Friday, 30 April 2010

In and Around the village of Hayfield, Peak District

Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club campsite is on our "favourite sites" list and one we keep going back to. The nicest thing about this site is its proximity to the village of Hayfield. The site is set at the side of the river (well, more of an ambitious stream really). This means that ducks and moorhens are regular visitors to the campsite, but it also unfortunately means there are midges in season. For how to enjoy camping and live peacefully with midges, see earlier blog "Midges in Scotland".

From the campsite, follow the river for a short while, past the children's adventure playground, and you are soon in the village itself. This is a typical Derbyshire village which is little changed from how it would have been in the good old days - charming houses and cottages set higgledy piggeldy on little lanes, more pubs than you can shake a stick at, friendly natives, lots of natural wells - at least eight, and a choice of places to stay - B&B and pub accommodation, all reasonably priced. No visitor goes hungry in Hayfield. Our favourite eating places are the tremendously friendly and olde worlde George Hotel and the equally welcoming and more trendy Sportsman Inn.

These two pubs get our vote for three reasons: (1) They do affordably accommodation, which means non-camping family and friends can stay nearby (2) They allow dogs INSIDE (hooray and thank-you!) (3) The food and service is outstanding.

Now, the George Arms has the best Lamb Rojan Josh in the world ever according to Mr AP - better even than his favourite Indian restaurant in Nottingham, which had better remain nameless. In fact all the food at the George is excellent - freshly cooked, generous portions, good value for money and served with a huge smile.

The Sportsman is located on the hill above the Hayfield C&CC campsite and is about a 10 minute walk up to it, and about 5 minutes back down, but take a torch as the route back is very dark once the evenings draw in. This is a very popular pub both with walkers and campers, and they even have somewhere to tie up your horse, should you find yourself in possession of one.

There's just sooooo much more to say about Hayfield, that it will be continued in the next blog ........

Above image: View of Hayfield C&CC site from above

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Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Hayfield Camping and Caravan Club Site, Peak District

Arriving at Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club site in a motorhome is not for the faint hearted. The lovely village of Hayfield in the High Peak area of the Peak District, has to be painstakingly negotiated, through it's narrow streets, inching past parked cars and gingerly round a hairpin bend, and up a steep narrow hill, before heaving a great sigh that you've done it, then taking a sharp right into the long approach lane to the campsite. For these reasons, this site only permits tents, trailer tents and motorhomes, although I would not want to attempt taking anything longer than our 7 meter motorhome, particularly round said hairpin.

Hayfield C&CC site is a "traditional" site located on a former printworks (donkey's years ago) and is split into two distinctive and different camping fields. It is a fairly basic site, with no hook-ups, and an old but large heated toilet and shower block meticulously cleaned to C&CC standards. There are no laundry facilities as yet, but what's wrong with wearing grubby clothes when you are camping - isn't that half the fun? Tents and small camper vans tend to gravitate to the right hand field, and motorhomes and trailer tents head to the left, although you are can camp in whichever field you prefer.

There are loads of things that are great about this site: the atmosphere, the scenery (located at the foot of Kinder Scout), the dozens of walks direct from the site, the pretty village with its 3 or 4 pubs (of particular note is the The Sportsman Inn ), 2 restaurants, a fish and chip shop and the Sett Valley Trail which is a 4 mile walking/cycling/bridal route to New Mills (although as the friendly staff at the George Hotel said "why would anyone want to go to New Mills! ?" - A good question!) It also has the most wonderful adventure playground area for children, just 5 minutes walk from the site, so you can keep the little ones occupied.

This site is high on our "favourites" list, and we return whenever we can. As it's a basic site, the cost is reasonable, even in high season, and it has lots of character, which, sadly, some Club sites lack. The Wardens are wonderfully friendly and cheerful and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible to make sure a good time is had by all. Definitely an excellent site for tents, cyclists and backpackers as well as motorhomers, and is a brilliant base for all the outdoor activities on offer.

More about the village of Hayfield in the next blog.........

Above image: Hayfield Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Copyright 2010