A warm welcome awaits you in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall

How to Get the Most Out of Your Camping Trip to Northumberland


Camping in Northumberland is an amazing experience for a family-friendly break. Camping is a wonderful way to spend quality family time outdoors free from the distractions of mobile phones and TV screens. It’s a great opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the fresh air whilst undertaking some physical activity. But there are many things to consider before heading out onto your Northumberland camping trip. Here are some tips to ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable trip at the best campsites in Northumberland. 

Herding Hill Kielder Forest

1. Choose the right Northumberland campsite for you 

Before setting out on your Northumberland camping trip, take the time to research where you want to go, what amenities and attractions to need close by and the type of facilities you are prepared to stay at.

Northumberland camping - 5-star facilities or simply a toilet?  

There are a huge range of campsites available in Northumberland, from basic fields through to 5-star camping Northumberland like Herding Hill Farm, with a heated shower block, baths and showers and even a sauna. Some campsites might have portable toilets only and might only have shared facilities. With such a choice of amenities you don’t have to slum it when camping in Northumberland if you don’t want to. 

Select the right camping pitch when booking 

Many pitches now offer electric, grey waste and water at the pitch but not all so please ensure that you know what you are booking. If the campsites are full then the owners may not be able to move you. If you have a large tent or caravan with awning please ensure that your booked pitch can accommodate your unit, guy ropes and car. Many sites don’t have pitches large enough for some of the newer tents and vehicles. 

If you are camping in a tent, then you will want to ensure that your pitch is flat. If you are touring then do you require a hard-standing pitch or not? If you can pitch facing East so that the sunshine is warming your tent from first thing and you feel warm when you open the door. 

Are there any local amenities near my Northumberland campsite? 

Secondly consider if you need anything close by. It’s always tempting to “get away from it all” but if you turn up with no food, expecting there to be a pub close by, you might be disappointed. There can be no greater pleasure than completing a long walk and enjoying a pint of real ale in the local pub without needing to drive back to your site. 

If you live in a city for example you might be shocked if you were unable to get a delivery to your pitch. So - research where the site is before you go. Sites like Herding Hill Farm offer a great balance, with The Milecastle Pub serving real ales and food just half a mile walk and the amenities of Haltwhistle a short drive away. Some Haltwhistle takeaways even offer delivery to the site reception for a small fee. 

 Consider whether the site is close to a main road or any light pollution particularly if you want to enjoy star-gazing in Northumberland. Herding Hill Farm is a Dark Sky Friendly Park.  

Tents with a back ground stars! Star gazing at it finest

Is my Northumberland campsite suitable for my group?  

Family-friendly Northumberland campsites like Herding Hill Farm discourage large groups and operate a quiet site policy after 10.30 so if that’s not for you make sure you pick a site that is more flexible, taking into account that without a quiet site policy others may still be up when you want to sleep. Some campsites are more dog-friendly than others. If you are camping in Northumberland with a young family then consider if you would like something for the children to do. Herding Hill Farm has a children’s playground and an animal petting farm to keep the children entertained. 

There can be nothing better than sitting around a campfire exchanging stories. But many sites do not allow open fires, fire pits or BBQ so check before you travel. At Herding Hill Farm we offer both gas and charcoal BBQs as well as fire pits for hire. We do not allow guests to make open fires or bring their own fire pits. 

2. Make sure your tent is fit for purpose 

Test your tent before you travel particularly if you are new to camping in Northumberland or the tent has been in the loft, shed or garage for a while. If a tent has been put away damp there may be mould or the seals and waterproofing may have gone. Better to find out at home than in a storm. Check that you have the right pegs, ground sheets and guy ropes. Better still get all the family involved in putting the tent up and give everyone their own role when you get to the Northumberland campsite. That will save the kids from getting bored. Why not even consider a sleep-over in it before you travel if you are lucky enough to have a garden big enough. It will get young children new to Northumberland camping the opportunity to get used to it. And your dog if you are taking one along too. 

3. Bring everything you need 

Our useful CAMPING CHECKLIST will make sure you bring everything you need for a comfortable stay. Don’t be tempted to think you can do without bulky items like pillows – it will make for a poor night’s sleep. Think warmth, comfort and light. Things like eye masks and ear plugs can help those particularly sensitive to noise or light and don’t take up much space. If you are travelling in the Winter make sure your sleeping bags are sufficient for the lower temperatures and bring things like throws and blankets for extra warmth. If you are going to be camping in Northumberland regularly invest in the best quality sleeping bags your budget will allow. Ensure that you insulate yourself with a good quality mattress or air bed. If everyone gets a good night sleep then tempers are far less likely to be frayed the next morning! A torch is useful for trips to the toilet, many campsites including Herding Hill Farm have a low light policy to preserve the Northumberland dark skies. 

And to ensure you have a comfortable dog-friendly camping trip too we even have a DOG CAMPING CHECKLIST

Check list, so you wont forget the essentails. Sleeping bag, Pillow, Sleeping mat, Mallet And Pegs, Ear plugs, Sleep Mask, Table and Battery's
Dog check list, dont forget to bring treats, dog stake, leads, collar and tag, toys dog food and harness for the car. Oh and don't forget your Dog

4. Consider optional extras 

Many sites including Herding Hill Farm offer OPTIONAL EXTRAS for hire which can make packing and space in the car easier or prevent you from having to buy equipment for a one-off trip. These can include bedding and croc boxes. We also offer BBQ and fire pits for hire to enhance the camping experience (and keep you warm at the same time!). Breakfast and BBQ meat packs are for sale in our small on-site shop, as well as a selection of local real ales. 

5. Ignore the weather forecast 

When spending any time outdoors in the UK it is wise to ignore the weather forecast and account for all eventualities. This includes sunscreen and water-proof clothing. Don’t run the risk of having to cut your Northumberland camping trip short because you don’t have the right gear or clothes.  

6. Consider the journey 

Bored children are normally fractious children so make sure you bring plenty of things to keep them entertained both on the journey and when you arrive. Try to minimise screen time wherever possible, the purpose of camping is to be outdoors and many campsites have “rural WiFi” only, where speeds are slow and downloading video games is not possible. Pre-empt this and always check if it is vital that a good connection is available. It’s amazing how children get engrossed in other things so get them involved in simple tasks like collecting water, washing up or going to the campsite shop to buy bread. Campsites are normally safe spaces where children can enjoy a little bit more freedom than they would normally. It can also teach them about responsibility.  

7. Relax and switch off 

Normal rules don’t apply when you are staying on one of the best campsites in Northumberland. You’ll never need as many clothes as you think and going without a shower isn’t the end of the world if you feel like it. Eat simply. If the kids stay up later than usual around the campfire toasting marshmallows or playing with their new friends it’s all part of the Northumberland camping adventure. Go with the natural light, there is little point trying to get your children to bed at 7pm no matter what their normal bedtime at home if it’s still sunny and the rest of the campsite are playing. Hopefully a day in the fresh air will help them sleep deeper when they do go to bed! If you are all sharing a tent or a small campervan then there is bound to be movement in the night, it’s all part of the fun. Be flexible, what works at home is unlikely to work in a tent on a crowded campsite. Go with the flow and focus on creating special memories for all the family.

Beautiful green fields filled with Sheep And Blue skies

The 5-star campsite Herding Hill Farm is one of the best campsites in Northumberland. If you are new to camping our friendly wardens will be on hand to help you out. Please call us on 01434 320175 if you would like to chat through your plans before booking.