Website: orchard-camping.co.uk| Phone: 01226 762889 | Postcode: S36 7EY
This was another 2-night weekend camping trip that we booked just a few days before. The site, close to Penistone is around an hour away from home so was close enough that we could pack the van and head off after a full day’s work and still arrive in time to setup camp before dark. This site is small. Really small. We drove straight past it (twice) when we first arrived. The only giveaway is an Orchard Camping banner tied to the wall next to the gate, but that was obscured by a camper’s car when we arrived.
The entrance to the site is through a gate that provides access to the driveway of a farm house. Once through that gate, there is a further gate to the left which gives access to a portion of the owner’s back garden that has been separated off for the campsite. The pitching area is large enough for 4 or 5 pitches. When we visited there were 3 large tents and a teardrop caravan. Cars are left on the drive or road outside. There is one hardstanding pitch for campervans which is a small gravel area between the drive and the tent field. It was just big enough to fit our camper end-on with the awning off to the side. We’d taken our large awning this time (only because the smaller one needed repairs to a couple of poles) and the space wasn’t quite big enough but we managed to make it fit. Electric hook-up was available, but we were told that the installation isn’t fully fitted yet (there’s a loose cable poking through the wall of their garage) so we weren’t charged extra, but the normal charge for electric is a very reasonable £2 per night.
The site opened in 2014, and the owner told us that this was the first time that they had been full, other than when a group has booked the entire site. The owner also told us about plans for some expansion and improvement to the site, but were clear that they don’t intend to become a large site. Changes will mostly be to the facilities and capacity for electric pitches.
Currently the bathroom for campers is part of the owner’s house – they have a single-storey extension that has a house bathroom and a lounge room with TV, board games and dining table all for use by campers. This is open from 6am to 10am and again from 6pm to 10pm, although is often open throughout the day if the owner is around. When locked there is a single portaloo next to the garage. The bathroom was kept very clean at all times, and despite the shower and toilet being in one room, there were no queues whilst we were there. There is also a campers’ kitchen in the garage building, with sink, microwave, fridge freezer and washing machine that is always accessible.
The site is located immediately adjacent to an A road, however it isn’t very busy and there is little noticeable noise. The setting is definitely rural – just ask the cows who kept popping their heads over the bushes from the farmer’s field next door, giving our little boy a good feel for nature. There are stunning views across the fields to the railway viaduct in Penistone.
There is plenty to do in the area, which is well located near the Peak District, and on the Saturday we visited Wentworth Castle, and walked around the deer park (for entry to the park you just pay £3 to park your car, entry to the gardens is more expensive at £7 per person). The grounds are well maintained, and there are 3 well signed walks varying between just over one mile, and 4 miles. For lunch we had a picnic next to the van, but there are a café and designated picnic grounds there.
Although the Saturday exceeded our weather expectations by turning out to be a hot sunny day, the forecast rain was threatening on Sunday morning, We managed to get the awning away before it got too wet, but our trip to the local Langsett reservoir turned out to be complete washout, meaning we quickly took refuge in the Bankview Café for a hearty lunch before heading home.
The owner told us that they had opened the site with the intention of providing overnight stays for walkers and cyclists in the area, however they have found that most of their clientele come here more with the intention to relax and get away from it all. We would agree that this is a good location for both.