Tuesday 21 February 2012

Brand New Campsite Opening in the Peak District - Upper Hurst Farm

New campsites in The Peak District are rarer than hen's teeth, so when Sue Dillon contacted us about her brand new site, Upper Hurst Farm, Hartington, Derbyshire, we wanted to know much, much more.
Going back a few years, this was originally a thriving 30 acre dairy farm.  Sadly, business was affected by the downturn in the dairy industry and the UK recession but with a keen awareness of farm diversification opportunities, Sue, a former caravanner, with a steely determination to succeed, decided to restore this beautiful farm and it’s outbuildings to their original glory, for the enjoyment of the local population and future camping visitors.  

But how on earth, we were eager to know, did Sue get the holy grail of planning permission for a new campsite in the Peak District National Park, where the local authority are incredibly strict on new tourist and leisure developments?
Well, a few decades ago, Sue's business partner and owner of the farm, Frank, started taking tents and caravans in a spare field to earn a few bob on the side. This was the original, no-frills style of camping, with just a water tap and a midden (!) The complete opposite, in fact,  to the luxury camping experience which Sue and Frank have now created at Upper Hurst Farm Campsite.

So, the fact that there was an existing campsite at the farm, together with some heavy negotiation by Sue and ultimate compromise between her and the Local Authority, meant that planning permission was eventually granted, and Sue and Frank could start in earnest to fulfil their dream.
And this is exactly what they have done.
This is a luxury campsite for discerning campers.  Sue’s objective is “To have a smart, upmarket, Caravan Club standard site, but with fewer rules”.  The shower and loo block are in local stone, with under floor heating, the hard standing pitches are large, the grassy areas for tents is “huge”, which means that there will be plenty of room for tents of all sizes (a maximum of 6 pitches), and lots of space for children to play in safety.

This beautiful and unique site is just 2 miles from Hartington village, described by Sue as as a “real hotspot”.  The site is unusual in that it has virtually 360 degree “stunning views “ of the Peak District hills and countryside from every pitch.
Walking to many renowned and beautiful Peak District locations direct from the site is a major advantage of the site.  Nearby Beresford Dale connects to Hartington Village and from there to other dales, leading ultimately to the world famous Dovedale (approx 5 miles away).  For cyclists, there are more trails than you can shake a stick at – all the famous ones – Manifold, Tissington and High Peak, which will keep the keenest cyclists busy for days.
Sadly, most of us can only dream of living in such a perfect place, but from April 2012, thanks to Sue and Frank's hard work and determination, campers, caravanners and motorhomers can now share this little corner of Derbyshire for a night, a weekend or a precious few days away. 
Establishing a camp site at Upper Hurst Farm means that Sue and Frank can use the income generated to ultimately restore and convert the farm outbuildings into holiday cottages, retaining all the natural features such as wooden beams, hay cart doorways and original grit stone walls. In fact, all of the wooden furniture inside the cottages will be made from  200 year old reclaimed Douglas Fir, and Sue will  be machining much of it herself on Frank's benchsaw!  Restoring and converting the cottages means that even more visitors can enjoy and experience this wonderful place . . . . and that’s not a bad legacy, is it?
Above image : Southerly view from Upper Hurst Farm : Copyright Upper Hurst Farm 

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