Long time followers of the blog will know that we love family camping (you can see my post on creating a family camping starter kit here). We usually do a couple of music festivals as a family each summer but clearly that is not an option this year in the midst of the pandemic. However, we desperately want to get out under the stars again this year. Papa Ginge has always wanted to try wild camping and it seems to be a safer option to us right now. So I’ve been searching for the best options for wild camping near North East England. I say wild but I mean wild-ish (wild camping is actually illegal in England unless you have the landowner’s permission), or more accurately, somewhere you can just keep yourself to yourself and keep away from other people and shared facilities. Here are my favourite wild camping near North East England finds within a 1.5-hour drive of Newcastle…
Nearly wild camping Newcastle
The Hidden Chestnut, Callerton
The Hidden Chestnut in Callerton, is a new (July 2021) small and cosy private woodland, available for weekend camping (Fridays – Mondays). Only basic services are available, W/C, Water and no electric hook up…
- Up to a 4 man tent £10 p/n
- Between a 4 and 6 man tent £14 p/n
- Dogs are an additional £2.50 p/n
- Device charging available £3 per full charge
- A pitch with a fire pit is an additional £5 p/n – feel free to bring your own wood or they can supply wood for £5 a wheel barrow load.
- Communal fire pit will be lit around 9pm until 11pm.
- To book message on their Facebook page, or call on 07584052513 or email [email protected]
Nearly wild camping in County Durham
The Barn at Easington, County Durham
The Barn at Easington is contained within a beautiful thirty-acre farm on the coast of the unique Durham magnesian limestone plateau, and on the edge of Hawthorn Dene. It has stunning views of the sea, woods and fields. Normally you can camp there for £12 per person per night but at the moment they have stopped camping due to COVID-19. So this one isn’t really wild at the moment but I’m including them as they will be great to visit when the pandemic is over and I feel they are a good option for socially distanced ‘glamping’ during the pandemic.
They are offering their Caravans and Camping Pods so that guests can be safely socially distant from each other. You have to take your own bed linen at the moment. Units will only be available on a minimum 4 day booking and they will have a mandatory gap of 2 days between bookings so that the units can be safely deep cleaned.
Also, by the looks of the photos they have chickens and pigs on site! The site ethos sounds awesome too.
For more great campsites in Durham check out my camping in Durham post.
Nearly wild camping in Gateshead
Birkheads Wild, Gateshead
A 1.5-acre site in rural Gateshead. They only ever hire out the site to one group at a time so you’ll always have exclusive use of the space for groups of up to 25 people. They also hold a limited number of events across the year especially for families but you’ll have to keep an eye out as they book up fast apparently. Sam from North East Family Fun talks about their experience at Birkheads Wild here.
Blaydon Burn Farm, Gateshead
Blaydon Burn Farm at Brockwell Wood is only 7 miles away from Newcastle upon Tyne in 26 acres of ancient woodland, offering visitors a tranquil, yet accessible retreat from the hurly-burly of modern life. This campsite is for those who want a back to nature experience. There are no shops, toilets and showers at the site, but real back-to-basics camping. You get a map and spade to bury your human waste so it’s really back to basics! They also have great quality free-range grass-fed meat on site.
Nearly Wild camping in Northumberland
Wild Camping Northumberland, Hedley, West Riding
Over the summer this working farm opens up an area for VERY BASIC camping. There is a toilet and water tap and that’s pretty much it. Wild Camping Northumberland has stunning views across the Tyne Valley, woodland walks next to the campsite, excellent gastro pubs within walking distance, sunsets to die for and absolute peace and quiet.
The Boe Rigg, Northumberland
Remote, wild, spacious and scenic are all terms rightly fitting The Boe Rigg, in Northumberland National Park a few miles from the market town of Bellingham. The Boe Rigg camp is a little wilder and rustic compared to other sites but they do have a cafe, restaurant and bar.
On the doorstep is Kielder Forest and Water and the renowned darkest skies in the UK.
Bellingham is just two miles away where you will find a well-stocked Co-op, country store, newsagents, butchers & selection of pubs and cafes.
You can read our full review of the Boe Rigg campsite from our stay in Summer 2020 here.
Hemscott Hill Farm, Druridge Bay, Northumberland
This is one I’m desperate to do – wild-ish camping on the Druridge Bay dunes. They reopen early August but sadly have banned children during the pandemic which means this is a no go for us personally otherwise I would have been booking it. Just imagine going to sleep to the sounds of the waves and waking up to this view.
Christmas Farm, Longframlington
Christmas Farm, is a small organically certified family farm in the heart of Northumberland. They produce rare breed organically reared meat and eggs together with a range of fruit and vegetables. Christmas Farm offers a field with glorious views of the countryside for a wild camping experience. For many people the view, fresh water, a compost toilet and unlimited firewood are all they need to get back to basics, unwind and recharge. Wild camping on Christmas Farm costs just £15.00 a night based on two adults camping. Children under 12 stay for free.
Budle Hall Field, Bamburgh
Exclusive wild camping in our beautiful field behind Budle Hall with sea views and a short walk to the beach. Each pitch has its own private shower and toilet and there is also an outside shower to wash off the sand. Sinks (cold water) to wash dishes. Two pitches only. Car parking separate from pitches – wheelbarrows supplied to transport your tent & bags!
£40 for a tent (one per pitch) and up to 6 people per pitch.
If Budle Hall Field is fully booked? You could also try wild camping on a beautiful farm with view of the Cheviot Hills or the Bamburgh coastline. Pitches offer total seclusion with options to buy local produce, breakfast hampers, or rent a fire bowl. £20 per pitch per night. Contact Lucy on 07597 420228 or email [email protected]
Ravenscleugh Farm, Elsdon, Northumberland
Ravenscleugh Farm in Northumberland has a farmhouse that offers bed and breakfast and you can also book to private camp there. With private camping you will have private access to the bathroom and shower downstairs in the house and access to the wild swimming pond as part of your stay.
They also have a wild camping valley – 200 yards from the house so you will need to carry everything you need. There is a beautiful burn running through the valley and you will feel totally at ease and relaxed here with the only disturbances being the otters travelling up and down the burn and curlews overhead.
This one is definitely on my hit list to try sometime, it looks idilic.
Doxford Farm Camping, Bamburgh
Set amidst 500 acres of working farmland – Doxford Farm Camping ensures that campers and glampers have the opportunity to relax, enjoy and explore all Northumberland has to offer. As the campsite is at the heart of the farm there is always something going on to watch – from lambs in the fields to harvest! Gaze up at the stars above, light a campfire or enjoy the seaside nearby.
With over 5 miles of farm walks which include woodland, field and lakeside – there is plenty to do and see without even needing to step foot in a car.
Only 4 miles from the nearest beach and 6 miles from Alnwick, you’re in pole position here. Bamburgh Castle and Seahouses are a 15 minute drive.
Solar powered panels can be hired to provide a little electricity to charge items such as phones, small speakers etc. Batteries, ice, logs and overnight briquettes can also be purchased along with marshmallow toasting kits.
This site has fresh cold running water and loos but DOES NOT have electric or shower facilities.
If you are interested in camping Northumberland coast then I have a whole blog post on the best campsites near the beach in Northumberland.
Nearly wild camping in North Yorkshire
Deer Shed Base Camp, North Yorkshire
Not wild camping per se but something that I really liked the sound of is Deer Shed Base Camp in North Yorkshire. Deer Shed is normally an annual summer festival but as that can’t go ahead this year they have come up with a great idea for a socially distanced camping weekender. You park next to your tent, have your own pitch with your own portaloo with water. They even have their own radio station for entertainment for the weekend and you can come and go off site as you please. It sounds perfect. My only concern is lots of people being in the same place, even if it is socially distanced. It’s a guaranteed sold out camp site whereas with other camp sites, they might be quieter. Sadly this is now sold out but it’s a great idea for other festivals to emulate I think.
Hazel Brow Farm, Swaledale
Hazel Brow Farm in Swaledale offers an enclosed, sheltered site in an orchard opposite a Yorkshire Dales farm. It looks out over green fields grazed on by sheep with River Swale walks right from the grounds.
Nearly wild camping in the Scottish Borders
Ruberslaw, Scottish Borders
Just North of North East England is Ruberslaw – 500 acres of unspoilt upland is set in the heart of the Teviot Valley’s Special Landscape Area in the Scottish Borders. Ruberslaw offers wild camping. Their Gledswing Lookout lets you pitch in mature woods sheltering the Gledswing field, behind a stone dyke. You have views west up the Teviot Valley, a great view of Ruberslaw, and down Rulewater valley to the east. All pitches are serviced by an exclusive, discreetly positioned Thunderbox pine hut. These have a sink supplied with fresh water daily for drinking, washing and washing up and a composting toilet. These are cleaned daily. They should be opening their wild camping back up soon and are certified ‘Good to Go’ by Visit Scotland showing their take their coronavirus readiness seriously.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
- Ultimate guide to family camping
- Camping North East England
- Wild camping Northumberland (7 scenic spots)
- Creating a family camping starter kit from scratch
- Camping Newcastle has some great camping sites in the Newcastle and Gateshead area of North East England.
- Camping Durham
- Camping Northumberland coast
Want to know more about wild camping in the UK then check out my Free camping in the UK blog post.
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you want to follow along with our camping adventures this summer!
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