This is the sort of campsite Britons hold in their collective memory: a simple open field bounded by a drystone wall, with a loo in a lean-to by the farmhouse, and drinking water sourced from a tap coming out of a wall. A footpath goes right through the site, leading walkers off towards Slaidburn one way and Newton the other. Kestrels command the skies above this 80-acre dairy farm, while tawny owls provide an aural backdrop at night. As for the view: bring along some extra superlatives because you’ll be needing them. Even though Crawshaw Farm is 200 metres above sea level, whichever direction you look in you’re greeted with stonking Lancastrian hills rising far above it. Just a few miles away, or half an hour’s walk via footpaths and a minor road, lies the small village of Slaidburn. A film-location spotter’s dream, its stone houses and shuttered windows could easily stand in as a medieval French hamlet, so don’t be too surprised if you bump into Audrey Tautou walking down the main street wearing a wimple. Trivia-baggers will be excited to learn that the nearby village of Dunsop Bridge boasts a telephone box situated supposedly at the dead centre of Great Britain. Installed in 1992 as British Telecom’s 100,000th payphone (ah, happy days), it was opened by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Of course. And please note that this is another campsite for which avid GPSers should take the postcode with a pinch of salt (it will take you off to Brunghill Farm, a mile up the road).
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been three times this year great spot for some peace and quite
Crawshaw Farm is, as the guide says, like something from the past - but in a great way. Simple, uncluttered (no caravans), away from it all and with a farmer willing to interrupt her round of chores to fix the damaged collar of a tent pole. The location is hard to beat if you like remoteness and a stunning walk over the sloping fields down to Slaidburn - like a Heartbeat filmset with a great general store, pub and cafe (though expect the hoards of bikers and vintage sports car owners in the village at weekends and remember to book ahead for eating at the pub, the Hark to Bounty). One path runs through the site but there's loads of others nearby including a child-friendly walk along the river from Slaidburn to Newton (with a pint at each end). The only criticism is that it cost us £15 for two small two man tents: not a lot but when you have no showers and have to queue with others of the 20 or more campers on the site to use the single lean-to loo you may briefly wonder if your pennies would be better spent elsewhere. Then you look round the simple walled field with views across the valley, the rookeries and small woods that dot the hillside before it turns into barren upland and experience the thrill of curlews calling day - and night - across the surrounding moors and remember why you really came.
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