A Camping Weekend in the Yorkshire Dales

Stood at Gordale Scar Waterfall

One week, after discussing the limited amount of summer left, we decided it was time to up sticks and FINALLY go camping. We'd been wanting to go for a while and it was something we'd never done together (in fact, something I'd never done at all). So, with a little bit of spontaneity, we booked the campsite and collected multiple camping tools from different family members. One week later, we embarked on our little holiday...

We were destined to have thundery showers having naively booked without checking the weather. We did, however, know that British weather is never more unpredictable than it is in the summer, so we decided to brave it. On our first day, we travelled down in very wet conditions and ended up erecting the tent in the pouring rain (we had to sit in the car halfway through just to take a breather). We past some beautiful waterfalls as a result of the weather and took extra precautions on the already rickety roads. 

We cooked dinner in the tent that night and enjoyed the sound of the rain while we cosied up with Horlicks. The next day, we woke up to beautiful sunshine and finally had the chance to embrace the area we were in...

The view from outside the tent

The Camping...

We stayed at an adults-only, quiet campsite on the very edge of a small village called Kettlewell. This village is in the dale of Wharfedale, located between Skipton and Aysgarth. The Camp, called Wharfe Camp, consisted of 5 extra-large pitches and 2 glamping pods. There were 2 communal drinking water taps outside, as well as a lovely, clean facility for toilets and showers, and outdoor pot-washing sinks. Each pitch had optional electric hook-up at £5 per night (at the time of our stay) but we decided it wasn't necessary for us. 

The host of the campsite was Lucy, a lovely lady who always greeted us good morning and seemed generally interested in our experience. The pitches overlooked the rolling hills which warmed beautifully in the evening sun and the east view was of the hosts' land, complete with sheep, chickens and a wonderful looking veg patch. 

kettlewell river in sunset

Lucy and her partner kept the campsite in great condition and any COVID related changes were stated and reasonable. This included leaving the door open at the facilities to allow for airflow as well as the regular daily cleaning between check-in/out times. The shower was 20p for 2 minutes - something we struggled to gauge from online reviews and therefore feel eager to share to advise others. 

The village was a short walk away from the campsite, let's say 5 to 10 minutes. We walked back after a late dinner on one of the nights and NEEDED our torches on - without them we were in complete darkness. The walk is a lovely way along the River Wharfe and a great opportunity to spot some wildlife. The village itself is also a dream - with little nooks to explore, like a bridge over the river between two houses, sheep grazing in the centre, an adorable village shop, and a perfect little ice cream shop. It has everything you could dream of from a quintessential Yorkshire village.

With the glorious weather, lovely neighbours, beautiful views, spot-on facilities AND a wonderful host - I truly believe that this was always the ideal recipe for our perfect little holiday. We would definitely stay at this campsite again in the future!

Malham Cove

The Adventure...

We obviously couldn't go to the Yorkshire Dales without doing a big walk. On our full day, we travelled across to a village called Malham, a 45-minute drive on equally winding roads, to take a look at the world-famous spectacle: Malham Cove (pictured above). The Cove is a Limestone cliff, as high as 260 feet, with spectacular views from both the top and the bottom.

We decided to do a circular walk from Malham village, through Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet's Foss, ending back in Malham. In hindsight, we should have done the walk the opposite way since the walk to the top of Malham Cove was a KILLER! By the top, my asthma symptoms were flaring and I began to shake for a while - nevertheless, I took time to recover and persevered. 

We were rewarded by that perseverance. When we reached Gordale Scar we were pleasantly surprised, actually more blown-away. The pictures just don't do it justice of how spectacular and enchanting this waterfall is (see the first, feature image above). I've seen some unbelievable waterfalls in the short time I've been around, but this actually stands as one of my favourites.

From there, we took the short walk along to Janet's Foss (another, smaller waterfall feeding into a plunge-pool amongst woodland) which was, unfortunately, a little bit too crowded to truly enjoy. I would love to be there super early on a morning and get a chance to spot some of the local Dippers.

Finally, with our feet growing tired, we landed back into Malham village and stopped off at the Old Barn Tea Room for cream-tea. At the time of our visit, it was the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, so 2 cream-teas came to £4.50! With a hefty mug of tea, a delicious scone and proper clotted cream, we were ready to head back to camp and get ready for our evening meal. 

full english breakfast in a tent

The Food...

To set ourselves up for the day, we started both days with a Full English Breakfast - a calorific start, I know, but imperative when you have busy days ahead. We actually forgot to pack one of our pans so ended up having to cook everything in one pan. It took a lot of strategic planning but ended up working pretty well and left us well equipped for our days.

Other than that, more lovely food included the cream tea mentioned above (another long walk necessity) and the meal we decided to treat ourselves to...

The Kings Head, Kettlewell

We opted to visit The Kings Head pub/restaurant in the centre of Kettlewell. They weren't participating in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme which was a little irritating as the dishes where twice the price as the neighbouring pub but, with the other pubs quickly filling up, we settled for a treat. Nonetheless, the food was definitely worth the extra price tag. I opted for Wensleydale Chicken, wrapped in pancetta with white wine and mushroom sauce, while Jamie went for the beautifully tender Beef Cheek.  If you'd like to see my more in-depth review of the restaurant, you can do so here!

Looking back, I can't think of a moment that I didn't enjoy during this little holiday. We were so lucky with the weather, it was the cherry on top. But all in all, it was the beautiful locations, the company and the memories that formed a wonderful trip that I'll look back at fondly, forever. 

Where in the UK would you like to travel to?


  1. Looks like you had a lovely trip! Also that food looks incredible. x

    Zoey | www.zoeyolivia.com

  2. It looks like you had such a lovely little holiday/adventure and the campsite looks really nice. I've not done a camping getaway before but actually something I think I'd like to experience!

    Lucy | Forever September