Masons Campsite

UK England North East England North Yorkshire Bolton Abbey

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
On the banks of a river, with open views over the Yorkshire Dales and lots of space for games, with a pair of great pubs nearby

In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, by the banks of the Wharfe, down the road from two good pubs – Masons is so good that even the owners still camp here. When their favourite campsite in the Yorkshire Dales came up for sale, Georgie and Grant bought Masons and set about scrubbing up an already popular site. Today it’s about as good as they come.

You no longer have to walk a mile to the nearest shop, since their onsite 1968 Airstream office sells essential food and camping items and the Coffee & Bread Shed serves barista coffee, fresh croissants, baguettes and more. When it comes to the actual camping, there is heaps of space to pitch in the two main fields; plus they have a handful of yurts and safari tents you can rent and a couple of classic VW campervans to hire, with pre-pitched awnings outside.

The flat camping fields have plenty of space for kite-flying and ball games, and lots of families bring lilos and dinghies. Both fields are backed by the wide and mainly shallow River Wharfe that runs south-east out of the national park. Try your hand at fly-fishing from the large, flat stones while the kids happily pass the time paddling around and jumping in and out of the water.  The onsite chickens and ducks are popular with younger children too, while the neighboring, hilly fields are all speckled with sheep.

Although the site has beautiful views of its own, Grant says that most campers make straight for the steep slope over the road for an even better vista. Footpaths lead directly out into the hills and, from the bottom of the site, along the river to Burnsall, which is a popular picnicking and swimming spot. Appletreewick and Barden Bridge, are just a short jaunt away too, both with excellent, family-friendly country pubs housed in typical, old, Yorkshire-stone buildings.



The main camping field caters for tents, campervans and tourers, with 40 hook-ups. In the second field, which is open most summer weekends, tents pitch up along the river bank, leaving plenty of space for ball games in the rest of the field. The washing-up room has 8 sinks. There are 10 showers (including one family/disabled room) and the toilet blocks each have 10 toilets and 10 hand basins. The campsite’s well stocked onsite shop, housed in their vintage Airstream office, sells bacon, eggs, milk, sweets, toys, food and camping essentials. Their Coffee & Bread Shed sells top quality hot drinks and freshly-baked bread and pastries.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, dogs – yes.


Footpaths lead directly from the bottom of the site along the river to Burnsall, which is a popular picnicking and swimming spot, as well as to Appletreewick and Barden Bridge. Bolton Abbey (01751 432758), with stepping stones over the river, walks, tea shops, cafés and the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway station (01756 710614) is just up the road.

Food & Drink

The 2 pubs in Appletreewick both serve food and are family-friendly. The New Inn (01751 720252) has a selection of quirky beers, while the 16th century Craven Arms (01756 720270) has log fires, gas lamps and stone-flagged floors. It is the shortest of strolls away. The Red Lion (01756 720204) at Burnsall is also a pleasant 1 mile walk along the river.


Mid March – end of October.

Family Friendly

What a treat! A campsite that's actually run by campers who know all about choosing a great site. The river provides plenty of opportunitiy for wading and fishing, and you can make a dramatic river-entry via a rope swing, handily located on the bank.

The Owner Says

Our site is perfectly situated in the picturesque village of Appletreewick in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales surrounded by the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This camping and caravanning site is the perfect place for you to explore the Yorkshire Dales. With the River Wharfe running alongside it provides popular easy walking to nearby villages Bolton Abbey, Burnsall, Linton, Grassington all of which is a small part of the Dalesway footpath. For those looking for more of a relaxing break you can simply watch the world go by paddling in the River or perhaps a cheeky drink at the two country pubs within 2 minutes walking distance. If this sounds just the ticket for a camping and caravanning trip please browse through the information on our new website, which now includes an online booking facility – and we look forward to welcoming you to our delightful spot. For more information please visit


Contact Masons Campsite, Ainhams House, Appletreewick, Skipton BD23 6DD

Show Map

Getting There

From the A59 between Skipton and Harrogate, turn north on the B6160 at Bolton Abbey, signposted ‘Grassington’. After about 3 miles take the first right after Barden Tower, signposted ‘Appletreewick’ and continue for around 2 miles to a T-junction. Then turn left into Appletreewick village and continue until, less than a mile on, you reach Masons Campsite at the foot of the hill on the left.

Dales buses run between Skipton/ Ilkley (both of which have train stations) and Grassington and between Grassington and Appletreewick. There is also a local taxi driver in the village.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★☆ over 14 reviews


Best campsite in Yorkshire

Been going here every summer for 6 years now. Always go back. Superb campsite. Really friendly staff. Family orientated - kept very tidy and clean and always quiet after 11 and before 7. The valley is quintessentially idyllic Yorkshire Dales setting. Great food in the pubs in the village up the road if you want a night off the campfire! River rope swing not fit the faint hearted just off the site. Water temperature very consistent (freezing) whatever the weather. Always have a bread shed breakfast on the last morning to see you through the packing down. Christopher makes the best Latte’s but Max’s are good too ;).
Sep 3, 2021 by Chris

There’s nothing cool about this campsite.....

Over the years we’ve driven past Masons and thought what a great place that would be to stay. We finally got to stay for three nights in our camper early this year. I rarely do reviews of anything but I just wanted to add my thoughts for what they’re worth. The location of the site is great, beautiful river walks, scenery, great pubs nearby. But the way the site is run and priced outweighs the positives and I would never stay there again, especially as there are better alternatives nearby. Every possible way of screwing a little extra money from the punters is utilised, extra for dogs, bigger camper/tents, fire pits, second cars, buying their logs only, expensive shop, paying up front and no refunds , cramped, overcrowded pitches to maximise income etc etc. And this is on top of the already expensive basic camping rates. The staff enforce noise rules etc to try and minimise complaints due to the overcrowded site. I appreciate that all campsites have to make money and are businesses but this one has gone too far. I can imagine years ago it would have been a great place to stay and it’s changed with new owners. If you want to pay top rates and be jammed in with hordes of people this is the place for you. There’s nothing cool about this site and shouldn’t be on a Cool camping site, presumably they pay a subscription to be on it. I’ve camped all my life and there are amazing sites in the uk that are truly cool. But this isn’t one of them.
Dec 6, 2019 by chris gregory


We were very excited about our visit to Masons but sadly underwhelmed. I agree with other reviewers that this is a fabulous location but the campsite did not live up to expectations and was not 'cool'. It was very over crowded with the facilities struggling to cope with the volume of people, some mornings the queue to brush your teeth was 3 deep at the sink. Half an hour to queue for a coffee and all the fire pits were already rented out for the entirety of our stay. The official quiet time is 11.30 which is already pretty late but it was noisy after this and then again early in the morning. We will definitely return to this area but not to Masons campsite.
Jun 20, 2018 by Liz Rayner

Lovely Location shame about the overpricing

The location of this site cannot be faulted, the views are amazing and having the river so close is great! Plus an added bonus of a village 2 minutes walk away with one of the best pubs we have been to in Yorkshire (The Craven Arms). Toilets and showers were nice enough and always clean however in our opinion it is a bit cheeky not to have plug sockets (at least 1) so the only option to dry your hair is to pay for their site hairdryer. Also why no mirrors in the disabled toilets!? Unfortunately this was not the only aspect we thought was unreasonably priced, the office and site shop has a variety of food, drinks, camping equipment, basics etc all of these excessively overpriced. Especially camping basics and toys that I have seen in poundland and were all priced at £2.50++ one item in particular was a picnic bag priced at £5 I have the same one bought from poundland a few weeks ago! Most staff (Crew) were friendly and helpful but the overall feel of the campsite lacked a personable approach. We still enjoyed time here due to the lovely location and friendly fellow campers.
Aug 18, 2016 by Emerald

Fantastic family site

Stayed here on first weekend of July and thought the pace was amazing. Totally feral but in the best possible way. Kids running around, campfires, bikes, games, kids making friends with other kids. Nice weather when I was there too, which always helps. Wandered up the road to the pub which is only about 100m away and really nice. A spot to sit outside in the sun there. The reception area of the campsite is in an airstream trailer, there's a very very neat little coffee shop in a shed and it's all run very smoothly. Great site. Would return and would highly recommend to families.
Aug 2, 2016 by James Smith

Almost Perfect

The location of this site couldn't be more perfect. You could get out of your car and not need to get back in it for an entire week if you were so inclined. Excellent foodie pubs nearby (Red Lion in Burnsall and Craven Arms in Appletreewick), a smal shop on site with the essentials and fresh bread and croissants to order. Little kids will LOVE the very shallow river for paddling, rope swinging and catching fish, older kids (ahem) will love the rapids (not too crazy) and the rope swings over the deeper parts a little further down. GORGEOUS walks of the surrounding dales and loads of stuff a short drive away if it rains and you do want to get out and explore.

Things it has that others don't? Location - waterside, flat paths and hills, heated floors and piped birdsong in the bathrooms, lovely caring owners who really look after the site, hairdryer and straighteners in the bathroom.

Two TINY improvements could be made - slightly bigger pitches or opening up the other field for campers (there must be a reason they don't do this though) and a canopy over the washing up area. Maybe a play/ climbing area so the kids have somewhere to meet others when the water is too cold, but then all this would just make it too perfect and then we'd never get in.

I'd prefer it if you didn't go... I wish it were our own little secret.

Aug 28, 2014 by Joeyf

Marvellous Masons

Super location, site and facilities. We picked Masons for its riverside location and we were not disappointed. The tree swing over the riverside was the hi-light for our two children.  The riverside walk to Burnsall was lovely and the site is not too far from Grassington, Pately Bridge and Skipton. Facilities were good and we didn't have to queue for the loos, showers  or wash-up areas once. Overall a very busy, friendly site. Only one niggle; the site shop was vastly over priced. 

Sep 4, 2013 by Helen

Masons campsite

Just got back from a weekend at Masons Campsite. We were in the camping field, which was very, very busy and whilst we had plenty of space around us, it meant that the facilities were definitely under strain. Quite often we were in queues for the toilets and gave up waiting for a shower. I would recommend taking toilet roll with you as the ladies very often was out. Also due to a freshly mown field and wet weather, the toilets/showers were not very clean. Beware, the washing up facilities are good and plentiful , but not under cover (there were queues here too).

That said, the site is in a beautiful spot, the river location gorgeous and great for fly fishing. The field is flat and well drained and staff were helpful and always on hand. 

I would recommend going, but try and pick a quiet weekend

Jun 17, 2013 by Letitia

Masons campsite

The campsite was good although there were too many tents on site and this meant It was very cramped. For the amount of people on site there were only 4 showers for men & 6 for women. With over a couple of hundred people on site this is nowhere near enough. 

The site's quiet time is from 11.30pm-7.30am. At around 11.05 we were approached and told to quiet down and get ready to sleep, even though the quiet time wasn't for another 25 minutes- the tents were too close together therefore the neighbouring tents are able to hear noise from others. 

The staff came across very strict – with 18 of us camping together we were accused of being too loud but with that many of us surely it is hard to keep quiet as we were only talking amongst ourselves. 

Apart from that, the toilets were kept clean at all times, I liked the way the campsite sold general things such as logs, toiletries and sweets/chocolate/drinks which was a big help (although very overpriced). 

The campsite is in a great location although with some very loud farm animals all through the night!! Lovely views and walks along the river to nearby pubs. Although we won't be visiting again.

Jun 12, 2013 by Lucy

Masons campsite

Without doubt a good location.The local pubs were very good.We enjoyed being able to go walking from the campsite and a short drive to Malham Cove.The site was busy and felt overcrowded. The facilities are very good but inadequate for the number of people staying.Overall I didn’t enjoy this experience,mostly to do with the payment process, it starts by being expensive but the website booking means supplements are added, we had a lot of difficultly convincing the owners our tent is less than six metres in length(and therefore not due another supplement).
May 27, 2012 by bill123

Masons campsite

W O W,,just returned from a fantasic 4 night stay at masons,,i cannot say enough about this site ,from the location which is it a leisurely walk ,a stiff climb,a splash in the river,fishing ,wildlife watching,great pubs (2 within minutes) ,so relaxed and easy going a great place to relax and unwind ,a credit to owners and staff alike (who are always on hand with help/advice)facilities (toilets /showers ect)are faultless,so much to offer, be it tent city,campervans for hire ,rent a tent or a fabulous airstream and holiday let,this is genuine COOL camping at its best,,loved it cannot wait to return ,great for all the family(including Ruth our bay window vw she liked the level well drained pitch)see you all soon......
May 8, 2012 by zackjess

Masons campsite

What a lovely site! It is surrounded by lush rolling hills with a shallow river at the end of the camping field along which runs a riverside footpath. There are plenty of wild birds to spot and a few chickens to look at along with a couple of farm cats. The neighbouring sheep are very noisy early in the morning but I didn’t mind that. The ground is flat, well drained and soft and I think all pitches had EHU. A small sporadically open shop is contained within an Airstream van which also doubles up as the site office. Fires are allowed in fire pits which can be hired on site and firewood can be purchased. It is a great place for kids to explore but the river could be a hazard although it is mostly shallow. The toilets / showers are lovely. It is difficult to motivate yourself to have a shower in some sites but it was actually pleasurable to go into the shower block here. There is underfloor heating and the floor was always clean. I wish other campsites had such warm and clean facilities. There are no laundry facilities. Top site - highly recommended if you want to be close to nature but don’t want to brave cold and grim bathroom facilities.
Apr 15, 2012 by migsy


Lovely place for kids, lots of space to run around in packs, and a river to explore. Not huge, tents packed in quite close together, so noisy at bedtime. A shop-van visits in the morning, with croissants etc. Nice riverside walk to Appletreewick, where there are pubs and a small shop.
Jun 5, 2011 by erzsebel


This is a great little campsite, next to a fantastic river with riverside walks and general splashing about fun for children. The owners are very friendly, and the site is close to two great pubs which both serve a range of good local beers and good food. There is a huge amount to keep you occupied in the Dales nearby, and you can feel quite comfortable letting your children run about the site. Make sure you have insect repellent as midges can be a problem as with any riverside location. The toilets and shower facilities are good, and you can rent fire boxes, as well as buy eggs, and there is a well stocked mobile shop that arrives each morning. Stongly recommended for families.

Aug 7, 2010 by Rebbeck

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