Review of Rowter Farm

Aug 15, 2014, by Teresa

   I stayed at Rowter Farm 7th & 8th August.  The campsite is a perfect location for numerous walks, and is close to the nearby village of Castelton.  It is a beautiful location and I assumed a quiet remote one.

The first night I was unable to get to sleep until gone midnight as peolpe ignored the "no noise after 10" rule, and were quite happy to allow the farm gate to slam shut on their way to the toilet facilities, along with talking at the top of their voices.

The next day I asked the lady owner if I may prop open the gate, especially since the site had become a lot more busy.  She was very understanding and obliging so I looked forward to having a more restful night, despite the continual arrival of more groups.

At 21:00hrs I was awoken by a group of females arriving (ignoring the "arrive before 8pm" rule), who were talking very loudly, pitching dangerously close to us and were also disturbing my 3 and 5 year old who were desparately trying to sleep.  After they had finished pitching their tents they realised that they had pitched their tents blocking their cars in! (If guidelines of pitching before 8pm had been adhered to, daylight may have helped avoid this ludicrous situation.  Knowing that they were so close to us I stuck my head out of the tent and guided them through - they just fitted between mine and their guy ropes. I'm sure I don't need to mention to the readers that this seriously risked the safety of myself and children, but I have.

At 00:10 I was awoken by an explosion.  The multiple family group that were "next door but one" had not only decided to carry on talking passed 10pm, light a clearly prohibited open fire, had also managed to leave a gas cylinder close enough to the prohibited fire and for long enough, for it to explode.  Understandably horrific screams and commotion were to follow, and half an hour later two ambulances, with continued aftermath.  How nobody was killed, and how no other tents were affected is beyond me, but I shall be eternally grateful that my children and I were spared from harm.  Had a fire ensued it would have ripped through the campsite in minutes, probably seconds, as it was far too crowded.  I left the next morning ASAP, not even entertaining the idea of a refund, I just wanted to get us out alive! 

This horrible experience could have been avoided if the overflow field had been opened sooner, and the owners took some responsibility to ensure that the rules are adhered to - clearly they are there for a reason. I shall not be returning to this site. I shall be interested to see if my review is listed to have some idea of the profesionalism of "Cool Camping."
I also intend, to ensure the health and safety (and enjoyment) of future campers, to write to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to notify them of the incident, since they had young people there that night, and also to the local authorities - assuming they are not already aware of the situation.

I continued my holiday at another site, and I'm glad I had that option as it may have put me off camping for good.