Bookings surge for camping and self-catering holidays in Derbyshire

Camping site operators in Derbyshire are looking forward to welcoming guests back this week.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 1:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 7:47 am
Bell tent at Newfold Farm, Edale. Photo by Sam Devito

The first visitors are due at Barlow Country Club today (Monday), with three caravans pulling up at lunchtime and five parties booked into the holiday cottages this afternoon.

Joanne Henderson, reservations manager, said: “We’re really excited to reopen. We’re doing deep cleaning and making sure that we’re fully Covid compliant to keep everybody safe.

"So many people cannot wait to come on holiday. They are so looking forward to a change of scenery, looking forward to getting away and they are not even bothered that the forecast is one day snow, the next day sun.”

Booking has been brisk for the five self-catering cottages and ten adults-only caravan pitches at Crow Hole, Barlow. Joanne said: “The holiday cottages and caravan site are filling up nicely and we look forward to taking more bookings over the next few weeks.”

During lockdown, the holiday cottages accommodated key workers such as telecommunications and road maintenance employees who were unable to bed down in hotels during their working week.

The eight lakes which form the fisheries were open for most of lockdown for use by people who lived within walking distance.

The first caravan of 2021 is due to pull up to Whim Farm Campsite at Monyash, near Bakewell in the middle of this week. Paula Riley said: “We’re in the middle of the Peak District and very rural here so it will be nice to see people, even socially distanced, and I’ll be very happy to tell them where things are and where the good walks are. There’s the Limestone Trail at the bottom of the field, the Tissington Trail across the road and an ice cream parlour just up the road. It’s just a fantastic site.

"We’ve had sleet, snow and now we’re into spring, let’s hope it feels like summer by Wednesday.”

This is the third year that the campsite at Whim Farm has been open. Paula said: “The first year we didn’t get the go-ahead for opening from the authorities until July, last year there was Covid so we’re not really sure what a normal April is like.

"We’re getting bookings for the weekends and bank holidays but there is still availability.

"One of our unique selling points is the amount of space we’ve got. Everyone has plenty of space so distancing is no problem. We can only have under a dozen caravans at any time. Some people do come with tents but must have their own toilet tent and portaloo.

"We don’t have shared facilities, we don’t have toilets or showers so we don’t have to worry about the cleaning of communal areas. We’ve got basic amenities – there’s the Elsan point (chemical toilet emptying), drinking water and recycling facilities.”

A spokesman for the camping booking website Pitch-up.com said that there were 27 sites in Derbyshire that had availability for the school holiday week in late May and 23 for the second bank holiday weekend of that month. These include glamping in bell tents at Newfold Farm in Edale where dogs, bonfires and barbecues are allowed.