Riddings Wood is exactly this sort of place. It’s 11 acres of open space and woodland offer nothing far from the ordinary, yet somehow the site retains a wonderfully traditional campsite feel, making it stand out as a real gem in Central England. Campervans and tents mingle on the grassy stretches, kids playing in the ample space between, and caravans park around the top of the site, where serviced hard standings offer a convenient space to pitch. All have easy access to the large washroom facility – a wooden clad building with a slightly alpine, mountain lodge look about it. Within the block everything has a wooden, Swiss-like finish and under floor heating is a welcome luxury touch.
Location-wise, Riddings Wood also offers a handy middle ground. The mighty slopes of the Peak District National Park are a 20-minute drive away – too far to form a dramatic campsite backdrop – yet its proximity to the key roads of the area make the campsite handily accessible from all directions. As a result there’s a pleasant mix of campers. Outdoorsy types, use the campsite as a convenient basecamp for heading north into the hills, while stop-off visitors looking to visit Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield also fill the crowd. Rallies and organised groups are all welcome and, though campfires aren’t allowed, the scattering of picnic benches around the site make for pleasant evening focal points when dinner time rolls around.
By day campers scatter, each heading off in their own direction with an itinerary to suit, yet by the end they all return. Adults briefly tap on the WiFi, kids briefly play on the playground and everyone slowly drifts off to bed. It's the simple circle of camping life and precisely what makes this easy-going site a winner.
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