Website: thehideawayatbaxbymanor.co.uk | Phone: 01347 666079 | Postcode: YO61 4PW
This was our first trip as a family with our 6 month old son. It’s also the earliest in the year that we’ve camped so for both of those reasons we didn’t want to gamble on campsite facilities this time. We played safe with a campsite that looked like it had great facilities and also came with solid reviews from all the usual websites. Comfort comes with a price though and The Hideaway was probably the most expensive we’ve ever stayed at, but we hoped it would be worth it.
The facilities were every bit as good as we’d hoped, easily the best of any campsite I’ve visited. They were modern, clean, spacious and warm. They are all housed in a new purpose-built amenities block with plenty of showers, sinks and toilets. The shower cubicles are well thought out with a bench seat and hooks to hang your clothes and towel from (a convenience often overlooked).
Beyond the usual recycling facilities that we’ve come to expect from our campsites, the eco credentials of The Hideaway are second-to-none. Water is heated using a state-of-the-art wood pellet biomass boiler, electricity is supplied by a renewable energy company, and there has been additional planting to encourage wildlife. As a result, the site was awarded a David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award for 2013/2014.
Each pitch is well marked out, and there’s plenty of space so you shouldn’t ever feel squashed in. Cars aren’t allowed on the grass so are parked in designated spaces which goes a long way to maintaining the tranquil look of the site. There are fire pits with every pitch which we didn’t use but are a nice touch. The main reception also houses a small shop selling local produce, camping essentials, and firewood. There were also several bottles of homemade apple juice and cider available when we visited. A local butcher also visits the site on Saturday morning for all your barbecue essentials. Being quite remote, the site gets very dark at night and there are no lights until you get right up to the facilities block – so torches are essential for those middle of the night runs to the toilets!
The site feels secluded- it’s accessed down a winding gravel track from the village of Husthwaite and once you get to the site it’s tucked away in a clearing so you don’t see any of the surrounding village. The site also has several yurts and ecopods available to hire if you’d prefer and they all come with fire pits or barbecues, outdoor seating and decking. It’s also possible to book the entire site for weddings. The village of Husthwaite is a quaint village with few facilities and the only pub was closed for refurbishment when we visited. One downside is that you need to jump in the van and go for a drive if you want to find a supermarket or corner shop.
For a site that seems to be setup for families and makes a big deal on its website about returning visitors we were surprised that they accept large group bookings. On our second night, what appeared to be an entire school year of 15 /16 year olds pitched their tents opposite our pitch. While they weren’t particularly badly behaved, just the sheer number of them meant that it was noisy and boisterous into the evening. Fortunately the group were well supervised and silent by 11pm, but were up clattering around as they packed away early next morning. It just didn’t seem in-keeping with the philosophy of the site at all.
The local area has lots of activities and attractions to occupy your stay. We went to Sutton Bank where there’s a visitor centre with a café and bikes can be hired. It’s also a good starting point for several circular walks. Sutton Bank is close to the Kilburn White Horse which also has a small carpark and picnic area if you’d prefer to drive there directly. From there we did a long circular walk (longer than we’d intended, but that’s another story!) through fields and woodland and along the clifftop which runs alongside a local gliding centre. We spent a long while just watching the gliders being towed into the air and circling above us.
Thirsk is the nearest town and is a very nice old market town. It was race day at the nearby racecourse on the day we visited so was very busy but worth a visit.
This trip proved to us that we could camp with a baby and we would definitely recommend The Hideaway, but its worth checking whether they have any large groups booked in before you book!