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Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks)

UK England South East England Oxfordshire Oxford

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Back-to-basics camping, 1970s style
Hidden away to say the least, Northmoor Lock Paddocks is not a manicured site, but more reminiscent of the old days when your mum and dad used to take you camping back in the 1970s. Tussocky meadows shaded by mature willows are fringed by the soporific tumble of water from the nearby weir, while over the hedge there’s nothing but cornfields and ploughed earth as far as the eye can see.

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!



No 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 For

Tents, 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.


May–August (weather and ground conditions permitting). Weekends only. Please see website for details

Are you the Owner?


Contact Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks), Barefoot Campsites, Badswell Lane, Appleton, Oxfordshire, OX13 5JN

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Getting There

Confirmed bookings only. Limited bus connection from Oxford. Closest railway stations Oxford and Didcot (see website for details). Access from river for those arriving by canoe or skiff.


Add Your Review

Rated ★★★★★ over 34 reviews


Excellent - 'I'd return in a Heartbeat'

Just had a fabulous weekend at the Barefoot Campsite. Cathie, who's in charge - is very friendly, extremely professional and so kind. The location of the site is beautiful, 'picture perfect', located right on the bank of The River Thames. It's very clean, well maintained and it was a genuine pleasure to stay there. Enjoyed every single moment.
Jul 20, 2020 by Nicholas Raistrick

The lovation

Just back from our first visit to Barefoot campsite at northmoor lock and it will definitely not be our last. We absolutely loved it! Fantastic organisation by the owner, who was so lovely and took time to make us feel welcome. Facilities were basic as advertised but surpassed my expectations. The composting toilets were super clean and didn’t smell at all! We were pitched by the river and loved watching the boats go by. This is the first site we had ever had such fantastic recycling facilities, with each pitch recieving a set of recycling bins. It’s so easy to get to via the A420 but feels like you are in he middle of nowhere. We really enjoyed our stay and will definitely be back. A brilliant site!
Aug 27, 2018 by Vix Veasey

Lovely site with a lovely owner

A beautiful, back-to-basics campsite in a peaceful spot on the river. We arrived as a pair of very amateur campers and it rained all weekend, but we had a great time anyway. The facilities sound basic but they were faultlessly clean and well organised, and Kathy went out of her way to be helpful - even letting us stay in one of the log pods when our neighbours vacated early due to the weather. Loads of nice pubs within walking distance/a short drive, and wild swimming/canoeing in the river. Dreamy!
Aug 13, 2018 by Flo

Peaceful child friendly spot

We have just had our fifth stay at this fantastic campsite and can't recommend it highly enough. The location is just idyllic... it's so peaceful and relaxing. After only a weekend you feel recharged enough as if you've been away a whole week! Cathie is so helpful and friendly and does an amazing job running the site. She's always done her best to fit us in at short notice and the addition this year of being able to hire canoes from the campsite is fantastic. We had a wonderful trip canoeing down the river and have explored many beautiful walks in the area too. The facilities are very well thought through with the most efficient recycling/rubbish set-up I have ever come across on a campsite! Can't wait to return again next year!!
Jun 20, 2017 by SallyT

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! 

Oct 28, 2015 by adamluszniak

riverbank idyll

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.

Aug 26, 2015 by Bill


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.

Jul 20, 2015 by Lyonlowe

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.

Jun 24, 2015 by Derek

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.

Jun 1, 2015 by stokieginge

Great Site

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.

May 18, 2015 by Gill


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.

Sep 3, 2014 by KeefyBoy

My favourite campsite

We've been camping at Northmoor Lock Paddocks since it was first opened, and it has gone from strength to strength whilst completely maintaining it's integrity as a small, beautiful eco-friendly campsite. I love the showers - it's the closest most of us will get to an outdoor shower experience and the convenience of the recycling bins for each pitch. If you can tear yourself away from the campsite, the river and the lock there is lots to explore nearby. The Plough pub is a nice walking distance (downhill on the way back!) and there's The Greyhound a short drive away for very good food. Many congratulations to Kathy for creating the perfect campsite.
Aug 29, 2014 by ljbateson

Summer fun

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.

Aug 13, 2014 by Charlotte Newman

Fabulous campsite

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.

Aug 2, 2014 by Anon

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.

Jul 23, 2014 by natashag123

Proper Camping!!

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!!

May 11, 2014 by Bunny

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!

Sep 29, 2013 by Les Worthington

Brilliant place

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. 

Sep 10, 2013 by ziphius

Simply lovely

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.

Sep 9, 2013 by NJF

wild swimming

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.

Sep 2, 2013 by davy robbo

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.

Aug 28, 2013 by rarrar

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. 

Aug 23, 2013 by Lorraine Kingsley

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

Aug 19, 2013 by skaffy0

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.

Aug 5, 2013 by Cally

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.

Jul 23, 2013 by James Hartwell


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.

Jul 21, 2013 by Howzay2k

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. 

Jul 8, 2013 by Rachel

Fantastic site

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.

Jul 7, 2013 by Wendy Jackson

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.

Jun 10, 2013 by sarahb

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.

Highly recommended. 

Jun 10, 2013 by Tpot1234

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! 

Jun 6, 2013 by Trishrich

Absolutely Recommended

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.

May 29, 2013 by hannah

A really beautiful and peaceful break!

As with the other review, this is a fantastic little site which we were lucky to find! If you are a kayak / canoe fan you can get into the Thames right onsite and take a gentle paddle downstream to Oxford (circa 12 miles). The firepit is amazing and logs are avaliable (keeps you cozy through the cold nights!). A special mention for Cathie who works on site, she was very welcoming and gave plenty of information about the site and surrounding area. The nearest pub is 1 mile back in appleton or if you fancy a walk by the river you can go 2 miles to the Rose Revived Inn (good pub grub). It is a quiet site so don’t expect to take a large group of friends, but it is an ideal chill out location.
Sep 4, 2012 by Ted_camper

Desperately seeking Bank Holiday getaway

Longing to spend some time by the water this Bank Holiday weekend, but unwilling to face the traffic down to the coast, we discovered Northmoor Lock campsite by trawling We arrived via Appleton village and almost missed the turnoff, busy ‘ooohing’ over the pub . The descent to the river through fields down the farm track led us to expect a lovely spot and on arrival I was completely charmed at the location, right on a bend in the river, opposite the little Victorian Lock House, complete with roses round the door and friendly Lockmaster. The campsite is just a field in the bend of the river and somewhat boggy after all the recent rain. It has a handily placed wheelbarrow as no cars onsite, and buckets of logs for sale by the gate. A short walk over the Lock to the really clean and warm loo/shower. Because they limit numbers, the campsite was not over-crowded, but had a friendly vibe. Cathie, the farmer, dropped by especially to bring us another bucket of logs when they had run out. She showed us the two ‘log pods’ which would make a great alternative to lugging a tent or if you were a camping novice scared of things that might go screech in the night. The family-run farm also has 200 acres of SSI woodland where they run specialist outdoor survival courses and also plan to develop and luxury-eco camp using the log pods. We pitched next to a fire pit, complete with log to sit on, then went gathering kindling on our walk of about 40 minutes along the riverside fields to the Rose Revived Pub. Completely away from roads, with cowpats, birdsong, wildflowers and blackberries in the hedgerows, it was a ‘Darling Buds of May’ afternoon. Have sampled the house brew and eaten far too much, we toddled back and spent the afternoon watching the boats go through the lock & snoozing over a book. In the evening we opened a nice bottle of wine, had a massive fire and did some stargazing. For us, a rare and perfect location for a real escape: Proper campfire, burnt sausages, toasted marshmallows and all.
Aug 30, 2012 by Jayhutt

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