Moor Edge Farm in Derbyshire
If you've read much of this blog you'll know Tony and I don't think much to the club campsites of the Caravan and Motorhome Club or the Camping and Caravanning Club. Yes, you know what you're getting, and that includes great facilities, it just doesn't feel like camping.
One of the reasons we continue to be members of the clubs is access to more than 3,500 CLs and CSs. That's Certificated Locations (Caravan and Motorhome Club) and Certificated Sites (Camping and Caravanning Club). These are small sites that are allowed five caravans and motorhomes at a maximum. They may also, if the choose, allow up to an additional ten tents.
CL and CS sites are usually in out-of-the-way, rural locations, often attached to a farm or country estate. Since we travel in a campervan we're a little more restricted in our options as we need toilet and shower facilities, but some of the CL and CS sites provide these basics.
The peace and quiet isn't the only benefit to these sites - the prices can be less than half what you'd pay of a full club campsite. This weekend we've been to Moor Edge Farm in Derbyshire, on the outskirts of the Peak District, and we paid just £14 per night including electricity, with a hot shower and toilet available.
The site is just a field next to a farm house. We received a very warm welcome as we arrived and were offered a grass pitch or the only hard standing and left to get ourselves set up.
We headed off to the nearby Cliff Inn for a pint of real ale. This is just one of three pubs within easy walking distance of the site. The small pub was heaving at 7pm on a Friday night. A 21st birthday party was just getting going, and so we took our drinks outside on a pleasant and rather mild evening.
I'm not sure exactly what contributed to my night's sleep, but both of us slept until 10am. I haven't slept through until this time of the morning in months. In fact I've been up by 6am for the last two weeks letting the chickens out of the coop (we've bought chickens, by the way - new chicken blog is here!).
After a leisurely morning cooking breakfast, including eggs from our hens, we set off on our bikes along the canal to Matlock Bath. It was downhill much of the way to the canal and it meant we pushed our bikes on the return journey.
I had no preconceived ideas about Matlock Bath as I'd never heard of it. It seems to be a major tourist destination for reasons best known to itself. Its high street comprises of fish and chip shops and amusement arcades like you'd find in a coastal town, and yet all it has is a river passing through.
We had a pint of real ale at the Midland pub which has excellent outdoor seating overlooking the river. Afterwards we couldn't walk past 20 chip shops and not partake, so we ordered fish and chips to share, sitting outside in the still-mild weather to enjoy them.
We cycled back the way we had come, arriving back on site for a lovely sunny evening and find ourselves the only ones of the five camping units to be enjoying the outdoors. Honestly I don't understand why some people go camping!