Herding Hill Farm
Shield Hill, Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 9NW
A family run campsite in prime location, with the best parts of Hadrian's Wall and the Kielder Forest National Park just around the corner.
In fact, despite its most historic of locations, this campsite is far from ancient and, while well-equipped and soundly run, it started out as just 20 grass pitches in 2012 before flourishing to its current size. Friendly owners, Anne and Steve, had always loved camping in Northumberland and exploring the Kielder Forest National Park. So when they stumbled across this 55-acre farm, a stone's throw from Hadrian’s Wall, they couldn’t help but take on the challenge. Word of mouth spread, people kept coming and the family gradually built ever more features and facilities to accommodate their growing line of guests.
The resulting campsite is a well-located, family friendly mix of traditional camping with extra luxury options. At the far end of the campsite is a grassy two acre field without electric hook-ups for those who want a basic pitch and the best views in the house. While, at the bottom of this plot you’ll also find the Tentipi village – four pre-pitched Nordic tipis complete inside with a log-burning stove. Stepping closer to the amenities block, you'll find further luxury options – eight wooden wigwams with comfy futon-style beds, fridge, microwave, heaters and tea making facilities. In a range of different sizes, the wigwams offer a hideaway for small families or couples. Those wanting to indulge like caesar can have their very own Roman bath – a bubbling private hot-tub next to the wigwam! The rest of the site is a combination of hard standings and open grassland with all pitches a short walk from the amenities block, an immaculate facility with under-floor heating, disabled access and yes, we weren’t telling porkies, an eight-person sauna that can be booked out for private use.
When you drag the kids from the fort playground and venture beyond the campsite walls (just ordinary walls I’m afraid) there’s a plethora of attractions close at hand. Voted England’s favourite market town by Country Life Magazine, Hexham is a short drive away. Its streets weaving out from the famous abbey at its centre. The old gaol there (built in 1333) is England’s first purpose-built prison and invites you to learn about the dramatic Border Reiver raids and the tragic consequences for those who were captured. For history, however, nothing really matches a clamber up to Hadrian’s Wall with the magnificent Roman forts of Housesteads, Chesters and Birdoswald all nearby. Housteads is well worth a visit – you can wander the remains of the barrack blocks and the commandant’s house before enjoying the brand new museum which uses film footage, 3D models and a staggering collection of Roman finds to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the lives of the soldiers who lived there almost 2,000 years ago.
Whether it’s this rich history that draws you in, or the mountain biking on offer around Europe’s largest man-made lake in Kielder Forest, or simply walking with the alpacas that live in Herding Hill Farm, this campsite is difficult to match for location. It’s a paradise for those who love the outdoors: a national park on the doorstep, miles upon miles of footpaths that take in the best of Hadrian’s wall and water sports in nearby reservoirs. At the end of it all you can slope back to the campsite and have a cold beer in the tiny onsite bar, you’re on holiday after all, it would be rude not to.
The Owner Says
We stayed at Herding hill for two nights July 2014. Facilities were immaculate , shower block exceptional. This is an excellent site for kids with the play area and animals . The wardens on site are extremely helpful with advise an tips as to what to do in the area. Even gave us some mattresses for the tipi as we forgot to bring some . Would highly recommend the site ! The only thing to be aware off is that although the site is extremely dog friendly and all dogs were on good behavior , the surrounding is mainly farm land so there are limited walks you can do with the dog off the leash . Nevertheless ample activities both out doors and indoors for kids in the area . The outdoor pool in the village is highly recommended !
I'm a seasoned camper, both wild and on dedicated sites. I've been to a lot of sites over the years mostly in Scotland, however I decided to visit here with my two girls for two nights. I have to say I couldn't find fault anywhere with this site. A great mix of pitches so it never felt like it was crammed with caravans, if anything i think there were only 4 on site. We took a tent pitch (around 40 in total i think), which are all set around the field so it meant you didn't have people constantly walking by your tent. The people visiting were all pretty decent, and the curfew of 11pm was adhered to on both nights. The tipis and wigwams looked really great if you don't fancy the full on experience. The facilities were the best I've experienced, and they even had a family bathroom! Staff couldn't do more to help if they tried and there was a great shop selling pizzas and breakfasts that they would deliver to you. If you're in the area I'd choose this site hands down.
I have never been camping before and to be completely honest the thought of sleeping in a damp tent on hard floor wasn't an ideal situation for me so when the opportunity to "Glamp" came about, I wasn't fully sold but it was a step up. Firstly, I was greeted by a warm welcome from a lovely lady who told me everything I needed to know and put my mind at slight ease. I was pleasantly surprised by the spacious wigwams and how modern they were. To be honest I was expecting spiders and moths and was greeted by a small kitchen set-up and heating so i had no complaints at this point. The surrounding was nothing short of beautiful and as an animal lover I was overjoyed to wake up and see people walking there dogs, then to find out there was a petting zoo not far from the site, I was sold. The bar at the reception was great too, friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere to be part of. The national Park was a short walk away and again scenery was out of this world. I would hugely recommend this place for anyone who has any doubts about camping and even if you are a die hard camper I beleive they have set up's for just your normal tents also. Its a great campsite, with lovely people and i would not hesitate to return here. I have been converted...well almost.