Haggs Bank Bunkhouse and Campsite

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Bunkhouse and mine entrance

Haggs Bank Bunkhouse and Campsite is a small, family owned campsite set in stunning countryside in the North Pennines.

For those who want a wild camping experience but in a location with clean toilets and hot showers, you couldn’t ask for more. The owners are relaxed and helpful, the site spotlessly clean.

For cyclists, there is secure storage and the site is on the C2C cycle route.

For hammock campers, the site has a small wooded area with well spaced trees, and camp fires are allowed. For other campers there is hard standing with electric hook up, and across the quiet road a beautiful bunkhouse which can accommodate 24. Behind this there is additional parking and then terraced pitches for tents. The woodland gently slopes down to a stream. The site has good drainage and surprisingly, I got a decent mobile reception (on Vodaphone). Drinking water comes from a natural spring which is filtered, and so good we took some home.

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A small woodland for hammocks

The site is good value for money, with adults charged £8 and children £4 per night for camping. The cheap prices aren’t reflected in the quality of the site. It’s very well maintained with plenty of character. When we stayed (August 2015) it was peaceful and not overcrowded. There’s a pub within walking distance but far enough away so you wouldn’t know it’s there. The shops in Alston (a very picturesque village/town) have everything you need and are 10 minutes by car. We recommend you try the artisan bakers.

What made this site special for us? The friendliness of the owner, zero light pollution so you see the Milky Way in all its glory (and the Perseids while we were there), and red squirrels playing with our water container in the early morning. Life really doesn’t get much better and you’ll hear pheasants and tawny owls as you rock yourself to sleep.

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Treated spring water on site

Haggs Bank is the antithesis of sites with their pseudo-suburban, leylandii screened, numbered pitches, karaoke and efforts to drain you of your last 50 pence. If you’re tired of sites which say you can’t have a bonfire and have miserable wardens, you’ll have come to the right place.

Next to the bunk house is a mine entrance (gated) which apparently runs for 7km. Dogs and children are welcome on site.

If you travel there with a mindset of staying with friends rather than a commercial leisure complex, you’ll leave very happy. A very special place, and thanks to Danny and his boys for making the holiday perfect. He loves his site and wants others to love it too. We did.

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