the varied wildlife that resides here.

Here are a few photos of what birds, animals and plant life, we saw on our walks.

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The Stepping stones at Bolton Abbey.
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Curlew. The soundtrack for our camping trip was a cacophony of calling curlews, so evocative of the Dales countryside.
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Dames Violet. Saw clumps of these fragrant garden escapes all along the riverside, in hues of deep pink, lilac and white.
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Snoozy Ducklings. Mother mallard was keeping an eye on her island of offspring, snoozing in the sunshine. ๐Ÿ˜
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Yellow Flag Iris.
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Hedgehog. We saw this beauty scurrying accross the path in front of us in Stridd Wood. He/she seemed in good shape. We quickly put Hugo on his lead and left our prickly friend to its adventures.

Also in Stridd Wood ,we noticed that some trees were covered in what looked like eerie white cobwebs. On closer inspection we saw that the silky webbing was covered in hundreds of tiny catterpillars! I looked up the phenomenon and found that the catterpillar culprits actually turn into White ermine moths. See below. How wonderful to come accross these snazzy fellows.

White ermine moth ~ image via pinterest.
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Cock Pheasant. The fields were full of fine pheasants.
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Foxglove. In fairy folklore fairies taught foxes to ring the bells of foxgloves, to warn of approaching Hunts.
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Goosander in summer plumage. I love that the male goosanders plumage turns from white and black in Winter, to grey, white and brown in Summer. ๐Ÿ˜Š
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Monkey Flowers. Can you see the monkey-faces in these pretty yellow riverside flowers?

Although not really Wild, this impressive looking peacock and his turkey friend lived on the farm, nextdoor to our campsite. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Lapwing. Where there are curlews, there are often Lapwings. I love their handsome head gear. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thanks for dropping by. Will return soon with a blog about the campsite we stayed at on the Bolton Abbey Estate.

A Dales Camping Trip. 30 Days Wild ~Days 23 to 25.ย 

Day 23 ~ Set up Camp.  Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that.  However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again.  Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The chickens usually arrive whilst camp is being set up. ๐Ÿ™‚
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And bunnies play their part at keeping the grass short.

Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.

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There is a Wildlife Board near the site entrance.

After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn  for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pan-fried Cod with Mussels. Spot the cornflower.

And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way  through the woodland.

Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe.  As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back.  With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker!  Here are a few million photos from the day.

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Giant Bellflower.
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You don’t need a wrist watch on this walk.
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Common Sandpiper.
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Not sure about this striking blue flower, maybe a garden escape.
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A lesser spotted Hugo.
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Nuthatch.
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Bolton Abbey.
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Grey Heron.  
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Goosander.
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Great Tits.
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Betony.
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Willow Warbler.
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Hugo has a Wild moment !
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Skippers on Scabious.

Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside.  Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden.  There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river.  Which would you choose?

And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.

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Mimulus aka Monkey Flower.

How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wharfedale Wildlife.

A few days away camping in theย Yorkshire Dalesย is always an excuse to record the local wildlife pictorially. Here are a few snapshots of some of the local plants and birdlife I spied along the banks of the river Wharfe between Burnsall and Bolton Abbey. Along with a few additions. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Female Pheasant.
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Bluebells.
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Larry the Lamb. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Goosander.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Water Aven.
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Bunny’s. There were loads of these little guys.
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Hello There !
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Robin.
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Yellow Poppies.
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Greylag Geese Family. ๐Ÿ™‚
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A lovely plaque to commemorate a swimmer, who died so young. It can be found along the river between Appletreewick and Howgill.
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Amongst the Ramsons aka Wild Garlic.
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Male Pheasant.
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Common Sandpiper.
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A fragrant garden escape called Dame’s Violet, I think.
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Lapwing. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Another lamb amongst the Bluebells.
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Mandarin Duck.

There was of course wildlife that I didn’t manage to photograph. Stridd Wood at Bolton Abbey is home to Black Caps and Pied Flycatchers. We saw Dippers and even spied the turquoise gleam of a Kingfisher. Every morning we were woke ย by a rousing Dawn Chorus that included the calls of curlews and a cuckoo. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is nothing so beautiful than the English Countryside. Even if a few nights under canvas is a lot noisier than you would imagine! ๐Ÿ™‚

Easter Holiday Fun at Bolton Abbey.

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Bolton Abbey by the River Wharfe.

On Friday I took the day off work and had a bit of a girls day out. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย My lovely friends Fi and Jo invited me to accompany them and another friend to Bolton Abbey ย in the Yorkshire Dales. The Abbey’s grounds are perfect for exploring, so the kids came too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Make a wish. ๐Ÿ™‚

From May onwards there is even aย Welly Walkย designed especially for little people. But ย in Spring there is plenty to see too. If you go look out for severalย Money Trees.ย The girls had fun knocking penny’s into the bark and making a wish. ๐Ÿ™‚

April means that along with the showers there are plentiful Spring flowers. I spotted Wood Anemones and Cowslips amongst others.

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Who can this be?

Theย Easter Egg Huntย at Bolton Abbey was what we really came for though of course! ย But first it was time for a spot of lunch. The grounds are perfect for picnics but we thought we would treat ourselves and eat inside theย The Cavendish Pavillion Cafe located by the riverside,ย near where the hunt started.

They are testing out a new menu in the Cavendish which includes lots of delicious Pizza and Flatbread varieties. I really enjoyed my Pea,Feta and courgette Flatbread. And do look out for the cakes! There is an amazing selection…which I completely forgot to photograph! The cafe is a little pricey but very child friendly with baby changing facilities,high chairs and a microwave. If you have a dog ( Bolton Abbey is popular with walkers, cyclists and dog owners) there is lots of outside seating with plans for a weather proof canopy.

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The Easter Egg Hunt followed the riverside and the kids really got into it. It involved counting the eggs painted on the front of the different bunny’s and adding them up at the end. The prizes were stickers. We also had our own impromptu chocolate bunny hunt. Its got to be done!

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Wood Carver’s Hut in the Woods.

There is plenty to discover along the riverside including this Woodman’s Hut which sells carvings.

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Mandarin Duck Couple.

Lots of different wildlife. …

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Into The Woods.

And meandering path adventures. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Beach Fun!

Our day finished with some riverside fun and an ice cream. X

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The Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey continues until the 24th April.

Car parking for the day costs ยฃ8 but you can move your car from one car park to another.

 

Thirty days Wild ~ Days 11-15. Yorkshire Dales Wildlife.

Hi there progress is continuing on the #30dayswild challenge. Half way through now! Some days are proving more difficult than others but I had the perfect excuse to connect with nature this weekend gone as we went camping in the Yorkshire Dales. The Campsite was located right next to the River Wharfe which is a haven for all sorts of wildlife especially birds and wild flowers. This might become a rather picture heavy post!

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Day Eleven ~ Bees on Lavender. This year my lavender plant seems to have recovered all its purple glory ( it didn’t look to good last summer) and the bees are loving it. This morning I enjoyed a quick brew in the back yard accompanied by the buzzing of happy bees. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day Twelve ~ Do you like Butter? . This was taken on a walk from the campsite to the nearby village of Burnsall. We pitched the tent and enjoyed a stroll along the river. Buttercups seemed to adorn many a meadow so I had to check whether I still liked butter. The golden reflection on my chin proves I do. Obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Thirteen ~ Wharfe Wildlife. Today our walk to the Bolton Abbey estate passed through meadows and woods as well as a long the banks of the river Wharfe. I saw and heard so many different birds and unfortunately I couldn’t photograph them all. Black Caps in Strid Wood were one of the highlights but I didn’t manage to capture any. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Kingfishers too were very camera shy, streaking by in a gleam of turquoise. We heard a cuckoo ( the first time I have listened to one in years) and also the call of lapwings and curlews. But here is what I did photograph. I may need some identification help with a few if any of you nature buffs can help? ๐Ÿ™‚

Cute ducklings. :)
Cute ducklings. ๐Ÿ™‚
Bugles and Buttercups.
Bugles and Buttercups.
Female Goosander.
Female Goosander.
Wild garlic.
Wild garlic.
A bedraggled looking Dipper...I think.
A bedraggled looking Dipper…I think.
Water Avens.
Water Avens.
Rabbit.
Rabbit.
Anyone have any ideas?
Anyone have any ideas?
Ox Eye Daisies.
Ox Eye Daisies.
A type of Cranesbill maybe?
A type of Cranesbill maybe?
Greylag Geese.
Greylag Geese.
Saw two of these Mandarin ducks.
Saw two of these Mandarin ducks.
A female pheasant....I think.
A female pheasant….I think.
Pretty yellow flower on the riverside. Any ideas?
Pretty yellow flower on the riverside. Any ideas?
Pied Wagtail.
Pied Wagtail.
Mistle Thrush.
Mistle Thrush.
Scented stocks I think.Loads of bunches of these beautiful garden escapes along the river.
Scented stocks I think.Loads of bunches of these beautiful garden escapes along the river.
Oystercatcher.
Oystercatcher.
Mallard in a tree?
Mallard in a tree?

A few of these birds and flowers I could not identify even with the help of my Collins Gem guide books so any help would be appreciated.

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Day Fourteen ~ Hug a tree. A-hem so here I am hugging a tree. I’m not sure if it was the most affectionate big old hug but I guess It made me feel giddily cheerful. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Day Fifteen ~Smell the Roses.. The Wild roses in the hedgerows smell gorgeous. I made sure I inhaled their sweet scent on my walk on day 15. What is your favourite wild flower scent?

Camping Trip ~ Yorkshire Dales.

June ย means dusting down the tent and heading off into the Yorkshire dales for the weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย We picked Masons Farm at Appletreewick as it is a site we’ve visited before, enjoying its close proximity to the river Wharfe….and ย a couple of good real ale pubs.

Masons Farm is a friendly family run site with all the facilities you could possibly need, including shower blocks with hairdryers, a small shop/reception in a retro airstream van and a mobile bakery/coffee van that proves very popular on weekend mornings.

The shop/reception.
The shop/reception.
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The entrance to Masons Farm.
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Chickens and ducks roam freely.
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Appletree Van serves coffee and homemade sausage rolls and cakes.

The River Wharfe flows past the bottom of the site and is a haven for wildlife such as Herons, Kingfisher and Goosander, more of which in my next #30dayswild update! As soon as we had pitched the tent on Friday we headed out along the river to the nearby village of Burnsall with its attractive stone cottages,pub, shop and tea rooms. ๐Ÿ™‚

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River Wharfe.
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Hugo outside the pub.
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Enjoying a summer fruit cider outside The Red Lion.
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And back to camp for a bbq.

On the Saturday we turned left at the bottom of the site and walked the two hour gentle trek along the river, through Strid Wood and to the grounds of Bolton Abbey.We had lunch at the Pavilion cafe there and Hugo our black lab made the most of lots of dips in the river. ๐Ÿ™‚ In the evening we strolled to one of the two pubs in Appletreewick for tea. Both the Craven Arms and the New Inn serve food and are dog friendly.

Hugo making a splash.
Hugo making a splash.
Wood carvers shack in Strid Wood.
Wood carvers shack in Strid Wood.
Heritage beetroot and goat's cheese tart with  salad and new potatoes. My delicious tea at the Craven Arms.
Heritage beetroot and goat’s cheese tart with salad and new potatoes. My delicious tea at the Craven Arms.
Real Ales are popular here. :)
Real Ales are popular here. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday morning it was time to pack up the tent and leave Mason’s Farm. We had a fab stay and I wouldn’t hesitate to book again. It was a perfect riverside camping experience. ๐Ÿ™‚ oooh and the campsite is all geared up for glamping too, renting out an Airstream , vw campers and bell tents. Something to think about! On the way home we decided to call in at Bolton Abbey again and take a few photos of the romantic ruins of the old priory. The Bolton Abbey estate has beautiful grounds, riverside,tea rooms, gift shop, kids welly walk, picnic spots and hiking trails. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Bolton Abbey and stepping stones.I  was too scaredy to cross them.
Bolton Abbey and stepping stones.I was too scaredy to cross them.
Abbey steps.
Abbey steps.
Another Air stream at Masons Farm.
Another Air stream at Masons Farm.

Do you go camping and if so what sites do you recommend?