Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Comfortable Camping in Northumberland at the Bells of Hemscott

I've been camping once, it nearly caused divorce so when I heard about the Bells of Hemscott and their comfortable camping I was intrigued.  Based on a farm near Druridge Bay on the beautiful Northumbrian Coast the owners are looking to make camping a more comfortable experience whilst still allowing families to get back to nature and away from technology for a while, in my book being a complete tech addict it was definitely just the ticket I needed to reconnect with my lovely family and catch up on some books I've had lying around half finished.


Alison, the owner along with her husband have really thought of everything, these beautiful bell tents house the most comfortable beds you'll ever have slept on, it's an airbed on top of an airbed, I wish I'd thought of that on camping trips, we had a double bed and there was still plenty of room for the girls to have a single bed each.

Everything is supplied to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible, the only thing you need to take along with you are towels for the Eco showers, that's gas powered powerful warm showers, I told you this wasn't normal wild camping.


There's nothing quite like cooking over charcoal although I would advise you shouldn't take your best clothes because you will still smell of campfire even when you've had a shower!


Staying on the farm there are things you should be aware of like this herd of curious cows, don't fret though, they can't get into your field (an electric fence separates them) and actually, cows might be curious but they're also big scaredy cows



we loved being so close to nature, to hear the birds singing and the noises of the farm animals was truly amazing for us city living folk.


there's plenty of privacy between the tents so don't worry that you'll be sharing the field with other campers


This is the 2 person tee pee and the next time we go I want to just make it hubby and I for a romantic weekend



Even the washing up is fun when you're camping and it's amazing, you can watch the sun setting over the wheat fields while you're washing the dishes in the evening, Alison even supplies Eco friendly washing up liquid so that no harmful chemicals go back into the precious earth.



this could quite easily be the African plane or somewhere exotic, we are so lucky to live only 45 minutes from places and spaces like this.



That's resident swans Jemimah and Isaac, they've just had the most adorable cygnets, I love baby animals and birds


On Saturday we went to English Heritage property Dunstanburgh Castle,  it's about a 40 minute drive from the Bells of Hemscott and I can't remember visiting this castle though I must have when I was growing up.  It's an amazing ruin of a castle and the views from the top are quite amazing, definitely a place for the whole family and afterwards you can get lunch at the Shoreline Cafe in Craster, we did and I can confirm that my ploughman's platter was absolutely delish.




I love this one with the lonely sheep on the top of the craggy cliffs, it makes it look so desolate but actually there's plenty of grazing just on the other side 


after our trip to Craster it was such a nice day that we thought we would go down to Cresswell Ices on the recommendation of Alison and they didn't disappoint, everyone agreed they were the best ice-creams ever.  Cresswell ices is a 15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive from the campsite but beware, the queues were out of the door when we went so you might have to wait a while, lots of free parking though and it's literally right next to the beach.



When we got back to the farm the light was incredible so I went for a stroll with Looby, camera in hand to see what we could see


That's hubby wandering along the road less travelled, when you first arrive at Hemscott Hill farm you leave your car and Alison or her hubby will pull up with a trailer to carry your luggage down to the tent while you take a 10 minute gentle saunter down the farm track to your tent, you will really feel like you are in the middle of a wilderness




Jemimah and Isaac were taking their babies onto the water for an evening swim, I love that swans mate for life and they make such great parents




as the sun started to set a glorious orange hew shone through the Hawthorn trees surrounding the field I suddenly felt tired after the days activity and happy, so very happy that I had been able to embrace each precious moment with my family instead of being distracted by the phones, iPads and other things which simply clog your life up.



It really was the most incredible sunset, Alison also informs me that star gazing is amazing but the country air knocked me out both nights long before it was dark.  I should also say that I went to bed with 3 layers of clothing and huddled with hubby under the extra warm 13.5 tog duvet, my top tip would be to take a hot water bottle or if you really want to you could take a sleeping bag and put it underneath the duvet cover.


On Sunday after a hearty breakfast it was time for us to depart but since we were having such precious family time we decided a visit was in order to another English Heritage property, Walkworth Castle, to get to Walkworth it's about a 25 minute drive along the beautiful scenic Northumbrian coastal route and it's a really gorgeous castle which is in remarkably good condition, 2 rooms at the top of the castle are available to visit and they have original furniture and features, plus the kids will love it, plenty of space to have a picnic or run wildly pretending you are a marauding invader or a triumphant king.



and then with warm memories in our heart we made our way home feeling all the better for time spent together and that was when I became aware how badly we all smelled of campfire.

The Bells of Hemscott are sponsors of the UK Cityscapes Project and I did not pay for accommodation,  These however are my true opinions of a wonderful weekend.  If you would like to go for a comfortable camping experience at Hemscott hill you can click through to the Bells of Hemscott Hill Website, at the moment they're open at weekends and all through August, be quick though, I think this place is going to end up being booked out months in advance.

if you would like me to come to your holiday accommodation to showcase it through photographs unlike any you've ever seen before and be featured on this blog (12,577 readers last month) which reaches hundreds of people every day and also my social media feeds which reach thousands every day please email mandy@mandycharltonphotography.com




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