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The Real Campsite at Park FarmFaringdon, Oxfordshire, South East England
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Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks)
David Walliams crawled shivering from Northmoor Lock after the first leg of his epic 2011 Thames swim, but you can be much more snug in one of their two timber log pods – simple affairs stocked with chopped wood to burn in the firepit and little else.
The two camping fields offer either plenty of sunlight, or – among the willows – mottled shade. Both blaze in a riot of wildflowers come spring, the grass thick and bouncy and providing a naturally comfortable underlay.
Then there are the bell tents, again nestled in their own separate field so that every camper has their own share of the space on offer. Inside, the tents feature a Windy Smith wood burner, a double bed with memory foam mattress and all the furnishings, kitchenwares and crockery you could need. It would be a proud parent that could fit all of this in their car on the old-fashioned camping trip!
Bring a fishing rod and plant yourself by the river in the dappled sunlight, a blade of grass in your mouth like Huck Finn, and gaze out across the weir as a crayon-coloured barge rolls by. Welcome back to your childhood!
FacilitiesNo electrical hook-up. Composting toilets and camping shower hut. Fires are allowed (logs £10), so too is fishing in the River Thames (no fishing during closed season 15th March–15th June; permits from £5). Bell Tent features include a wood burner and double bed with memory foam mattress. Outside there's a picnic table, and a camp kitchen with brazier, tripod and grill, camp kettle and stew pot. Bedding available to hire (see website for further details).
Suitable ForTents, campervans, dogs on leads, families and small groups – yes. Caravans, large groups – no.
Blenheim Palace (01993 810530) is 30 minutes away. Alternatively there’s the excellent Cotswold Wildlife Park (01993 823006). Millets Farm Centre (01865 392200), 10 minutes away, is a great place to shop for food when the village shop is closed and their Farm Zoo is always a big hit with the kids.
Food & Drink
There's no shortage of watering holes in which to enjoy a leisurely pint of local brew in. The Plough in Appleton village is a local favourite, The Rose Revived (01865 300221) is a pleasant half-hour walk along the Thames Path and The Eight Bells in nearby Eaton also serves up hearty pub fare and decent real ales.
Opening TimesMay–August (weather and ground conditions permitting). Weekends only. Please see website for details
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 34 reviews
Excellent - 'I'd return in a Heartbeat'
Lovely site with a lovely owner
Peaceful child friendly spot
Wonderful Riverside Campsite
Spent a fantastic evening at Northmoor lock campsite as part of our honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. The location is fantastic and feels very rural whilst being convenient for pubs and food shops. Will definitely be back!
The kids loved this site, especially being able to jump and swim in the river, having a barbecue, and sitting round the campfire toasting marshmallows.. I loved putting the paddleboards in the water, and paddling upstream through idyllic river meadows..(Found the Rose Revived, and excellent riverside pub.) A lot of thought and care has gone into this campsite - the separation of cars from the camping area, the size of the pitches, the composting toilets, and outdoor showers. A beautiful riverside location and a relaxed and well managed site - I can't wait to come again.
We arrived late at night in our campervan - to such a friendly warm welcome. Woke to glorious sunshine & took our paddleboards down the river, lit a fire after dinner & toasted our toes until the stars came out... couldn't ask for a more perfectly placed site. Switch off from technology, switch on to nature.
Bell tent was outstanding
Not long back from a Fri-Sun glamping weekend in one of Barefoot Camping's bell tents. We are seasoned campers, and have visited the Northmoor Lock site before with our own kit, but we wanted something a bit more luxurious to celebrate a 'special' birthday! The bell tent was fantastic - lovely warm and dry with loads of room. The internal furnishings were brilliant and really well thought out. I'd highlight the comfy bed and the gorgeous tea-light chandelier, but also little touches like providing a bag of ice and a candle lighter helped make it such a great experience. The tent was mounted on wooden decking and outside the bench and fire-tripod completed the luxury. Given that you can arrive from mid-day Friday and stay later on Sunday I thought the bell tent was pretty good value. We hired a Canadian canoe and paddled up to the pub (which sadly was temporarily closed for a refurb), but the local pub (The Plough) was pretty good for a Saturday night evening meal. We'd absolutely recommend the bell-tent experience and hope to go back soon. a BIG thanks to Cathie and team for making us feel so welcome.
Lovely Location super friendly owner
What a fab spot for a campsite right next to the Thames and you can rent canoes for a leisurely paddle to a pub. Cathie the owner couldn't be more friendly or helpful. Fire-pits with every pitch and great recycling facilities. Plenty of space for the kids to run around in, will be back.
A place to chill out. Even my non camping husband thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Compositing toilets and "Shed" showers were clean and worked very well. Site run by a lovely lady who couldn't be more helpful. We WILL be going back.
Stunning location, great facilities (basic but functional) and a feeling that you are free rather than regimented with lines and rules. Kids can go totally feral and help with breakfast cooked over the fire.
Local pubs in every direction and only a few miles from the center of Oxford, not that you would know it when the sun goes down.
My favourite campsite
Great 4 days spent her last week (Wednesday to Sunday). It's a trully special location. Feels nicely off the beaten track and even at the weekend the field wasn't packed with tents. Campers are split from tents in a seperate field which I like. The spot is stunning right next to the rive and we couldn't keep the kids out of the water - so much fun! Facilities are simple but spot on - clean compositing loos (although I wish guests would remember to put the seats down as asked!) and warm showers. Firepits all around the site and good value logs at £6 for a large trug/bucket. Lots to do near by. We hired a boat for the afternoon from Abingdon which was great fun. All in all a great location - can recommend.
Loved this campsite, reminded me of camping back home (NZ). Very basic with eco compost loos and gas showers but this just added to the experience. We stayed in a small camper in the left riverside field which had a fabulous view down to the river. Great swimming hole and other campers had surf boards and small boats for exploring the river. Very cute lock and lock house with the occasional boat coming past.
Lovely weekend break!
This campsite is easy to get to. At first we were a bit worried that you weren't allowed to take your car onto the campsite, fearing it would take us ages to wheelbarrow all our stuff to our pitch, but it was easy and no cars on the site itself meant the children could all run around with no fear of being mown down - plus it looked much prettier. The site is big and open and the river running along it is lovely too - we saw a few people swimming in it. The showers were nice and clean and hot and walking through the woods to get to them was a really nice early morning thing to do. You can walk up to the lock and watch the boats go through - our children were allowed to help to lock keeper too which was a bit of a treat.
The village of Appledore is really pretty and the pub there very welcoming with nice food.
All in all a lovely campsite for a weekend break - would definitely recommend. The composting toilets were fine - a bit pongy by Sunday morning, but nothing awful.
What a great location.......beautiful scenery; fire pits were absolutely fantastic and it added to a great back to basics weekend! Peaceful, idyllic and relaxing........very accommodating owners....even providing for our lack of matches for our fire pit........even pleasantly surprised by the composting toilets!! Would we go again?? Absolutely....and we'll bring others!!
Cool Camping at Northmoor Lock.
My first experience of using the cool camping website and there is nothing not to like about this hidden gem.
Upon arrival the postcode used doesn't quite get you to the front door but after travelling down a typical country lane our first glimpse of the site was beautiful. I have used many campsites in my time but none with such picturesque surroundings. Being able to pitch a tent almost on the banks of the Thames is a great benefit of this site. The facilities on offer are of great quality and having all of them in line with the 'green' theme is spot on.
Just outside the campsite we found the Plough Inn, a great stop for lunch, dinner or both. Friendly staff, great service and very reasonably priced food meant we didn’t need to venture past the village of Appleton.
Cathie who runs the site was extremely helpful and was even able to make recommendations for local restaurants, (booking recommended). The site also allows campfires which they provide fire wood for at a small additional cost.
Overall a great campsite with friendly staff, good facilities, picturesque settings and lots to see and do all around.
We will 100% visit again!
What a wonderful place. At first glance I was wondering whether we were mad spending £40 on two nights for a field without amenities like showers and flushing toilets, but what you are paying for is the most perfect location. It's absolutely wonderful. We would not hesitate to recommend it.
Despite a rather interesting attempt at pitching our new to us trailer tent in the dark, we had a wonderful time here. The owners are lovely and the site is really beautiful. Our son loved helping the lock keeper and having a proper campfire, as did we. You do need to heed the advice sent by the owners before arrival and pack a very good torch - it is pitch black after sunset and there are no lights anywhere including in the loos. Talking of which, we found the composting toilets fine and non smelly. I couldn't get any hot water from the showers but didn't bother to ask anyone so maybe I was doing something wrong as every other reviewer seems to have had lovely hot showers; didn't matter as I still managed to get clean and there's something magical about showering in a wooden room in gorgeous surroundings! This site has converted us from die hard electric hook-up campers to wanting to do more of the real get away from it all camping. Fabulous site and just so well worth visiting.
I took my 2 youngest (11 & 12) to this site. We stayed in one of the 2 cabins/sheds. 28/08 - 31/08/13, This was because we stayed at Blackberry Wood earlier in the summer and it poored down. In the event it was glorious weather, and we should have camped. The site is ideally located, quite, in a rural location, beside the Thames which you swim or fish in. it was dry and the site firm under foot.The showers were hot and clean. I'm still not convinced by the eco toilets (and on the last day, Saturday morning), there was quite a queue, (only 2 sit down loos). however this was in preamble, so you know in advance.
One small point, I would ensure that the access to the river entry point is kept clear, and would more rigourously enforce the "well behaved dogs welcome" as for the first few days we were there, you had to walk through someone else's camp to access the river and they had a dog who barked at anyone who came near. Whilst I am fine with this, it was clear that a number of others were not.
The on site help was excellent, and I would recommend this site, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there, the open fires are a great feature.
the cabin was ideal, like a ready made tent.
local pub does good food and the community shop has all the basics.
well worth a visit.
Bank Holiday Haven
We spent a lazy August bank holiday at the site and we loved every minute. We wanted a quiet spot and even though there were lots of families this site has enough space for everyone. We walked along the thames path, went into Oxford but mainly lit the camp fire and ate and chatted the hours away (and watched the lock being opened and closed for the boats to appear by the lock keepers cottage) . Recommend to families, friends and couples a like. The shower was warm and clean, everything seemed very organised set up for a fuss free getaway. The pictures and reviews for this site we found to be true, which is not always the case. We hope you get to go and enjoy a relaxed weekend. Thanks to the team at North Moor.
Glorious glamping weekend
We couldn't have dreamt of a better weekend. The location of the bell tent is idyllic; the tent is superbly fitted out with everything you need, and cooking up breakfast and dinner on the bon-fire BBQ is a great experience. We loved everything about the campsite! We just wish we could have come for longer, and we hope we'll be back very soon.
Fabulous Weekend Stay
My family and I spent a weekend here during the heatwave. It couldn't have been better for the Summer. We pitched alongside the lock and had the wonderful sound of rushing water to listen to. We pitched two tents together and had our campfire between the two. It was idyllic and unspoiled and thoroughly relaxing. Our short break left me feeling fully recharged and rejuvenated. The toilets take some getrting used to, and did get a bit fragrant, but were adequate, and the gas showers are great to make you feel fresh. It was fully booked when we went, but we never felt it at all, so well managed is this site. Our daughter went wild swimming in the river,if you follow suit, make sure someone stays out, to help the swimmer get back ashore as the river banks are slippery and deep. The owner is lovely and very thoughtful
I cannot recommend this site highly enough
A simply magical week
We headed to Northmoor Lock on the basis of a lot of the other reviews and I have to say that we had a perfect time. It was a very simple week, mainly eating, drinking, swimming in the river, sleeping, intermingled with the odd walk or two to the pub or the local shop. Pure escapism from the working craziness of London. We were massively impressed with the spaciousness of the plot we settled in, and at no point felt at all crowded. Kathy, the owner, was incredibly welcoming - and it was obvious that she runs this campsite because she loves and understands what campers want. The compost loos and showers were spotless, and the whole sight was adoreable. We made a fire every night (everything is still smelling of smokey flames!) and enjoyed the fantastic weather. Would wholeheartedly recommend this site. We will definitely be back.
Back to nature
We only stayed for the one night, but we will definetely be going back for a longer stay. The pitches were spacious and in a gorgeous setting by the river. We had a nice walk up the river to the Rose Revived pub for some lunch and a relaxing pint. The campfires are a great idea and there were lots of people having a swim in the river, I might even have to buy a canoe before we go back to make the best of the River Thames.
Have just returned from a weekend camping here, and have already booked to go back in August! Cathie was ace, the toilets are a modern miracle, and the showers were fine. Pubs within walking distance in all directions, open fires right by your pitch, and even the chance to cool off in the river (which was nowhere near as cold as we expected!). It was fully booked, but there was still loads of space to have your own privacy. Highly recommended in every way.
A relaxed haven
We have just returned from a weekend's camping at Northmoor Lock, a campsite we could not recommend highly enough. The location is idyllic with views over the weir and lock. The grass pitches are spacious and with each has their own fire pit. The compost toilets were clean. We will be returning again.
I've just got back from a fantastic weekend at Northmoor Lock paddocks. We chose it on the basis of reviews on this site and are so glad we did.
The location is lovely, right by the river, with a choice of an open field or one shaded with trees. We were glad to choose the shaded one as it was so hot. Cathie, the owner, is very friendly and welcoming and really gives thought to how many campers she can accommodate so you aren't crammed in like sardines.
The composting toilets were fine and the showers were really good. Gas powered but plenty warm enough, in a clean, quite large cubicle. There's also a washing up spot and plenty of opportunities to recycle.
You are in the countryside but only a short walk away from a pub and shop in Appleton itself. We walked to the Rose Revived in Newbridge in about 50 minutes along the river.
We would definitely go again to this site. The chance to have a campfire shouldn't be missed - we cooked all our meals on it and it was fantastic.
Northmoor Lock Paddocks
Lovely site and perfect for a weekend chill. We booked very last minute (a few hours before arriving) and the owner (Cathie) was fantastic, she met us at the site at 8pm to greet us and was extremely helpful with local info. The site allowing log fires was also a nice extra and the showers and toilets were clean. We'd definitely go back.
Northmoor Lock Paddocks
Superb. Right on the river, not too far from good places to eat and drink (not sure why you'd want to leave the site though). For a true pub try The Eight Bells at Eaton, for delicious food try the Bear and Ragged Staff in Cumnor and for good nosh in a beautiful location go for the Rose Revived.
The site is terrific, toilets (composting) and showers are superb.
Northmoor Lock Paddocks
My husband and I had an absolutely brilliant time at Northmoor Locks during an extended bank holiday late May. Although the weather for setting up the tent wasn't brilliant, the campsite and the campsite "landlords" were so welcoming that we barely noticed!!! The weather turned out beautiful and we had some great walks along the Thames (nice and gentle!).
Loads of locals pubs...besides the Plough which does great food, and the Rose Revived, which, aside from it's lovely riverside location seemed a bit too....big and processed ( inside +garden tables numbered up to 100...expected a coach to pull up...), there was also the Red Lion across the river...(easy walk, even at night long a track if you've got your OS to show you the way) and the Ferryman Inn upriver towards Oxford, and The Bear and Ragged Staff (upscale) and The Vine (which we unfortunately didn't make it to) in Cumnor....
All fellow campers were lovely, children clearly loving the big field, the river, and the fresh air, and marshmallows. Compost toilets and camping showers better than standard ones at other sites. Campfires and starlight....true camping...needless to say, we will be back!
I am thoroughly revived, well rested and re-inspired following a gorgeous bank holiday weekend at Northmoor Lock Paddocks. The site is totally gorgeous; two lovely little paddocks situated right on a picturesque bend in the River Thames. One paddock catches the dappled sunbeams nestled among the trees and the other, for those of you who want full on sunshine, is an open paddock with lovely views of the river. Follow the Thames path along the river through the English countryside for a nice tipple and a bite to eat (the seafood platter was tasty!) or take the canoe out on the Thames for a few hours paddling (it's a lovely stretch of river). The campsite itself was lovely; given that it was a bank holiday with great weather and they were fully booked my partner and I were a bit worried that it would be slightly cramped. This was absolutely not the case. Plenty of space to enjoy your own peace, quiet and privacy; plus you can pitch pretty much where you want which is always a bonus. The toilets are composting toilets; environmentally friendly, clean and simple. The shower was a bit of a wake up call temperature wise first thing in the morning but nothing you can't handle and very clean. Overall, we had a great stay and enjoyed morning run's along the Thames path, lovely leisurely walks, reading by the river, campfires with marshmallows and easy access canoeing. Fantastic! A big thanks to Cathie who accommodated us at the last minute and was very helpful.