Rukins Park Lodge

UK England North East England North Yorkshire Hawes

Campfires by the river in stunning Swaledale

Swaledale was pronounced by walking guru Alfred Wainwright as the most beautiful of the Yorkshire Dales. With this in mind, a better setting couldn’t be wished for at this riverside campsite.

The river and waterfalls may be the main attraction for kids on this site, making the riverside pitches in the long narrow field at the bottom of the farm the most popular. But the views from the higher fields over the moors are spectacular. And even if you don’t get to pitch on the riverbank, Keld (meaning ‘running water’) has no fewer than five waterfalls surrounding the village, so you can always pack up a picnic or set off to find a perfect waterside patch for a great afternoon of splashing around and paddling (Wain Wath Falls is a top spot).

As well as the long narrow field by the river, with the most sought-after pitches, there is a large sloping field, and owner John can open up other fields as overflow. These actually have better views and more space for games than those by the river. Campfires are allowed here, too. John and his wife Barbara, who farm the land in a way that’s sensitive to the environment, were concerned
 that fires were contributing to the erosion of the riverbank. But John has come up with his own solution: four-legged fire boxes. These keep the fires off the ground: happy farmers and happy campers.

And if anyone’s still awake when the campfire’s embers finally fade, it’s time to turn to the night sky for a truly awesome star display before tucking the kids into their sleeping bags.

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Reader Reviews

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Beautiful, natural playground, away from technology

We have stayed here every summer for the last 8 years with our five children and now two dogs. There is no wifi and no mobile phone signal which I love and the children have to go off and find things to do. The river is a natural playground and the children wear shortie wetsuits and water shoes and go off exploring. The older teenagers now go further up and down the river to the larger waterfalls. All the waterfalls are stunning. We always camp right beside the river and it is so lovely to have that view from your tent. There are fire pits and the farm shop sells wood. Sometimes midges when the sun goes down so take spray, but it's worth it. The top field has views of Kisdon Hill. The farm shop has all the essentials and the shower block is basic but the showers are powerful and the water is hot. It is such a bargain price, who can complain. We always walk to the Tan Hill Inn (around 6 miles return) and have a hearty meal and we always walk along the Pennine Way to Muker and go to the lovely café there. Both routes have wonderful views of the valley. My children are all ages and they all love this place. It is possibly our most favourite place in the world. I have already told the children to scatter my ashes down Carrack Force!
Aug 27, 2018 by Philippa Bennett


What a beautiful location and very well kept facilities. We had a wonderful (if rather wet & chilly) stay in April; riverside pitches, fire pits, waterfalls. Couldn't fault the place! 

Apr 10, 2016 by Ros C


We stayed here for 5 nights last summer and it was lovely. Well-situated for walking, cheese and nice pubs we were totally spoilt; it is a beautiful spot. We were in a campervan so stayed in the upper field. The toilets closest to that field are public; therefore not the best if you are fussy about that sort of thing. The showers (a short walk) were hot, unlimited and very powerful, however there were only two I think, so timing was important. More facilities would help to make the experience a perfect one! We will definitely return.

Feb 20, 2016 by Jo&Mark

Fantastic Weekend

Just spent a weekend at Rukins Park Lodge, and it is one of the most beautiful sites we have visited. The riverside camping was brilliant, and the surrounding scenery was breath taking. Come prepared for midges though!

Jun 22, 2014 by owlytwit

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