Camping and glamping on a working Lancashire farm within walking distance of the thriving, quirky, foodie former mill town of Ramsbottom
Nothing encapsulates the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire better than the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, held in the Lancs town of Ramsbottom at the end of every summer. Throwing their black puddings, contestants in the street try to knock Yorkshire puddings from their pride of place on a 20ft perch. Legend has it that the tradition stems from a day during the War of the Roses, when the armies of Lancaster and York ran out of ammunition and threw food at each other instead. Today it’s just one of a number of vibrant festivals that bring this quirky yet understated town to life.
A 15-minute walk from the centre of town – with Ramsbottom’s church spires and old mill chimneys visible against the green hills – The Paddock is an aptly named campsite just outside of town. Accessible (it’s only a mile to the start of the M66) yet simple, this is a classic campsite of old; a flat, grassy meadow set just beyond a series of farm buildings with acres of space, old dry stone walls and a cluster of mature ash and oak trees just beyond the far fence. At night, jam jars with tea lights inside magically illuminate pathways between the ten tent pitches, while bunting adds a colourful splash to the field entrance.
It’s not just tent camping here, though. A couple of bell tents host yet more bunting, while there are also three glamorous yurts (think proper beds, a wood-burner and a private kitchen) and a special glamping pod with roll-up sides so you can enjoy the stars on a clear night. The farm also runs a B&B in their ancient cottage (it dates back beyond the doomsday book) and, of course, remains a working rural enterprise with sheep, cattle and a handful of nosey free-range chicken that will come clucking to your tent door if you leave crumbs around.
During spring the farm is perhaps at its busiest. On a notice board by the shower block you’ll sometimes find a timetable displaying feeding times for any lambs that need bottled help and the surrounding landscape is always at its most green and verdant. There are endless walks to be had. It’s a pleasant hike up Holcombe Hill to 40-metre tall Peel Tower, on the skyline above Ramsbottom, built in honour of the two-time Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel and with good views of the town below and campsite in the distance. There are plenty of traditional markets to visit and cafés to dive into as well. And that’s just in Ramsbottom alone. Hop on the famous East Lancashire Railway or get back into your car and you’ll find the world is your oyster. Or Lancashire is at least. Don’t cross the border into Yorkshire. It’s nowhere near as good there... Apparently.
A shower block with 2 showers and 2 toilets, plus 2 portaloo-style toilets for busy times. Simple pot washing area with solar hot water. Campfires permitted in firepits and most glamping pitches have a firepit and BBQ included in the booking (others are available to hire; logs, charcoal, kindling, fire lighters and marshmallows for sale). Communal firepit also for use. Books, board games and outdoor games sets to borrow. Plenty of animals on the farm: cats, dogs, hens, sheep, cows and lots of varieties of birds – a list of times for bottle feeing lambs is pinned up in spring. There is also a stable and grazing should you wish to bring your own horse.
Campers, glampers, kids and dogs – yes. Campervans, motorhomes, caravans and large noisy groups – no.
For an easy local wander, try the Irwell Sculpture trail, which you can join at the bottom of the lane – a nice walk with huge sculptures along the way. Ramsbottom is the main attraction, though, just a 15-minute walk by footpath and home to glut of excellent pubs, cafés and independent shops. Leaflets and maps are provided in the glamping accommodation. Ramsbottom is also home to the famous East Lancashire Railway (0161 764 7790), where train driving experiences are available as well as simply hopping in a carriage. The town hosts many festivals each year; there's the Chocolate Festival in April, a 1940’s war weekend in May, a mountain biking festival in July, the Head for The Hills music festival and the town Rum Festival in September and, of course, the renowned World Black Pudding Throwing championships also in September. There is also a farmers market once a month and a small town market every Saturday. If you do take the East Lancs Railway, hop off at Rossendale (3 miles) for shops, microbreweries, a museum and also the Rossendale Ski Slope (01706 226457) – children can enjoy an hours tubing there for £7, so really worth a visit. Elsewhere, it's 3½ miles to the town of Bury (and the renowned Bury Market), while Manchester is also within easy day-tripping reach.
Food & Drink
The Paddock offers "breakfast and BBQ” packs that will be ready in your cool box on arrival – sourced locally from Walmsleys Butchers (01706 822269) or Holmes Mill Butchers (01200 401035). nearby. If you're heading elsewhere, the Duckworth Arms (01706 823336) is located at the top of the lane and within easy strolling distance. It's dog friendly, has phone charging available and serves general pub food with a beer garden (great Sunday roast too). For something finer head into Ramsbottom (15 minute walk via the footpaths) where Levanter Tapas (01706 551530) should be high on your list, go healthy at Lolo’s Vegan (01706 821150) or sit round the log fire in Hearth of the Ram (01706 828681).
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Rated ★★★★★ over 20 reviews
Tent with a view
A comfy double bed, a set of bunk beds, two sofa beds, all the kitchenware you could need from crockery to cutlery to utensils, an indoor dining table seating up to 8 people, two x two burner hobs, loads of storage areas, an outside bbq pit and an additional fire pit with circular log seating around it. And..... an INDOOR log burner. What a place with friendly and attentive but non intrusive owners. Although the toilet/shower block is small it offers the best amenities of any campsite i have frequented. I consider myself a seasoned tent camper but there is a whole lot to be for this kind of glamping experience.
Lovely little place
Great location, great facilities, friendly and available staff, flat plot. Great for kids as secure Only a small plot so tent close together, but still a really good space between each tent. Definitely go again
Incredible escape from the world in stunningly peaceful and beautiful Lancashire
The campsite is only half an hour from Manchester and yet when you drive down the rutted farm track, you're taken away from the city completely. Nestled on a lovely wide, flat field with glamping pods and tent pitches lies The Paddock. The site is clean, welcoming and wonderfully set up for a rural escape. There are even sanitiser points everywhere so the site is fully geared up for a socially distant and virus free visit. The pitches are flat and even with plenty of space between, and fire pits are available to hire to keep warm on colder nights. You can also pre-order breakfast and BBQ packs of delicious fresh meat from the local butchers, which Carol (the lovely host) brought over packed out with fresh bread, eggs, and salad bits for us to enjoy. Carol and her partner had loads of local tips and info, directing us to the local pub and sharing some great walks for us to enjoy. The local town of Ramsbottom is equipped with everything you'd need for camping extras, and plenty of pubs and eateries if you want something a little more. The site facilities are clean and fresh, the showers are hot and have excellent pressure and there's a washing up facility as well. The on-site honesty shed is a lovely touch, complete with essentials and very delicious crisps! My partner and I have sampled a fair few of England's campsites, and we'd rate this as being absolutely one of the best we've seen. The hosts of a campsite really make the difference when it comes to have an enjoyable stay, and Carol and her crew so obviously care about their customers having an enjoyable stay. Nothing was too much trouble and we were greeted with smiles whenever we encountered them. Would highly recommend this site to anyone looking for a fantastic time away and we will certainly be visiting again!
Peachy Polly Pod
Fab few days away in the Polly Pod. The campsite is very lovely and pretty and only a short walk away from shops and pubs. We were very lucky with the September weather as I could imagine our experience would have been different if otherwise. BBQs and toasting marshmallows over the fire pit definitely made the nights cosy. The Polly Pod was advertised to sleep 5 people (a double bunk bed and a blow up bed) we felt quite cramped at times and that was only with two of us! The undercover kitchen was well equipped with everything you could need and the cool box was an added bonus. The toilets were okay, only two toilets both with showers in them. Porter Loos can be used if they were busy. They could just do with a bit of a scrub! Overall we had a fab time and would definitely recommend and come back again.
Excellent experience, everything we wanted
We just stayed at The Paddock for some much needed time away and stayed in the Bill and Ben landpods for a week. The site is well kept, very quirky, comfortable and the staff were helpful from the minute we got there. The pods are fab, the only downsides (which should not put you off) are that the battery pack does not have a socket for a hairdryer (lots of USB sockets for mobile phone charging though) and the gas hob in Bill and Ben is very small compared to all of the others (we went to a local store and bought our own gas hob so that we could cook more comfortably). The Bill bed was very comfortable, the pod was warm on a night and the Ben pod is great for just chilling and watching the goings on on site. Everyone else were respectful, the guy (S) who works on the grounds is really friendly and helpful, he’s always working hard but finds the time to make you feel welcome. The showers are powerful and hot, toilet rolls are always restocked in good time and the honesty shed is such a great idea. We made new friends (at a distance) who all said they would be returning to The Paddock in the future, the site is very well equipped with hand sanitiser, its plentiful all over the site. The view from the site is beautiful and the staff gave us interesting information on Peel Monument, local walks and the history of Ramsbottom which is an enjoyable 10-15 minute flat walk from the site, where you can get everything you may require. If you are feeling more energetic you will enjoy a walk to the pub near Peel Monument where you can get a lovely pint and beautiful food (and the view is spectacular) it is a steep but satisfying walk. All in all, we have had a week to remember, we are so happy to have found The Paddock and will be returning next year, we might try a Yurt or the massive Safari Tent (they are amazing and look very Luxurious). We will also start camping there in the future when electric hookups are available). We miss the campfire and great outdoors already.
Amazing Anniversary Staycation
My partner and I booked two nights in Jasmine and absolutely loved it. We even took our 4 month old puppy who also loved been able to roam in the long grass and make friends with other dogs. We fell really lucky with the weather so were able to enjoy breakfast outside and roasting marshmallows on the fire. The campsite is only small but that allowed for it to feel very private. The Paddock provided everything, therefore the trip away was hassle free. We paid for the breakfast pack which was amazing, fresh and local produce - the black pudding was particularly good. The facilities were clean and the whole stay felt very safe. We would definitely recommend and will definitely be returning.
A nice little place to stay
This site is only quite small but ample all the same. It was a very wet and windy weekend when we stayed so the field was quite boggy. The pitch size is good and very well laid out. The toilet/showers were lovely and clean but in my opinion would benefit from a plug socket for hair dryers etc for longer stays. The portaloo's could do with a more regular clean, they don't smell too good so i stayed well clear meaning i had to queue at times as there is only 2 toilets/showers. I would also say the entrance would benefit from some hardcore or paving flags laying as we had to help several people get their cars out over the 2 days we were there! Apart from this though, we would be very happy to stay here again if we were in the area.
Loved our Bertie bell tent. Loved our neighbours (two sheep). Shower and toilet facilities were clean and lots of hot water. Honesty shed for everything you might need but the kitchen you get with Bertie and other glamping options is fab. Now if we could just have had some better weather it would have been perfect.
We had a great weekend here with the kids. Having a bbq/fire pit/breakfast pack available for hire and ready on arrival was a nice touch, and the honesty shed was really useful when we ran out of wood & kindling on the first night. (One tip for anyone hiring breakfast/bbq packs - bring an empty/half filled cool box as we didn’t have enough space in ours to store it all!) Great location too, close to ramsbottom and some lovely little local walks. Would definitely stay again!
We'll be back!
Lovely quiet chilled out site within walking distance of Ramsbottom. Kids and dog had a great time too. It felt very safe as shared facilities were very clean and had an impressive range of antibacterial products for using!
Lovely clean peaceful family friendly site
We stayed for one night at the paddock with our baby, three year old and dog. It is a lovely chilled out site within walking distance of Ramsbottom. Other campers respected the nighttime quiet rule so we all slept well and the kids had a great time exploring the site. The site was also very clean, I felt really safe there as they'd gone above and beyond to provide everything needed to ensure shared facilities were as clean as possible and there were no problems distancing. Although we were camping the glamping area looked lovely too.
Great spot. Lovely walks nearby and hosts were great. Nothing to complain about at all. Perfect.
Clean, Quirky and Amazing Value
Really clean campsite. Nice touch with the honestly shed that holds camping equipment snacks you may have forgotten. Owner Carol was really friendly and welcoming. Kids loved it!! Will defo be booking again.
Poor customer relation skills
As regular campers and glampers we follow word of mouth, and that was why we booked here, for 2 separate stays. We were very much looking forward to our first camp of a very difficult year. When we got there the yurt was adequately furnished, tho not set up for us. Which wasn’t a big deal but did require extra effort on our part convert the bed and wait for the mattress protectors and make our beds. A major plus for them was the food we preordered, all local and delicious. One of the people working there was really friendly and helpful, however this is where their professionalism stopped. Their covid response says the bathrooms are cleaned throughout the day but this was not our experience. They were often not even flushed, the bins overflowing every single night of our stay. The hand soap in the bathroom ran out one night and when we raised this they said we were lying. The hand sanitiser is very poor and watery. You can hear the noise from the motorway all night, and every single gate you or road you pass outside of the camping field has big no entry signs making it feel very unwelcoming. Upon our return we were informed (after the fact) that they had taken a £35 cleaning charge from our security deposit, despite there being no mention of that on the booking info. When we queried the amount they were very hostile in their response and mentioned things that were just not true, saying we had left dirty pots and pans when in fact it was one dirty plate that we had overlooked. We hadn’t emptied the bbq or the log burner and so apparently removing some ashes cost us £35. There was no attempts at customer service or relations just very curt responses, and no offers to make it right, or to discuss our concerns. Their final communication was them cancelling our subsequent booking. It seems they are only nice until they get your money.
Response from The Paddock
As ‘regular campers and glampers’ I’d like to know where welcomes a group like yourselves who think it’s appropriate to play loud dance music at gone 1am in the morning, which lead to 2 complaints from other people staying on the site. As we are a family orientated site, looking after our core customers is priority. One couple who complained had a new born and a toddler. Presumably you think it’s fair game to keep kids awake? Also we have in the rules that it’s acoustic music only.
We aren’t rigid on noise restrictions, but it’s simply about respect for your fellow campers and glampers.
With regards to the cleaning fee, why should we wash up after, more than one pot, you and pick up loads of crayons etc that you’d left on your pitch.
With regards to your 2nd booking, you have been fully refunded at a cost to us as we don’t get the fees back from 3rd parties. However, that sums it up, we’d rather be out of pocket than have people who are disrespectful to their fellow campers and the site.
The toilets and site in general is spotless, with all guidelines followed and I assume the irony of you commenting on cleanliness is lost on you, considering your inability to leave your pitch even close to as you found it.
I’m not sure how we could try and rectify anything with you, you had checked out and I’m sure you weren’t going to drive an hour back to clean up!
You requested a refund for your next booking which I was more than happy to do as already explained.
Feel free to rave and leave a mess elsewhere.
A lovely little find!
We stayed here for 2 nights in order to pitch and clean our large tent after winter storage. We initially chose The Paddock as we only live 30 minutes drive away, but we’re so glad we did and I’m already looking at availability dates for a return visit. The site was excellent and all safety measures had been put in place to ensure campers were kept safe. Clean shower and toilet facilities along with recycling bins and an honesty shed. We only have 2 small criticisms, neither of which are solvable. Firstly, the motorway behind the campsite may affect light sleepers. Secondly, a group of friends/family were staying in a number of pods and yurts who happily partied away past midnight both evenings, despite the polite request on the campsite rules for all music and noise to cease at 10pm. Thank you for a lovely stay and we will definitely be back!
The site itself is really nice and we enjoyed our stay - it’s very small so you could always see the kids, pitches were flat and there were 2 individual toilet/shower rooms which were really clean and cleaning products had been supplied so you could clean before use which was fantastic. There’s an honesty she’d for wood and coals which came in really handy when we ran out late at night. The space between pitches was perfect but they did mention they had less pitches because of coronavirus, I think had they had they been on the normal amount of pitches I’d have found it a bit cramped. Unfortunately the site is so close to the motorway that the traffic noise is really noticeable - especially when you’re going to sleep at night, if like me that kind of thing bothers you when camping then be aware. Also slightly off putting were all the signs EVERYWHERE saying no access for campers/keep out/private property, this was even on a through road that we saw lots of cyclists using, not sure if this is from the neighbours being unhappy about there being a camp site set up or if it was the owners of the site trying to keep people off the farm. Either way it felt a bit hostile.
Luxury in a warm and friendly environment
Just had an amazing long weekend stay at The Paddock in the Polly and Penny pods. The attention to detail is remarkable with every conceivable item you could possibly need for a stress free break included. As well as the two pods you get an undercover kitchen area, a picnic bench, stove, BBQ and firepit and a large Igloo cool box which is refilled with large Ice packs daily. The shower rooms are large and impeccably clean. The owners are extra attententive and there is always someone on hand should you require anything such as charcoal or logs. The views of Ramsbottom and the surrounding hills and Peel Tower are beautiful and you can walk or drive into Ramsbottom centre within minutes. Will definitely be back soon.
Great little spot
Great little find close to Ramsbottom, fantastic spot for walkers, even took a ride on a steam train. Clean site with large pitches.
Nice spot , lovely clamping tents with everything you need. Two nice toilets with showers , and two portaloos. Owners on site a lot
Nice friendly site but near a noisy road
The site itself is really nice and pretty well looked after, tents have plenty of space if its really easy to hire fire pits, bbqs etc. Unfortunately the site is very close to a major road which we could hear throughout the night.