A truly romantic woodland setting, straight out of a Jane Austen novel. For those who are less romantically inclined, how about climbing a nearby 25 metre high gritstone cliff?
Shielded within a grove of oak and beechlined woodland, lies the North Lees Peak District National Park campsite. An idyllic sounding setting in its own right, but add to that the looming slopes of England’s largest cliff above the distant treeline and the site’s babbling brook and what you get is just about as near a state of natural perfection as you’re likely to find.
The site itself is pretty no frills. There’s no play area for the kids, but they’ll find natural entertainment enough frolicking within the plentiful woodlands; home to Pied flycatchers, bats and water voles. Set across four fields, North Lees feels deceptively smaller than its actual size, with the trees and dry-stone walls acting to shield each field from the other. The whole site sits on a gentle slope as the ground around begins its ascent up to the moor’s peak at Stanage Edge.
At North Lees you’re deep in the heart of the setting for Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. So, whilst you’re here, why not recreate the iconic shot from the 2005 film version and stand atop The Edge, looking out over the swathes of Derbyshire? You can walk up the slopes to Stanage Edge easily from a track at the back of the site. ‘The Edge’ stretches for six miles with its cliff of gritstone reaching a height of 25 metres in some places. The tall face of the cliff is a Mecca for climbers, ascending the boulder-strewn ridge-line that juts out of the ground.
The site’s proximity to Stanage means it’s a regular hang-out for the climbing conscious, but, no fear, there’s no ‘us and them’ atmosphere. Everyone’s content just to kick back and soak up some of Mother Nature’s ambience. Ascending The Edge needn’t be done at the end of a rope, though. You can wander on up and find your own route to take in the expansive views. From up here you’ll wonder at the patchwork quilt of colours, from verdant green to the scorched brown fields, managed for the red grouse.
The Peak District draws in 45 million day-visitors a year and given the landscape and its historical houses it’s no surprise. But at North Lees you could feel like you’re amongst the only few people in the park, protected behind the walls of this secluded woodland.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 29 reviews
the place was so remote and so beautiful, I had lots of space for myself and even found a pitch close to a stream and a tree with a horizontal branch where I could hang my gymnastic rings for some exercise. The staff were very relaxed and advised on cycle track in the area. No problem with using propan-butan gas cooker. Would 100% recommend!
Lovely quiet campsite
My dog and I stayed 3 great nights in one of the open fields that make up the site. Parking is free (not charged for as said elsewhere) and wheelbarrows are provided to move your gear from car to tent. Cars not parked alongside tents was a bonus for me as it meant the camping fields are free for people to move about safely and it's quieter. There were two DoE groups there but all respectful, polite and nice to chat to - and all in bed early. The sinks, showers and toilets got heavy use and I'd put any problems down to fellow campers not the staff. However everything seemed OK to me - people taking care at the wash-up and with the showers to remove mess and excess water. The situation is superb - right under Stanage Edge with a direct lovely walk up to this through the woods. Midges were evil in the evening humidity at the time (thunderstorms later) but hey that's camping.....I will definitely return as it was friendly, spacious, quiet and with walkers / climbers / cyclists. For a lone woman camping it was nice to have this atmosphere and Park Rangers based on site too. I think I'd try the pods in the winter months too as they looked comfy and well positioned. The only thing that takes this down from 5 stars are the midges but they have to live in their ecosystem too!
Unorganised, no staff on site for whole stay, bitten alive
My experience of this campsite wasn't positive. We arrived to check in at 5pm and nobody was on site to welcome us or direct us. We pitched up in the field and checked back later (nobody was there again). Upon discovery of the toilets that hadn't been cleaned in a while, I was disappointed to see that their was only 1 shower to service all the male's in the camp, the floor was unclean so it was either my feet or my towel to be dirty - I ruined my towel. My next point is pretty unpreventable for the campsite so is maybe an unfounded groan but the amount of flies (gnats/midges) made it impossible to sit outside. Every camper in the site was shocked to be bitten alive all night. The campsite's policy of no open flames (which includes BBQs) makes it impossible to get rid of the gnats. They also seem to building what can only be described as a stagnant body of water that is turning into a swamp - more water to attract the flying insects. All in all, I wouldn't stay here again, people camped for free around us due to the lack of staff, I booked online prior.
great site midges overwhelming at night
great site midges overwhelming at night
Toilets and shower rooms were unclean with a very strong smell. The site was infested with midges due to the stream, trees and nature pond that has been installed. The parking charge in force was unnecessary and over priced.
Well situated site-shame about the facilities.
I loved where this camp site is situated, my pod was comfortable and initially I thought this would be a great place to come back to with my friends. The first out of my 3 nights was good but then a large group of noisy younger campers arrived and suddenly 2 out of the 3 toilets were blocked leaving one female toilet for the whole campsite. The showers looked dirty and unloved and while they didn't need major work they did need a good clean. One of the washing up sinks was full of old food and the other looked as if someone had washed an oily motor part in it as it had so much black grease on it. The only evidence I saw that anyone cared about the facilities was that the soap dispenser in the toilet was filled up and the grass had been mowed. I was in the middle of attending a course in the area but felt compelled to go home so only stayed 1 night out of my 3. The lack of management presence was obvious with people having solid fuel bar-b-ques and I even saw someone climb over a fence to access some old fencing for their fire. What a shame!
Bitten by the swarm of Midgies that took over the campsite!!
Unable to sit outside or walk around without being surrounded by them. Poor levels of cleanliness in the toilet and showers ares which wasn't ideal after a days walking.
Fantastic site, very clean and quiet. Perfect location for exploring the peaks! I will definitely be staying again
Couldn’t be faulted
A v peaceful, well maintained campsite. Well located for walks, bouldering and all round relaxation. To cap it all I lost my wallet in Hathersage and it was handed in with all the cash too. Big thanks to the mystery person who handed it in.
Quiet, clean, beautiful
We cycled to North Lees campsite from Hope. It is located in a really quiet place, with forest on all sides and many lovely walks in all directions. The camping pods were simple, clean and a perfect upgrade from a tent in soggy weather! The staff and park rangers were really helpful. We highly recommend North Lees
Secluded and we'll run site.
Situated in a very secluded and beautiful location less than 2 miles north of Hathersage which for me is walking distance. Site is peaceful and ideal location for access to Stanage Edge and many other walking routes in this area. Good shower and toilet facilities. Staff were friendly and helpful.
Perfect weekend getaway
The site at North Lees is fantastic. Right in the heart of the Peak District, with access to great walks from the campsite. The facilities are simple but good and the eco-pod we stayed in (dog friendly Twin Cam) was fantastic. Travelling up from London for just 2 nights, not having to spend an hour putting up and taking down the tent was a real treat. We were blessed with lovely weather and the bonus of the longest day, so that even arriving at 5-ish on Friday we were able to get set up and still head out towards Stanage Edge for a couple of hours walk. We will definitely be back!
Perfect - peaceful, immaculate and tucked away
We had a brilliant stay with dog for some walking in the area. This is a great campsite with immaculate toilets/showers etc and peace and quiet. It is a perfect distance from Hathersage - about a mile across fields - and on lots of inviting footpaths. We look forward to visiting again.
Superb little site in a great position
Love this little site. Situated in amongst the trees it offers peace and privacy. The amenities are excellent and the reception is friendly. The nearest village is just over a mile away via a beautiful walk across fields. There are plenty of pitches to choose from (although it's still small enough to be enjoyable). There's also a bonus protected woodland full of bluebells and beautiful trees. Can't fault this site at all
Lovely pitches, peaceful setting
This is an excellent campsite - easy to find, well kept, friendly and helpful staff and with good facilities. The washing up area is perfect, the toilets/bathroom simple but clean. We didn't use the showers but the water was instantly got from the taps. The only area for improvement would be a covered mess/cooking area of some kind, but that would be pushing for luxury I think! Would happily stay again and recommend!
As others have mentioned below, even when fully booked (Bank Holiday Weekend) it didn't feel cramped. We took our dog as well and had no issues with that, and with a trail at the top of the camp it was easy enough to get her walked in the morning. Facilities were OK (It's camping, I'm not expected the best showers and toilets). But location is really great, especially if you want to head to Stanage Edge, you're also far aware from it all so the only sounds are the stream, cows and sheep. There were even sheep wandering through the site in the morning
The campsite is in a really great location, steps away from breathtaking spots and beautiful walks. We stayed in the Duo pod for two nights and we loved it: very comfortable, clean and functional. Our three years old boy really enjoyed it and we all had good sleeps. The campsite is really peaceful and the people running it are very easy going. The only downside were the stinky toilets: our little boy, who isn't normally fussy, refused to get into the male facilities and could only use the female ones. Although we managed to have nice warm showers, the facilities are overall too small for the size of the site and probably need improvement. This costed a star in my rating that otherwise would have been enthusiastically a full stars.
North Lees was always favourite place to stay near climbing at Stanage etc. Quiet and out of the way but possibly to to walk to Hathersage if you want to. We returned for the first time in 10 years for a few days with kids in tow (and some teeny rock boots). Campsite was full but didn’t feel packed at all, loads of space (although carparking was pretty full). Toilet block functional and quite clean enough. Showers nice and warm. “Quiet” hours 10pm-8am meant it was possible to get a good night’s sleep out of the kids. Easy to book. All good, we’ll be back for sure!
Lots of flies!! Room for improvement
My partner and I visited this weekend with another couple and we booked two pods (Nightrider and Quietus). The pods and the field were very picturesque and clean and after a long (and stressful) drive, we’re exactly what we wanted. We pulled up to the campsite around 4pm expecting to find somebody to speak to regarding checking in, however there wasn’t anybody on site. It was like this for the entire stay so we were unable to ask any questions should we have any problems with our stay. Once we had found where our keys were hiding, we let ourselves into the pods which were lovely and clean however to our disappointment, there were no fly screens on the windows and doors. During our stay the temperature had risen to 28 degrees and we were unable to open the window due to the sheer volume of flies so both nights we stayed were very uncomfortable due to the heat. The shower block was very disappointing. It was very unclean, full of bugs, mud and spiders but the worst part is that the men’s toilets and shower facilities were so unclean that men were using the female facilities which made us feel very uncomfortable. Aside from that, the location was lovely and the field itself was very well maintained.
Loved our pod!
I spent four nights in a pod at North Lees with my daughters aged 9 and 8. We loved it. The pod fitted us and our stuff comfortably. The girls enjoyed using the wheelbarrows to unload things from the car and pack up at the end. We all loved the location - both beautiful and quiet. Just a few minor issues that would have made it even better - the toilets were in need of a clean, as there were a number of fly-filled cobwebs that had clearly been there a long time, a washing machine in the drying room would be a really helpful addition, and posting the hours a warden would be on site would be useful. Otherwise, though, it is a great place to stay and I hope to be back.
Sweet weekend for our little family
We (me, my wife and 1 year old toddler) stayed at North Lees this last weekend and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The facilities are basic but clean and that's great for the price. We made friends with the people camping nearby. Nearby is a relative term. We were meant to be camping with some friends but they couldn't get on as the place was fully booked. Fully booked does not mean jammed in. There was loads of space and that was great. We loved it.
Great location, well-organised campsite.
Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Loved the wheelbarrows provided on site to allow you to take your belongings easily from your car to your pitch. Showers, toilets, washing up facilities all excellent. Dawn chorus was amazing. Lovely quiet site at night.
Beautiful, quiet, clean and not overcrowded even when full.
One of our favourite sites. Surrounded by woodland, the dawn chorus was spectacular. We were only on a 1 night stopover from Scotland to Sussex but will definitely return for a longer stay. Tiny biting midges we’re out in force on a warm still evening so worth bringing repellant and protection.
Great location and very peaceful
Small and friendly site, perfectly placed for all types of walking nearby. Hathersage is not too far away - you’ll need to get your supplies here as only ice cream is sold on site. It’s not a site for parties as music and campfires etc are not allowed but this is a good thing as it’s very quiet to enable a good night’s sleep. Cars are parked separately from the tents but don’t let this put you off if you have a lot of gear as the site has a couple of wheelbarrows to let you get your kit to/from your car and to be fair even the top field isn’t too far from the car park. It means no traffic around the tents which makes it even more peaceful.
Great campsite hidden in the woods, short walk from Hathersage train station with plenty of walks to go on from the site. Very friendly staff and delicious local Hope Valley ice cream available!
Easy pod stay in the Peak District
I've actually camped here before (and forgot to leave a review) and love this campsite. There's plenty of space. The field is slightly sloping, so some spots are better than others, and it's really close to Stanage Edge, which was the big draw for me and my friends. Excellent Peak District walking routes nearby and climbing on the edge is really good (as other reviewers here have mentioned). This time i went I stayed in one of the glamping pods. They're nothing too fancy ( we still used sleeping bags) but at this time of year they're a greta option and they meant I could come by train and not have to bring all my camping stuff. Would highly recommend to anyone who wants a good spot in the Peak District.
Fantastic Bank Holiday Stay
I stayed here over the late May Bank Holiday weekend and thought the site was ideal. Completely no-frills. A warden takes payment when she/he's around and you hang a little tag on your tent to show you've paid. Toilets and showers were clean – though showers weren't the most reliable since it was a super-busy bank holiday. Not sure that many folks shower here anyway... it's not that sort of place. Mainly one- or two-nighters staying here for a brief stop over as they explore the national park. I was there as a rock climber. Stanage Edge is within walking distance. Best rock climbing in England? For the range on offer it possibly is. Great site for 'proper' national park camping. Agree with other reviews below... bring mosquito repellent!
Very nice, quiet out of the way campsite and much bigger than it looks. Stanage edge is less than 10 minutes walk away, so very handy if you're visiting to do some climbing. All the facilities you need, toilets, showers, pot wash area. A few rules to be observed but that's what keeps it nice and peaceful.
Can be a bit of a midge fest at times if the weather's warm and no wind blowing, but if you're a Peak District climber, you'll be used to this.
Lovely, peaceful campsite. Simple, but perfectly adequate facilities. Great location for Central Derbyshire. We visited chatsworth and the blue john cavern, both just a short drive. Only negative was the amount of midges around! We thought it was just bad luck, until we were buying insect repellent in Hathersage the following day and the shop assistant said "are u staying in North Lees? It's always bad there!". It didn't spoil our time away, however, we had a great time!